Events and Meetings of Italian Statistical Society, Advances in Latent Variables - Methods, Models and Applications

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Measuring progress of our societies: a joint undertaking in the European Statistical System (ESS)
Marleen De Smedt

Last modified: 2013-06-14


The publication in August 2009 of the European Commission (EC)’s Communication on 'GDP and Beyond: Measuring progress in a changing world' and the release of the 'Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission’ (SSFC) report gave a boost to better measuring social, economic and environmental developments, including complementing GDP with environmental and social indicators (i.e. measuring quality of life and wellbeing), more accurate reporting on inequalities, and extending national accounts to environmental and social issues. The ESS’ response to this renewed policy environment was the creation of a Sponsorship Group 'Measuring progress, well-being and sustainable development' which prepared recommendations on households' perspective and distributional aspects of income, consumption and wealth, on environmental sustainability and on the multidimensional measurement of quality of life. The Sponsorship Group’s report identifies about 50 concrete actions (to be carried out by 2020), which have been integrated in the EC’s Statistical Work Programme. These actions are now being implemented in line with the EC’s Communication towards robust quality management on European statistics 5 and according to the EC’s Communication on the production method on statistics (Eurostat’s vision).The 50 actions cover three priority areas: a) better measuring households’ income, consumption and wealth and their joint distributions, b) better measuring the environmental dimensions of growth and progress – including extending national accounts to cover environmental and social issues and c) developing social indicators related to quality of life and well-being.

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