The descriptors decide what information will be provided with regard to each indicator in the mapping. In many ways, the selected descriptors provide the colour swath used to portray each indicator. For example, if "pro-poor and gender sensitivity" is chosen as a descriptor, each indicator will be described with regard to its ability to capture pro-poor and gender-sensitive issues.
It might be useful to have a broad range of comparative descriptors so that the mapping can be used for several purposes, including harmonization of governance indicators; identification of governance indicator deficits, such as governance areas with too few indicators; strengthening of the use of governance evidence in policy; improvement of the correct use of indicators; increased availability of indicators; and increased transparency of governance assessments.
It is better to include too many than too few descriptors from the beginning, as it may be time-consuming to go back and collect more information if one discovers later that more descriptors are needed.
The descriptors also will guide the presentation of results. Many ways exist to present the information in the mapping, but a particularly useful way is to catalogue each governance indicator using the same descriptors.
The table below includes a sample of possible descriptors.
Illustrative Table of Descriptors
Name of the study/indicator
The individual or organization that produced the data source
The purpose for which the information source was intended
The organization(s) that are funding or have funded the project
Who is using the data
Where, how and for what purpose the data is being used by different users
Where to find it:
The web address where the database is located
Type of data used:
Description of the type of data, i.e., expert assessments, household surveys, stories from news agencies, administrative data, etc.
Number of provinces or municipalities
The years when the first and most recent data were collected and the frequency with which data is collected
The address at which the producer can be contacted
Explains how the data was collected and compiled, and includes relevant information such as sources of data, data-gathering techniques, questionnaire design and coding
Pro-poor and gender sensitive:
Explains if the indicators can be disaggregated by gender or income; capture directly or indirectly issues, perceptions and/or experiences of the poor and women; or if they have been chosen by the poor or women
Explains how the sources should be used
Explains how the sources should not be used
Describes the assumptions that were made by the producers while developing sources
Example of results:
Provides an example of the information provided by the indicator
For more examples of presentation formats, see the UNDP Governance Indicators User's Guide (hyperlink).and the User's Guide to Governance Indicators in the Philippines (hyperlink).