Redefining progress is a report from the Centre For Policy Development’s Wellbeing Government Initiative.
Looking at 21 global approaches to wellbeing over the past 50 years it identifies four key characteristics of advanced wellbeing approaches to guide an Australia’s wellbeing journey.
Redefining progress examines a half century of wellbeing government approaches, taking stock of more than 20 distinct global frameworks.
It identifies four key characteristics of leading approaches to wellbeing that can provide guidance to Australian policymakers.
It is only with the right kinds of measurements that we can assess the outcomes of budget allocations and policy selection. Measurement must be a means rather than an end. It must be timely, able to be disaggregated, have a measure of consistency while being responsive to change in accordance with best practice, and tolerate both ambiguity and gaps in data availability.
The purpose of wellbeing frameworks is to optimise wellbeing, not the practice of measuring wellbeing. It is on this point – the translation of measurement and principles to policy – that we see wellbeing approaches stumble. Practical decision-making guidance takes wellbeing beyond abstract rhetorical statements into day-to-day policy design, decision-making and implementation.
Governments are changing how they do business to achieve their wellbeing goals. Governments have many tools at their disposal here: from creating central coordinating teams to working with citizens and communities to set priorities.
Transparent assessment and reporting guards against corner-cutting and lip-service, and can be implemented with appropriate measures to enable frank advice from public servants and robust debate among elected officials. The strongest measures combine reporting with additional mechanisms such as independent oversight and structural changes in the way departments work together.
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