WILL THE INDICATOR REMAIN RELEVANT OVER TIME?
The MAP headline indicators form a core set of statistics for reporting on Australia's progress. However, over time, they may change as social priorities change, and as new indicators are developed. Such indicators may be improved measures for existing areas we already measure or may be able to shed light on new areas, such as happiness, political freedom, or human capital.
National and international thinking about what is important when measuring the progress of societies has developed rapidly over the last decade. In particular, attention on this topic has accelerated over the last few years. For example, in 2009, the Australia 2020 Summit discussed the need for improved indicators of progress, and the G20 Summit encouraged work on measurement methods that better take into account the social and environmental dimensions of economic development.
Key events and developments are outlined in our progress time line, which illustrates the increasing focus that both governments and communities are bringing to this topic.
In response to this growing interest, the ABS has included a special article in this edition of MAP, addressing Future directions for measuring Australia's progress. This essay outlines a new approach that aims to determine whether, in MAP, we are measuring what Australians care about. It re-casts the current MAP measures and structure to more specifically focus on this question.
We encourage readers to browse this article and provide comments on it on our online blog.
Conceptual developments in the area of measuring Australia's progress will be ongoing and the ABS hopes the current edition of MAP, and the new approach outlined in the feature article, address contemporary concerns and prepare the ground for responding to future statistical needs in this area.
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