Update log: version 1.2 – 21 Feb 2018 the graph on page 17 was edited for clarity.
The Communities Evidence Programme team have identified a gap in the existing knowledge about measures and indicators of community wellbeing. While there are many well-known scales and measures of individual wellbeing, such as the Life Satisfaction Scale and the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS), community wellbeing is less well defined as a concept, and indicators and frameworks that measure a community’s wellbeing may not be described as such.
To address the gaps in the knowledge base, the Communities Evidence Programme has conducted this rapid scoping review of the indicators, frameworks and measures of community wellbeing (and synonyms or proxies for community wellbeing) used by UK governmental and non-governmental agencies in the last 5 years. We have produced a working document that lists the indicators, frameworks and measures identified, while making reference to the theories and concepts that underpin them (if any).
This will then be updated as the evidence review teams conduct systematic reviews of the topic areas in the community wellbeing evidence programme over the next two years.
The aim of this rapid systematic scoping review was to compile a list of all the indicators and proxies used to measure community wellbeing, or concepts related to community wellbeing, used by academic institutions, governmental and non-governmental agencies in the UK, in the last 5 years.
What indicators and proxy indicators are used by governmental agencies to measure and report on community wellbeing in the UK?
What indicators and proxy indicators are used by non-governmental agencies (including academic institutions) to measure community wellbeing in the UK?
What outcome measures/indicators are used in the evaluation of community wellbeing in the UK?
What theories and concepts are used to describe community wellbeing and how are they applied in measurement and evaluation in the UK?
What indicator frameworks are used in the measurement of community wellbeing and how are indicators grouped in the UK?
Conclusion and next steps
This is the first iteration of a working document compiling and indexing community wellbeing indicators that are used in the UK. The “live” review is intended to grow throughout the life of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing; as further measures are identified in systematic reviews or by stakeholder engagement, they will be added.
In the current version, we found 43 measures or indicators of community wellbeing that are currently or recently in use in the UK. Governmental organisations were more likely to use indicator frameworks or sets, while non-governmental or academic organisations were more likely to use conceptual frameworks. Academic organisations were the most likely of the 3 organisational types to use validated measures or scales. There was a wide range of synonyms or proxy terms used relating to community wellbeing, and we have begun to map these against the domains included within them. This scoping review and mapping exercise will complement other work being undertaken by the What Works Wellbeing Communities Evidence Programme: developing a working Theory of Change for community wellbeing, and reviewing the conceptual literature on community wellbeing.