The Brief

The Carnegie UK Trust has been actively involved in promoting wellbeing in policy since the establishment of the first Carnegie Roundtable on Measuring What Matters in Scotland in 2010. Since 2011 we have published case studies of how governments and civil society organisations measure wellbeing in France, the USA, and Canada; made recommendations on next steps for the Scottish National Performance Framework; funded a policy assessment tool which uses wellbeing indicators to critique policy proposals; set out steps for developing a wellbeing framework in Northern Ireland; produced guidance on wellbeing frameworks for cities and regions; and convened an international roundtable discussion on the successes and challenges of developing high-level strategies based on wellbeing and translating this to policy action.

In 2020 we launched our Gross Domestic Wellbeing (GDWe) index for England. GDWe offers a holistic alternative to GDP as a measure of social progress. Using the framework and data in the Office for National Statistics Measures of National Wellbeing Dashboard, the Trust has developed – for the first time – a tool that provides a single figure for GDWe in England. Our analysis found that GDWe in England was in decline before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Urgent action is therefore needed to refocus decision-making on wellbeing.

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Jennifer Wallace

Pippa Coutts

Hannah Ormston

Ben Thurman





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