Progress in the news - December 2011


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Progress in the news December

Expectations, cultural perspectives define happiness, pollster says

The key message from a Cambridge University study about a countrys happiness is that the UK government, like many around the world, now recognises that economic measures such as GDP do not provide adequate information about a societys progress.

The key message from a Cambridge University study about a country's happiness is that the UK government, like many around the world, now recognises that economic measures such as GDP do not provide adequate information about a society's progress.

If you work in the Government, it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking in terms of numbers and forget that behind every statistic there is a human story.

A new economic order is taking shape before our eyes, and it is one that includes accelerated convergence between the old Western powers and the emerging world’s major new players.

The United Nations human rights chief today called on Bahraini authorities to address the “deepening mistrust” between the Government and civil society, including by releasing those detained for participating in peaceful protests.

The internationally stated goal of improving access to safe drinking water across the globe is likely to be achieved well ahead of the 2015 deadline, but large numbers of people in the world's least developed regions will still not benefit, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday

“Happiness,” said Aristotle, “depends upon ourselves.”

Bhutan's Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley Tuesday said that happiness is the purpose and ultimate desire of every human being and for real sustainable growth, the needs of body and mind have to be attended to equally.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today lavished praises on his Bhutanese counterpart Jigmi Y Thinley saying he gave "practical meaning" to the Gross National Happiness concept of the Kingdom in the functioning of his government and wanted India to learn from it.

Some economists have questioned the National Economic and Development Authority’s forecast that the Philippines has a “good chance” of meeting its 4.5 to 5.5 percent economic growth target for 2011 and its 5 to 6 percent aim for 2012.

It seems that the current political developments which are capricious have overshadowed the findings of the recently released UNDP report on the Human Development Index

Polaris, or the North Star, is a reliable guide to measure one’s latitude in the northern hemisphere.

But with a billion extremely poor people on Earth, funding must only go to effective organizations

With the EU battling against failing economies and a faltering single currency, world leaders are embroiled in a worrying and traumatic financial crisis this winter

One of the initial discussion points, and personal objectives, was to place some kind of parametres on the notion of open innovation.

In 2011, social media gave legs to the 'Occupy' movement and mass protests in the Middle East.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has been measuring social progress since 2002, writes Imogen Wall, project leader of the Bureau's Measures of Australia's Progress 2.0 consultation process.

Who are the world's biggest employers?

With a final score of 5-4, UNDP won the 2011 Match Against Poverty against HSV in Hamburg, Germany, on 13 December, 2011 before more than 24,000 spectators. The match was broadcast live in more than 25 countries.

Dr Grace Bediako, Government Statistician, has said an African Gender Statistic Group will soon be launched to help with the mainstreaming of gender into national and international statistics programmes.

A Mongolian environment science professor notes that per capita carbon emissions are a simple, available and quantifiable indicator, which is seen to be positively and strongly correlated with income and not at all with health and education

The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Centre was launched in Qatar yesterday with a call by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to fight corruption and promote human rights to achieve all the Millennium Development Goals.

With prices of foods skyrocketing, more hard times await Nigerian children as statistics available have shown that two out of every five Nigerian children are chronically malnourished.

Despite the recent spate of murders, robberies, attacks on women and petty thefts here, Mumbai in general perception remains among the safest cities in the country

After a visit from the young King of Bhutan and his beautiful new pride, Japan got “Gross National Happiness” fever, it seems, and so has Taiwan.

New numbers are to the press as shiny bottle caps are to magpies.

The figures for the growth in gross domestic product were out again this week, but for some time I have been concerned about our national fixation on GDP.


The Herald - Lateral Economics Index of Australia's Well-being adjusts GDP to take into account the changes in value of the nation's stock of physical, environmental and human capital. It also adjusts for changes in health, inequality and job satisfaction to provide a better measure of national wellbeing than traditional economic measures.

Bo Shide spends all day and many nights on the internet. But he is not the average Chinese “netizen”.

What is happiness? Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, wrote, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” John Lennon had a different take: “Happiness is a warm gun.”

Efforts needed to transform national achievements into individual happiness

Two United Nations officials called today for developed countries to fulfil their aid pledges for developing countries, stressing that without aid, they run the risk of falling behind as the global economic crisis spreads to their nations.

The Cabinet Office unveiled on Monday a set of indicators designed to measure public happiness to complement government economic statistics.

Announced at the opening of an Asia-Pacific forum on well-being held in Tokyo, the statistics are designed to gauge happiness based on three major factors — socioeconomic conditions, physical and mental health, and relationships.

Some breathed a sigh of relief last month when Occupy movement protests against economic inequality across the continent were evicted – be it by fire code and injunction, as in Vancouver, or police spies and massive tactical team raids as in parts of the U.S.

As a fast-developing neighboring country to the south, Taiwan is also considering conducting a su

A new report finds that the gap between the rich and the poor just keeps getting wider in Canada.

India has become "less equal over time" and earnings inequality in the country has increased significantly since the early 1990s, Paris-based think tank OECD said today. 

Researchers, advocates, development partners, business people and policymakers gathered this weekend for Agriculture and Rural Development Day 3 and Forest Day 5.

'The richest countries caused the problem, but it is the world's poorest who are suffering from the effects.'

Transparency International defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain

Women have made huge progress in the workplace, says Barbara Beck, Special reports editor of The Economist, and the author of our special report on the subject. 

Video - The filmmaker Matt Wolf and the writer Jon Savage reflect on the history of youth in times of crisis.

The gap between rich and poor in OECD countries has reached its highest level for over over 30 years, and governments must act quickly to tackle inequality, according to a new OECD report.

Are First Nations reserves in trouble? The recent coverage of northern Ontario's Attawapiskat reserve and its squalid conditions suggest the answer is yes. So, too, Ottawa's decision to put Attawapiskat band finances under third-party control.

A recent report says many countries in Africa are not on track to meet adequate sanitation and clean water standards pledged for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

After £2million and several months, an official inquiry to discover whether we are happy has concluded that most of us are.

We're in the grip of an economic disaster, with people in fear for their jobs and financial security - but a new survey claims we are still a happy bunch.

The first results of the PM's happiness survey find Britons feel just fine – or so they say

Women and pensioners are the happiest people in Britain, new figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest.

About three-quarters of people in the UK are satisfied with life, according to a study to measure well-being by the Office for National Statistics.

The 1930s brought poverty but also better health – partly because inequality declined. Today's situation is rather different

China and India have agreed to join a global partnership on aid effectiveness but on vague terms that cast doubt on their willingness to stick by principles set by traditional donors.

Community notice board

The community notice board is a place for the community to interact. Feel free to post questions and comments here.

A new OpenSource project is trying a strategy to prevent researcher bias arising from the weighting of indicators for composite indices (alias 'mashup indices'). It is called Yourtopia and would be very grateful for your critiques, suggestions and participation.


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