Assessing & reforming existing policies

Which policies are no longer serving your vision? Which policies are harmful or support wellbeing?


To assess and adapt existing policies (e.g. regulations, social services, taxes, etc.) to be in line with your wellbeing priorities

Before developing new policies and programmes to shift the structure of your economy to promote wellbeing, it is important to assess the alignment of your existing policies with your wellbeing strategy and goals. This can help you to not only better understand which policies have been working well and why, but also support stronger policy coherence, which is key to ensuring you are not wasting resources on competing or conflicting policies or programmes.

The process of re-aligning policies will require consideration of which existing policies need to be phased out, adjusted, or expanded in order to achieve your wellbeing goals. By adjusting your existing policies first, you will maximise the impact of public resources and facilitate better coordination towards the achievement of your wellbeing goals.


To find the resources from all of these chapters, please visit the tools and resources page



  • Develop an inventory of policy instruments from across agencies and levels of government, and organise based on their alignment with wellbeing goals and identify policies that are cross-cutting.
  • Move beyond traditional ‘cost-benefit’ analysis to assess policies in terms of their contribution to current and future wellbeing (using multi-criteria or value-based assessments such as racial equity budgeting tools).
  • Evaluate regulations alongside power assessments and consider if they are protecting the rights of the most vulnerable or only of the most powerful in society.
  • Assess incentives and disincentives in terms of whether they encourage and reward the activities and behaviours most important for creating collective wellbeing.
  • Use participatory budgeting or other democratic methods to assess whether public provisions align with public wellbeing priorities and values.
  • Use systems analysis to map your existing policies and consider how they inter-relate with one another to foster wellbeing behaviours and activities.
  • Assess the current policy package to identify policies (or group of policies) that have worked well and understand why.
  • Assess options and alternative policy impacts by mapping wellbeing effects across dimensions, groups, and over time.
  • Consider the external policy environment or constraints that may be limiting impact on wellbeing and develop strategies for engaging and advocating for change in external policy discussions.
  • When adapting or expanding policies, ensure communities can adapt and align policies to their local context.
  • Phase out existing policies that are constraining desirable behaviours. This requires that you recognise the role of wellbeing economy policy as empowering society to realise their collective objectives rather than dictating behaviour.
  • Acknowledge the need to develop short-term policies to buffer impacts on those who are negatively impacted by the transition to a wellbeing economy.