Sustainable development has figured prominently on the international agenda for more than a quarter of a century. People talk earnestly of the environmental, social and economic dimensions of development. Yet we continue to build up the economic component, at considerable cost to the environmental one. We risk undermining social and economic gains by failing to appreciate our fundamental dependency on ecological systems. Social and economic sustainability are only possible with a healthy planet. Ecosystems sustain societies that create economies. It does not work any other way round. But although human beings are a product of the natural world, we have become the dominant force that shapes ecological and biophysical systems. In doing so, we are not only threatening our health, prosperity and well-being, but our very future. This tenth edition of the Living Planet Report® reveals the effects of the pressures we are placing on the planet. It explores the implications for society. And it underlines the importance of the choices we make and the steps we take to ensure this living planet can continue to sustain us all, now and for generations to come.
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This guide introduces the 2010 Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index of Bhutan. It explains the origins of the concept of GNH, its grounding in Bhutanese culture and history, and describes how the concept is being operationalized in the form of the GNH Index in some novel and innovative ways. Any discussion of the GNH in Bhutan must begin from the understanding that it is distinct from the western literature on ‘happiness’ in two ways. First it is multidimensional –not focused only on subjective well-being to the exclusion of other dimensions – and second, it internalizes other regarding motivations. While multidimensional measures of the quality of life and well-being are increasingly discussed, Bhutan is innovative in constructing a multidimensional measure which is itself relevant for policy and is also directly associated with a linked set of policy and programme screening tools. This guide presents the GNH Index which provides an overview of national GNH across 9 domains, comprising of 33 clustered indicators, each one of which is composed of several variables. When unpacked, the 33 clustered indicators have 124 variables.
Nic Marks thinks quality of life is measurable. Pioneer in the field of well-being research, he creates statistical methods to measure happiness, analyzing and interpreting the evidence so that it can be applied to such policy fields as education, sustainable development, healthcare, and economics. Founder of the Centre for Well-Being, an independent think tank at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), in London, Marks is particularly keen to promote a balance between sustainable development and quality of life. To investigate this, he devised the Happy Planet Index, a global index of human well-being and environ- mental impact. Ragnhild Bang Nes is a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Oslo) and is focused on finding out the role of the environment regarding our personal happiness and general well-being.
This is the eighth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks nations according to their level of peace. The Index is composed of 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources and ranks 162 independent states, covering 99.6 percent of the world’s population. The index gauges global peace using three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic or international conflict; and the degree of militarisation. In addition to presenting the findings from the 2014 GPI and its seven-year trend analysis, this year’s report includes an updated analysis of the economic impact of violence as well as a detailed assessment of country risk using risk models developed by IEP based on its unique datasets.
The 2014 Human Development Report “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience” - shows that overall global trends in human development are positive. Yet, people at all ages are also facing threats and challenges to their wellbeing, including by natural or human-induced disasters and crises. While every individual and society is vulnerable to risk, some suffer far less harm and recover more quickly than others when adversity strikes. The Report asks why that is and considers vulnerability and resilience through a human development lens. The Report takes a people-centred approach. It identifies the ‘structurally vulnerable’ groups of people who are more vulnerable than others by virtue of their history or of their unequal treatment by the rest of society. Based on analysis of the available evidence, the Report makes a number of important recommendations for achieving a world which addresses vulnerabilities and builds resilience to future shocks. It calls for universal access to basic social services, especially health and education; stronger social protection, including unemployment insurance and pensions; and a commitment to full employment, recognizing that the value of employment extends far beyond the income it generates.
This report presents key findings from the Sovereign Wellbeing Index about the wellbeing of New Zealand adults in late 2012. The survey is the first national representation of how New Zealanders are faring on a personal and social level. The Sovereign Wellbeing Index provides a much needed look into how New Zealanders are coping within the economic conditions. Wellbeing around New Zealand - Using flourishing as a measure of wellbeing there were small but consistent effects of gender, age and income. Older, female and wealthier New Zealanders on average showed higher flourishing scores. Similar findings were found across all other measures of wellbeing giving some confidence in the convergence of measures. - There were only small differences in average flourishing scores between ethnic groups (NZ European slightly higher than Asian) and regions across New Zealand. - Social position was a powerful indicator of wellbeing. Those higher on the social ladder reported much higher wellbeing. - The five Winning Ways to Wellbeing were all strongly associated with higher wellbeing. People who socially connected with others (Connect), gave time and resources to others (Give), were able to appreciate and take notice of things around them (Take notice), were learning new things in their life (Keep learning), and were physically active (Be Active) experienced higher levels of wellbeing
This report explores the pressures on the global food system between now and 2050. It identifies the decisions that policy makers need to take today, and in the years ahead, to ensure that a global population rising to 9 billion or more can be fed in a fair and sustainable way. The Project has identified and analysed five key challenges for the future. Addressing these in a pragmatic way that promotes resilience to shocks and future uncertainties will be vital if major stresses to the food system are to be anticipated and managed. The five challengesare: A. Balancing future demand and supply sustainably – to ensure that food supplies are affordable. B. Ensuring that there is adequate stability in food supplies – and protecting the most vulnerable from the volatility that does occur. C. Achieving global access to food and ending hunger. This recognises that producing enough food in the world so that everyone can potentially be fed is not the same thing as ensuring food security for all D. Managing the contribution of the food system to the mitigation of climate change. E. Maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services while feeding the world. These last two challenges recognise that food production already dominates much of the global land surface and water bodies, and has a major impact on all the Earth’s environmental systems.
This second edition of How’s Life? provides an update on the most important aspects that shape people’s lives and well-being: income, jobs, housing, health, work-life balance, education, social connections, civic engagement and governance, environment, personal security and subjective well-being.
Healthy Ireland is a new Government plan, that involves every part of Irish society in improving our health and wellbeing. The wellbeing and health of the people living in our country is the most valuable resource that we have. Health is major asset for our society, and improving the health and wellbeing of the nation is a national priority for the Government. Healthy Ireland is a new national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of our country over the coming generation. It was published on March 28th 2013, setting out four central goals for our health and wellbeing, and clear routes and strategies to achieve these goals, in which all people and all parts of our society can participate. This framework is needed because the health and wellbeing of our country is changing, and there are many trends that are leading us toward an unhealthy and extremely costly future. Evidence and experience from around the world clearly shows that to create positive health and wellbeing change takes the involvement of the whole community, the whole of Government, all of society working in unison. A healthy Ireland; where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential; where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society and is everyone’s responsibility. Achieving this vision will be complex, and will take place at a growing pace over the coming 10-20 years. Influencing current health trends, reversing them, and moving toward a better future will take senior government and societal commitment, will take time, planning and strong leadership, will take good systems of measurement and implementation, and will rest ultimately with supporting people to make healthy choices, day-by-day, as they go about their daily lives. Healthy Ireland’s four high-level goals will be at the heart of all actions and activities. They are: • Increasing the proportion of Irish people who are healthy at all stages of life • Reducing health inequalities • Protecting the public from threats to health and wellbeing • Creating an environment where every sector of society can play its part
All local authorities hope to govern in a way that promotes well-being and tackles societal problems at their root. But with finances slashed and demand for public services swelling, struggling councils are seeing these objectives drift further and further out of reach. What can be done? A new model of public service commissioning is evolving across England that may hold the key. The word ‘crisis’ has become commonplace in local government over the last five years. Reeling from cuts of up to 30%, councils are faced with the seemingly impossible task of stretching dwindling funds ever further. But new strategies are out there. By embracing the skills, time and energy of those who know most about public services – the people who use them – and switching focus towards identifying and achieving the long-term outcomes that really matter, councils are breathing new life into the services they commission. This handbook and practical guide is the result of eight years of collaboration between the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and local authorities. It sets out a model for designing, commissioning and delivering services so that they: * focus on commissioning for ‘outcomes’, meaning the long-term changes that services and other activities achieve. * promote co-production to make services more effective and bring in new resources, by working in partnership with the people using their services * promote social value by placing social, environmental and economic outcomes at the heart of commissioning.
These guidelines are to give pioneer companies some orientation for drawing up the Common Good Report (CGR). For a meaningful report we need two to three sentences per sub-indicator with corresponding parameters. Some of the overviews were inserted in table form; they help to give the reader a good overview of the Common Good Report. Many companies do a lot for the common good. The CG Report must conform to the principle of written form to facilitate its assessment. This means that all actions must be recorded in the report. The task is to consciously write down, document and communicate what is taken for granted within the company. This will make it possible for the CG Report to convey a comprehensive picture of the company and contribute a lot to the company’s own self-awareness.
At a time of economic turmoil it is perhaps unsurprising that the minds of policy makers focus on the question of how to restart economic growth. But in recent decades people have begun to question the adequacy of GDP as the primary indicator of the progress of societies. A number of governments, local, devolved and national have begun to explore how to measure wellbeing as a complement to traditional measures such as GDP. The project was carried out in partnership with IPPR North and provides evidence from six case studies of experiences of measuring wellbeing in France, the USA and Canada. The report concludes that wellbeing measures are at their most effective when they are supported by a combination of strong leadership, technocractic policy processes and building momentum through wide buy-in from civil society, citizens and the media. Where these elements come together, we have seen benefits for individual and community wellbeing by identifying policy gaps and innovative ways of working. It can also provide a valuable tool for holding governments to account.
The World Family Map Project seeks both to monitor the health of family life around the globe and to learn more about how family trends affect the well-being of children. The family is a core social institution that occupies a central place in the lives of men, women, and children around the world: It is a source of support, and sometimes an obstacle, to individual and collective achievements; a unit of economic production and consumption; an emotional haven that can sometimes be a source of emotional strain; and a vehicle for extending caregiving and culture across the generations, for better and for worse.
This report was commissioned by the Center for Partnership Studies (CPS) to explore progress toward national indicators that measure both human well-being and economic success. These two measurements are interconnected, particularly as society moves further into the postindustrial knowledge and information age where economic success heavily depends on investment in human capacity development. In this study, we provide an overview of a broad range of existing measures that go beyond gross domestic product (GDP) to offer a more complete and accurate picture of how a society and its economy are faring. Particular attention is given to data still generally marginalized on the economic and social status of the majority of every society—women and children—and to how this correlates with both a nation's quality of life and its economic success. Based on a review of the literature and an analysis of major arguments and rationales for moving beyond GDP as a measure of national well-being, this report identifies 14 categories of national well-being. It synthesizes hundreds of indicators found in 28 reports1 that present alternative indices and systems of well-being into 79 indicators organized under these categories: poverty, health, education, employment, income and wealth, shelter, natural environment, political participation, civil society, economic participation, human rights, national stability and sustainability, family well-being, personal well-being. After examining existing indicators, we propose that new measures must assess more adequately the well-being of all segments of society—women, children, the elderly, and racial and other minorities. We recommend that particular attention be paid to the economic contributions of women, especially to their caring work in both the market and nonmarket economic sectors, as the degree to which a society invests in caring work is a prime indicator of the degree to which it invests in human capacity development.This report will be used to initiate conversations and action toward consensus around indicators that more accurately and comprehensively capture a nation's economic health and human well-being.
This paper is a call for better indicators of human well-being in nations around the world. We critique the inappropriate use of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of national well-being, something for which it was never designed. We also question the idea that economic growth is always synonymous with improved well-being. Useful measures of progress and well-being must be measures of the degree to which society’s goals (i.e., to sustainably provide basic human needs for food, shelter, freedom, participation, etc.) are met, rather than measures of the mere volume of marketed economic activity, which is only one means to that end. Various alternatives and complements to GDP are discussed in terms of their motives, objectives, and limitations. Some of these are revised measures of economic activity while others measure changes in community capital—natural, social, human, and built—in an attempt to measure the extent to which development is using up the principle of community capital rather than living off its interest. We conclude that much useful work has been done; many of the alternative indicators have been used successfully in various levels of community planning. But the continued misuse of GDP as a measure of well-being necessitates an immediate, aggressive, and ongoing campaign to change the indicators that decision makers are using to guide policies and evaluate progress. We need indicators that promote truly sustainable development—development that improves the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of the supporting ecosystems. We end with a call for consensus on appropriate new measures of progress toward this new social goal.
Recently, the debate on new measures of wellbeing reached a wide audience especially thanks to the big media’s “ballyhoo”. That debate, very often accompanied by Robert Kennedy’s word (March 18, 1968, speech at Kansas University) has been urged also thanks to many prestigious initiatives, like the commission appointed by French President in 2008 and now known through the chairs’ names (Stiglitz, Sen e Fitoussi). What is never said is that since many years, many researchers all over the world are continuously working on defining concepts and measures of wellbeing. Looking at this movement’s outputs allows us to realize that what is reasserted by the last initiatives can be considered, in many respects, neither really original nor avant-garde (Maggino & Ruviglioni, 2010). In many cases, the debate has been trivialized to the simple concern “what indicator can replace GDP?” As we will see, actually defining what a good society is, and consequently its observation and monitoring, should take into account two important and interrelated concepts: complexity and limit. Concepts of good society: classification attempts. During the history of political philosophy, since Aristotle, the conceptual approaches trying to define what is good society were and are many. It is quite impossible to examine all those definitions and this work has no intention to do that exhaustively. This work aims at providing anyone with interpretative instruments allowing us to orient ourselves among all the emerging proposals and to distinguish between serious and propagandistic ones.
In November 2010, the Prime Minister asked the Office for National Statistics to initiate a debate on national well-being and to start to measure it. If this is done well, the result will make a real difference to people’s lives. This report by nef (the new economics foundation) looks at what is needed for this type of measurement. A successful society is one in which people have high levels of well-being which is sustained over time. Accordingly, progress can be measured in terms of three key ‘spheres’: 1. Goals: universally high levels of well-being. 2. Resources: sustainable use of environmental resources. 3. Human systems: activities that achieve intermediate objectives such as a stable and productive economy, a cohesive society, good housing, and so on.
As public resources shrink it is more important than ever that local areas have ways to think clearly about their priorities and needs. WARM is a new tool that has been developed to make the most of existing data about localities, combining familiar statistics on such things as jobs and health with new ways of thinking about how happy and resilient communities are. Developed in partnership with a wide range of local authorities, community groups and national organisations, WARM focuses not just on community needs and vulnerabilities (such as crime or mental illness) but also on community assets (such as strong families and social supports). It’s been designed to help areas compare themselves with other similar places, and as a tool to help communities struggling with difficult decisions about priorities for spending and cuts.
National Accounts of Well-being presents a radical, robust proposal to guide the direction of modern societies and the lives of people who live in them. It demonstrates why national governments should directly measure people’s subjective well-being: their experiences, feelings and perceptions of how their lives are going. It calls for these measures to be collected on a regular, systematic basis and published as National Accounts of Well-being. The measures are needed because the economic indicators which governments currently rely on tell us little about the relative success or failure of countries in supporting a good life for their citizens.
The concept that societies have of prosperity is largely determined by how they measure their prosperity. In Germany, as in many other countries, by far the most important gauge is the gross domestic product (GDP), with which the availability of material goods and commercial services is almost exclusively recorded. The consequence is that prosperity in these countries is largely equated with material wealth. Economics is the decisive gauge for success and failure. Increasing the amount of industrial goods and commercial services has become the most important goal of these countries. However, prosperity is more. It also includes the pacification of a society, stable social relations, civil rights, safeguarding human dignity, health, education, an intact environment and many other factors. In most countries, Germany included, this non-material wealth is either not taken into account or is registered only as far as it contributes to an increase in material goods. The restriction of the concept of prosperity to material wealth does not only cause these countries to become culturally impoverished but it also renders them extremely vulnerable to economic crises. In order to record prosperity in its considerable complexity, additional measuring instruments are required. According to the findings of Denkwerk Zukunft, four in particular are of special significance: Distribution of disposible household incomes based on the so-called 80/20 ratio; Extent of social exclusion; Ecological footprint in relation to the global biocapacity; Public debt rate.Together with the GDP these four measuring instruments are, so to speak, a prosperity quintet which, although it still cannot encompass the entire prosperity of a society, does reflect reality much more exactly than the present GDP measurements.
The survey of 18,500 adults - the largest survey ever of its kind in the UK - was undertaken in 2009 in a response to a growing need to understand more about the positive mental wellbeing of people in the region. The full technical report, a large reference document containing full charts and tables.
The idea that Government should be concerned with people’s well-being or happiness is no longer frivolous. There has been a surge of interest in this area, including the devastating finding that whilst economic output has nearly doubled in the last 30 years life satisfaction levels in the UK have remained flat. nef research has shown that quality of life and social progress had remained stagnant in the UK over the last 30 to 40 years, never regaining a 1976 peak, despite vigorous economic growth since then. This study of young people’s well-being by nef shows that young people’s well-being drops drastically at secondary school, with significant effects on their personal development. The research, done in partnership with Nottingham City Council, looks at two measures of well-being in over 1,000 youngsters: life satisfaction and personal development. Personal development is related to being curious, and engaging in challenging and absorbing activities. Previous studies have only focused on life satisfaction, but this other dimension of well-being is important for people’s overall ability to cope well with life’s challenges and is directly related to physical health, particularly in later life."
This milestone presents a pool of available indicators and indicator systems which go beyond the narrow concepts of national economic accounts as well as a structuring of the indicators and indices according to central areas of well-being. The milestone builds the basis for Task 202.2, where a subset of indicators will be selected based on different theoretical frameworks, e.g. services / functionings, needs. Some of the indicators will be included in the macro-economic 3 models in order to account for key dimensions of sustainability.
This report card provides a set of baseline indicators for each KRA – indicators that are strongly guided by the realities of “what wellbeing looks like” for children and youth. The indicators provide a point –in-time snapshot of child and youth wellbeing in Australia, including how Aboriginal young people are faring.
The report, Community Wellbeing Indicators: Measures for Local Government, outlines key research and initiatives under the theme, and includes a 'community wellbeing indicators survey template' that can be adapted for use by local governments nationally to measure, analyse and assess the progress of community wellbeing.The aim is to demonstrate that a core set of wellbeing indicators and a menu of 'fit for purpose' indicators can provide wellbeing data to local government, and is a worthwhile and valuable investment in strengthening local government capacity and accountability.The tool contained in the research report will allow councils to measure community wellbeing using a number of standard indicators, to track changes over time, benchmark performance against results from comparative surveys in councils (QLD), and identify policy measures that can improve community outcomes.