What wellbeing data do local authorities need to make better decisions?
Download Understanding local needs for wellbeing data (Updated November 2017)
- Local Wellbeing Indicators use existing data and the best research to show true picture of local residents’ lives and community wellbeing.
- Indicators look at personal relationships, economics, education, childhood, equality, health, place and social relationships- currently no local authority uses all of this data in one place to meet local needs.
For the first time, local authorities can use data on things like job quality, anxiety levels, social isolation, green space and how physically active people are to get better insights into what really matters to their communities.
Currently, local authorities have to rely solely on traditional metrics, such as unemployment and material deprivation, to build an idea of where people are struggling and thriving. The new indicators now offer, in addition to these, a real-world set of measures for data that follows people’s quality of life from cradle to grave. This gives a more sophisticated picture of where communities may be at risk of health, financial and social problems.
Their origins and next steps
To develop the indicators, What Works Centre for Wellbeing partnered with Happy City and consulted with individuals in 26 different organisations, including nine city councils, seven county or district councils, the three devolved governments (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), and nine other organisations including the Local Government Association, Defra, The Health Foundation and the New Economics Foundation.
We are now working with Happy City to visualise the indicator data for different regions of the UK. We are also using pilots of the indicators in some representative local authority and public health settings to see if they are flexible enough to be useful, whatever the profile of an area, for example urban versus rural.
Will they work for you?
To refine and develop the indicators, we encourage you to try out the set and share
your learning with us, so we can continue to refine and develop it for use by practitioners who are not data specialists. Our aim is to continually improve them to provide an accessible snapshot of local wellbeing, and make sure the indicators fit with other established initiatives and data sets, such as JSNAs, quality of life surveys and so on.
If you are planning to test the indicators, or have any questions, please get in touch and let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.