Category Archives: wellbeing

6th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy: The Future of Well-Being

For well over a decade, the OECD World Forums on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy have been pushing forward the boundaries of well-being measurement and policy. By bringing together thousands of leaders, experts and practitioners from all sectors of society, the Forums have contributed to an ongoing paradigm shift that emphasises people’s well-being and inclusive growth as the ultimate focus for policies and collective action. The years since the first OECD World Forum in 2004 have seen huge advances in our ability to measure the aspects of people’s lives that matter for inclusive and sustainable well-being, and to strengthen the link between statistics, knowledge and policy for better lives. However, while we now have a much more sophisticated grasp of what metrics and actions are needed to foster well-being today, we know much less about how the drivers of well-being will be transformed in the coming years. The aim of this 6th OECD World Forum, is to look ahead to the Future of Well-being, and to ask what are the trends that will re-shape people’s lives in the decades to come?

The future of well-being in a complex, interconnected world

The world we live in today is more connected, and yet more fragmented than ever. Online networks flourish, but as well as bringing people together they also engender political polarisation, “fake news” and distrust between groups. Rising inequalities have become a fact of life, with the gaps between the “haves” and the “have nots” growing ever wider, and spanning multiple dimensions of well-being. And many of the most pressing well-being challenges facing governments around the world – including climate change, mass migration, and the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals – demand increased international cooperation at a time when nationalist and separatist ideologies are gaining traction in many countries.

Looking to the future, it is likely that these issues of complexity and interconnectedness will continue to define society in increasingly unpredictable ways.  Ensuring inclusive growth and well-being in this new landscape will require policy makers and actors from across society to think and act creatively, anticipating new risks and opportunities, and opening up to new approaches and new forms of partnership and collaboration across sectors.

Focus on digitalisation, governance and business

The 6th OECD World Forum will take a broad perspective to addressing the future of well-being, but will put a particular emphasis on three important trends – the digital transformation, the changing role of governance,  and the emergence of the private sector as an important actor for ensuring sustainable and inclusive well-being – as well as looking at the interplay of these three factors. As always, the Forum will showcase innovations and experiences from pioneers in well-being measurement and policy from around the world, but will explore the issues from a much more forward-looking perspective. By taking a wide-ranging approach to consider how life will be in tomorrow’s world, it will aim to map a plan of action for people, government and businesses today.

Speakers

Confirmed speakers include OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, Statistics Korea Commissioner Hwang Soo-kyeong, Nobel Prize winner and economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations, and many other global leaders.

Interested in attending?

Visit our website to find more info on registration, the venue, and other FAQs.

Take a look at our detailed programme.

Contact us if you would like to attend.

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How to help the world’s youth

This post is by Nicole Goldin, director for Youth, Prosperity, and Security Initiative with the Project on Prosperity and Development at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and director of the Global Youth Wellbeing Index project in partnership with the International Youth Foundation. This blog has been posted as part of the Wikiprogress discussion on “Youth well-being: measuring what matters!“. 

Brimming with talent and ideas, today’s youth – the largest and most connected generation in human history – are creating a new global reality, and charting an unprecedented course for themselves and their communities. They are defending democracy, promoting peace,  and with an enterprising spirit, desperately wanting  the opportunity to work hard, build a sustainable livelihood and live up to their potential.  Today’s young people are an inspired generation, poised to drive global prosperity and security not only for themselves and their families today, but their communities and nations for generations to come.
But we know demography is not destiny.  Their fate may be challenged.  The promise in youth is often overshadowed – and in some cases undermined – by absent or ineffective policies, weak systems, poor infrastructure, unsatisfactory education and training, or inadequate investments and avenues of participation that limit the opportunities youth deserve and the world demands.
Fundamentally, however, young people’s needs and aspirations have too often gone largely unnoticed or unheard.  Why? One reason is that we simply don’t have a strong enough understanding of how they are doing or feeling.
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To help shed light on how young people are faring around the world, and in turn increase youth-centered policy dialogue and investments, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the International Youth Foundation (IYF), with principal support form Hilton Worldwide, have today launched the inaugural Global Youth Wellbeing Index in hopes of facilitating thought and action by, with, and in the interests of today’s youth.
The index measures youth wellbeing based on 40 indicators comprising six interconnected domains in 30 countries, covering 70 percent of the world’s young people. And there were some striking lessons [findings?]:
– A large majority of the world’s young people are experiencing lower levels of wellbeing – 85 percent of the youth represented in our Index live in countries with below average scores overall.
– Even where young people are doing relatively well, they still face specific challenges and limitations. Spanish youth, for example, face economic exclusion, while Saudi young people grapple with safety and security.
– Though young people may not be thriving overall, they display success in certain areas. Colombian and Ugandan youth, for example, top the ranks in terms of citizen participation.
– Across countries, average scores indicate young people faring best in health, weakest in economic opportunity, and with the most variance in information and communications technology.
There are roughly 1.8 billion young people on the planet, living for the most part in emerging and developing economies and fragile states.  Yet these global youth are not a monolithic group, and face cultural, geographic, economic, and political constraints and opportunities.
While we anticipate young people, policy makers, donors and investors will largely respond within their immediate communities and countries, we hope this index will also help stimulate discussion about the global economic, social and political agenda (including the Post 2015 development framework) for young people, allowing for recommendations that can be acted upon both globally and locally – anywhere and everywhere.
So where should action start? The index also highlights the need to elevate and better connect and coordinate policies and investments concerning young people, and for closer attention to youth satisfaction and aspirations, increasing youth participation and elevating youth voices by highlighting the opinions and outlook of young people themselves.
Of course, providing sufficient opportunities, addressing needs, meeting aspirations and supporting success among millions of youth is a real challenge – especially for still cash-strapped governments still trying to steer their economies back toward sustainable growth. But the potential payoff is huge – not least economically.  Now is the time to invest in strategic policies, partnerships and programs that engage and equip youth to be productive and realize their ambitions.
If this transformative generation can be given the tools it needs to thrive, then we will all be the better off for it.
Nicole Goldin
Twitter @nicolegoldin and @csis
This blog was first posted on CNN, here
Join the discussion on “Youth well-being: measuring what matters!“, click here. 



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Wikiprogress focus on youth well-being

In the coming months, Wikiprogress activities will focus on youth well-being, as part of the Web-COSI vision of “statistics for all”, starting with an online discussion taking part from December 1-15, and the launch of a new Wikiprogress Youth Portal. Kate Scrivens, Wikiprogress Manager, gives an overview of the upcoming events and initiatives.

There are more youth living in the world today than at any other time in human history. There are now an unprecedented 1.8 billion adolescents and young adults aged between 10 and 24, making up over a quarter of the world population, according to a special reportpublished by the United Nations Population Fund this year. However, despite making up such a significant share of the world population, young people’s voices are not always heard in measurement and policy debates, where the concerns of older adults often predominate. Finding ways to better integrate young people’s concerns into policy, and ensure their well-being needs are being met are therefore pressing goals for society. As the UN report puts it, “A world in which a quarter of humanity is without full enjoyment of rights is a world without the basic building blocks for change and progress.”

In the coming months, Wikiprogress will be focusing on youth well-being, in order to explore the concerns of the younger generation in more depth and also to improve the way that the site caters to young people’s needs. This is part of Wikiprogress’ involvement with the EC-funded Web-COSI project, which aims to improve the involvement of all parts of society with well-being and progress statistics.



Online discussion
From the 1-15 December, we will be hosting an online discussion on youth well-being, inspired by the European launch of the Global Youth Wellbeing Index this week. Its aims will be to map out the main issues for youth well-being and to identify some of the key organisations and initiatives working in the field. The discussion will address the following broad questions:

  • What is the state of youth well-being today?
  • What are the most important dimensions of well-being for young people?
  • What policies have had the most impact on youth well-being in the past? Provide examples of successful initiatives.
  • How can we ensure that young people’s needs are reflected in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals agenda?


We are looking to hear from students and young people from around the world, to gain different perspectives on this issue, as well as to hear from experts and practitioners who have experience and knowledge of youth well-being.

Online debate in early 2015
Following on from the online discussion in December, Wikiprogress intends to pick up on some of the key issues and explore them at more length and in more depth through an online debate being hosted in partnership with CATALYST – another EC-funded project. The debate will run for several weeks, gathering input to feed into a report on priorities for youth well-being and policy that can be presented to decision makers. We’ll be writing more about this debate as the time gets closer.



Wikiprogress Youth Portal & Wikiprogress University
In order to make the content on Wikiprogress more accessible and relevant for young people, we have developed a new Youth Portal on the site. The aim of this portal is to bring together resources that are of particular interest to young people who want to find out more about measures and policies to foster well-being and social progress. It will highlight videos and other accessible content, as well as putting a spotlight on activities and initiatives working on youth issues. It will also bring together information on opportunities to get more involved in the activities and events of the Wikiprogress community, such as Youth Conferences and volunteering and interning opportunities.

A major part of the Youth Portal is the new Wikiprogress University programme. Wikiprogress University is intended to be an online space where students can:

  • Find out about opportunities to contribute to the platform, or establish a partnership between their university and Wikiprogress.
  • Access educational resources that explain about key issues in the area of well-being and progress measurement.
  • Find out about courses and training that would allow them to develop useful skills for working in the fields of well-being policy, research or advocacy.


Wikiprogress University and the Youth Portal are both works in progress, and we welcome ideas and suggestions to make the projects as useful to young people as possible, and we will welcome all contributions to our online discussion and upcoming debate.

If you are interested in finding out more about any of these activities, if you work for an organisation that specialises in youth issues, if you are a student or administrator for a course on well-being or progress issues, or if you have any ideas for content or news to put on our Youth Portal and social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) we would love to hear from you – just email info@wikiprogress.org or tweet us @wikiprogress.

Kate Scrivens
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A data revolution for children

Katell Le Goulven, the Chief of Policy Planning at UNICEF Headquarters explains why data is central to UNICEF’s work for children , as illustrated by the stories in this blog. 
  • The field of early childhood development is being redesigned thanks to recent evidence from neuroscience demonstrating how nature and nurture are inextricably linked during the early development of the human brain.

In Rukoro neighbourhood, Musanze, Rwanda, cell phones powered RapidSMS are being used to register and monitor expecting mothers. If there are any questions, complications or updates, health workers simply send a text to their local clinic and receive a response within minutes. 
©
 UNICEF/RWAA2011-00482/Noorani

 Learn more about UNICEF’s work on data for children and MICS.

Investments in data on children were bolstered a couple of decades ago by the World Summit for Children where world leaders committed to “establish appropriate mechanisms for the regular and timely collection, analysis and publication of data required to monitor relevant social indicators relating to the well-being of children”. And, later on, by the Millennium Development Goals.
Advancements since then have been significant. In 1990, 29 low- and middle-income countries had trend data on child malnutrition. Today 107 do, largely thanks to data collected via increasingly sophisticated household surveys.
More recently, the digital age ushered forth an era when the amount of data is rising exponentially; new data analytics allow us to answer different types of questions than was previously possible; and new technologies helps us do some of what we do, faster and cheaper.
Mobile data helped report 18 million births in Nigeria in 2011-12, and bring down the time to trace and reunify disaster-affected families in Uganda from weeks to hours. SMS surveys have helped reduce malaria medicine stock-outs by 80% in Uganda and young people are engaging in shaping decision making on HIV/AIDS in Zambia.
The recently coined “data revolution” refers to the potential of this ever-expanding and evolving data ecosystem to improve human well-being. These opportunities, however, will not automatically translate into something positive for all. To be sure, the data revolution also raises fundamental rights issues related, for instance, to having an identity and being accounted for, privacy, legitimate use, ownership, participation, and equity and non-discrimination.
These, in turn, question the suitability of our current data policies and governance structures.
People’s well-being should be at the heart of how these policies evolve. And particular attention should be given to children and youth because many risks affect them more specifically. Across the world, children and youth are growing up in a digital world, and data about them will be tracked for much of their lives. While data may help save the lives of many, others may not be aware that their interaction with technology is creating profiles that could impact their future.
A few days ago, I participated in a meeting of experts asked to prepare a report on the data revolution for the UN Secretary-General. During two days, specialists from the statistics, big data, open data, academia and the UN worlds brainstormed on the definition of the “data revolution” and its role to fill in persisting data gaps, to enhance accountability, to track progress towards sustainable development and to empower people.
While participants brought different perspectives to the table, all acknowledged the role of data as a key driver of sustainable development. Consultations held on the second day put the spotlight on the role of data for fostering openness and inclusion and unpacked the opportunities and challenges associated with big data.
These consultations continue online. You can join the conversation and help design a data revolution that works for the benefits of today’s children and of future generations. Submit your ideas here.
Katell Le Goulven is the Chief of Policy Planning at UNICEF Headquarters in New York.
This blog first appeared on the UNICEF Connect blog, here

Why engage citizens in wellbeing data?

This blog by Salema Gulbahar leads up to the Wikiprogress online discussion on engaging citizens in well-being and progress statistics. This post explores why we should engage citizen in well-being data and how this is being done.

Are we measuring the right things?

Are our lives getting better? Data and statistics for measuring well-being and progress should answer these questions and enable us to understand what drives the well-being of people and nations and what needs to be done in order to achieve greater progress for all.

“Give citizens the wellbeing data they need,” says the ‘Policy and Wellbeing report commissioned by the Legatum Institute, as better data on well-being can increase peoples choices and ability to make an informed choice. When young people make a choice about their career path or a job, they know what they can earn and what they have to do. Wouldn’t it be nice if they had data on how that job may impact their well-being?

If citizens, governments, schools and employers had better data on progress and well-being and used this data, then decisions made about which services to fund, cut and develop would be different. For example, governments would focus on the rehabilitation of prisoners and not on long prison sentences.

Enabling and engaging citizens in well-being data will allow society as a whole to make more informed decisions and ensure that we measure what matters!

How can citizens get involved?

Citizen engagement in well-being data can range from citizens being actively engaged in a) politics and policy making where they can influence the agenda and what is measured, b) the feedback loop of services they are using via questionnaires, and c) being active user and producers of information and data via simple mobile applications. Below are a few examples:

The Santa Monica Wellbeing Project (video above) in California is a city-wide initiative which engages its citizen in well-being data, throughout the life cycle of the project by i) defining well-being as it relates to the community, ii) creating a new tool to measure well-being in the community and iii) working with the entire community to actively improve the conditions needed for people to thrive.

In 2013, a ‘friends and family test was introduced by National Health Service in the United Kingdom where patients were asked within 48 hours of using a service if they would ‘recommend this service to friends and family’. Improvements in services can been seen over time and citizens feel more empowered, as well. Results are now available.

Three of my neighbours were burgled over a few days, whilst they slept in their homes. I found out when the third and last victim decided to post a little note on everyone’s door. So when I read about the United Sates www.crimemapping.com and the mobile application which allows law enforcement agencies and citizens to provide real time data on crime, I could see how this tool would make a real difference to my well-being.

Citizen engagement has the potential to drive the demand, supply and use of well-being and progress data and statistics. Governments, employers and schools can enhance the well-being of citizens by providing them with information about the relationship between everyday choices and subjective well-being.

Find out more and ensure your voice is heard by participating in the discussion (details below).

Salema Gulbahar
Wikiprogress Coordinator
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Wikiprogress and partners invite you to participate in an online discussion from 22 – 30 April 

  • How can citizen engagement improve the development and use of well-being and progress statistics?
  • Do you have any examples of good practice in citizen engagement in well-being and progress statistics?
  • What role can technology – such as mobile apps or interactive web platforms – play in improving citizen engagement with well-being and progress statistics?



To leave a comment, click here and scroll to the section entitled “Contribute!”


Here is the short link to the page: http://bit.ly/1itMg6L
Follow the Twitter hashtag#CitizenEngagement and #StatsForAll

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