Action research case studies

BRAINPOoL conducted seven case studies around Europe, in each case working with indicator promoters and indicator users or potential indicator users, to enhance the use of Beyond GDP indicators in policy. In each case we attempted to identify barriers to use, and develop recommendations for overcoming them.  We conducted desk research and interviews, and brought relevant actors together in workshops and seminars.

The final synthesis report identified 12 common barriers in the case studies (of course with some commonalities with the findings from WP2), and produced 9 recommendation themes. This presentation provides a summary of the report:

To read the full report, click on the report icon below:

The seven case studies took place in Germany, the UK, Midi-Pyrenees in France, Wales, Rotterdam, Chrudim in the Czech Republic, and at the OECD (see map). Click on the tabs below to find out more about each one.

The German National Welfare Index and the BMU

The National Welfare Index is the only index funded as a research project by the German government through the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and Federal Environment Agency (UBA). The index attempts to act as a catalyst for the debate about what kind of growth we actually want for society and how we can best include sustainability and social prosperity into our measurement systems. In this case we explore and describe the full range of barriers affecting the indicator and where possible illustrate ways of exploiting potential drivers and opportunities.

The British Business Bank

 Work is currently taking place in the UK department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to set up a state owned Business Bank which will be fully operational by the second half of 2014. In this case we take the recommendations of an independent taskforce that the Bank should have a mandate to promote good, sustainable jobs and a performance indicator framework to match, and identify potential barriers to this and how these might be overcome.

The Welsh Government Sustainable Indicator Set

 This case is about how the Welsh Government uses its headline Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs). It finds that the indicators are not currently used effectively across Welsh Government policy-making due to a variety of barriers that result in them not being seen as having a meaningful role within the policy-making process. However, it describes a clear opportunity to clarify and strengthen the role of the SDIs through the Future Generations (Wales) Bill which the Government plans to introduce in 2014.

Sustainable development in the Midi-Pyrenees

 The main objective of this case is to identify barriers to the use of Beyond GDP indicators in policy at regional and sub-regional levels in France, and to propose ways of overcoming them. We discussed the issues involved individually and at two workshops with officials and elected representatives at the level of the region, département, urban community/community of towns, and individual city/town as well as NGOs and the regional statistical office.

The Rotterdam Sustainability Profile

 Officials at the City of Rotterdam have been developing a Sustainability Profile, a new way of presenting and using data on sustainability issues at the local level, and at the time of the case were starting to plan how best to use this. The case identifies potential bottlenecks within the City municipal organisation which could hamper the further development and implementation of this new indicator, and on the basis of discussions with stakeholders, identifies how these can be overcome.

Healthy City indicators in Chrudim in the Czech Republic

 This case illustrates the process of development and implementation of indicators at the town level (Chrudim). In particular it describes the way the cooperation between experts in indicator development and the local authorities has influenced the indicator set development, the motivation of the town representatives to use “alternative” indicators (drivers), the barriers to indicator set implementation, and the ways these barriers are being overcome.

Alternative indicators in the OECD

 The OECD has been at the forefront of the development of Beyond GDP indicators and is at the vanguard in terms of exploring the policy implications of Beyond GDP indicators. However, the organisation does face challenges in taking the agenda from statistics to actual policy recommendations. In this case we identify barriers and opportunities for the further uptake of Beyond GDP indicators in influencing policy.