Purpose of the Living in Niagara report and Research Methodology


The Living in Niagara report is a triennial measure of quality of life in Niagara, across 12 Sectors that align with the Social Determinants of Health. The report and its Sectors are described, built and owned by the Niagara-wide community.

Report construction is facilitated by Niagara Connects, a Niagara-wide network of people working together to plan, learn, innovate and lead community action toward a stronger future for Niagara. Niagara Connects engages diverse players to build evidence-informed action plans for transformative socio-economic change.

The report and its companion tool, www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com (NKE) are cornerstones in building a culture of evidence-informed planning for Niagara. The validated process of building the report weaves networks among diverse partners working together to intentionally gather, share and record data, information and knowledge. These partners agree on Suggested Action Steps to guide focused planning and decision-making.

Report Sectors

The 12 Living in Niagara quality of life Sectors are described by the Niagara-wide community, to reflect the Social Determinants of Health in the Niagara context.

  • Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Community Belonging (formerly Belonging, Volunteering, Giving and Leadership)
  • Crime, Safety, and Security
  • Economic Prosperity (formerly Economic Development, Poverty and Prosperity)
  • (The) Environment
  • Health and Wellness
  • Housing and Shelter
  • Learning and Education
  • People Getting Started (formerly Getting Started in Niagara)
  • Recreation and Sports
  • Transportation and Mobility
  • Work and Employment

Report Formats

Print (Summary) Version – download the 2014 Print Version.

Online Version – provides Measures for report Indicators including data, statistics, information, reports and analysis: www.livinginniagarareport.com, and integrates with the NKE.

Report Construction
Download the ‘Living in Niagara report Purpose, Format and Construction Methodology’ technical report.

Suggested Action Steps
Community Expert Opinion Leaders (CEOLs) in each of the 12 Sectors work together to refine Suggested Action Steps.

Download Living in Niagara – 2011 report Suggested Action Steps
Download Living in Niagara – 2014 report Suggested Action Steps

Sector Ranking Scales
CEOLS also reach consensus on Sector ratings. For the Living in Niagara – 2017 report, the rating process includes 2 separate scales. CEOLs in each Sector rate ‘how Niagara is doing now’, overall, in that Sector; and they discriminately and clearly rate the degree of progress being made in that Sector.

The 2017 rating scales are:

How is Niagara doing in the ____ Sector?
Level 1 – We’re doing great – let’s build on our success
Level 2 – We’re doing well and headed in the right direction
Level 3 – Of concern, requires attention
Level 4 – Would benefit from corrective action


Overall, when you think of Niagara’s activity in the ____ Sector, how much progress is currently being made?
Amount A – Considerable progress is being made
Amount B – Moderate progress is being made
Amount C – Some progress is being made
Amount D – No progress is being made

The Living in Niagara – 2017 report was released on November 28, 2017, at the Niagara Community Foundation Leaders Breakfast.