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Whose Economy? Discussion paper Seminars Policy paper (Our Economy.) Policy tool – the Humankind Index.

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Presentation on theme: "Whose Economy? Discussion paper Seminars Policy paper (Our Economy.) Policy tool – the Humankind Index."— Presentation transcript:








8 Whose Economy? Discussion paper Seminars Policy paper (Our Economy.) Policy tool – the Humankind Index

9 Whose Economy? Decades of regeneration, economic growth & anti-poverty policies have not reduced poverty in Scotland Instead, poverty largely static; health inequalities worse And, unexplained premature mortality, the ‘Scottish/Glasgow effect’

10 Life expectancy drops 2yrs for males for each station travelled east across Glasgow


12 A pernicious paradox? In vulnerable communities, the most important (sometimes the only) asset available to families and individuals is their family relationships & social networks Yet, recent economic development positions individuals as cheap, flexible & expendable labour This relies on the crucial support systems in vulnerable communities But… simultaneously threatens to destroy them






18 GDP = generally deplorable policies….? The GDP hero is a chain- smoking, terminal cancer patient going through an expensive divorce who crashes his car on the way to his job as an arms dealer because of texting while eating a take away hamburger (Anielski)

19 GDP = generally deplorable policies….? GDP records as a rise: - gambling - dealing with crime and prison expansion - health treatment - outsourced care - cleaning up an oil spill - more cars - increases in the top incomes without improvement in the incomes of others - expenditure on weapons

20 GDP ignores: unpaid community work walking to work greater equality environmental sustainability prevention of ill-health time with family and friends feeling safe and secure democracy

21 And, GDP is a lagging indicator...? JRF Monitoring Poverty & Social Exclusion shows that even before the recession began (measured by falls in GDP), other indicators were falling: - the unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds began rising - the number of people in low income households rose - the number of children in low income households where one adult works began increasing All prior to the recession

22 So, what to do about it? Remember that wealth = the conditions of wellbeing (Old English) Wellbeing = developing as a person, being fulfilled & feeling you make a meaningful contribution to the community Poverty = a failure of wellbeing Re-frame the policies

23 Might putting communities at the apex of decision-making help our health…….? Reflecting on the social determinants of health for the WHO, Marmot & Wilkinson (2003) call for a more caring and just society, both economically and socially People need: - to feel valued & appreciated, have a sense of belonging, feel that they are in control - secure & meaningful work where they participate in decisions - to play a meaningful role in the economic, cultural life of society Otherwise, they are prone to depression, drug use, hostility, hopelessness - all of which impact physical health

24 Theoretical foundations Sustainable Livelihoods Approach Stiglitz, Sen, Fitoussi for Sarkozy EHRC Equalities Measurement Framework Genuine Progress Indicator (Anielski) Easterlin Paradox Carnegie/ Sustainable Development Commission Roundtable Happy Planet Index UNHDI OECD Better Life Index

25 Construction of the Oxfam Humankind Index Steering Group: - Scottish MP, MSPs, MEP - Scottish Trades Union Congress - Scottish Business in the Community - Scottish Council for Development & Industry - The Poverty Alliance - Glasgow Centre for Population Health - Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer - (fmr) Sustainable Development Commission - An equalities expert - A human rights expert - The Improvement Service

26 ‘What do you need to live well in your community?’ ie the conditions of wellbeing

27 Humankind Index: consultation Team: - nef - Craighead Institute - University of Glasgow - Northern Star - Institute of Development Studies Mixed methods - street stalls - community meetings - focus groups - online social media tool - online survey - event at Scottish Parliament -YouGov poll Strategic sampling to illuminate the voices of seldom heard group

28 In numbers…. 11 focus groups, 124 participants 9 community workshops, 175 participants 11 street stalls, 452 participants Online survey, over 1100 responses YouGov poll of over 1000 people ∑ almost 3000 people












40 Calculation of the Index Weighted sub-domains (= people’s priorities) Experts Panel: - Fraser of Allander Institute - health - public mental health - natural & environmental assets - poverty - employment, skills - relationships, community activities - crime/ community safety

41 Using the Humankind Index Sub-indexes: - LA - Socio-economic deprivation The Index might get the headlines, the indicators and sub-domains tell the story…

42 Returning to Marmot and Wilkinson on the social determinants of health ‘Unsatisfactory or insecure jobs can be as harmful as unemployment, merely having a job will not always protect physical and mental health: job quality is also important’ (M&W 2003: p 20) Social support provides emotional and practical resources (lower social support = less wellbeing, more depression, greater risk of pregnancy complications, higher disability from chronic diseases)

43 Exploring policy implications Eg Secure work: - discard raw employment figures for a measure of ‘decent’ work? - Planning policies to prioritise economic development conducive to secure jobs? - Even government support only for those firms providing decent jobs? Eg relationships with family and friends: - Working hour limits underpinned by social protection? - Reductions in commuting time? - Affordable spaces to congregate? Local community development according to a Humankind assessment (a la Bhutan)? Scotland’s international leadership potential National Performance Framework


45 Golden Rules & Purpose Targets: Whose purpose? What purpose? Economic growth: - raise GDP to UK - match GDP to small EU countries Productivity: - top quartile in OECD Participation: - L market participation Population: - Population growth Solidarity: - Y & proportion of Y for lowest 30% Cohesion: - L market participation Sustainability: - Reduce emissions

46 What purpose……? GDP, productivity, participation, population growth, Y, L market growth - Where is the quality of jobs? - Where is the accessibility to those further from the labour market? - Where is the focus on inequality across the income distribution? - Where is the health of the population? - Where is the productivity and market share of our social enterprises, our cooperatives? - Where is the measurement of things that really matter to people, not just GDP? A few are picked up in national objectives, but the hierarchy is clear


48 Launching April 24, 2012 Story Telling Centre, Edinburgh Details:

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