Canadian Index of Wellbeing – measuring what matters, February, 22, 2013
The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) is an idea and a tool. The CIW is a “big idea” that regards wellbeing as encompassing a wide variety of aspects of life, beyond economic measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is a conceptual framework drawing on a broad spectrum of domains of life that has the potential to create an ongoing national dialogue that will influence how Canadians think, feel, and act with regard to their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their communities. It is also a tool that is measuring what matters to Canadians, and increasingly, is making measures matter through its knowledge mobilisation and communications. It tracks wellbeing in an effort to offer clear, effective, and regular information on the quality of life of all Canadians. The combination is very powerful.
In 2012, the CIW rose to major challenges associated with taking the national composite index in-house to update for the October 2012 release and beginning the complex process of disaggregating indicators to the provincial level. CIW seized an unanticipated opportunity with the City of Guelph to develop a new CIW tool – a subjective wellbeing survey. CIW is gaining traction at the community level and will have an opportunity to engage up to another six communities in 2013.