What is a strong wellbeing framework? A New discussion paper The Centre for Thriving Places supported by Carnegie UK has analysed eight models in order to identify core elements. Nancy Hey, our Executive Director, was one of the advisors.
Joanne Smithson, Head of Implementation, walks us through key insights and shows how to tailor the right framework to your particular context.
We gather evidence to improve well-being and share this knowledge with others. We can use wellbeing frameworks to identify the most important factors that have an impact on our performance and track our progress in improving it.
The essential complement to economic success is well-being, especially Gross Domestic Product. There are many wellbeing frameworks that can be used at all levels of life, from the local to the national. ONS Dashboard for Measures of National WellbeingThe metric measures the UK’s performance across 10 domains using 44 indicators.
Key findings from the paper The Shared Ingredients for a Healthy Economy
This discussion paper, which has just been published, explores the many wellbeing frameworks that are available at the UK’s local level. It also puts them in context with some of the international, sub-national and national models, dashboards, and indices.
It examines eight frameworks that are already in use to do so:
- The Thriving Places Index The Centre for Thriving Places
- The SEED Model Carnegie UK
- The Doughnut Economy Model Kate Raworth, Doughnut Economics Action Lab
- The UN Sustainable Development Goals
- The Future Generations’ Well-being (Wales) Act
- The Scottish National Performance Framework
- The Office for National Statistics National Wellbeing Dashboard: Measures
- The OECD Better Life Index
Comparing these models, the paper shows that there is an emerging consensus about what drives improvement in quality of living and how to achieve it. Although the frameworks have different emphasises and languages, and the organizations that support their adoption offer different levels of support, tools, and guidance, there is an emerging consensus about what the components are for a sustainable and equitable wellbeing economy.
Three main goals of wellness frameworks are identified in the paper:
- Living well Providing the right conditions for people to flourish and thrive
- Fair Delivering equity with this, everyone wins
- Green Delivering sustainably, so that the planet and future generations thrive.
The paper below the headlines highlights eight themes, or domains, buckets, or baskets that all models considered important.
The paper concludes by urging people to take action to make positive changes in their communities, cities, towns, and regions.
The key takeaway is that There is no one best wellbeing framework. It is more important to select the one that will work for you.You can also find out where to evaluate its impact on improving the well-being of individuals and communities, as well as reducing inequalities.
What does it mean in practice?
What if there isn’t a ‘best in class’? A wellbeing ‘lens’ This helps us to understand complex policy outcomes and impacts. Our research and practice into Local government policies to maximize wellbeing It is clear that frameworks that work well are built around the dominant policy goal and tailored to the specific area they are working in.
Public health is your best option for wellbeing, Prof. Sir Michael Marmot provides your justification:
“Making wellbeing the central goal of policy rather than just economic performance will create a better society with greater health and equity.” The Marmot Review – ten years on, p.150 (Marmot et. al. 2020).
You may be working at a county, regional or unitary level.OHID’s Fingertips has a new wellness domain:. Profile of Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for Mental Health and Wellbeing (JSNA). This provides a solid foundation of core wellbeing data.
This practice example Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council describe how they tailored the Data Framework for Local Wellbeing Needs The same framework that was used to create the Fingertips wellbeing profile – to meet their requirements as a coastal authority. These measures included local measures of beach quality and water quality, measures of leisure activities and arts related to tourism and heritage assets, and key findings from Chief Medical Officer’s Report on Health in Coastal Communities. They also included data on local employment opportunities.
A holistic approach to wellbeing is one that considers the whole economy.The Centre for Thriving Places Thriving Places Index It is a powerful communication tool that can be used to engage citizens and other stakeholders in the development of a wellbeing approach to changing. It can be used in smaller areas and tailored to suit a wide variety of geographical locations.
Priority for Camden Council Their wellbeing framework was developed by gaining a better understanding of the lives of residents and their daily experiences. They started with a hyperlocal project in Euston to try out an approach and implement it on a small scale before expanding to the entire borough. Their wellbeing framework was built through resident engagement in the Project Good Life EustonSix domains were identified by the authors as’states’ of being, with systemic equity and a positive state of being as their main goals.
The six domains Camden identified and the eight themes in the new discussion paper are strong components of a solid wellness framework. There is strong agreement between them.
- Secure livelihoods
- Communities, cultures, and identities are rich in community.
- Environmental revitalisation;
- Services and spaces
- Positive connections
- Formal and informal learning
The other end of the spectrum is spatial geography. Working at the national level, New Zealand’s Living Standards Framework The Better Life Index was adapted and developed by the OECD. It was last updated in 2021. The framework now includes children’s wellbeing as well as country-specific aspects such cultural heritage at the Institutions and Governance level.
The resources below can be used by local decision-makers to understand the wellbeing and community of their constituents, and to take steps to improve it.
- Check out the Discussion paper
- Explore the Framework for Data on Local Wellbeing Needs
- Check out the Redcar and Cleveland are two examples of this practice
- Check out the Camden Council practice example
- Our publication contains more examples and an overview. Policy should include evidence of well-being
- Check out our review What works to improve wellbeing across various interventions? To summarise and systematically identify evidence from evaluations that use standardised measures and wellbeing frameworks.
- This podcast is available to listen to How wellbeing frameworks are used in practice
- See the evidence in the House of Lords Covid 19, Committee on Measuring Wellbeing
- Use our wellbeing policy making Self-assessment tool To strengthen your wellbeing policy
“If decision-makers at all levels of the UK and abroad choose to use these evidence and these models and to take advantage of the resources available to them, there is real potential to rewire the economy to solve the many social and environment crises we face.” – Liz Zeidler Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Thriving Places