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About Reframing Welfare Index

Social and individual welfare is more than just material wealth at the individual and social levels. It is a holistic aspiration of modern societies that reaches into the social, economic, political, financial, cultural, and environmental character of a society that allows all individuals to realise their full potential in a fair and just way.

Such a composite and complex notion is extremely hard to capture in a holistic way into a universal linear metric. Welfare is multifaceted, heterogeneous across time and space and non-linear. To capture this multidimensional concept, we propose a new composite index that seeks to explore, understand, measure, and reframe welfare; the Reframing Welfare Index (RWI). The proposed RWI addresses both normative and methodological issues that previous metrics lack, aiming at a holistic and robust measure of welfare.

The framework of the Index captures welfare in four main categories, the Foundations of welfare:

Just Societies

The Just Societies foundation captures the interrelational structures that exist between individuals in a society with formal and informal institutions in the quest of an inclusive, fair, just and collective social growth. This foundation consists of five pillars: 1) Formal Institutions, 2) Human Rights, 3) informal Institutions, 4) Religions and 5) Social Capital. Each pillar consists of multiple indicators.

Secured Livelihoods

The Secured Livelihoods foundation captures the levels, distribution and diffusion of the necessary means for human and societal flourishing. This foundation consists of six pillars: 1) Poverty, 2) Education, 3) Health, 4) Access, 5) Wealth and 6) Security. Each pillar consists of multiple indicators (See Appendix for full list and description).

Sustainable Open Economies

The Sustainable Open Economies foundation captures the interrelational economic structures at the individual and aggregate level, looking both at the supply and demand perspectives. This foundation aims to understand and measure the extent to which an economy both at the micro and macro level is competitive, open to innovation, conducive to investments and trade and facilitates inclusive growth. It consists of five pillars: 1) Output, 2) Employment, 3) Business Environment, 4) Investment Environment and 5) Innovation. Each pillar consists of multiple indicators.

Nature & Green Future

The Nature and Green Future foundation captures the natural capital stock and green initiatives of each country. This foundation consists of five pillars: 1) Land, 2) Water, 3) Air, 4) Sustainable Productions and 5) Green Transformation. Each pillar consists of multiple indicators.

Together, these foundations comprise of 21 weighted pillars. It is important to note that the pillars within each domain do not only associate with other pillars in the domain, but interrelate with pillars across the other foundations, and each pillar should therefore be understood in the wider context of the Index. For example, the Poverty pillar looks at the set of basic material conditions present in everyday life that provide the platform for members of society to attain wellbeing.

For each of the 21 pillars we have identified distinct indicators and interrelations that result a set of 184 distinct policy-focussed indices. Each index has been designed to reflect a discrete policy area that policymakers and others can influence, enabling actionable insight to be generated from the Index to help drive policy and other initiatives.

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