Non-governmental Organisations Working for Well-being

OECD Well-being Framework

Societal progress is about improvements in the well-being of people and households. Assessing such progress requires looking not only at the functioning of the economic system but also at the diverse experiences and living conditions of people. The OECD Framework for Measuring Well-Being and Progress shown below is based on the recommendations made in 2009 by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress to which the OECD contributed significantly. It also reflects earlier OECD work and various national initiatives in the field. This Framework is built around three distinct domains: material conditions, quality of life and sustainability, each with their relevant dimensions.  You can find further information on the OECD work here

The OECD has also launched an interactive website that lets users look up various wellbeing indicators where they live and compare them with the rest of their country.  each region is measured in eleven topics – income, jobs, housing, health, access to services, environment, education, safety, civic engagement and governance, community, and life satisfaction. A score has been calculated for each topic so that you can compare places and topics within and across the 34 OECD countries, finding, for example, that Wales is among the top third for safety but the bottom half for health.

OECD – Policy use of well-being metrics: Describing countries’ experiences, Working Paper

The last decade has seen major advances in the measurement of well-being in national statistics – but what are governments doing to incorporate these metrics and frameworks into policy decision making? This paper describes the progress made in many countries on measuring well-being at a national level, and the mechanisms being developed to mainstream both concepts and evidence on well-being into policy settings. In all cases, countries are adopting a multidimensional approach to the measurement of well-being, and several initiatives have been informed by extensive public consultation processes. This working paper also provides detailed case studies for seven countries that describes the development and implementation of policy mechanisms for integrating well-being evidence. Ecuador, France, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The paper finds that well-being evidence is applied at several different stages of the policy cycle, from strategic analysis and prioritization to evaluations of policy interventions. In most cases these initiatives are only a few years old, and institutional support will be vital for the durability of these mechanisms over time and through different political cycles.

Wellbeing Economy Alliance

WEAll is the leading global collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working together to transform the economic system into one that delivers human and ecological wellbeing.   With over 100 organisational members and over 50 renowned academics in our network, WEAll is a collaborative movement for economic system change.

New Economics Foundation

It’s almost 20 years since NEF began working on wellbeing. While the political context has shifted considerably since then, the same challenge has remained: we need to measure the progress of our economy by looking at the quality of and improvement in people’s lives. From shifting the debate on what matters when it comes to measuring economic progress with the Happy Planet Index, to highlighting the systemic issues that drive well-being inequality, its work has sought to get well-being recognised as a necessary grounding for better policy making.

Nic Marks, the founder of the NEF’s Well-being Centre, was invited by Feasta to give the 2006 Annual Lecture, which is entitled Re-thinking Progress: Well-being as the Focus of Policy.

You can view Nic Marks’ 2010 TED talk on the Happy Planet Index here.

Other resources from non-governmental organisations:

Justice in the Global Economy: what it means for earth care: 2016 article by Catherine Devitt in the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice’s Working Notes.

GDP and Indicators of Economic Well-being: Briefing from the Centre for a Steady-State Economy

The National Welfare index for Ireland – a Feasibility Study (Powerpoint). This refers to research carried out by Feasta’s Well-being Indicators group.

Welfare with or without Growth? by Michael Jakob and Ottmar Edelhofer, GAIA, 2015

Moving beyond neoliberalism
An assessment of the economic systems change movement in the UK
Laurie Laybourn-Langton and Michael Jacobs, Friends Provident Foundation, 2017

Well-being matters: a Social Report for Ireland by the National Economic and Social Council, 2009

Well-being and prosperity beyond growth by Ina Soetebeer, GAIA, 2015

Compiled by James O’Donovan of the Cork Environmental Forum and Seán O’Conlain of Feasta’s Feasta Well-being Indicators group.

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