OECD Statistics Working Papers

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The OECD Statistics Working Paper Series - managed by the OECD Statistics Directorate – is designed to make available in a timely fashion and to a wider readership selected studies prepared by staff in the Secretariat or by outside consultants working on OECD projects. The papers included are of a technical, methodological or statistical policy nature and relate to statistical work relevant to the organisation. The Working Papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

Joint Working Paper

Measuring Well-being and Progress in Countries at Different Stages of Development: Towards a More Universal Conceptual Framework (with OECD Development Centre)

Measuring and Assessing Job Quality: The OECD Job Quality Framework (with OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs)

Forecasting GDP during and after the Great Recession: A contest between small-scale bridge and large-scale dynamic factor models (with OECD Economics Directorate)

Decoupling of wages from productivity: Macro-level facts(with OECD Economics Directorate)


Indicators of “Societal Progress”

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Katherine Scrivens1, Barbara Iasiello1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

30 June 2010
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This paper looks at different experiences in the development and use of societal progress indicator sets – at the European, national and sub-national level – with the aim of identifying useful lessons from these experiences. Five case studies are presented: the indicators used to support the EU ?Lisbon Strategy?; the UK Sustainable Development indicators; Measures of Australia?s Progress; Measuring Ireland?s Progress; and an example of a local community indicator initiative – the Santa Cruz Community Assessment Programme, in California. The paper concludes that for societal progress indicators to be used and applied in decision-making processes, then three conditions need to be met. First, the indicators should be seen as legitimate by the intended users. Second, the indicators should be set within a wider system that provides =fit-for-purpose‘ information. Third, an appropriate incentive structure must be in place for stakeholders to act on that information.
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