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Measuring Progress: Democracy in the Information Age Jon Hall & Barbara Iasiello Global Project, OECD.

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Presentation on theme: "Measuring Progress: Democracy in the Information Age Jon Hall & Barbara Iasiello Global Project, OECD."— Presentation transcript:

1 Measuring Progress: Democracy in the Information Age Jon Hall & Barbara Iasiello Global Project, OECD

2 Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies We have to start measuring welfare, not just output –Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary General, 2007 Today we are bombarded by information –Jean Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, 2005

3 An understanding of the limits of GDP is not new. Robert Kennedy spoke eloquently about this in the 1960s

4 Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies A new approach –From output to welfare –From “information providers” to “knowledge builders” –From top-down to bottom-up Four pillars –Statistical research –Development of ICT tools to help in transforming statistics into knowledge –Advocacy and institutional building –Development of a global infrastructure about progress Time frame:

5 Number of users Information about societal progress Experts Using ICT & Civil society networks to produce and diffuse knowledge A minority Building knowledge

6 The Istanbul Declaration, 2007 A culture of evidence-based decision making has to be promoted at all levels of government We affirm our commitment to measuring and fostering the progress of societies in all their dimensions and to supporting initiatives at the country level. We urge statistical offices, public and private organisations, and academic experts to work alongside representatives of their communities to produce high-quality, fact-based information that can be used by all of society to form a shared view of societal well-being and its evolution over time.

7 Implementation Official launch of the Global Project Implementation of programmes of work and production of expected deliverables Meeting of regional and thematic working groups Establishments of national roundtables on measuring progress Establish criteria for approving sets of measures of progress 3 RD OECD W ORLD F ORUM C HARTING PROGRESS, BUILDING VISIONS, IMPROVING LIFE (October 2009)

8 Develop best practices to measure progress -Taxonomy of societal progress dimensions - Handbook on Measuring Progress - Guidelines on how to measure particular dimensions of progress - Launch the Journal of the Progress of Societies Promote the establishment of national roundtables for measuring progress -Global Project web site and development of the other communication tools - Promote regional working groups -Regional and thematic conferences with experts, policy makers, civil society, etc - Guidelines on how to build progress roundtables at local and national levels Key Outputs

9 Provide assistance on initiatives to measure progress Training materials and courses Report on what makes a set of key indicators successful Release and promotion of ICT tools to communicate data and indicators Best practice for developing data visualisation tools Key Outputs (cont'd)

10 Improving statistical capacity A better measurement of economic, social and environmental outcomes, of their interrelation and shared data to advocate necessary reforms and evaluate their impact on societal welfare Improvement of citizen's numeracy Improve citizens knowledge giving them the opportunity to improve their decision making processes and to become more aware of the risks and challenges of today`s world Improving policy making Through greater accountability and more joined-up government Better assessment of societal progress not simply based on the economic point of view, but with the appropriate emphasis on social, cultural an environmental dimensions Expected Impacts

11 The OECD’s Istanbul World Forum 1200 people from 130 countries Presidents, ministers, leading academics and civil societarians, private sector and media What is Progress? What information do we need to assess progress in key global concerns? From outputs to outcomes - how can we get measures used by a broad audience? 11

12 Istanbul World Forum Istanbul Video

13 Measuring Progress in Practice

14 What is Progress? The word progress (Latin: pro-gredi) refers to improvements, to move forward, to gain We can speak about economic progress, social progress, scientific progress but above all we can talk about human progress

15 What is Progress? Many views … “Is life getting better?”

16 What is Progress? Many views … But what is clear to me is A. Progress is multidimensional B. Progress means different things to different people

17 What is Progress?

18 Dimensions of Progress Human wellbeing GovernanceCulture Economy Resource demand Human system Ecosystem condition Ecosystem Source: Robert Prescott-Allen, 2008

19 Human System: Human Well-being

20 Human System: Culture

21 Human System: Economy and Governance

22 Ecosystem: Ecosystem Condition

23 How to Measure Progress Three Approaches 1. The Accounting Framework Approach Extension of traditional economic accounts based on GDP, to capture the environment or social concerns

24 SESAME Approach The SESAME can be defined as a detailed and integrated statistical information system in matrix format, from which a set of core (macro-)indicators for different aspects of well-being can be derived (Keuning, 1997) Usually it includes many indicators as: GDP, population size, (un)employment, inequality, education, environmental indicators, etc.

25 Agriculture, forestry and fishing Mining and manufacturing Electricity, gas and water supply Care and other service activities Construction Trade, hotels, restaurants and repair Transport, storage and communication Finance and business services Other commercial services General government Total GDP Paid employment and self employed persons Low education Total employm. High education Low education High education FemaleTotalMale … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …… …… …… …… …… ……… ……… ……… …… …… …… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Source: Keuning, S., Verbruggen, M., European Structural Indicators – a Way Forward. June 2003.

26 Strengths & Weaknesses Very powerful tool for analysis  Investment in terms of the amount of data to be collected and the resources needed

27 How to Measure Progress Three Approaches 2.The One-Number Approach Development of composite indicators of progress that combine detailed information into a single measure

28 The GPI GDP Add uncounted benefits (eg Unpaid work, parenting) Genuine Progress Indicator Subtract “real” costs (eg defensive expenditure, social cost)

29 Strengths & Weaknesses Powerful tool for advocacy  Difficulty in aggregating units measured in different ways – adding apples and oranges, or valuing things like “parenting” in $s  Difficult to interpret the results without stepping back to investigate the components

30 How to Measure Well-being Three Approaches 3. The Suite of Indicator Approach Identification of a set of key indicators covering economic, social and environmental domains

31 Strengths & Weaknesses It has the advantage of covering a wide range of topics, without the need of estimating individual weights.  Can be difficult to interpret  Can include too much information

32 Indicators Measures should be “unambiguous" that is have a clear good/bad direction of movement Important to focus on the big picture Important to discuss the links between indicators ….. trade-offs and reinforcements

33 Progress and Regress

34 Progress and Progress

35 Progress: Objective and Subjective Components Objective components – longevity, income, air quality The stuff we can measure exactly

36 Progress: Objective and Subjective Components Subjective components – fear, trust, happiness, life satisfaction Must ask people how they feel Business Confidence Self assessed health

37 Objective and Subjective Assessments Are Important Level of Subjective well-being highlow Objective living conditions highwell-beingdissonance lowadaptationdeprivation

38 Measuring Subjective Well-being Arguments For Nice organising principle Public are interested – and a growing demand Solid evidence that high subjective wellbeing correlates with other “hard” aspects of wellbeing e.g. health

39 Happiness and Health The Nuns 39

40 Measuring Subjective Well-being Arguments Against Difficult to measure Difficult to find policy relevance for measures (at least for generalised measures of life satisfaction) Doesn’t appear to change a great deal over time (though there is a life course effect) Not “appropriate” ground for a statistical office 40

41 Measuring Progress to Foster Progress 41

42 The benefits Help countries prioritize resource allocation Promote accountability and enhance citizen engagement. 42

43 The benefits – for citizens Improve citizens knowledge giving them the opportunity to improve their decision making processes and to become more aware of the risks and challenges of today’s world 43

44 The benefits – for policy makers Policy makers can better assess the current situation, make more informed decisions, and measure progress over time and relative to other nations Better coordination in government Data to advocate necessary reforms and evaluate their impact on societal welfare 44

45 The benefits – for countries By highlighting the issues that genuinely matter to a society, a set of progress measures can help a country best meet the needs of its citizens by focussing attention on the key outcomes ‘Sunshine is the best disinfectant’….transparency has the ability to reduce waste, prevent corruption, and shift resources where they’re truly needed 45

46 Progress Measures Can Help… Enhance democracy … … enhance decision making … … and so generate progress Promote greater accountability Enhance the quality of public debate 46

47 “Measuring the Progress of Societies is one of the most important roles the OECD can take on” –Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary General "World GDP growth has been faster than it has been for a very long time. But people are not particularly happy" –Kemal Dervis, Head of UNDP " Progress indicators are a way for people to hold their government’s accountable " –Francois Bourguignon, Chief Economist of the World Bank 47

48 Thank you!


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