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Beyond GDP

Measuring progress, true wealth, and well-being

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What is the 'Beyond GDP' initiative

The Beyond GDP initiative is about developing indicators that are as clear and appealing as GDP, but more inclusive of environmental and social aspects of progress.

This website updates on recent developments and ongoing work.


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2019 Europe Sustainable Development Report

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) published the 2019 Europe Sustainable Development Report.The report was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Office in Finland, and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (HBF) European Union, to provide an independent quantitative report on the progress of European Union Member States towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report includes 113 indicators covering the 17 SDGs: thefindings show that the biggest challenges faced by EU member states concern goals related to climate, biodiversity and circular economy. The countries closest to achieving the SDGs are Denmark, Sweden and Finland, while Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus rank last out of the 28 countries. The report outlines six transformations that can support achieving all 17 SDGs. The report concludes with practical recommendations to the European Commission with a focus on three broad areas: internal priorities, diplomacy and development cooperation, and tackling negative international spillovers.

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2019 SDG Index and Dashboards for the Arab Region

The SDG Centre of Excellence for the Arab Region (SDGCAR) of the EDA (Emirates Diplomatic Academy) supported by the SDSN Secretariat, published thee 2019 Arab Region SDG Index and Dashboards Report.Intended to act as a tool for governments and other stakeholders, the report measures progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and marks a starting point for priority areas, policies and future action. The index comprises 105 indicators and uses a traffic light system to indicate performance. The study finds that there is a notable regional disparity across achievement of the SDGs, with poor and conflict-affected countries at the highest risk of falling behind. The most significant common challenges arise around sustainable food production and gender equality, and a positive momentum between environmental sustainability, water and climate change is identified. Insufficient data remains a barrier to measure sustainable development performance, which makes overarching policy recommendations difficult – as responses and solutions need to be country- and context-specific.

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Economy of Wellbeing: the Council adopts conclusions

The Council of the European Union has adopted conclusions on the Economy of Wellbeing. The Economy of Wellbeing, which is a priority of the Finnish Presidency, is a policy orientation and governance approach which aims to put people and their wellbeing at the centre of policy and decision-making. This is vitally important to the Union’s economic growth, productivity, long-term fiscal sustainability and societal stability. By adopting the conclusions, the Council invites Member States and the European Commission to include an economy of wellbeing perspective horizontally in national and European Union policies.

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2019 SDGs Report – Mediterranean countries edition

The 2019 Sustainable Development Report: Mediterranean Countries Edition was produced by the University of Siena (Santa Chiara Lab), on behalf of Sustainable Development Solutions Network Mediterranean (SDSN Med). The report analyses the progress of 23 countries in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report includes 114 indicators. The best results are recorded with regard to Goal 1 (no poverty), 3 (good health and well-being) and 4 (quality education). Six major transformations are identified to promote the progress towards implementing various SDGs; ‘Sustainable food, land, water and oceans’, ‘Energy decarbonisation and sustainable industry’, ‘Sustainable cities and communities’, ‘Health, wellbeing and demography’, Education, gender and inequality’, and ‘Harnessing the digital revolution for sustainable development’. The report makes policy recommendations to improve sustainable agricultural practices, integration of women within society and to give priority to the conservation of marine biodiversity. The report also advocates for increased public and private investment in research and innovation for sustainable development.

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Measuring prosperity in Saudi Arabia

The King Khalid Foundation (KFF), a charitable organization established by the family of the late King Khalid, has published a report providing a National Framework for Measuring Prosperity in Saudi Arabia. The framework covers all aspects of quality of life and provides a model for monitoring national assets that serve as a driving force of the quality of life. The framework is divided into two components - current and future prosperity. The first one is composed of 12 dimensions of quality of life: safety; income, expenditure & wealth; jobs & earnings; life-work balance; health; education; housing; environment; civic engagement & governance; social connections; life satisfaction; culture. The second component focuses on four resources: natural, economic, human, and social wealth. The framework shows a gap in equal opportunities in education, employment and training for young people, as well as disparities in economic participation and earnings between females and males. The objective of the KKF, through the framework, is to build a Saudi society with equal opportunities and prosperity that leaves no one behind.


The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in the light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.