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Shifting the Dial: From wellbeing measures to policy practice

IPPR North, communities, culture, health

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Author(s):  Jennifer Wallace, Katie Schmuecker
Published date:  30 Oct 2012
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This joint IPPR North and Carnegie UK Trust report explores how to put wellbeing measures into policy practice here in the UK, and explains why GDP alone is not a sufficient measurement on how society should progress.

At UK, devolved and local authority level, there is interest in the question of wellbeing. This year the ONS published the UK’s first annual subjective welbeing data, and it is due to publish its Wellbeing State of the Nation report later this year.

But there are a number of countries that are ahead of the UK in this thinking. Not only are they more advanced in terms of how to measure and analyse wellbeing, but they have experience of using these measures to inform shape policy thinking and implementation. Ultimately what policymakers measure will only matter if it influences how public policy is designed and delivered.

This report offers key lesson on how to ensure wellbeing measures matter in the policymaking progress. It draws on international experience focusing on: France, Canada (the Canadian Index of Wellbeing; Vital Signs Toronto, led by the Toronto Community Foundation; the city of Guelph) and the United States (the state of Virginia and the city of Somerville).