Involving citizens and communities in securing societal progress for the well-being of all – Methodological guide

Synopsis

Over the last 60 years, the idea that the creation of material wealth is essential for ensuring the well-being and fundamental rights of citizens has been broadly predominant. In this organisational model, based on an increase in quantitative wealth, there is an implicit link between growth, individual well-being and collective well-being. This view of constant improvement presupposes a commitment by states and businesses to the fair distribution of the benefits of growth. Accordingly, states – as guarantors of the collective well-being – have focused their efforts on improving gross domestic product (GDP).
Today, globalisation has destroyed the ethical link between growth and national well-being. A “negative” perception of GDP has developed as a result of problems of pollution, environmental destruction, increased inequalities between social groups and especially the realisation that growth alone is unable to secure material well-being for all or optimism for the future.
At a time when confidence has suffered significantly and when the old benchmarks are being challenged, this guide, following on from the Methodological guide entitled Concerted development of social cohesion indicators (2005), addresses the concept of societal progress for the well-being of all by involving citizens and human communities in defining what this means and how it can be brought about. It explains how we can move from the idea of well-being pure and simple to well-being for all, and describes the interactions between personal and collective well-being so as to build a shared vision of the future and an ability to work together based on deliberation, devising measurement tools and consultation, in an approach which takes into account both present and future generations.
This guide seeks to foster an approach to progress in order to make it more easily manageable and give it a more human face.
With this guide, the Council of Europe is making a contribution to the current debate on progress and well-being from its own perspective, which is to renew and strengthen democratic processes and the ability of citizens to be involved in the decisions relating to the challenges facing society.

Contents

Preface

Presentation of the guide and acknowledgements

Introduction

Part 1 — Rethinking well-being together with citizens and communities
Introduction                                                                                                                                           

CHAPTER 1 – A MULTITUDE OF INITIATIVES WORLDWIDE
CHAPTER 2 – DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE INITIATIVES
CHAPTER 3 – DEVELOPING A GENERAL REFERENCE FRAMEWORK
Conclusion

Part 2 — Rethinking progress Introduction
CHAPTER 1 – UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING OF PROGRESS TODAY 

CHAPTER 2 – RETHINKING STRATEGIES FOR PROGRESS
CHAPTER 3 – CONTRIBUTIONS, LIMITATIONS AND FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE EXISTING INITIATIVES FOR SOCIETAL PROGRESS
Conclusion

Part 3 — Rethinking reference frameworks
Introduction

CHAPTER 1 – IDENTIFYING THE COMPONENTS OF WELL-BEING FOR ALL (SOCIETAL PROGRESS)
CHAPTER 2 – BUILDING SOCIETY’S CAPACITY TO ENSURE WELL-BEING FOR ALL 
CHAPTER 3 – FINE-TUNING THE REFERENCE FRAMEWORK TO COMBINE METHODS
Conclusion

Part 4 — Rethinking the tools of societal progress (indicators)
Introduction

CHAPTER 1 – GENERAL APPROACH TO INDICATORS AS KNOWLEDGE AND ACTION TOOLS
CHAPTER 2 – METHODS FOR CONSTRUCTING INDICATORS OF SOCIETAL PROGRESS 
CHAPTER 3 – FROM INDICATORS TO ACTION STRATEGIES
Conclusion

Part 5 – Rethinking methods
Introduction                                                                                                                                                    

CHAPTER 1 – METHODS OF CONDUCTING ELABORATIVE PROCESSES AT LOCAL LEVEL 
CHAPTER 2 – METHODS OF CONDUCTING ELABORATIVE PROCESSES RELATING TO THE OTHER LEVELS 
CHAPTER 3 – METHODS OF CONDUCTING THE LAST FOUR PHASES OF ELABORATIVE PROCESSES
Conclusion

General conclusion

References

Fonte: Council of Europe