Friday, 25 October 2013

Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) wins international award for work with City of Guelph

This article by the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW), is part of the Wikiprogress series  on Indicators.  

The Community Indicators Consortium (CIC) Impact award celebrates projects from around the world that demonstrate the power of indicators to drive positive community change. “It was an honour to attend #CICSummit 2013 and be surrounded by communities and researchers doing amazing work” says CIW Associate Director of Research Margo Hilbrecht, in Chicago last week with the City of Guelph to give a presentation and receive the prestigious award; the CIW’s first international award. 

This award is a success story originating from a demand for local data after the launch of the CIW national composite index of wellbeing report How are Canadians Really doing? First to approach the CIW for local data was the City of Guelph, Ontario and it resulted in the development of a new Community Wellbeing Survey tool. This innovation is the first of its kind in Canada and uses the CIW framework as a guide to ask residents how they are really doing

The findings from the CIW survey, along with all of the other information gathered from the extensive community engagement process undertaken by the City of Guelph, has been used to create a community profile and the City’s new community wellbeing strategy. The strategy aims to improve services and facilitate community-wide action to enhance wellbeing in Guelph. 

Mayor Karen Farbridge says 
receiving the Impact Award is a clear indication of how the Guelph community strongly values wellbeing…the initiative is a model of how residents and government can work together and share accountability to achieve better outcomes.” 

For more information contact CIW.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Why use maps to explore peace?

This blog is by Philippa Lysaght from Vision of Humanity  as a part of the Wikiprogress blog series on indicators.
Mapping peace allows people from around the world to navigate the complex fabric of peace and to question what makes societies peaceful.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are thrilled to announce that the Global Peace Index map has been long listed for the 2013 Information is Beautiful awards

Visualising the Global Peace Index was a challenging and exciting task. We thought we would share with you a little background on the interactive map and why we think it is important to visualise peace indices using a map. The Global Peace Index interactive map visualises the Global Peace Index (GPI), a composite index that measures peace in 162 countries according to 22 indicators.

The objective is to engage a diverse audience with peace research by encouraging you to explore levels of peacefulness around the world and discover what makes a country peaceful.

The GPI is a very large and complicated index; the challenge is to represent the data in an understandable and meaningful way, while ensuring it remains relevant, engaging and beautiful.

To deal with the complexity of the index the data is visualised in layers, allowing you to choose if and when you are ready to dig deeper and discover more. At the global level, the map gives you an instant understanding of levels of peacefulness around the world; it also allows you to see how peace changes over time. As you navigate the map, the tool tip informs you of the rank and encourages you to discover more. Once a country has been selected, a “scorecard” gives you a snapshot of levels of peace in that country by creating a national peace profile and summarising the index into three categories.

The “related news” section of the scorecard brings relevance to a country’s peace score by linking the research to current news and events. Digging deeper, you can discover the “full stats” of a country, allowing you to breakdown the peace score according to each indicator of the GPI – this will help explain why the country you are looking at is more or less peaceful than you thought, engaging you further with the research and making you really question what makes a society peaceful.

At the global level, you can already compare peacefulness by country according to the colour scale; however there is more to compare. If you want to discover why the United States is less peaceful than northward neighbour Canada, you can simply click on both countries to get an overview of levels of peace according to three key categories.  To explore the data further you can select a “full stats comparison,” which gives you a detailed comparison by indicator.

Peace is a complex concept; there are many different factors that contribute to levels of peacefulness. The GPI’s 22 indicators give a pretty comprehensive view of peace. As a composite index, scoring poorly or well on one indicator will affect your overall score and ranking, so it is important that you can see how different countries fare according to each indicator of peace. At the global level, you can “select an indicator” and view the world according to that element of peace. For example, seeing the world according to the indicator “Number of Deaths from Internal Conflict” immediately highlights countries affected by the Arab Spring, as well as the drug war in Mexico.

What makes this method of visualisation so powerful is its ability to engage a wide audience with the very complex concept of peace in a way that encourages a deeper understanding.  

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Measuring Progress at the British Business Bank – beyond GDP

This blog by Charles Seaford discusses the recommendations for a state owned business bank from the Good Jobs Taskforce that is presented in the report 'The British Business Bank'. 

By the end of next year, the UK government’s British Business Bank, currently under construction, will have landed. It’s mission? To boost the UK economy by increasing flows of finance to our cash-strapped small businesses.

It’s good news, for sure – but is that all the new institution could do? In a recent report, the new economics foundation (nef) makes the case for dramatically extending the mandate of the British Business Bank. We argue that its core purpose should be to support not just any small businesses, but specifically the kinds that create good, sustainable jobs. That is, jobs that deliver high well-being, contribute to a fairer society, and will remain viable as we move to a low-carbon future.

It’s an easy objective to state. But the details matter. That’s why our report aims to prove that it is possible in practice to create and deliver against a new set of economic policy objectives, beyond simply growing GDP or reducing unemployment.

All this means particular attention has to be paid to the bank’s performance indicator framework, which will be used to guide lending and investment decisions. For these will need to take into account questions such as: how good an employer is the loan applicant? How does its environmental record compare with other similar businesses? Is the business in a sector that is financially sustainable given global trends? What impact will it have on the rest of the regional economy? The report goes into a lot more detail about what such questions mean both for the indicator framework and targets set for the bank’s managers, and for the kind of products and processes they use.

It is important that the bank serves all parts of the country and the indicators would need to be constructed on a regional basis. In addition, international experience suggests the bank should work with a network of partner regional banks. Unfortunately the latter don’t exist in the UK – one of the UK economy’s big problems. However, we do have a possible way of dealing with this: it may be possible to break up the Royal Bank of Scotland (currently 82% owned by the state) to provide the necessary network of branches. This would have a number of other benefits – above all bankers who understand the localities they serve – and we are investigating just how feasible this would be.

Discussion of banking performance indicators may seem a rather dry topic – but this is the kind of low key policy lever that could make a big difference to people and small businesses for years to come.

Charles Seaford
Head of the Centre for Wellbeing at the nef (new economics foundation)

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Road to Ending Child Labour

This blog, written by Wikichild co-ordinator Melinda Deleuze, is part of the Wikiprogress series on Child Labour. It highlights the major reports and steps towards the road to Brasilia, where the 3rd ILO Global Conference on Child Labour was held this week.

Yesterday wrapped up the International Labour Organisation's 3rd Global Conference on Child Labour. The event took place in Brasilia from 8-10 October, 2013 and provided an opportunity to discuss the progress made in the process towards eliminating child labour, especially its worst forms.
We are waiting to hear what the game plan of all the governments, social partners, civil societies, regional and international organisations  for accelerating the elimination of child labour by 2016. In the meantime, let's take a step back and recognise the pathway which led us up to Brasilia.
In 1973, the ILO passed the Minimum Age Convention (no. 138), requiring that people are at least 15, or a higher age determined by member states, or 14 for member states whose education systems are developing, before working, and 18 years old before dangerous work.
In 1998, the 86th International Labour Conference adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. This declaration contains four fundamental policies:
  1. The right of workers to associate freely and bargain collectively;
  2. The end of forced and compulsory labour;
  3. The end of child labour; and
  4. The end of unfair discrimination among workers.

In 1999, the ILO passed the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (no. 182), placing the duty upon member states to identify and take steps to prohibit the worst forms of child labour (slavery, prostitution, drug trafficking and other dangerous jobs).

World Day against Child Labour
The day, which is observed on June 12th, was first launched in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of these children. It is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour, reflected in the huge number of ratifications of ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour and ILO Convention No. 138 on the minimum age for employment.
The World Day Against Child Labour provides and opportunity to gain further support of individual governments and that of the ILO social partners, civil society and others, including schools, youth and women's groups as well as the media, in the campaign against child labour.
Global Report "A future without child labour" (2002)
This Report shows how the abolition of child labour has become a global cause for the new millennium. It explores the ever-changing manifestations of child labour throughout the world, and how girls and boys are affected differently, it presents new data on the scale of this stubborn problem, and it sheds new light on its complex, interlinked causes. It charts the growth of a global movement against child labour, reviewing the various types of action being taken by the ILO, its tripartite constituents (governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations) and other actors at international, national and local levels. The Report concludes with proposals for a three-pillar approach to strengthen the action of the ILO in this field, building upon the wealth of experience gained by the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) in the decade since its establishment.

Second Global Report "The end of child labour: Within reach" (2006)

This ILO Global Report on child labour highlights the progress made in combating child labour, steps the ILO has taken to act against child labour, and the global challenges faced when trying to eliminate child labour. The Report also set out a Global Action Plan to eliminate child labour for 2006-2010 (see below).

2010 Global Action Plan (2006)

The Action Plan set out time-bound targets for the elimination of child labour and gives IPEC’s strategic direction for its operations at the country, regional and global levels and outlines key actions to be taken to 2010.

Third Global Report "Accelerating Action Against Child Labour" (2010)

The focus of this Report on child labour is about honouring the commitments made in 2006 with the adoption of a Global Action Plan. The report shows that the pace of reduction in child labour has continued, but it has slowed down to a worrying extent. The report warns that unless decisive action is taken, the 2016 target will not be met. The report contrasts with the positive trends of the previous study done in 2006, which then led the ILO to set the goal of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016.

The 2nd Global Conference on Child Labour, the Hague (2010)  
"Towards a world without child labour - Mapping the road to 2016"

The year 2010 is 10 years after the coming into force of ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL), the most widely-ratified international labour convention, and it is 6 years ahead of the global target of eliminating the WFCL. 

The conference objectives were:
  • to achieve rapidly universal ratification of ILO Conventions Nos. 138 and 182
  • to deliver the commitment to take immediate and effective measures to end the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency; and
  • to agree on significantly intensified efforts to reach the 2016 goal laid down in the Global Action Plan.

Roadmap for action to eliminate the Worst Forms of Child labour by 2016 (2010)

At the Hague Global Child Labour Conference on 10-11 May 2010, more than 450 delegates from 80 countries agreed on a Roadmap aimed at “substantially increasing” global efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2016. The Roadmap calls on governments, social partners and civil society organizations to strengthen access to education, social protection and decent work. The Roadmap specifically calls on governments to “assess the impact of relevant policies on the worst forms of child labour, taking into account gender and age, put in place preventive and time-bound measures and make adequate financial resources available to fight the worst forms of child labour, including through international cooperation”.

Policy Note "Tackling child labour: From commitment to action" (2010)

This Policy note has a particular focus on the progress being made by ILO member States in ratification and application of the ILO’s child labour Conventions. It also aims to shed light on how the right to be protected from child labour can benefit from the recognition and enforcement of other fundamental principles and rights at work and public policies which promote social justice.

Marking progress against child labour: Global estimates and trends 2000-2012 (2013)

This report follows the Global Report series on child labour under the follow up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Its focus is on the presentation of the new fourth round of child labour estimates for 2012 and to identify the trends from 2000 to 2012. The estimates are based on refined estimation techniques fully comparable with the ones for 2000, 2004 and 2008 rounds. 
The new estimates presented in this Report indicate that 168 million children worldwide are in child labour, accounting for almost 11 percent of the child population as a whole. Children in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety and moral development make up more than half of all child labourers, numbering 85 million in absolute terms. The largest absolute number of child labourers is found in the Asia and the Pacific region but Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region with the highest incidence of child labour with more than one in five children in child labour.
There were almost 78 million fewer child labourers at the end of this period than at the beginning, a reduction of almost one-third. The fall in girls in child labour was particularly pronounced – there was a reduction of 40 percent in the number of girls in child labour as compared to 25 percent for boys. The total number of children in hazardous work, which comprises by far the largest share of those in the worst forms of child labour, declined by over half. Also progress was especially pronounced among younger children, with child labour for this group falling by over one-third between 2000 and 2012.

The 3rd Global Conference on Child Labour, Brasilia (2013)

At The Hague Global Chid Labour Conference (10-11 May 2010), the Government of Brazil announced that, in cooperation with the ILO, Brazil would host the III Global Child Labour Conference in 2013 to measure progress in implementing the The Hague Roadmap and towards the goal of 2016. The Conference is an opportunity for reflection and joint dialogue between government, social partners, civil society, regional and international organisations on the progress made in the process towards the elimination of child labour, especially its worst forms, as well as a space for presenting proposals of mechanisms to accelerate the elimination of this phenomenon. 

- Melinda Deleuze