• Canada is considered as one of the wealthiest country in the world, as it is currently considered as the ninth largest economy globally. The country is a part of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and the Group of Eight (G8) countries, which largely determines the directions to be taken by other countries globally, especially the LDCs. (Lipsey, 2006).
• In 2011, the country’s GDP and inflation rate is estimated to be 2.4% and 1.6% respectively, an indicator that the country’s economic stability, just like most of the developed countries, is on decrease. This is because, its GDP and inflation rate in 2007, prior to global financial crises, stood at 6.5 and 0.6% respectively (The Economist, 2011). Likewise, as at July 2011, the unemployment levels stood at 7.2%, one of the highest across the globe. To prevent financial crises, the government has focused more on the issues of unemployment and income, thus diverting attention from more measuring the overall well-being of the citizens (Government of Canada, 2011).
• As a departmental policy analysts, working for Not for profit sector, I have seen it necessary to write this brief note, informing the Minister of Industry on the need to adopt the Canadian Index of Wellbeing. This is due to the fact that, CIW comprehensively measures the wellbeing of all the Canadians in different areas, such as health, education, level of participation in the society among other crucial areas (Adams’s, 2005).
There are three key policies, which can be adopted by the Ministry of Industry when publishing the index of index of well-being in addition to the existing set of economic indicators. These include the following:
• improve the traditional parameters of determining the wellbeing of the Canadians
• Adopt the Canadian Index of Wellbeing
Improving the existing policies
In the recent past, social aspects touching on the well-being of Canadians have drastically changed. Some of these policies include changing labor markets, persistent inequalities, new family structures, immigrations, cultural and ethnic diversity among other significant factors. It is essential for the government to be publishing the general welfare of refugees and family members, who have migrated to Canada. By improving on the wellbeing of these groups, the overall productivity of the country will improve, hence improved Gross Domestic Product (Kahneman, 2010). Based on this, there has been an urgent need for the government to review as well adopt modern social policies, which will adequately deal with these emerging issues. For example, increasing the working hours can increasing the working hours can result to higher long-term sustainability, while strategies geared at raising growth may at a times exacerbate inequality, but raise the level of the available resources. Thus, for the Canadian government to determine the effectiveness of these social policy instruments to improve the well-being of the citizens, the associated trade-offs should be clearly indentified as well as the potential achievements prioritized (The Economist, 2011).
Pros and cons
By publishing index indicating welfare improvement as a result of changes in the social policies, it will be easy for the government and other stakeholders to determine the best policy, which will improve the livelihood of the Canadians. Further, by publishing the intended social-policy goals, it will be easy for the policy makers to access resources as well as consider the best ways to use these policies. Some of resources to be accessed by the social policy makers include human resources, savings, innovation and technology among others. One of the challenges facing this aspect is the lack of clear distinction of the impact of individual policies as most of these policies are interdependent (Wallace, 2002).
Adopt the Canadian Index of Wellbeing
As discussed earlier, CIW is a fresh national instrument, which is aimed at measuring the quality of life Canadians, in all vital dimensions. It shows whether, these areas are improving or getting worse. The CIW covers eight important domains, most of which have specified metrics and analysis (Adams’s, 2005).
Numerous advantages will be automatically derived because of adopting the CIW model of measuring the well-being of the Canadians.
- overseeing the development as well as implementation of CIW that reflects the overall status of the Canadian society. Further, it ensures that cultural and regional differences are reflected, integrated and natured into the fabric of work.
- it ensures the regular and ongoing reporting of CIW via public and communication engagement strategy.
- ensure ongoing and leading edge research and development of CIW that include enhanced refinement of the pilot testing of the sub-indices, maintenance of standards, collection as well as compilation of data relating to social, health, economic, environment among other variables and trends.
- promote improved collection of data through identification of gaps in relevant knowledge of measuring well-being.
- increasing network of CIW with the influential policy and leader makers to enable CIW to have a continuing impact o the policy decisions.
- contribute to the societal understanding, also referred as statistical literacy, and use of the indicators, such as citizen engagement and literacy.
- Contribute to the measure of well-being movement, which will ultimately benefit the international initiatives and partners (Coyle, 2011).
In the short run, the model will be expensive to implement. Therefore, the government may be forced to more of its annual revenues towards the implementation phase of CIW, hence further slowing Canadian economy in the next five years.
Given the information above, we recommend that you adopt the second option.