Civic Health Index
Civic Health Index (CHI) is at the center of our work. We think of “civic health” as the way that communities are organized to define and address public problems. Communities with strong indicators of civic health have higher employment rates, stronger schools, better physical health, and more responsive governments. For the past 10 years NCoC, together with the Corporation for National and Community Service and state and community level collaborative networks across the nation, has documented the state of civic life in America in city, state and national Civic Health Index (CHI) reports.
CHI partnerships have changed the way governments go about their work, reintroduced civics to our classrooms, redirected investments, influenced national and local conversations resulting in enhancing civic life, and bolstered a network of civic leaders across the country. By 2020, our goal is to integrate this pioneering initiative into ongoing partnerships in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
NCoC engages a number of partners in creation of the national, state, and city Civic Health Index reports including the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University, Civic Enterprises, and Harvard University’s Saguaro Seminar, as well as members of a Civic Indicators Working Group.
In 2006, the National Conference on Citizenship, in partnership with the Civic Health Index Indicators Working Group, launched “America’s Civic Health Index,” measuring civic trends over the last 30 years. This report has been produced nationally since then, and is continually expanding into communities across the country.
Through partnerships with local universities and nonprofits, NCoC expanded the national Civic Health Index in 2008 by providing localized data in state-specific reports in California, Florida, and Ohio. NCoC now works in over 30 communities nationwide.
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act expanded the collection of civic health indicators to include America’s largest metropolitan areas. Accordingly, working with local partners, NCoC expanded our Civic Health Index portfolio to the city level.
Annual Conferences and Events
The Annual Conference on Citizenship is NCoC’s signature event, held in proximity to Citizenship Day (also known as Constitution Day). NCoC convenes leaders in the field of civic engagement and anyone else who is interested in the discussion to exchange information and to consider ways to progress our shared mission of encouraging Americans to become fully involved citizens.
NCoC has offered four awards in conjunction with its Annual Conference: the Joseph H. Kanter Citizen of the Year Award, the Franklin Award, the HOOAH Award, and the Role Model of the Year Award. Previous Honorees include Harvard University’s Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy Robert Putnam, Senator John McCain, Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and General Stanley McChrystal. Please follow this link to learn more about the Awards.
NCoC has served as the incubator for several successful programs and initiatives.
The Civic 50 – The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light, honors the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation each year as determined by an annual survey.
Civic Data Challenge – A collaboration with the Knight Foundation to engage the brightest, most creative minds of social innovators in strengthening communities nationwide. A toolkit was created to highlight the takeaways and lessons learned from the Civic Data Challenge.