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Institutionalization, Codification and Mandatory Use

Institutionalization through the integration of new indicators into mainstream policy mechanisms and existing statistical, measurement and reporting systems is frequently seen as a key objective and success criterion and as a means of enhancing indicator influence (for example, Pinter et al. 2005, p. 3). Typically, institutionalization involves processes whereby the credibility of hitherto unofficial indicator information is strengthened by giving it an official 'seal' of credibility. Mandatory application of indicators can foster such institutionalization. Mandatory use in internal venues may also trigger use in external venues, through public debate generated for example as a result of the publication of government reviews. In practice, such spillover effects have been rare. Indicator production and use have been institutionalized through the establishment of guidelines, mandates and designated venues for their production and use, with international organizations (for example, the OECD, Eurostat and the various UN organs) and processes (for example, Local Agenda 21), and national statistics offices in leading roles (Srebotnjak 2007; Stiglitz et al. 2010). Forms of institutionalization have ranged from the establishment of academic journals (for example, Social Indicators Research, Ecological Indicators), and regular international expert collaboration (Hezri 2006, p. 158), codification - and hence 'officialization' - of indicators through frameworks such as the System of National Accounts (SNA) and the System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounts (SEEA) (for example, Pinter et al. 2005, pp. 22-23), and manuals for indicator production (Godin 2003, p. 687).

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