Measuring progress, true wealth, and well-being
The Office for National Statistics in the UK has published the sixth annual update to personal wellbeing, which aims to support policy-makers, individuals, businesses and civil society in decision-making. This report presents estimates of how adults in the UK feel about their lives and surroundings in 2017 and how things have changed over the last six years. The indicators used include, among others, life satisfaction, level of happiness, feeling of doing worthwhile things and level of anxiety. The report shows a small continuous improvement in average life satisfaction over the past six years and a slight increase in average happiness ratings for the same period. Overall, Northern Ireland’s citizens seem to have the higher levels of personal well-being compared to the other UK countries.
In September 2017 the Welsh Government and Statistics Wales published a report on the progress achieved on the well-being goals, using 46 indicators. In 2015, the National Assembly for Wales agreed on seven well-being goals: these were set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales), which aims at improving Wales’ society, environment, economy and culture. The report shows a slow growth of Welsh incomes and a steady increase of employment. However, work poverty has been on the rise. In terms of the environment, water and air quality are improving and the share of renewable energy generation has reached 20% of all electricity produced in Wales. Although inequalities persist, the gender pay gap is closing and educational attainment is increasing. As regards health, life expectancy has raised, fewer people smoke and drink, but obesity remains a challenge.
EcoVadis, a platform for environmental, social and ethical performance ratings in global supply chains, has published the first edition of its Global CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Risk and Performance Index. The index assesses companies’ CSR performance based on 21 different indicators across four areas: environment, labour practices and human rights, fair business ethics, and sustainable procurement. In total more than 20,400 companies, which EcoVadis have previously analysed and coming from 144 different countries, are included in the report. The overall results are promising, but there is still a major gap between today’s scores and maximum CSR performance. In addition, the report reveals big differences in performance between 3 world regions: companies from Europe performed overall better than the ones from North- and South-America and the ones from Africa, Middle East, and Asia.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) published the 48th edition of the Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific series, which provides a comprehensive set of economic, social, environmental, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators for its 48 regional members. The report is composed of three parts. The first part categorizes the SDG indicators in five broad themes, namely people, prosperity, planet, peace, and partnership and analyses key trends. The second part presents 98 statistical tables with regional social, environmental, and economic developments divided into eight themes. The third depicts in detail cross-border trading transactions of inputs used in the production of goods and services. The report shows that extreme poverty has been reduced, energy efficiency improved, and the maternal mortality has halved, but several challenges remain such as growth in inequality, and the present threat of natural disasters.
Gallup Inc. has published the 2017 Global Emotions Report that presents the positive and negative feelings experienced by people in 142 countries in 2016. The positive and negative experience indexes were formulated after 149,000 interviews, which included questions such as how well-rested the interviewees felt the day before the survey, if they laughed, if they did something interesting, and on the other hand if they felt pain, stress, or sadness. Globally, 70% of people said they were well-rested, laughed, and treated with respect, while just 50% said that they did something interesting. Regarding the negative feelings, worry, stress, and physical pain were experienced by 36%, 35%, and 30% of the respondents respectively. Latin America countries topped the positive index, indicating a cultural tendency of these countries to focus on positive aspects of life. Contrarily, Iraq leads the negative index for the fourth year, followed by mainly some African countries.
Listening to Tajikistan (L2TJK) is a survey ran by the World Bank Poverty team that monitors life satisfaction in Tajikistan, the poorest country in Central Asia with a GDP per capita of less than EUR 700 . The survey aims to generate evidence for targeted policy making which would support the sustainable development of the country. It is designed to quantitatively assess the severity of socio-economic shocks that households are exposed to and how these affect their subjective wellbeing. This high-frequency monitoring is focused on four themes: income and unemployment, migration and remittances, electricity and water, and deprivations and subjective wellbeing. The L2TJK survey (which consists of 24 rounds from May 2015 until December 2016) showed that insufficient access to food leads to a large drop in households’ wellbeing relative to other shocks. It also showed that traditional measures of welfare, like GDP, would fail to capture that life satisfaction in Tajikistan is much higher than the average in Central Asia. Consequently, basing decisions on GDP only, would not permit the formulation of the most appropriate policy responses for sustainable development in the country.
The UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a joint initiative of UNEP and other UN agencies, published the Green Economy Progress (GEP) measurement framework. This is a tool for countries to evaluate their progress towards an inclusive green economy, which addresses three main challenges: persistent poverty, overstepped planetary boundaries, and inequitable sharing of prosperity. The GEP framework, which complements the United Nations Environment Programme’s previous green economy indicators frameworks (2012-2014), comprises a GEP index and a Dashboard of Sustainability. The former contains 13 indicators which assess the progress in well-being in relation to economic opportunities, social inclusion and environmental protection. The latter includes six indicators which monitor the long-term sustainability of the progress achieved. The framework aims to support the assessment of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) released the 2017 edition of the SDG Index and Dashboards Report. The report assesses the progress of 157 UN member states with regard to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and complements the official SDG monitoring from the UN (based on the official SDG indicators list). Its purpose is to assist countries to prioritise actions and identify challenges in the implementation of policies. The main contribution of this report is to measure and include in the assessment of each country the adverse “spillovers” that may be generated by the development patterns of rich countries and hinder the success of other countries in achieving the SDGs. For the overall SDG index, based on 99 indicators, a score between 0 and 100 is calculated for every country. For the SDG Index Sweden earned the highest score (85.6) followed by Denmark (84.2), Finland (84), and Norway (83.9), while the lowest score results to Central African Republic (36.7). Moreover, it should be mentioned that the spillover indicators lowered the total score for many high-income countries.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has published the findings of the latest Global Liveability Report. The report assessed 140 cities against 30 factors across five categories: stability; culture and environment; healthcare; education; and infrastructure. A score of 1-100 was awarded to each of the cities, where 100 denotes “ideal living standards” and 1 signifies intolerable living conditions. According to the 2017 ranking, Melbourne (Australia) remains the most liveable city in the world for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Vienna (Austria), and Vancouver and Toronto (Canada). At the other end of the spectrum, the least liveable city is Damascus (Syria), followed by Lagos (Nigeria), Tripoli (Libya), and Dhaka (Bangladesh). High-scoring cities tend to be medium-sized, located in wealthier countries, and have low population density, which enables easily accessible recreational activities without high crime levels. On the other hand, weakening of global stability and terrorist attacks are the main factors leading to volatility and low ranking in cities’ scores.
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has published the U.S. Cities SDG Index. The index ranks the 100 most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) based on their performance against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ranking is based on 49 indicators covering 16 of the 17 SDGs. A score between 0 and 100 is assigned to each indicator per city, 100 being the best possible score; scores across the indicators are aggregated into a composite index. Cities account for 62.7 of America’s domestic population, and many of its cities face complex socio-economic and environmental sustainability challenges, such as water scarcity, unemployment and health inequalities. San Jose MSA region is the top scoring city region within the index, while Baton Rouge, Louisiana has the lowest ranking, due to high levels of relative poverty and unemployment.
The Bertelsmann Stiftung published the Sustainable Governance Indicators 2017. The SGI 2017 is the third edition of the publication, with previous publications in 2011 and 2014. It is based on 69 quantitative and 67 qualitative indicators, including inputs from a questionnaire distributed to more than 100 experts. The Sustainable Governance index provides a cross national analysis of the OECD countries and a monitoring tool for sustainable governance. The overall index builds on three indices: the policy performance index, the democracy index and the governance index. The policy performance index is further subdivided into economic, social and environmental policy performance. Across the three indices Nordic countries tend to be the best performing, although Germany and New Zealand perform well in specific areas. Compared to previous editions of the SGI, the 2017 edition assesses the contribution of individual countries to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
'Measure of America' developed DATA2GO.NYC , an online tool that provides data and mapping of well-being, freedom, and opportunity of New York City’s 59 community districts. The website comprises more than 300 indicators that depict neighbourhoods’ assets and challenges, which can help policy-makers and individuals to shape a city in which “everyone counts”. It has three main interfaces: Maps, Dashboards, and Connections. Users can produce NYC maps for over 300 indicators grouped in 12 categories, from development, environment, and education to demographics, safety, and political engagement. There are also 17 “Features of interest” that include public and private facilities that matter for people’s well-being, such as parks, libraries, shelters, kitchens and more. Dashboards show multiple indicators for a given community district.
The 'What Works Centre for Wellbeing' partnered with 'Happy City' to develop a local wellbeing indicator set which would help local decision-makers to understand and improve local wellbeing in UK. It comprises two sets of indicators, an ‘ideal’ one based on 26 indicators and a ‘currently available’, which includes 23 indicators. The final framework of both indicator sets comprises seven domains: Economy, Education and childhood, Equality, Health, Place, Social relationships, and Personal wellbeing. The set includes both objective and subjective indicators, some are direct measures of well-being, some are more traditional indicators of deprivation, such as unemployment and material deprivation, and others are aspects less often considered by policy, such as social contacts and use of green spaces. In the development of these indicators, local authorities, local public health leaders, and health & wellbeing boards were consulted.
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) published the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017. This is the first annual report on the SDGs published by UN DESA with the support of a number of international, national and regional organisations. Based on best available data, according to the global indicator framework adopted by the UN Statistical Commission in March 2017, the report provides an overview of global implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report shows that while progress has been made in all areas, the rate of improvements is currently insufficient to meet the SDGs targets by 2030. The report highlights the need for data which “are accurate, timely, sufficiently disaggregated, relevant, accessible and easy to use”, restating the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data.
The World Bank has released the 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals. The report, through maps and visualisations, aims to illustrate global progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This work is part of the World Bank’s Word Development Indicators (WDI) initiative, which aims to provide cross-country comparisons of statistics on development. The atlas utilises existing WDI indicators, compiling more than 1,400 indicators from over 220 countries, with a timespan stretching over 50 years in some areas. For some of the goals new indicators have been added to the WDI database, or supplementary data has been used. A chapter of the report is dedicated to each of the 17 SDGs. Chapter 12 on Responsible consumption and production pays close attention to the issue of food waste. In general the report notes the high costs to the environment from economic growth. Both the main report and the Atlas are also available via interactive online tools.
The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the new economic well-being dashboard. The dashboard presents indicators on the UK economy including wealth (which go beyond traditional measures such as GDP), unemployment and spending, thus allowing for a more comprehensive assessment of the changes in material well-being in the UK. The wealth indicators include GDP per capita, net disposable income per capita (NNDI), and real household disposable income per capita. The results from Quarter 1 (January to March) 2017 show that NNDI has witnessed an increase by 4.3% compared to Quarter 1 2016, while GDP per head has increased by 1.3%. This difference is due to the fact that GDP alone does not take into account income flows into and out of the country (foreign investment in the UK, and UK investment abroad).
The OECD published the 2017 edition of Green Growth Indicators, which is a series of reports published by OECD aiming aim at developing appropriate measures to monitor the progress of the OECD countries regarding four main objectives: the shift to a low-carbon; resource efficient economy; natural capital preservation; quality of life improvement; and utilization of the economic opportunities of green growth. The 2017 report shows that, although environmental pressures remain high, OECD countries enhanced their environmental productivity. However, natural resources continue to be under considerable stress with only freshwater constituting an exception. Moreover, people in OECD countries have experienced improvements in sanitation and waste treatment, but air pollution still poses a significant health risk. Regarding growth opportunities the indicators show lower investments in environmental related technologies, whereas the share of environmental related products on the market, development aid and international financial flows for environmental purposes have all risen. As of the environmental taxes, their use is slowly growing.
The Social Progress Imperative published the Social Progress Index 2017, which measures countries’ performance on social and environmental aspects. The 2017 index ranks 128 countries on 12 components, each comprising between 3 and 5 indicators and grouped under three dimensions: basic human needs, foundations of well-being and opportunity. The 2017 report also shows the evolution of social progress over time, indicating a general improvement in social progress but significant differences between countries as well as across components. Access to information, communications and higher education have improved significantly, while personal rights, safety and inclusion have declined. Additionally, outdoor air pollution continues to drive mortality globally. The results show that despite there being a positive correlation between economic development and social progress, it is not a linear one and income level does not represent the sole determinant. Denmark presents the highest overall social performance in 2017.
The Central Statistical Office (CSO) has published the third edition of sustainable development indicators for Ireland, complementing two existing indicator reports titled ‘Measuring Ireland's Progress’ and ‘Environmental Indicators Ireland’. The Irish national sustainable development indicators are grouped in four domains: global, economy, social and environment. The first domain provides overviews at global, EU and other regions level The results show a high performance of the EU in many of the economic, health and education indicators, compared to other regions of the world. The other three domains show trends from 2000, comparing Ireland to other countries in the EU. The data clearly show the impact of the rapid economic growth of the ‘Celtic tiger’ and the subsequent recession.
The IESE Business School Centre for Globalisation and Strategy released the Cities in Motion Index 2017. The overarching aim of the initiative is to promote a model for urban development which integrates four considerations: a sustainable ecosystem, innovative activities, equity among citizens and a connected territory. This fourth edition of the report covers 180 cities (of which 73 are capitals) in 80 countries, utilising 79 indicators. The indicators are grouped in 10 dimensions, covering issues such as international outreach, mobility and transport, and environmental indicators The cities are ranked overall, across the 10 dimensions, and by region, using the same methodology as previous editions. The best overall performing cities in 2017 are New York, London and Paris.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) released the report “World Health Statistics 2017: Monitoring health for the SDGs”. The 2017 report, covering 194 member countries, provides health data, including health coverage and access to services and expenditures. The first part gives details of the WHO’s work on improving health systems globally. The second part plays particular attention to 21 health related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets. The third part looks at success stories from countries which have improved their health performance in one of the WHO’s six lines of priority action. For example, one success story examines Ireland’s experience in reducing mortality from non-communicable diseases by 42% between 2000 and 2015, particularly by reducing air pollution.
The University of Manchester (Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit) and Joseph Rowntree Foundation published the 2017 edition of the Inclusive Growth Monitor. This initiative provides a measure of the relationship between economic inclusion and prosperity, beyond the existing measures of economic growth. The 2017 report covers the period 2010-15 and presents findings from UK's 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships, a group of geographically defined areas formed in 2011 with the aim of analysing the economic growth priorities and job creation issues in these areas. In view of capturing the link between ‘Economic Inclusion’ and ‘Prosperity’, the Monitor looks at three dimensions in each: income, living costs and labour market inclusion in the former theme, and output growth, employment and human capital in the latter. Each dimension is determined by three indicators which are scored as 0 or 1, with 1 being the maximum score. One of the study’s conclusions is that increases in prosperity are not necessarily associated with greater inclusion.
Gallup and Sharecare in conjunction with TIME magazine carried out a research project analysing the extent to which income can buy happiness. The research was based on 450,000 interviews with randomly selected U.S. adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The respondents were asked questions regarding their feelings of happiness, enjoyment and smiling/laughter. The research led to the conclusion that income does buy happiness up to a certain point. In general, in the US, the chance of experiencing the above mentioned positive emotions inevitably increases with household income but reaches a limit at approximately $75,000 per year. The results indicate that the link between different income levels and the chance of experiencing positive emotions may be influenced by cost of living, even though not in all cases.
ANDI community (ANDI is an incorporated member-owned initiative of leading community organisations, peak bodies, businesses, faith-based organisations, researchers, and independent, non-partisan grassroots citizens) released the Australian National Development Index (ANDI). ANDI is a holistic measure of national progress and wellbeing which goes beyond GDP and is based on twelve domains, ranging from community and regional life, environment and sustainability, to health, subjective well-being and life satisfaction, among others. The set of social, health, economic and environmental factors can provide an overview of Australia’s well-being, contributing to the promotion of sustainable well-being. The index represents a tool for citizens to understand what really matters for their well-being and how society is doing over time. Similarly, the index can inform governments and policy makers on the impacts of their actions and decisions.
Cigna, an American health insurance provider, has released the Live Well Report, including the results of the third edition of Cigna Well-being Survey. This survey tracks the evolution of health and well-being of people in 13 countries around the world. All 14,219 respondents are representatives of the non-elderly adult population of each of the surveyed market. Five key well-being components are explored: physical, financial, work health, family health and social health. The results show that well-being has decreased; from the previous survey in 2016, the total average score has dropped by 1.1 percent points from 63.4 to 62.3, with South Korea showing the largest drop. A rise in the overall score was observed in four countries, with Thailand showing the highest. The results indicate that there is a growing concern over families’ well-ness and their financial stability. Work wellness programs are also becoming more important.
The 2016 Urban Sustainability Index (USI) report has been published by the Urban China Initiative, a joint initiative of School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, and McKinsey & Company. The report ranks 185 Chinese cities of different sizes and stages of development according to their sustainability scores between 2006 to 2014; in this way the report aims to assess the innovation capabilities of 161 of these cities and to provide a rigorous assessment of their progress. The index is updated every two years. USI 2016 comprised of a series of 23 indicators that provide a comprehensive assessment of a city’s sustainability in four categories: economy, society, resources and environment. The study also looks into the relations between sub-categories, such as income level, energy and water consumption, industrial pollution and urban density, and middle-school students and number of doctors per capita. The results show a gradual overall improvement in most cities mainly due to improvements for the social and economic indicators rather than for the environmental ones; in addition the eastern coastal regions appear globally more sustainable than inland cities.
The UK Office for National Statistics has released a well-being indicator set which assesses the quality of life for young people (aged 16 to 24). By using 28 indicators, the set of indicators covers both objective and subjective data and provides a picture of how young people are doing in the areas which are relevant to their current and future well-being. Change in quality of life is assessed by looking at the change in the short (compared to previous year) and medium term (over a 3-year period). The analysis shows that overall quality of life for young people has either improved or remained stable. Nevertheless, some aspects related to risk of poverty, mental health and well-being, as well as social support available have deteriorated.
Following the adoption of the 2017 Economic and Financial Document (Documento di Economia e Finanza, DEF), Italy is now the first country of the EU and of the G7 to include BES (Benessere Equo e Solidale - fair and sustainable well-being) indicators within its economic programme, in addition to GDP. Pending the decision from the Committee of equitable and sustainable indicators on the selected BES indicators, the Government has decided to include in the budget cycle a first set of four indicators: average disposable income, inequality indicator, labour force participation arte, and emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. For each indicator, the DEF will present its development over the past three years and a forecast of its future evolution.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published a new Dashboard of well-being to support the National Well-being Programme. It replaces the well-being wheel that has become less suited to the challenges of presenting UK progress and pprovides a visual overview of data. Change is assessed over a short (1 year) and long term (3 years) basis across 43 indicators and 10 domains: personal well-being, relationships, health, what we do, where we live, personal finance, economy, education and skills, governance, and environment. The latest update of the dashboard shows that areas of improvements include satisfaction with jobs, health and leisure, whereas the proportion reporting low anxiety, and recycled waste from households have deteriorated
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network presented the US Cities Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Index, which covers 100 cities in the US, accounting for 70% of the population. Progress towards sustainable development is assessed based on data related to 53 indicators covering 16 of the 17 SDGs. Each indicator is scored from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best possible score. By providing an America-centric overview of sustainable development at the local level, the index aims to encourage local level action and set light on best practices. Provo-Orem in Utah results the best-performing city, while city regions like Detroit-Warren-Dearborn present the lowest scores. Overall, results show that all US cities have far to go to reach the SDGs.
Developed by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), the GCRO Socio-Economic Barometer is a tracking, diagnostic and benchmarking tool to measure development at a regional scale. The GCRO Barometer is based on an integrated methodology covering 10 sectors: economic growth, poverty and inequality, labour market, safety and security, infrastructure and services, health, education, social cohesion, governance, and sustainability. It utilizes 38 indicators which are displayed in a graphic to provide a comprehensive analytical visual of socio-economic and environmental variables. The GCRO Barometer aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of development progress during 2002-2012 for Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province, which can be utilized at the regional scale. Applied to the province of Gauteng, the Barometer demonstrates that welfare should not be measured solely on the basis of GDP.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) published the 2016 Human Development Report, entitled Human Development for Everyone. The report includes the update for the Human Development Index (HDI), a composite indicator based on: life expectancy at birth, mean and expected years of schooling, and gross national income per capita. The 2016 report also includes four other composite indices, in view of getting a comprehensive overview of human development. These are the Inequality-adjusted HDI, the Gender Development Index, the Gender Inequality Index and the Multidimensional Poverty Index. The report shows that levels of human development have improved in all regions of the world between 1990 and 2015. However, inequality is still affecting global human development, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Swiss Federal Statistical Office published a selection of 48 MONET indicators, presenting a first attempt to monitor the 17 SDGs in Switzerland. Progress towards the goals is based on a positive, negative or neutral indication of change across a total of 48 indicators for the 17 goals. For some goals, including “Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”, Switzerland scores poorly in more than one indicator. This preliminary monitoring, still provisional and incomplete, will be adapted and enriched by an extension of the MONET system which is currently being developed. The first results of this work will be published in early 2018.
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network published the 2017 World Happiness report on the International Day of Happiness. 155 countries were ranked by their happiness levels from 2014 to 2016. The fifth edition focuses on the role of social factors in supporting happiness, with a special chapter on happiness at the workplace. Moreover, China and Africa are explored in more detail. Among the factors affecting happiness, six of them contributed to three quarters of the total variation across time and countries: real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity. Norway tops the global happiness ranking, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland, all scoring highly on the main factors supporting happiness.
The Federal Chancellery of Austria and the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs released the "Implementation of Agenda 2030 by Austria 2016" report which aims to promote public discourse and to serve as a preparation support for Austria’s reporting to the United Nationals High Level Political Forum on the SDGs. It contains three chapters; the first provides context on the SDGs, the second looks at Austria’s current progress towards the 17 goals of the SDGs, with some initial presentation of data and the final chapter looks at Austria’s responsibility towards, and contribution to, international dimensions of sustainable development, including climate change. With regards to the SDG indicators and monitoring, the report explains that Statistik Austria will develop a national indicator set in 2017, with the intention to provide time series of progress from 2015 as well as EU comparisons on their website.
At its 48th session meeting, the UN Statistical Commission adopted the global indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert-Group, the framework includes an initial set of indicators which will be reviewed and refined yearly by the Statistical Commission. The global monitoring framework will allow the international community to monitor the progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at global level. During the same session, the Commission also adopted the Cape Town Global Action Plan which called for the commitment of governments, policy leaders and the international community to work together in order to achieve better data for the SDGs.
The Dubai Declaration titled “A commitment to city data as the universal language” was adopted at the 2017 WCCD Global Cities Summit. The Summit was organized by the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, in partnership with the World Council on City Data (WCCD), and hosted 50 cities from around the world. The Declaration recognises the importance of cities around the world to take steps towards sustainability, resilience and prosperity. The aim is to bring forward three critically important agendas for 2030: inclusive cities, smart nations and a sustainable planet. Cities and city level data play a crucial role in ensuring citizens’ quality of life, as well as achieving a national, smart agenda for economic development and reaching sustainable development globally.
The Swedish agency for economic and regional growth (Tillväxtverket) and Reglab, a forum which promotes regional development in Sweden, have developed an extended measurement of sustainable development and quality of life in Swedish regions, the so-called Gross Regional Product Plus (BRP+). The work is currently ongoing to develop and visualize indicators in the framework. In total, the BRP+ is composed of 16 dimensions, 12 of which are linked to quality of life, borrowing the conceptual framework from the OECD’s Better Life Initiative. The remaining 4 “Future themes” are focused on sustainability over time in each of the capital domains: natural, economic, human, and social.
The Polish Council of Ministers has approved a resolution on the Responsible Development Strategy which will support Poland’s engagement with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The realization of the strategy aims at increasing the income of the Polish population, while improving social, economic, environmental and territorial cohesion. The strategy lays down a new development model for Poland’s objectives and goals to be achieved by 2020 and 2030 and indicates the way in which they should be achieved. The strategy is based on 7 priority pillars covering also sustainable development based on solidarity (for example the 500+ Programme). The document enables both its implementation and the monitoring of the process through the use of 72 indicators. Approximately 185 strategic and flagship projects are to be undertaken and 705 actions are currently under way in different institutions.
The Belgian Bureau Fédéral du Plan (BFP /Federal Planning Bureau) has published its report on Complementary Indicators to GDP, which aims at measuring people’s wellbeing and societal development at the federal level, as requested by the Law adopted on 14th March 2014. The 2017 report illustrates trends for 67 indicators grouped in 13 themes, and the aim is to show their evolution over time. Compared to the first edition from 2016, the 2017 report includes four additional indicators, among which are the marine areas in Natura 2000 and the victims of natural catastrophes. Moreover, the analysis includes international comparisons, breakdowns by income level and information on the quality of indicators.
The UN-Habitat’s City Prosperity Initiative (CPI) enables city authorities, as well as local and national stakeholders, to make their cities more prosperous, identifying opportunities and potential areas of intervention. The initiative provides a metric, a policy dialogue and a monitoring framework for more than 300 cities. More specifically the CPI can provide a global framework for indicators and targets for Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and identifies the City Prosperity Index. This composite index comprises 72 indicators, linked to both the SDGs and New Urban Agenda, grouped into 6 domains: productivity, infrastructure development, quality of life, equity and social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and urban governance and legislation. The index measures how cities create and distribute socio-economic benefits or prosperity and the overall achievements through the six categories.
The new German Sustainability Strategy explicitly aligns the country’s development ambitions with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as part of the country’s commitment to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The strategy builds on the revision of a draft report launched in May 2016 and the results of a public consultation. The strategy identifies 63 key indicators (compared to 61 in the draft strategy), allocating at least one indicator per goal. The Federal Statistical Office will report on progress towards these indicators every 2 years, and the strategy itself will be reviewed every four years. According to the report, 27 indicators show a positive status, whilst 29 indicate negative trends or status. For 7 indicators it is not yet possible to report on progress.
The report released by Oxfam analyses global income and wealth data, it looks at how the gap between the rich and the poor has reached extreme levels and what can be done to address it. According to the report, key drivers are imbalances in privilege and power in the economy. The richest 1% have accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world put together. In contrast, the wealth of the bottom half of humanity has fallen by over a trillion dollars in the past five years. Such figures call for action to tackle the inequality crisis which is undermining growth and social cohesion. Despite the global impact of the inequality crisis, poor people result to be hit by the most severe consequences, challenging the fight against poverty.
The World Economic Forum has published the 2017 Inclusive Growth and Development Report which aims at assessing progress towards a socially inclusive economic growth in 109 countries. The report presents a new set of national Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), covering growth and development, inclusion, and intergenerational equity and sustainability. The report also presents the Inclusive Development Index (IDI), an aggregation of the KPIs, which provide a more comprehensive picture of national performance compared to GDP alone. Some countries score better on the IDI than on the basis of GDP per capita, implying that they are performing well on inclusive growth; for other countries an IDI lower than GDP per capita indicates that the economic growth has not translated into social inclusion.
CBS (Statistics Netherlands) has conducted a baseline measurement of Netherlands’ progress in achieving the targets set by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It represents the first attempt of measuring progress towards the SDG indicators in the Netherlands, setting a starting point for a debate between different parties, including policy assessment organizations, knowledge institutions etc. The country is progressing towards the achievement of the targets but there are some areas of concern, particularly in the climate, energy and inequality domains. However the report does not provide a complete description of the SDGs Agenda, as only 33 percent of the total list of SDG indicators have been used, suggesting the need to invest in further research and data collection.