Measuring more than just GDP


Social Progress Index (SPI)

Measuring more than just GDP

To measure a country’s development, measuring economic growth is no longer enough. Society also needs to focus on basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing and opportunity. Measuring a society’s success must go beyond the realms of economic outcomes.

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Executive Summary

With the support of Deloitte, the Social Progress Imperative, a US non-profit organisation, has released its Social Progress Index 2015 report. The Social Progress Index is a new index that measures growth by analysing the progress of a country’s social aspects. This index is completely non-economic and is set to act alongside GDP as a complementary tool, a core benchmark to provide a whole and inclusive view of a country’s progress. It is based on four key design principles:

  1. Exclusively social and environmental indicators
  2. Outcomes that matter to the lives of real people, not the inputs
  3. A holistic index that is relevant to all countries (holistic measure of social progress that encompasses the many aspects of health of societies)
  4. Actionable: an index as a practical tool to help implement policies and programs that will faster drive social progress

In other words, by using 52 indicators, the SPI can more accurately measure how well a society is doing. It helps us to thoroughly understand the level of social progress being achieved in a given society across numerous dimensions/components, such as:

  • Basic human needs
  • Foundations of wellbeing
  • Opportunity

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