Measuring Societal Wellbeing for a Sustainable Future
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has long been used as the main indicator of a country’s development and wellbeing. Over the past two decades, consensus has been growing that an alternative index is needed to measure societal wellbeing and progress. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) assists countries to develop alternative measures of societal wellbeing. Some well-known examples are the Bhutan Happiness Index, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, a Sustainable Italy, What Kind of Wales do we Want and Ecuador’s Wellbeing Index. Australia has started to develop Australian National Development Index (ANDI). There are three major parts to this ambitious project: i) to have a community conversation about what we value as a society; ii) to find measures for these values and iii) to create a set of indices and an overall index which will be collected and published annually as a way of influencing policy across all levels of government.
Fiona Stanley will speak about the rationale for the Australian National Development Index (ANDI) and progress on this project to stimulate discussions around feasibility and to debate what is happening in Europe in this area. The availability of total population-level longitudinal data and data linkage in Australia is an asset which is already being used to track developmental pathways for children and youth. Such data may also become part of the ANDI.
Followed by reception
Professor Fiona Stanley is the Founding Director and Patron of the Telethon Kids Institute. She is Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Western Australia and Director of the Australian National Development Index (ANDI). Trained in maternal and child health, epidemiology and public health, she has spent her career researching the causes of major childhood illnesses. Another field of her research and civic activities have been the development of collaborations between research, policy and practice.
Her major contribution has been to establish the Telethon Kids Institute, a unique multidisciplinary independent research institute focussing on the causes and prevention of major problems affecting children and youth and to establish the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, a national organisation of researchers, policy makers and practitioners. She pioneered the development, linkage and analysis of population level data and record linkage across government sectors in Western Australia as a research and evaluation capacity. For her research on behalf of Australia's children and Aboriginal social justice, she was named Australian of the Year in 2003. In 2006 she was made a UNICEF Australia Ambassador for Early Childhood Development.