By Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis, Co-Directors,
Measure of America
What does well-being and opportunity look like in the New York metropolitan area? The typical Asian-American resident of the New York Metro Area lives over 9 years longer and has about the same education level as the area’s typical white resident, but earns $9,000 less per year. While we track gross domestic product (GDP) growth and inflation and stock market gyrations with remarkable regularity, we tend to pay far less attention to basic statistics like these, stats on crucial indicators of people’s capabilities to live fulfilled, productive lives.
One big challenge in philanthropy today is in measuring impact: is my focused effort moving the needle on issues I care about? The United Nations’ Human Development Index has become the gold standard in over 150 countries for both scanning the landscape in terms of need and then using the scan to monitor progress. Could it be useful for New York-area grantmakers?