Measuring Quality Of Life: the use of societal outcomes by Parliamentarians

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Measuring Quality Of Life: the use of societal outcomes by Parliamentarians

Policy relevance:

There is much talk about how to bridge the gap between the EU institutions and the EU citizens. This discussion paper emerged from a series of seminars with Canadian parliamentarians, civil servants and other policy makers. It seeked to explore the current and future political impact of societal indicators to make governance tools more accessible to parliamentarians, and to bring about further discussion about governance among political stakeholders. Eventhough the research concerns the Canadian situation, some of the conclusions could also be of interest for the European situation.

Some of the main conclusions of the paper are:

  • There has been a gradual shift in government from process to results, from how policies and programmes work to whether they work;
  • Parliamentarians should have a role in facilitating discussions about what outcomes are desirable for citizens;
  • The choice of societal outcomes involves a commitment to values, provides a transparent point of reference for public debate and could help break down the barrier of jargon;
  • Tracking societal outcomes is a long-term process, but parliamentarians work on short timelines (next elections);
  • It is not possible to ignore subjective approaches and qualitative measures in looking at societal outcomes;

The report then gives five options for further action on societal outcomes and indicators, such as the contemplation of an overarching framework of societal outcomes and indicators, involving parliamentarians and departmental officials.

For a copy of the full report, please visit the

Crossing Boundarieswebsite.  

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