Learn about Ke Ala Hoku

About this Report
This report consists of fifty-eight critical indicators. https://www.nhsheroes.co.uk/ They are organized into six sections: Aloha Spirit; Healthy, Natural Environment; Safe, Nurturing Social Environment; Thriving Diverse Sustainable Economy; Educated Citizens; and Civic Vitality, which represent desired outcomes. Each section is subdivided into groups of related indicators. Together, these sections form a constellation of indicators that can help to guide us through our voyage to the future, much like ancient voyagers used the stars to navigate their way over the seas.

Where available, baseline data has been compiled for each indicator, giving us a picture of the current conditions. Then, for some indicators, a time-specific target, a benchmark, has been established, showing the desired condition in the future after taking into account current trends.


Some of the terms used in this report may be new or unfamiliar to readers. Nine of the key terms are:

Outcome: An outcome is a desired end state, a condition of well being for communities. Example: All family members are free from harm.
Indicator: An indicator is a measure that helps quantify the achievement of outcomes. There may be more than one indicator for an outcome. Example: The number of confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect per 1,000 children.
Benchmark: A benchmark is the rate of change and length of time anticipated for an indicator to be achieved. It is the target or goal to be achieved. Example: There will be a 20% decrease in the rate of child abuse in Hawai`i by the year 2000.
Critical Indicator: A critical indicator helps to measure progress on issues that Ke Ala Hoku participants feel are of urgent concern. It represents critical causes and symptoms of community breakdown, which need immediate attention so harm can be stopped or damage can be healed. The indicators in this report are all critical indicators.
Baseline: An initial data point (or collection of data points) against which all-future data points will be compared to determine a trend.
System: A set of actors or entities bound together by a set of rules and relationships into a unified whole. A system’s health is dependent on the health of the whole pattern, which can sometimes be reflected (and thus measured) in the status of a key part of the system. (See Indicator.)
Sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present without endangering the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Trend: A direction demonstrated through observation of data and/or indicators over time.
Index: The combination of more than one indicator into a single, aggregated measure of an overall trend. (Not to be confused with a set of separate indicators.)
A noticeable difference between this report and the Critical Indicators Report of 1997-98 is the inclusion of many more data points for some of the indicators, as well as the benchmarks. Missing data indicate three possibilities: 1) no data has ever been collected for this indicator; 2) data is in development through a survey; or 3) data may exist, but the source has not yet been identified. The connections among these indicators are the connections needed to sustain healthy social, economic, and natural ecosystems.

Another noticeable difference between this report and the Critical Indicators Report 1997-98 is that recommendations have been made to provide alternative or additional indicators based on the lack of data due to one-time collection or no capacity to collect the data.

Why these Indicators?

The critical indicators listed in this report were selected through a process of convening over 1,000 people and asking them: How will you know life in Hawai’i is getting better? How will you know we are achieving The Children’s Vision?

Meetings convened through the early part of 1996 included forums, summits, and roundtables. With the information provided by Ke Ala Hoku Data Team, chaired by Professor Deane Neubauer, Ph.D., of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, Political Science Department, was formed. The Data Team was comprised of other individuals from the University of Hawai`i, State of Hawai`i Department of Health, State of Hawai`i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, State of Hawai`i Department of Education, and Kamehameha Schools. This group refined the list of indicators and found the data points necessary to complete trend lines and project future benchmarks. The 1997-98 Ke Ala Hoku Critical Indicator Report was the result of their efforts.

In 1998 another group of Hawai`i residents called The Community Forum began its recruitment process. The Community Forum is a group of individuals from across the state who were asked to represent different sectors of the statewide community in order to help track the indicators, to reflect on the best strategies for impacting trends, and to present a status report on the indicators to the community on an annual basis beginning in 1998. The Community Forum met formally three times in 1998. The group submitted questions and concerns about the present data to the Data Team. Together, the Data Team and Community Forum members worked tirelessly to answer the questions and present what they consider better indicators to measure our progress. This 1999 Critical Indicator Report is the direct accomplishment of that work.

In 1999, Ke Ala Hoku will use these as “umbrella” outcomes, indicators, and benchmarks to guide communities and neighborhoods toward benchmarking.

How to Use this Report

As a checklist for designing strategies and activities that will improve the trends:

Is it sustainable?
Is it inclusive of those people and organizations that will be affected by the solutions?
Is it inclusive of those people who can contribute to the solutions?
Does it build on existing resources?
Does it recognize and contribute to diversity of the economic system? of cultures? of ecosystems?
Does it use resources wisely or does it produce excess waste in human potential, natural resources, or in items we produce?
Will it ultimately strengthen these connections: the natural environment, human production and potential (economy), and social good?
Does it further the spirit of Aloha?
Taking Action . . .

As a policymaker, use the indicators to define your priorities. Use the checklist to define your strategies.
As an organization, see where your Mission aligns with The Children’s Vision. Align your performance measures to the indicators. Determine where you are making an impact and share that information with other organizations.
As a funder, expect tangible outcomes from the programs you fund. See where the funded programs are contributing to changing the indicators.
As a neighborhood, define your own indicators and work as a community to achieve them.
For everyone, share The Children’s Vision, encourage your policy makers to work toward a sustainable Hawai`i and to include you in the dialogue. Live Aloha and celebrate successes.
Using Ke Ala Hoku a Framework for Change

As a funder:

Aloha United Way is involved in changing its allocations process and eventually the distribution of its resources to help the community achieve the following Ke Ala Hoku outcome areas: Educated Citizens; Thriving, Diverse Sustainable Economy; and Safe, Nurturing Social Environment.

Through the support of the Wilson P. Cannon Fund, Na O`pio O Ke Ala Hoku grants are funds which promote youth volunteerism, the Hawai`i Community Foundation has tapped into the collective wisdom of Hawai`i’s youth. Several students representing all islands were invited to be the first members of a youth grantmaking advisory board to decide on grants awarded to youth groups involved in volunteering their time to good causes. The formation of this board was grounded on the belief that to be effective, grantmaking that promotes youth in voluntary community action should have input from young people themselves.

The students are between 15 and 18 years of age. As grantmakers, these young people have accomplished a truly pioneering work: writing the grant application guidelines, reviewing and discussing the grant applications, making the decisions, and awarding grants to organizations that promote and encourage youth volunteerism.

As an Organization:

The YWCA of O`ahu looked at the connections between its Vision and Mission and the community outcomes expressed through Ke Ala Hoku with the following results:

The YWCA incorporates as core values the Aloha Spirit and Healthy Natural Environment. The YWCA seeks through its activities to create:

A safe, nurturing social environment for all women and children;

A thriving, diverse economy in which all women have equal opportunity for pay status, participation, and standard of living;

Educated citizens where all women and girls have the opportunity to receive the education they need to do what they want to do; and
Vital civic life in which a diversity of women and girls participate in civic activities of their choosing. The YWCA is developing its own performance measures to track progress.
A System:

The Hawai`i Adolescent Wellness Team of the Family Health Services Division and the School Health Services Branch of the Department of Health have developed a framework and resource document: Hawai`i Adolescent Wellness Plan Laulima In Action. This document, which includes benchmarks and indicators, is designed to guide the collaboration on behalf of improving the health status of youth. The planning process has included youth as well as members of Ke Ala Hoku.

A Community:

The Wai`anae Coast Coalition has been engaged in community planning for several years. Having defined its vision, indicators, and action plans, it will continue planning, using the benchmarks framework as a future guide. Act 314, Session Laws of Hawai`i 1997, supports this ahupua`a-based (land division) initiative. In 1999, the Wai`anae Coast Coalition, in collaboration with Ke Ala Hoku, has again approached the legislature to appropriate funds and extend the time period for Act 314.

What we heard through the Ke Ala Hoku forums

There are some clear directional signals that have been emerging and have been reinforced over and over again through Ke Ala Hoku community meetings and surveys. About 8,000 youth and adults have participated statewide.

The course of action desired by those engaged in Ke Ala Hoku points to a future that will ensure that all Hawai’i residents are healthy, productive, and safe. This course of action emphasizes prevention. It strives for balance, which is achieved when growth in the economy is seen through the lens of the beautiful Hawai’i we want to leave our children’s children. By protecting fragile ecosystems, taking responsibility for our waste and for the resources that sustain us, we begin to shape our preferred future.

We look forward from a foundation of Aloha, a sense of place and people. We celebrate our diversity (cultural, economic, and social) and live by mutual support and personal and shared responsibility. We educate our children with a respect for their differences in ability, needs, and aspirations. We see technology as a promising tool to keep us connected to each other and to the world around us–one base from which to build a new economy. We believe the Hawai’i desired by our children is possible because we are optimistic by nature and believe that by charting a mutual, sustainable course into the future, all possibilities will open before us.

Finally, we see sustainability as a crucial concept to understand and on which to base our actions. More a direction than a destination, sustainability is a process of continually improving the way we live in order to respect the reality of limits, whether those limits are imposed by nature or embraced voluntarily by people living together. We are committed to acting as stewards of our children’s future; we understand that the needs of the future must not be sacrificed to the demands of the present.