11-15 May 2009
Scope: Is life getting better? Are our societies making progress? How many of us have the evidence to answer these questions? The world is changing and there is a global need, in this ‘information age’, to better understand social change.
Over the past 10 years or so there has been an explosion of interest in producing measures of societal progress. Measures that go beyond GDP to represent a broader view of the ways in which societies are progressing and regressing. Measures which are based on the values of a society, not those of a single political party or an elite few. Such sets of progress measures can help governments focus in a more joined up way on what really matters: they can foster a more informed debate on where a society is, where it wants to go and—most importantly—the choices it must make in order to get there. By measuring progress we can foster progress. The Canadian Index of Wellbeing is just one prominent example of work underway in Canada.
Focus: The importance of statistics for democracy and democratic decision-making; measures of progress that go beyond GDP; tools to transform statistics into knowledge; evidence, civic engagement and policy-making; the role of National Statistical Offices in the 21st Century and their boundaries.
In particular, we will cover:
• How to measure progress;
• What to measure: the specific dimensions of progress;
• How to communicate the measures to a broad public.
The emphasis will be on interactive learning, through peer learning, as well as more formal instruction. The course will be a place to exchange ideas and best practices, and to improve collective understanding of global and local progress.
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