In a study as ambitious and complex as this, it is critical to have a robust framework on which to collect and analyse data. Janaagraha arrived at this framework over two years through research,expert consultation and ground experience. Here is a snapshot of the methodology which has gone into presenting these scores to you.
Scores are used to measure the broad categories such as Sanitation, Mobility etc that influence our quality of life in the city.
Each indicator is scored between 0 and 10 based on specific benchmarks. A 10 means your ward meets the benchmark. Wherever possible, the benchmarks are the standards defined by Union or State law, such as air pollution limits. Other benchmarks are based on research into Indian city life.
Using benchmarks, the indicators avoid subjective debates over what conditions are "good" or "bad". The scores report how close your ward is to the standards promised by your government (0 being the farthest and 10, closest).
Overall, the indicators had to be valid, objective, and reliable.
To ensure validity, the indicators were measured as directly as possible.
For example, to measure Road Cleanliness, Janaagraha surveyors combed the streets in each ward and marked down the rubbish they saw. It was also critical to avoid correlations (eg: "a good score in Road Cleanliness should mean a good score in Ground Water Quality").
Indicators had to be objective so citizens and government can act on them. To measure "Average Cost of Water" with perfect objectivity, the surveyors visited every home in a ward and recorded each household's income and water bill. Researchers can't reach all houses, so they sample a smaller pool of houses, carefully chosen to represent all the households in each ward. Objectivity is a top priority in sampling. Finally, indicators had to be reliable. The indicators do NOT use door-to-door travel time as an indicator in the Mobility category, because the times vary according to the particular road conditions each day.
The indicators are weighted according to their importance in your overall quality of life. For instance, access to water is weighted more than Quality of Water Supply. The second indicator is irrelevant unless the first is satisfied.
As you go through the scores for your ward remember these are not mere numbers, but actual tools for you as citizens to hold your government accountable.