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Key terms

We use the following definitions on this website to distinguish between indicators, metrics, and measurement methods:

Sustainable intensification

Sustainable intensification (SI) focuses on improving the efficient use of resources for agriculture, with the goal of producing more food on the same amount of land but with reduced negative environmental or social impacts. 


A “quantitative or qualitative factor or variable that provides a simple and reliable basis for assessing achievement, change or performance”1.


“This represent[s] the values on which indicators are built.” These are computed by aggregating and combining raw data, for example, yield (harvest per hectare) or height for age.1

Measurement method

A set of activities to generate raw data (observations such as weight, height, plot size, etc.) that can be used to compute metrics. This can include modeling and the output generated from modeling.

It is important to note that a metric can be an indicator if it is used to assess performance and decision making. “Thus all indicators are metrics, but not all metrics are indicators.”1

1. ISPC, 2014