Davos: OECD's Gurría talks metrics that matter, going beyond GDP


30/01/2012 - OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría highlighted the importance of developing new metrics for measuring progress that go beyond GDP during a discussion on 28 January 2012 at the World Economic Forum in Davos.


Mr Gurría said that the economic crisis has shown that it is essential to make well-being a central criteria for determining policies. Governments’ response to the crisis must be based around policies that lay the foundation for more inclusive and sustainable growth in the future, he said.



The OECD is playing a leading role in the global movement towards more effective measurement of well-being and progress of societies.


The Better Life Initiative, which was launched in May 2011 is a first attempt to bring together internationally comparable well-being measures. One component of the initiative is the How’s Life? report, which presents indicators for 11 dimensions of people's well-being in 40 countries. Another component is Your Better Life Index, an interactive tool enabling citizens to rate countries according to their own preferences about what matters most in life.


The OECD is also simultaneously pursuing a broad statistical and research agenda, in close collaboration with its member and partner countries, national statistical agencies and international organisations. The agenda aims to lay the foundations for  better statistics tomorrow, and is closely aligned with the recommendations of the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission, which reported on going beyond GDP in 2009, as well as many ongoing national and regional initiatives.


New measurement work undertaken by the OECD covers: the inclusion of disparities in national accounts; integrated analysis of the joint distribution of households’ income, consumption and wealth; development of better measures of morbidity and adults’ competencies; estimates of carbon-emissions embedded in consumption; development of monetary measures of the stock of human capital; and guidelines on measuring subjective well-being.


The OECD is organising the Fourth World Forum on Measuring Well-being and Fostering the Progress of Societies, in New Delhi in October 2012. Regional conferences will help governments prepare for the New Delhi forum: two were held in Latin America and Asia in 2011, and two more are planned for 2012, in Africa and Europe.
The OECD has also developed a Wiki platform – Wikiprogress – through which those interested in well-being issues worldwide can share ideas and data about progress.


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