Measuring wellbeing

How will you measure real progress? How will you ensure that the measurement doesn’t overtake the outcome?


Measure and assess wellbeing over time, in order to support effective policy development

As you move beyond GDP as the major indicator of progress, you will want to develop new wellbeing measurements. Developing wellbeing indicators can help you to better understand the current level of wellbeing and track its performance over time.

As the determinants of wellbeing are multi-dimensional, these measurements can help policymakers to better understand synergies and trade-offs between dimensions over time. Measuring wellbeing requires looking at how society as a whole is progressing across all of your various wellbeing dimensions, rather than using economic indicators as a proxy for wellbeing or focusing on specific areas at the expense of others.


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



  • Employ qualitative and quantitative methods to find appropriate indicators for the wellbeing priorities, noting that often, wellbeing priorities will be multi-dimensional or subjective.
  • Support local data generation and community engagement in the selection of indicators, making clear that community members will be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of policies.
  • Identify intuitive indicators that can be easily understood by a general audience.
  • Prioritise indicators that directly connect with desired outcomes, rather than an input/driver. For example, measure whether people feel safe in their neighbourhood (an outcome), rather than number of police officers (an input).
  • Find indicators that directly correspond to a dimension in your Wellbeing Framework and that have a positive relationship with other dimensions as well.
  • Explore existing wellbeing metrics and indicators for inspiration (see table), but ensure adaptation to your communities’ unique values and priorities.
  • Identify internationally comparable indicators, where possible, to benchmark performance against other countries and communities over time.