The UK Prosperity Index assesses how prosperous a place is using a combination of wealth and wellbeing across a number of sub-indices. From the strength of communities to the health of the population, the Index goes beyond traditional measures to give a rich picture of life in the UK.
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Since the financial crisis, there has been an increased interest in moving away from GDP and wealth as measures of national and individual performance. Instead, more explicit attention is being paid to wellbeing around the world, and how it can be promoted at individual, local, national and international levels. This free online course will help you engage constructively in the wellbeing movement, and use wellbeing considerations to make important transformations to your work and your ways of planning, learning and justifying your decisions.
The annual Legatum Prosperity Index™ ranks 142 countries across eight categories: the Economy, Entrepreneurship & Opportunity; Governance; Education; Health; Safety & Security; Personal Freedom; and Social Capital.
Happiness has a pulse – Complete this short survey and in just a few minutes you can understand more about your happiness and explore simple ways to grow happiness where you are. This is part of the Happy City Index - the world’s first city-wide, comprehensive, live measure of happiness and wellbeing. It will revolutionise how cities are developed across the world.
Research has shown that the amount and quality of social connections with people around us are vitally important to an individual’s well-being and should be considered when making any assessment of National Well-being.This article focuses on people’s relationships with both family and friends. However, these relationships do not operate in isolation, and relationships within the wider community and the workplace are also analysed. The ONS Measuring National Well-being programme aims to produce accepted and trusted measures of the well-being of the nation - how the UK as a whole is doing. A Report Chris Randall, Office for National Statistics.
Martin Seligman's keynote address to the Wellbeing Before Learning; Flourishing students, successful schools conference in Adelaide on Feb 27th 2012
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 Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 requires housing providers to consider their social impact in procurement and commissioning and, increasingly, public sector bodies will expect their partners to evidence the value they create. Existing approaches to measuring social value can be a poor fit for housing providers, whose work usually includes a wide range of community-focused investment as well as investment into bricks and mortar. In response, HACT has been working with social value experts and leading housing providers to develop approaches and tools to equip the sector to meet this challenge. Since 2011, HACT has been working with Daniel Fujiwara, a leading expert on social impact valuation. Daniel’s work is based on Wellbeing Valuation (WV) theory, the latest thinking in social impact measurement and an approach he helped develop for government.
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.
Measuring what matters is one of the six Principles of the Happy Museum Project. We suggest that counting visitor numbers tells us nothing about the quality of their experience or our contribution to their wellbeing. Museums are adept at storytelling, evaluation reports which speak of transformational experiences for individuals as a result of museum activity are legion. Qualitative research has been used by museums as effective advocacy, often influencing the hearts and minds of decision makers at local level. However, we think that quantitative evidence that robustly uncovers cause and effect is more likely to influence policy makers. So with funding support from Arts Council England we asked Daniel Fujiwara from the London School of Economics to measure and value people’s happiness as a result of visiting or participating in museum activity. This paper is one of a handful of studies that have applied robust quantitative methods on large national datasets to give us a better understanding of the impact of culture on people’s lives. By finding that the individual wellbeing value of museums is over £3,000 a year, the report makes a strong case for investing in museums. It also identifies what makes people more likely to visit museums, giving some direction into where that investment might be best placed. It sits alongside our qualitative research which digs into how museums make a difference.
The Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the International Youth Foundation (IYF) have released a groundbreaking tool, The Global Youth Wellbeing Index, which measures and compares the quality of life for youth in 30 countries. Representing nearly 70 percent of the world’s youth population, the Index measures wellbeing in six domains: citizen participation; economic opportunity; education; health; information and communications technology; and safety and security. The Index is the first of its kind to gather and connect youth-related data to assess and compare the state of young people around the world. It will help policy, society, and business leaders collectively make smarter investments in youth programming, encourage a coordinated approach to planning policies, and help elevate youth issues to the top of the global agenda. Although youth ages 10 to 24 comprise a quarter of the global population, they remain an underutilized source of innovation, energy, and enthusiasm. In fact, nearly half of the youth worldwide are under- or un-employed. Yet, at a time when policy and investment decisions to address these challenges are increasingly data driven, existing data on youth development and wellbeing are often fragmented, inconsistent, or nonexistent.
Over the last half century, economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and improved the lives of many more. Yet it is increasingly evident that a model of development based on economic development alone is incomplete. A society which fails to address basic human needs, equip citizens to improve their quality of life, erodes the environment, and limits opportunity for its citizens is not succeeding. Economic growth without social progress results in lack of inclusion, discontent, and social unrest. A broader and more inclusive model of development requires new metrics with which policymakers and citizens can evaluate national performance. We must move beyond simply measuring Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, and make social and environmental measurement integral to national performance measurement. Tracking social and environmental performance rigorously will inform and drive improvement in policy choices and investments by all stakeholders. Measuring social progress will also help to better translate economic gains into better social and environmental performance, which will unleash even greater economic success. The Social Progress Index aims to meet this pressing need by creating a holistic and robust measurement framework for national social and environmental performance that can be used by leaders in government, business and civil society at the country level as a tool to benchmark success, improve policy, and catalyze action. Our vision is a world in which social progress sits alongside economic prosperity as the twin scorecards of success.
Being able to measure people’s quality of life is fundamental when assessing the progress of societies. There is now widespread acknowledgement that measuring subjective well-being is an essential part of measuring quality of life alongside other social and economic dimensions. As a first step to improving the measures of quality of life, the OECD has produced Guidelines which provide advice on the collection and use of measures of subjective well-being. These Guidelines have been produced as part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, a pioneering project launched in 2011, with the objective to measure society’s progress across eleven domains of well-being, ranging from jobs, health and housing, through to civic engagement and the environment. These Guidelines represent the first attempt to provide international recommendations on collecting, publishing, and analysing subjective well-being data. They provide guidance on collecting information on people's evaluations and experiences of life, as well as on collecting "eudaimonic" measures of psychological well-being. The Guidelines also outline why measures of subjective well-being are relevant for monitoring and policy making, and why national statistical agencies have a critical role to play in enhancing the usefulness of existing measures. They identify the best approaches for measuring, in a reliable and consistent way, the various dimensions of subjective well-being, and provide guidance for reporting on such measures. The Guidelines also include a number of prototype survey modules on subjective well-being that national and international agencies can use in their surveys.
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.
This report explores the complex issues hidden behind two simple questions: what is progress and what is prosperity? It argues that GDP is an insufficient and misleading measure of whether life in Scotland is improving or not. The report takes the findings of the 2009 Stiglitz Report, which emerged from the Commission set up by President Sarkozy to advise on how better to measure economic performance and social progress. It recommends that the new Scottish Government applies these to creating a performance framework better able to deliver, measure and report on economic performance, quality of life, sustainability and well-being. The report also shows that over-reliance on GDP as a measure makes it difficult for politicians to back policies that are good for society or the environment if they might hamper an increase in GDP.
Our new study The Power of Purchasing, completed in cooperation with the Columbia Institute and ISIS at the Sauder School of Business, shows that sourcing from local suppliers has a big economic impact. The study is the first of its kind in Canada. It found that purchasing goods from locally-based suppliers creates nearly twice as much benefit to the local economy as buying from multinational chains. In British Columbia, local governments and school districts alone spend more than $6.7 billion annually on goods and services. This purchasing can be used to reinforce economic development and support strong communities when some of that money is spent with local suppliers. Using office supplies as an example, the study found that Mills Basics, a locally owned B.C. office supply company, re-circulates 33% of their revenue directly to residents and businesses in B.C., compared to 17% and 19% for their multinational counterparts. This presents a 77%-100% economic advantage for B.C. from buying local, and an 80%-100% increase in jobs per million dollars spent. The increase in recirculation is attributed to greater employment on the part of the local company compared to multinationals
For decades, GDP has enjoyed supreme status as the predominant benchmark of our economic and social progress. In reality, GDP obscures or ignores essential aspects of Americans’ economic and social welfare, as well as important social and environmental dimensions of our national welfare and future well-being. When we hold GDP against other indicators, it’s clear that our policy priorities have been wrong for thirty years. But a pervasive narrative linking GDP and market growth to social progress has shielded our politics from any real accountability for the lack of progress most Americans rightly feel in their everyday lives.
As part of a year-long commission, the 'Wellbeing and Policy' report seeks to illustrate the strengths and limitations of wellbeing analysis and provides original and authoritative guidance on the implications for public policy. It is widely agreed that GDP is an important yet insufficient measure of national success. In an attempt to broaden the scope for public policy analysis, a lot of progress has been made on developing the measurement of individual wellbeing, but a lot remains to be done on how best to apply these data to policymaking. The Commission on Wellbeing and Policy works to fill this gap and explore how wellbeing analysis can be usefully applied to policy.
How do we create a society with local prosperity and justice? How do we prepare for the challenges that climate change and other aspects of the ecological crisis are already bringing? In June 2012 members of what became Steady State Manchester were involved in discussions with Manchester City Council about the idea of a Steady State Economy. While these discussions were open and amicable, we decided that more work was needed to articulate the arguments for Steady State in ways that were appropriate and practical for Manchester. We also wanted to broaden the discussion to include other stake-holders from business (both private and co-operatively run), civil society and academia. This report is a first step in meeting both these aims.
This is a story about changing the world by what is measured – counting what matters. It has a cast of characters: Socrates and Aristotle; Jeremy Bentham and Thomas Jefferson; Simon Kuznets and Robert F. Kennedy; Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron; Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; Martin Seligman and Daniel Gilbert; His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan, and the City of Santa Monica – among a cast of millions including you and me. This story has a central hero – the wellbeing index – and this whitepaper will examine its past, present, and future in an exploration of the what, why, and how of community wellbeing: - What is wellbeing and how is wellbeing defined at the community level? - Why does measuring and prioritizing wellbeing matter and how does it relate to public policy? - How is wellbeing measured at the community level?
This report reveals that youngers teenagers have lower well-being than other age groups in most aspects of their lives. The findings come from our eight-year, ground-breaking programme of research, in collaboration with the University of York, to explore and measure children’s subjective well-being. This is the second in our series of annual reports to outline what we know about the quality of children’s lives – as rated by children themselves. What does the report say? So far, we have run surveys and consultations with over 42,000 children aged eight and above.
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.
There are significant opportunities to embed the wellbeing agenda across the Northern Ireland administration, and the models adopted by Scotland and the Republic of Ireland demonstrate what can be achieved with a wellbeing approach. But what are the next steps for embedding the wellbeing agenda in Northern Ireland? This discussion paper reports on the outcomes of the conference the Trust hosted in Autumn 2013 in Belfast on measuring economic performance and societal progress in Northern Ireland, and outlines the next steps of the Carnegie Roundtable on Measuring Wellbeing in Northern Ireland.
The UCL Museum Wellbeing Measures Toolkit is a set of scales of measurement used to assess levels of wellbeing arising from participation in museum and gallery activities that has been trialled across the UK. The Toolkit has been designed to help people involved in running in-house or outreach museum projects, evaluate the impact of this work on the psychological wellbeing of their audiences. The Toolkit is flexible in its application ad supports a ‘pick and mix’ approach. It can be used to evaluate the impact of a one-off activity or programme of events. The Toolkit was produced by researchers from University College London (UCL) Museums & Public Engagement and funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, and unholy alliance of governments and big business continues to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, people all over the world are resisting those policies, and - far from the old institutions of power – they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization. This discussion guide follows the film, chapter by chapter, expanding on the arguments and pointing to a wealth of resources for further learning, reflection and action. Each chapter begins with a short essay elaborating on the film, followed a set of suggested discussion questions and activities, a short list of recommended readings, links to related organizations, and links to other learning resources (films, lectures, tool-kits, slideshows, etc.)
This chapter summarises the work which is unfolding and evolving in South Australia lead by many different partners in the residency. Some partners had begun their work in this space prior to the Residency and recognized the engagement of Martin Seligman in South Australia as an opportunity to further their work and connect to the broader strategy. Other partners used the Residency as a vehicle to begin their work on wellbeing. All of these organizations and individuals are at different stages in their journey. Building PERMA, as an individual or an organization, is not a one-step process. It really is a journey. Those organizations that have been working in this area for several years have longer stories to tell than those that are just beginning the work. Each of these journeys is individually significant. It is the sum of all of his work that makes what is happening in South Australia truly extraordinary. This section gives form to the volume of work, the scale and type of learning and leadership that is occurring across South Australia.
This report outlines Professor Martin Seligman’s theory of wellbeing, introduces and explains the main concepts of wellbeing and discusses how South Australia could move from theory to practice to increase the wellbeing of all South Australians. This report does not provide a full academic summary, but, as with all Adelaide Thinkers in Residence reports, it is designed to capture key components and concepts of the Thinkers’s expertise (in this case Positive Psychology) and to argue the logic behind the specific and detailed recommendations for South Australia.
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.