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Alternative Indexes for Measuring Regional Well-being
For years, the success of development policy was assessed by economic measures alone. In the last few years, however, there has been an increasing awareness of the fact that these measures reflect only part of the picture, and are therefore insufficient as a basis for the formulation of policy. This new awareness has led many countries, including Israel, to initiate and promote processes for the development of more complex measures – measures for .assessing well-being.

In December 2012, the Israeli government ratified a decision to promote the development of national measures for well-being. This government decision was encouraged by a variety of professional, academic and governmental bodies, all of which saw the importance of developing a multi-dimensional approach to well-being measurement. Past experience around the world, and in Israel itself, indicates that assessing well-being on a national level should be a complementary measure to an assessment of well-being on a sub-national, regional level. The environmental, social, and political differences between different regions, as well as the processes by which different local and regional governments play a major role in the formation of policy; all necessitate the acquisition of a more localized image of well-being in each region.

If they are to be a true means of promoting fair and sustainable public policy, these measures must be the product of public debate. Sure enough, many countries and civil society organizations around the world, having instigated the development of well-being measures, made processes of public debate and participation a central and essential component of that development.

This summary of the session “Alternative Indexes for Measuring Regional Well-being” documents a pioneering step in a long process that is taking place right now. For the first time in Israel, the need to create measures of well-being on a regional scale, as well as the national, is being discussed. To underline the importance and the significance of this process, the session included a presentation by Tamar Peled Amir of the government’s process in designing these measures, a presentation by Anat Itay-Sarig of the framework of ideas and of real-world examples for regional well-being measures, and a presentation by Tommaso Rondinella about the involvement of the civil society in these measures’ development. This summary includes the central points of all these presentations. The session was preceded by a survey that attempted to assess the Negev Local Sustainable Economic Development Euro-med Congress participants’ central attitudes towards measures of well-being, regional development, and public debate as part of the measures’ design process. This summary 5 | Session Summary ‘Alternative Indexes for Measuring Regional Well -being’ includes a section written by Eran Klein, which presents the central findings of the survey and the conclusions that may be derived from them. The document concludes with a special section written by Orly Ronen, the session chair.

We wish to thank all of the participants in the session, and those who contributed to the summary presented here. We hope it will serve as a contribution to the development of a regional perspective, to real public debate and to the improvement of well-being in the Negev and beyond. 

The special session “Alternative Indexes for Measuring Regional Well-being” was held as part of .the Negev Local Sustainable Economic Development Euromed Congress in December 2013 We wish to thank those who took part in organizing this session and in heading the various presentations and discussion groups it included: Dr. Anat Itay Sarig from the JDC Institute for Leadership and Governance, Dr. Orly Ronen from the Heschel Sustainability Center, Abed Asili from the Reut Institute, Eran Klein from Shatil, Anat Dor from the Sustainability Laboratory and the Dept. of Geography and Environmental Development at Ben Gurion University, Rony Daniel ,from the Society for Sustainable Economics, Chiara A. Ricci from the Lunaria Organization Tikva Evron from the Institute for Leadership and Governance (JDC), Tommaso Rondinella from Lunaria and ISTAT (the Italian National Institute of Statistics). Thanks to Tamar Peled Amir from the Division for Governance and Society in the Prime Minister’s Office for her presentation about the national well-being index process design. This document also contains the results of an attitude survey conducted during the congress on the topic of “alternative indexes for measuring regional well-being.” Thanks to Rami Yulzeri from Zeta Tools for the execution of ,this survey. Many thanks to the participants in the session for the broad and diverse insights .and the enthusiasm they brought to the discuss

Asaf Raz 
Project Wealth – Promoting Local Sustainable Economic Development

The Session was held as part of the Main Event of the Negev Local Sustainable Economic Development ENPI-CBCMED Congress – December 2013.

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