1383.0.55.001 - Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators, 2008 (Edition 1)  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/04/2008   
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There are a number of initiatives relating to measuring progress and wellbeing at the international, national and sub-national levels. A selection of some of the more recent work is mentioned below.

  • The OECD World Forum on 'Statistics, Knowledge and Policy' was held in Istanbul in June 2007. The Forum provided an opportunity for discussion on the measurement of progress for societies. This project is continuing, working towards a third world forum in Korea in 2009.
  • The 'Beyond GDP' international conference was held in Brussels in November 2007. The conference aimed to clarify the indices that are most appropriate to measure progress, and how these can best be integrated into the decision-making process.
  • The Working Group on Statistics for Sustainable Development is finalising a report on statistics for sustainable development for presentation to the Conference of European Statisticians in June 2008. The report aims to articulate a broad conceptual framework for the measurement of sustainable development and identify a set of core indicators that may allow international comparisons.
  • A number of Australian state and territory governments have developed strategic plans that articulate priorities and goals for building a better society. In addition, community indicators are produced in some states to report on the wellbeing of communities. The following describes a selection of this work:
      • A New Direction for New South Wales, the NSW State Plan, released in 2006, sets out five areas of activity for the New South Wales Government including Rights, respect and responsibility, Delivering better services, Fairness and opportunity, Growing prosperity across NSW, and Environment for living.
      • Growing Victoria Together is a 10 year strategic plan beginning in 2001 and ending in 2010. It contains goals which balance social, economic and environmental considerations.
      • Community Indicators Victoria has been developed to present and report on the wellbeing of Victorians, using a set of community wellbeing indicators. Reports at the Local Government Area level, containing data from the 2007 Community Indicators Victoria Survey and other sources, are available for free from the website.
      • South Australia's Strategic Plan, updated in 2007, focuses on six themes including Growing prosperity, Improving wellbeing, Attaining sustainability, Fostering creativity and innovation, Building communities and Expanding opportunity.
      • Tasmania Together is a 20-year strategic plan (from 2001 to 2020) which contains 12 goals for Tasmania's long-term social, economic and environmental future.
      • The Canberra Social Plan sets out seven priorities to guide policy-makers over a 10 to 15 year period (from 2004).
  • The Australian Collaboration (a group of major peak bodies for national non-government organisations) in 2006 produced the report: Which Direction? A review of monitoring and reporting in Australia.
  • The UK Government launched a Sustainable Development Strategy in March 2005, called "Securing the Future", which sets out the vision of sustainable development through to 2020. In 2007, data on the indicators were updated in Sustainable development indicators in your pocket 2007.
  • Ireland's Central Statistics Office produced the 2006 edition of Measuring Ireland's Progress in April 2007. The publication provides an analysis of the economic, social and environmental situation in Ireland.
  • Other useful references are provided on the website of the International Institute of Sustainable Development.