Researchers and policy makers often want to build policy indicators that involve multiple criteria that are not easily reduced to a single dimension. Composite indicators help to summarize a complex reality, enabling researchers and policy reformers to conveniently compare of countries (or other administrative units) over time and with each other. However helpful such measures can be, they can also be poorly conceptualized and constructed. Very often problems with composite indicators stem from a lack of knowledge about procedures for constructing reliable social indicators.
This workshop presents a general framework for developing composite social indicators, and discusses development of several popular indicators in the comparative policy literature. During the workshop, we will discuss and work through alternative methods of conceptualizing and developing composite indicators, using some practical examples.