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A Well-Being Framework for Ireland: NESC publishes new Council report No.155

Covid-19 has had profound impacts on societal and economic well-being. As Ireland begins to recover from the pandemic, progress will need to be understood beyond traditional measures of economic growth.

Ireland has committed to developing new measures of well-being and progress, and the latest NESC Council report, published today presents findings from a consultation designed to ensure that the well-being framework is shaped by the priorities of citizens and stakeholders.

Dr. Larry O’Connell, Director of NESC, said ‘there is a compelling case for developing a well-being framework in Ireland. A clear message from the consultation is that by supporting a more holistic approach to policy-making such a framework offers an opportunity to bring about a fairer and more sustainable Ireland. A key benefit of a well-being framework is that it can help to create a shared vision which mobilises action by linking policy action and review to the ‘measured’ lived experience of citizens.’

The consultation process engaged with a wide range of stakeholders and experts and included an on-line survey shared with over 500 organisations.

Commenting on the consultation findings, the project lead, Niamh Garvey said, ‘To adequately capture the concerns of Irish citizens a well-being framework should reflect the priorities of health and mental health, housing, the environment and green space, as well as culture, language and heritage. It should include indicators related to self-efficacy or agency, social connections and loneliness as well as access to green space and nature, all of which came up as key priorities during the consultation. Further work is needed to ensure the framework gives adequate weighting to long-term environmental sustainability.’

The report will contribute to the on-going development of a well-being framework for Ireland. The report recommends that future work can include an overall vision shaped by three overarching priorities: equity, agency and sustainability and that further consultation will be central to enhancing public ownership and buy-in. It identifies four lines of action to support future work on the well-being framework including further research to better understand how well-being frameworks support transformational change; research to foster a deeper understanding of equity; developing enhanced processes and institutions to support engagement and agency; and further research on improved data and reporting on sustainability.

View Ireland’s Well-Being Framework: Consultation Report

For further information, please contact:

Niamh Garvey:

Note to Editors: 

Following the Programme for Government’s commitment to developing a well-being framework for Ireland, NESC was asked to consult with stakeholders and experts to inform the development of a well-being framework. The Department of the Taoiseach is leading this work, which is jointly sponsored by the Departments of Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and supported by a wider Inter-departmental Working Group.

The National Economic and Social Council provided a vehicle for consultation with stakeholders, both through members of the Council representing different social partnership pillars, as well as external experts and interested parties and this report is based on these engagements and consultation and was an important input to the Government’s First Report on a Well-being Framework for Ireland.

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