Monday, 25 January 2010

Progress, where to start?

Hello all,

So, we have done week one on the Prog Blog. We have had some nice feedback and have found that we really enjoy it. So, if it's ok with you all, we think we will continue!

Jon, Johannes and Trevor have already brought to light some of the most interesting aspects of progress in my view. Johannes emphasized the need to broaden the scope of progress work to developing countries. Jon brings all this back home to our backyards and refers to how decisions about wellbeing at the policy level will affect citizens directly. Trevor is helping us through all of this by highlighting some of the recent innovations that the OECD and partners have come up with to collect data on progress and visualize it.

I thought maybe I should now highlight a few key documents that have helped me through in my understanding what measuring progress is all about and some good places to start if you are new to this.

  • October 1995 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, "If the GDP is up, why is America down - why we need new measures of progress, why we do not have them and how they would change the social and political landscape". A very good overview of the issues and debates in measuring progress.
  • A Framework to Measure the Progress of Societies - Even though there are no standards for measuring progress, this is a good shot at coming up with some dimensions of progress and a jumping off point for debate.
  • A Mike Salvaris presentation from 2009 OECD World Forum "Why healthy democracy is part of true progress and how we should measure it" He has a way with a presentation! He puts a country's national wellbeing along with other progress dimensions. There are also several interesting links here for further reading as well as some inspiring quotations to put you in the right frame of mind.
  • The Istanbul Declaration from the 2007 World Forum - several parties affirmed in a declaration their commitment to measuring and fostering the progress of societies in all dimensions, with the ultimate goal of improving policy making, democracy and citizens’ wellbeing.

You can also go to in the community portal where Vanessa is pulling together recent press on the topic including the Global Project's newsletters and to the calendar on the homepage where Lucy has found and uploaded 27 new conferences where progress is on the agenda.

As always, wikiprogress is a community effort so if you would like to contribute by adding/editing a page or two (or 10!) you are certainly welcome.

We look forward to your comments on this and all of our posts.

Have a nice week.

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