Monday, 22 March 2010

What could motivate policy makers to start using broader measures of progress?

Hi ProgBlog readers,

Jon, I agree with your blog on 9 Feb where you identify the gap between developing indicators and using them in decision making. This is where the gap seems to be. We can do great research and develop a wide array of indicators, but if policy makers continue to default to an economic growth paradigm, what affect will the broader indicators of progress have on policy?

I am very grateful to have recently been awarded a Sustainable Economy Fellowship with Australia's Centre for Policy Development. The scope of this four month project will be to conduct research to better understand how policy makers might be motivated to use broader measures of progress. The project has just started and the first stage is to seek advice on building a survey with questions which will help provide insight into policy makers. If anyone reading this blog has ideas that you would like to contribute please write a comment.

Here are some of the questions around this issue:

When policy makers choose indicators what are they looking for? What are the motivations behind choosing certain indicators? How do they find the indicators? Who do they seek advice from? How could broader measures of progress be used to make the job of policy makers easier and more effective? If the policy maker is working to improve the standing of an elected official are there any examples of success where policy makers have used broader measures with a positive result for the elected official?

There may be other questions that you consider pertinent as well. I welcome any thoughts you the reader have. If this is a gap in the adoption of broader measures of progress how can we bridge this gap?

Here is a link to the Fellowship announcement

Thanks very much.

Kind regards,

Tani Shaw
Sustainable Economy Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Development
& PhD Candidate, Institute for Sustainable Future, University of Technology, Sydney

1 comment:

  1. Tani, congratulations on the fellowship. That's good news. One potential group of people who might be able to contribute to this are the various schools of government around the world(like the Kennedy School at Harvard). In particular you could start by trying ANZSOG ( (the Aus and NZ school of gov). The students are experienced public servants from a variety of disciplines and they often work together on research projects. This could be a good one. Sydney Uni is a part of the school I think, though its administered from Melbourne. If you like I can try to put you in touch with people there - I took their first masters course a few years ago.

    All the best