Council Report No.163 – Inequality and Well-Being Frameworks
- 26 July 2023
- Topics: Social
- Types: Press Releases
‘Well-being frameworks with specific goals and targets can help address inequality’
- As part of its 50th year work programme, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has published a new report, Inequality and Well-Being Frameworks (Council Report No.163).
- This report argues that a well-being framework has a number of strengths to help identify, and potentially address, inequalities.
- NESC recommends identifying gaps in the well-being data needed to detect inequalities, including environmental inequalities. It also recommends examining whether well-being frameworks which have both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ tools are likely to have a lasting positive impact on well-being and inequality.
As part of its 50th year work programme, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has published a new report, Inequality and Well-Being Frameworks (Council Report No.163). This looks in detail at how well-being frameworks can help to identify and address inequalities.
Well-being frameworks are a new policy approach incorporating a broad range of national well-being goals, and regular measurement of these. They go beyond the economic metrics usually focused on by policy-makers. Ireland adopted a well-being framework in 2021.
Speaking on the publication of the report, Dr Larry O’Connell, Director of NESC, said: “Since 1973, the NESC Council has been providing valuable and trusted strategic research, dialogue, and advice to government to help improve policy and guide it through periods of uncertainty. Now it argues that national well-being goals, with specific dates by which the goals must be met, are likely to lead to longer lasting positive outcomes for groups affected by inequalities.”
“Well-being frameworks bring new information into the policy space, but they need to collect more data on environmental inequalities and several groups impacted by inequality, such as ethnic minorities, Travellers and people with a disability”, said Dr Anne-Marie McGauran, author of the report.
NESC finds that the Irish well-being framework, while still at an early stage of development, is creating new ways of working, such as incorporating well-being dimensions into analysis for the Budget. These new ways of working have the potential to address inequalities.
The report recommends investigating if well-being frameworks which have ‘harder’ tools, such as legislation, as well as ‘softer’ tools such as measurement and consensus building, will be better able to address inequalities in the long term.
The report can be read in full HERE.
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NESC is celebrating 50 years of providing advice to the Taoiseach and Government on strategic policy issues relating to sustainable economic, social, and environment development in Ireland. To mark our 50th Anniversary, NESC will be hosting a full-day, in-person conference in the Printworks, Dublin Castle, on 23rd November 2023. Click here for more information.
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