Review report on Beyond GDP indicators: categorisation, intensions and impacts.

Final version of BRAINPOoL deliverable 1.1, A collaborative project funded by the European Commission under the FP7 programme (Contract no. 283024). CUEC Prague

Resumen :

The central assumption of the BRAINPOoL project is that indicators, if effectively embedded in the policy making process, are an effective transmission mechanism to connect research and policy. The creation of ‘Beyond GDP’ indicators can be seen as key to re-orienting policy, in turning an otherwise unfocused desire for change into concrete plans.

In this project ‘Beyond GDP indicators’ are defined as:

those indicators and indicator sets that have been proposed as necessary and central to the measurement of societal progress in a broad sense, other than those indicators, such as GDP or the unemployment rate, that are already playing this role.

As such, this definition is less about the indicators themselves, and more about how people propose they are used as well as about the selection and definition of assessed phenomena important for societal progress. National Statistics Offices (NSOs), Eurostat, OECD, the World Bank and other institutions are responding to the desire of governments at least to consider a more nuanced set of economic policy objectives than growth pure and simple. At the same time NGOs – that do not consider the existing official attempts sufficient and effective – are using indicators as an advocacy tool, and seeking more radical societal change. Some, but not all, of this activity is effective, that is it helps policy makers, and those influencing policy makers, crystallise their objectives, assess their performance, and as a result change and improve what they do.

This report:

  • Presents the range of different indicators and indicator initiatives

  • Explores the intentions of indicator promoters and producers

  • Reviews why some of this activity is successful and some not so effective, as understood by the indicator producers and promoters themselves.

  • Presents in detail information on a few representative initiatives

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