Progress in the news - May 2011
In the News
Progress in the news
- U.S. Job Satisfaction Struggles to Recover to 2008 Levels (Gallup 31.05.2011)
Black Americans, those with low incomes are the least satisfied
- Don’t worry, be happy, regardless of dark news (Enid News and Eagle 31.05.2011)
The past few months have made it difficult to be happy.
- OECD launches happiness index (Business Report 30.05.2011)
A so-called “happiness index” to measure well-being and perceptions of living conditions came into life at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday.
- Visualising data: making statistics come alive (The Hindu 30.05.2011)
Visualisation is the name of the game. It is the art of bringing life to boring statistics, getting them to jump off dense grey text into colourful graphics that will actually make sense.
- Receiving culture trumps the creative for our well-being (The Independent 30.05.2011)
While all culture is good for our health, those that focus on just the 'doing' are missing out, writes Emer O'Kelly
- Bhutan climbs a learning curve for happiness (The Independent 29.05.2011)
Jigmi Yoeser Thinley, the 58-year old prime minister of Bhutan, says he was rebellious when he was young with “hair below my shoulders”.
- Africa's progress could help resolve world's many problems: PM (MSN 29.05.2011)
India looks upon Africa as a new growth pole for the world economy and its progress could help resolve problems relating to food and natural resources, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said.
- Africa: Widespread progress, better quality of life (AfroOnline 28.05.2011)
Critics of foreign aid to Africa say that much of the assistance goes to waste. But author and economist Charles Kenny sees things differently.
- Singapore can measure success beyond GDP growth: observers (Channel News Asia 28.05.2011)
Observers say the Singapore government is in a position to strengthen its efforts to look beyond economic growth as a measure of success.
- Poll: Hawaii is least stressed, Utah most (UPI 28.05.2011)
Living in paradise evidently has its advantages -- for the third year in a row, Hawaii is considered the least stressed state, a U.S. poll indicates.
- GDP growth is no measure of societal progress (Al Jazeera 27.05.2011)
The accumulation of a nation's wealth bears little relation to the happiness of its citizens, so why measure GDP growth?
- Wealthy West to measure happiness of countries (Sydney Morning Herald 27.05.2011)
The West's economics think tank has branched out into the field of happiness and wellbeing, setting up a new method of measuring progress that goes beyond the calculation of national output.
- Africa: Widespread Progress, Better Quality of Life (All Africa 26.05.2011)
The last few years have actually been really wonderful for Africa and actually it's hard to come up with a thing to be negative about. The Aids crisis continues, although thankfully it appears to be peaking.
- Iceland Ranked No. 1 On Global Peace Index (NPR 26.05.2011)
The world became slightly less peaceful over the last year. That's according to the new Global Peace Index, which attempts to rank 153 countries.
- Global Index Charts Year Of Continued Setbacks To World Peace (RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty 26.05.2011)
The world became slightly less peaceful in the past year, punctuated by violent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, but also marked by successes in countries like Slovenia and Georgia.
- NZ still peaceful, but Iceland better (TVNZ 26.05.2011)
New Zealand has been ousted by Iceland as the most peaceful nation in the world.
- Oman is among most peaceful countries (Times of Oman 26.05.2011)
The Global Peace Index (GPI) report published yesterday by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) puts the Sultanate of Oman on fourth position in the Arab region and 41st among the 153 world countries.
- Taiwan jumps to 27th in Global Peace Index ranking (Focus Taiwan News Channel 26.05.2011)
Taiwan is ranked 27th in the 2011 Global Peace Index (GPI) released Wednesday, up eight notches from last year.
- New Zealand ranked second most peaceful nation (New Zealand Herald 26.05.2011)
New Zealand is the second most peaceful place to live on the planet, according to a new global survey. Photo / Thinkstock New Zealand has been named the second most peaceful nation in the world.
- Money isn’t everything, says a new rich country index (First Post Economy 26.05.2011)
Money can’t buy you happiness. Or so goes the saying. And now we have hard numbers to prove it.
- Better life through higher income (National Post 26.05.2011)
I expected to hate the "Better Life Index" issued by the OECD this week to help celebrate the organization's 50th birthday. First there's the clumsy ambiguity in the name: Does "better" modify "life" or "index"?
- Korea Scores Low on OECD Happiness Index (The Chosun Ilbo 26.05.2011)
Korean people work 2256 hours on average per year, and 79 percent of the adults have at least high school diplomas.
- Canadians' priorities may differ, but life is still good (Vancouver Sun 26.05.2011)
Life's good. And if you don't believe me, check out the OECD's new Better Life Initiative, an interactive web page (accessible here) that lets you not only compare the quality of life in the organization's 34 ...
- Governance changes needed (Toronto Star 26.05.2011)
As usual in reporting such general indices as the OECD's Better Life Initiative rankings, problem areas in various countries get covered up by the overall scores. Many people will likely be surprised that Canada ranks only 14th out of the 34 OECD countries.
- Israel has high life expectancy, birthrate, poverty (Jerusalem Post 26.05.2011)
OECD's Better Life Index puts Israel near member states' average, shows strengths in education, weakness in workforce participation. In a new index released this week by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- Measuring happiness (Korea Times 26.05.2011)
hroughout history, all around the globe, humankind has been on a quest. A quest whose completion is as elusive as the Loch Ness monster, yet as easy to attain as looking in the mirror, that quest being the pursuit of happiness.
- In Africa, UN chief spotlights progress in improving women’s and children’s health (UN News Centre 25.05.2011)
Visiting health workers in Ethiopia today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spotlighted the progress made in improving the health of women and children, while also stressing the need to do more to avoid needless deaths.
- OECD aims to measure happiness (China Daily 25.05.2011)
A new approach is being taken to measure social progress with the launch of the OECD Better Life Initiative, which kicked off the OECD's 50th Anniversary Week on Tuesday.
- We've never had it so good - at least compared with the neighbours (The Independent 25.05.2011)
From health and wealth to working hours, a study finds life in Britain not so bad after all
- The pursuit of happiness (The Economist 24.05.2011)
A correlation between well-being and wealth
- Talkpoint: How would you measure development progress? (The Guardian 24.05.2011)
How would you measure progress in development? Dollars per day? Access to nutrition, education, health? What about rights?
- Quality of life rankings can be very misleading (Standard Freeholder 25.05.2011)
We Canadians, for the most part, understand that we are fortunate.
- Australians Among Happiest, OECD Lifestyle Index (Wall Street Journal 24.05.2011)
Shrugging off worries over the rising cost of living and a two-speed economy, Australia ranks among the top nations in the world for lifestyle and well-being, with its people working less and getting paid more than 33 other nations measured by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, in its new Better Life index.
- Will a Global "Happiness" Index Ever Beat Out GDP? (TIME 24.05.2011)
For several decades, economists have been dancing around the idea that economic growth doesn't equal happiness.
- So much to live for ... but so little time (Sydney Morning Herald 24.05.2011)
A new survey of living standards across the leading 34 industrial nations finds Australia at or near the top on almost every measure, but towards the bottom on the question of free time.
- OECD launches happiness index (AFP 24.05.2011)
A so-called "happiness index" to measure well-being and perceptions of living conditions came into life at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday.
- Separating GDP from happiness (Business 24.05.2011)
I wasn’t a memorable economics student at varsity. In fact I nearly failed the subject in my first year, partly because I’d spent too much time helping to stick and paste the student newspaper together, but mostly because I found the “social science” of economics counterintuitive
- Canadians can’t complain: Better Life Index (The Globe and Mail 24.05.2011)
All in all, Canadians are a pretty comfortable and happy lot. The country ranks at or near the top in many of 11 well-being indicators in a new quality of life index, unveiled Tuesday by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Only Australia topped Canada.
- Organisation launches 'happiness index' (News.Com 24.05.2011)
A so-called "happiness index" to measure well-being and perceptions of living conditions came into life at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) today.
- How's life? OECD proposes shift away from GDP as main progress indicator (Associated Press 24.05.2011)
An international agency known for its number crunching is offering a new way to measure how good life in your country is compared with others.
- Brits are happier and wealthier than European counterparts....but we're also fatter and frightened of going out after dark (Mail Online 24.05.2011)
It may come as a surprise to many, but living in the UK makes you one of the happiest people in Europe.
- We may be fat and frightened but Britons are getting happier (London Evening Standard 24.05.2011)
Britons are fatter and more scared than people in other European countries - but we work shorter hours and earn more, it emerged today.
- OECD turns 50, ageing with globalisation (AFP 24.05.2011)
From post-war reconstruction in Europe to the next age of globalisation, the OECD has been both navigator and pilot of vast economic change which it celebrates with a 50th birthday this week.
- OECD looks to measure the ‘better life’ (The Financial Times 24.05.2011)
It is time to move beyond gross domestic product when measuring the success of societies, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has concluded in a change of mission for the international organisation.
- Dunedin - not a bad place to live (Otago News 23.05.2011)
Hard on the heels of a national health survey showing Dunedin residents feel among the healthiest in the country, comes a further fillip to the city's residents.
- Commentary: Economic freedom key to improving society (Kansas City Star 23.05.2011)
My brother David and I have long supported the principles that help societies prosper. I have actively done so for nearly 50 years, as has my brother for more than 40.
- The Social Animal by David Brooks – review (The Guardian 22.05.2011)
The New York Times columnist adds some intellectual heft to the life manual genre
- 33% Women Reservation Bill in Nagaland:An analysis from women view point (The Morung Express 22.05.2011)
Throughout the world, systems of social stratification are gendered, based on differential evaluation of males and females. Social and Economic indicators for developing countries consistently show that women bear the brunt of hardship in poor communities.
- A Peace Of Lost Opportunities (Sunday Leader 22.05.2011)
The second anniversary of defeating the LTTE is being celebrated with quintessentially Rajapaksa pomp and pageantry.
- Gauge to see what’s beyond happiness (Times of Oman 21.05.2011)
Is happiness overrated? Martin Seligman now thinks so, which may seem like an odd position for the founder of the positive psychology movement.
- SNP urged to concentrate on well-being, not GDP (The Courier 20.05.2011)
The Scottish Government has been urged to spend less time measuring the nation's economic production and more time examining people's emotional well-being.
- Inland Empire economist urges community leaders to collaborate (VV Daily Press 20.05.2011)
As the Inland Empire grapples with a dismal economic climate, a local economist urged regional leaders Thursday to work together to improve education, employment, local control of public funds and quality of life.
- Technology and Human Progress – Relationship Status: It’s Complicated (Forbes 19.05.2011)
It takes guts to take on the Twitter community. It takes bigger guts to start a discussion around the hashtag #TwitterMakesYouStupid…on Twitter.
- Living happily ever after depends more on balance than cash (The Global Times 19.05.2011)
You may have cried a little when Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, but you may not be innocent enough to believe they will live happily ever after.
- Wellness study finds split in rich and poor (Daily Breeze 19.05.2011)
The South Bay, much like the rest of California, is starkly divided into the "haves" and the "have-nots," a new report released this week shows.
- Joy replaces GDP as China lets a thousand happy blossoms bloom (The Sydney Morning Herald 18.05.2011)
After three decades of pushing ever-higher growth rates and exhorting their countrymen that to get rich is glorious, China's Communist Party rulers have recently introduced a new economic mantra: be happy.
- IDB to hold its first forum on base of the pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean (IDB News 18.05.2011)
In June, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will hold its first-ever forum on innovative business models designed to unleash the potential of the 360 million people who make up the social and economic base of the pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Investigating healthy minds: Preschool study seeks to teach kindness (Wisconsin State Journal 18.05.2011)
When children in Kerri Lynch's preschool class get angry, they shake their "mind jars," homemade snow globes filled with water and glitter.
- Report breaks down quality of life into 5 Californias (Sacramento Business Journal 17.05.2011)
A new report ranking the quality of life in California, based partly on health and living standards, divides the state in five different categories -- basically the differences between the haves, the have lesses and the have nots.
- India Journal: Playing with Poverty Statistics (The Wall Street Journal 17.05.2011)
The poverty line for a given individual can be defined as the money the individual needs to achieve the minimum level of ‘welfare’ to not be deemed ‘poor,’ given its circumstances.”
- Human Development Indicators now accessible online through Google Public Data Explorer (UNDP 17.05.2011)
Human development statistics on Google’s Public Data Explorer lets web users visualize the latest HDI data for all UN member-states
- WHO report: Diseases once linked to rich nations increasingly affect poor (The Guardian 17.05.2011)
Progress has been made on key MDG health targets, but non-infectious diseases have spread to developing countries
- State ranks high for 'well-being,' but local results vary (California Watch 17.05.2011)
A Newport Beach resident can expect to live 88.1 years. Less than 40 miles north in Watts, life expectancy drops to 72.8 years – the lowest in California.
- Human Development Indicators now accessible online through Google Public Data Explorer (The Financial 17.05.2011)
In a move to provide greater global access to key human development indicators for all countries, Google’s innovative Public Data Explorer will now feature the latest Human Development Index (HDI) figures and direct links to the extensive Human Development Report database of international development statistics.
- A New Gauge to See What’s Beyond Happiness (New York Times 16.05.2011)
Martin Seligman now thinks so, which may seem like an odd position for the founder of the positive psychology movement.
- Happiness to be new measure for programs (PS News 16.05.2011)
The Commonwealth Ombudsman has promoted ‘happiness’ as a measuring tool for the success of Government policies and programs.
- Mapping Happiness: Analyzing an Interactive About a Nation’s Well-Being (New York Times 16.05.2011)
This month we’ve been experimenting with a new “Multimedia of the Week” feature, and today we have a second installment.
- At 65, Indian life expectancy up 8yrs since 1990 (The Times of India 16.05.2011)
An average Indian (factoring in both genders) lived eight years longer in 2009, compared to two decades ago. However, that figure was still three years less than the global average life expectancy (LE).
- LDC Meet Ends, Blame Game Begins (IPS 16.05.2011)
Mission not accomplished. This is in three words what more than 200 eminent speakers and panelists from over 70 participating countries in effect told their peers, the media and delegates who attended the U.N. Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Fourth Conference May 9-13 in Istanbul.
- Stronger south-south axis opens new chapter for least developed countries (The Guardian 16.05.2011)
The close cooperation in evidence at the UN conference means that the south will have more bargaining power in future
- Pay gap widening to Victorian levels (The Guardian 16.05.2011)
High pay commission forecasts top earners' slice of national income will rise from current 5% to 14% by 2030
- China tries to cure a happiness deficit (The Washington Post 15.05.2011)
After three decades of pushing ever-higher growth rates and exhorting their countrymen that “to get rich is glorious,” China’s Communist Party rulers have recently rolled out a new economic mantra: be happy.
- Koreans’ life expectancy at 80, ranks 20th: WHO (The Korea Times 15.05.2011)
South Koreans’ average life expectancy is now at 80, the 20th highest among 193 countries monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Flourish: A New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being — and How to Achieve Them by Martin Seligman — review (The Guardian 15.05.2011)
Wellbeing expert Richard Layard isn't entirely happy with the latest book from the guru of positive psychology…
- China vs. India: who’s winning? (The Boston Globe 15.05.2011)
The Cold War witnessed a space race and an arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. In our own era, the great competition may be the growth race between China and India.
- ‘GDP growth has benefited rich more than poor’ (Hindustan Times 13.05.2011)
India has admitted at a UN conference that high economic growth has benefited the rich more than the poor to oppose a proposal of introducing the concept of 'emerging' economies between developed and developing countries.
- Springfield third worst in wellness survey (The Springfield News and Sun 14.05.2011)
Springfield has been ranked the third worst city in a national survey released last year that calculates the population’s health and wellbeing.
- Worldwide, Peace and High Wellbeing Generally Coexist (Gallup 13.05.2011)
As leaders including the Dalai Lama gather in Newark, N.J., to discuss ways to cultivate peace-building, a new Gallup analysis finds countries with the highest wellbeing tend to be the most peaceful countries in the world and those with the lowest wellbeing are the least likely to be peaceful
- Does Big Government Make People Happy? (Live Science 13.05.2011)
In a time of vicious budget debates on Capitol Hill, a new study finds that the path to happiness might be through big government.
- South Dakota ranks 7th in national well-being survey (KSFY 13.05.2011)
1,000 people nationwide were interviewed every day, nearly 350 days a year, all to figure out what state ranks the best when it comes to your overall health and well-being.
- Strength in a smile (The Economist 12.05.2011)
A new discipline moves to centre-stage
- Least developed countries: Furious networking brings results (The Guardian 12.05.2011)
As politicians make worthy speeches about improving the lot of the poor, people from developing countries are busy making useful business connections
- UN Agrees to Hike International Assistance to Least Developed Countries (ABC Live 12.05.2011)
Istanbul (ABC Live): Broad agreement emerged today during the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries concerning the responsibility of the world’s poorest countries for their own development and the need for those recipient Governments to optimize international assistance, as the meeting continued into its third day.
- HEALTHWAYS INC : Gallup and Healthways Release April 2011 U.S. Well-Being Report (4 Traders 12.05.2011)
The WBI composite score of 66.2 remains relatively low and unchanged from March's score of 66.3. This is the eighth consecutive month that the score has remained between 66.0 and 66.7, showing little movement in the overall well-being of the nation.
- A Good Job Means a Good Life (Gallup Journal 11.05.2011)
Employee engagement enhances personal wellbeing, according to a global study
- Charities must collaborate on measuring social impact (The Guardian 11.05.2011)
Measuring impact has taken off but without addressing structural problems in the sector and a shared methodology, results-based funding won't work, says Tris Lumley
- UN Least Developed Countries Summit held in Istanbul (Xinhaunet 11.05.2011)
Eight thousand delegates attended the conference on Monday. The five-day conference opened with dire warnings to the poor about the threat of rising food and fuel prices, and climate change
- Most Kiwis happy with quality of life - survey (TV News NZ 11.05.2011)
Nearly a third of New Zealanders believe the quality of their lives has improved over the past year, according to the results of a new survey.
- World leaders call for new vision to reverse profound poverty (Xinhuanet 10.05.2011)
The UN chief and other world leaders gathered here on Monday for a conference, calling for a new vision to reverse the profound poverty in 48 poorest countries and trying to lay a firm foundation for their integration into the world economy.
- Stronger cross-border economic ties will boost Africa, UN report finds (UN News Centre 10.05.2011)
Greater cross-border investments within Africa and more policies that serve the interests of the poor could boost the continent’s overall standard of living by as much as 10 per cent by the end of the decade, according to a United Nations report released today.
- Turkey could be a mentor for least developed countries (Hurriyet Daily News 10.05.2011)
According to the deputy prime minister of Somalia, Turkey can play a mentor role as 'least developed countries need a guide, a mentor, a patron that speaks on their behalf and Turkey is taking that role.'
- Companies Seek Stronger Role in Advancing World’s Poorest Nations (UN Global Compact 09.05.2011)
New Private Sector Track at UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries underscores growing importance of business contribution to development
- UN opens forum on unlocking economic potential of world’s poorest countries (UN News Centre 09.05.2011)
A major United Nations conference aimed at devising a new strategy to help the world’s poorest countries unlock their economic potential and accelerate development opened today in Turkey, where of heads of State and senior officials from international organizations are among 7,000 participants in attendance.
- Trends in and causes of income inequality (Todays Zaman 08.05.2011)
The income gap between the relatively rich and the relatively poor has always been a controversial economic, ethical, political and social issue.
- Considering whether the government should be concerned with well being (Tukwila 08.05.2011)
Last year, I had the opportunity to visit Bhutan, a remote and isolated country in the eastern region of the Himalayas.
- The Only Thing ‘Thriving’ Is Corruption (The Sunday Leader 08.05.2011)
An international survey on global wellbeing in 2010 carried out by influential polling firm, Gallup has found that only 5% of Sri Lankans are “thriving.”
- Time For New Approaches says Civil Society (IPS 08.05.2011)
The dominant approaches to development have failed the world’s poorest citizens and now the paradigm must change. This is the strong message coming from over 2,000 non-governmental organisations gathered at the civil society forum for the Fourth U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) in Istanbul, Turkey.
- Robert Rowland Smith: If you're happy, and you know it, clap your hands (The Independent 08.05.2011)
On the day we publish our annual Happy List, our writer considers what makes us contented, and how to recognise the signs
- Breathe in, breathe out, and drop the Coke (The Independent 08.05.2011)
Buddhist economist Sulak Sivaraksa has advice for Western capitalist societies. Sholto Byrnes slows down and listens
- Ivory Coast dropped, Egypt rised GDP/c (Gapminder 07.05.2011)
35 years ago Ivory Coast and Egypt had the same GDP/capita and the same Life Expectancy. In this year of revolution Egyptians have 4 fold better GDP/capita and live more than 10 years longer than Ivorians.
- OECD Report: How to Measure Life Satisfaction (Time Magazine 06.05.2011)
If you're looking for another reason to hate on France, you might check out the latest report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
- 'Happiness gene' discovered (The Telegraph 06.05.2011)
A "happiness gene" which has a strong influence on how satisfied people are with their lives, has been discovered.
- 'Tellers and Cashiers' of Africa's Wealth Are Key to Development (All Africa 06.05.2011)
When it comes to development policies, alongside all the statistics of hunger and need, and the totals of dollars spent, it must be remembered that what matters most is that the neediest individuals urgently find tangible, sustainable solutions.
- Africa grows economically ‘but lags in governance’ (Business Day 06.05.2011)
Report says Africa’s vigorous economic growth in the past year was not matched by improvements in democratic governance.
- In search of a better quality of life (The Star 05.05.2011)
The Gallup survey of 124 countries sought to categorise people into three groups — those who were thriving, struggling or suffering.
- Europe's happiness fleeting as debt crisis lingers (The Australian 05.05.2011)
"DON'T worry. Be happy. Ain't got no cash . . . but don't worry be happy . . . Put a smile on your face." Bobby McFerrin's pop classic is the new theme song of euro-zone policymakers.
- State Department Is Trying To Make A Thousand Ushahidis Bloom (Fast Company 03.05.2011)
Foggy Bottom has a plan to jump-start a venture-capital approach to the field of humanitarian tech.
- UK lags in children's well-being rankings (BBC 03.05.2011)
Sweden is the best country in the world for children's well-being, according to Save the Children
- Life Satisfaction: Five Variables That Influence Well-Being (Eurasia Review 03.05.2011)
The considerable body of research on happiness often uses economics as its starting point: GDP and inflation are the variables used to explain differences in life satisfaction between countries.
- World Press Freedom Day 2011 (UNESCO Press Release 03.05.2011)
In 2011, the focus of the celebration is on the potential of the Internet and digital platforms as well as the more established forms of journalism in contributing to freedom of expression, democratic governance, and sustainable development.
- UK ranks behind Slovenia in childhood wellbeing (The Guardian 03.05.2011)
Six out of 1,000 British children will die before their fifth birthday and only four in five attend pre-school, says Save the Children
- In Somerville, Massachusetts, A Census Asks, Are You Happy? (New York Times 01.05.2011)
Officials in Somerville have added the question, "How happy do you feel right now?" to the city's census forms, becoming the first in the U.S. to systematically track people's happiness.
For blog posts on progress prior to 2011, see: