Well-being priority

©REUTERS/Mike Segar

A major step forward towards putting the measurement of well-being at the heart of policymaking was taken at the OECD’s World Forum on Measuring Well-Being for Policymaking and Development, a four-day international conference held in New Delhi in October.

Experts and policymakers from economic, environment, development, health and education backgrounds focused on the progress achieved in looking for new growth metrics and the way ahead for monitoring and analysing our changing world.

The OECD’s chief statistician, Martine Durand, said that new indicators were being advanced in a number of areas, such as the material conditions of households, in several quality of life domains and in the field of environmental accounting. But she added that technical and conceptual challenges remain.

Pointing out that India’s per capita GDP is a tenth of the OECD average, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of India’s Planning Commission, emphasised a particular challenge facing developing nations:

“At India’s income level, ignoring GDP entirely would be impossible. But GDP simply measures goods produced. It does not measure the negative externalities, such as damage to the environment and bio-diversity, pollution, and overexhaustion of limited natural resources. These problems have now reached a scale where they cannot be ignored”.

A statement from the Global Forum underlined the need for a strengthened link between statistics, knowledge and policy, which requires engagement from civil society, the business community, statisticians, academics as well as politicians.

As Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz–who has written on the subject for the OECD Observer–said at the forum, “metrics are important not just because they tell us how we are doing but because they serve as guides in policymaking”.

For more information on the World Forum on Measuring Well-Being for Policymaking and Development, including the concluding statement, visit www.oecd.org/site/ worldforumindia

See also: www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org and www.oecd.org/statistics/

©OECD Observer No 293 Q4 November 2012




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017