The ACT Wellbeing Framework comprises twelve domains of wellbeing, reflecting key factors that impact on the quality of life of Canberrans. Indicators – the way we measure our progress – are grouped under each domain and will help us know where wellbeing is improving or diminishing in the ACT over time. While an indicator sits under one domain, many are also relevant to multiple domains.
Sitting outside the domains, but at the heart of the Framework, is a Personal Wellbeing Indicator which will provide a measure of the overall wellbeing of the ACT community over time. It draws from the internationally recognised Personal Wellbeing Index scale which contains seven items of satisfaction, each one corresponding to a particular aspect of an individual’s quality of life: standard of living, health, what they are achieving in life, relationships, safety, community-connectedness, and future security. This overall indicator reflects the broadest question of all regarding wellbeing: ‘how satisfied are you with your life as a whole?’
Our indicators have been selected to provide a broad snapshot of outcomes for each domain and the results over time will provide the basis for wide-ranging discussions about the effectiveness of existing policy settings.
All domains and indicators are treated as equally important in this first version of the Framework and as a result have not been weighted or organised into a hierarchy within the Framework. They operate together to form a composite picture of wellbeing in our community. It is possible, and even likely, that indicators will move in different ways over time and, in some cases, positive movements in one indicator could result in negative movements in another.
Understanding these balances will be a key component of using wellbeing indicators to inform government decision making and investment, as well as ongoing conversations within the community.
The ACT Wellbeing Domains
Throughout our community engagement, a number of areas were consistently identified as contributing most to the overall quality of life of Canberrans. These have been captured as domains in the Framework. Domains encompass many of the environmental, social and economic factors that have influence on our lives and of those around us.
What became clear in community conversations was that many of the domain areas have close connection with each other, and outcomes in one area may depend on outcomes achieved in other areas.
It is not the intention of this document to identify and analyse every interdependency and linkage across domains and indicators. However, as indicator information and data become available, the outcomes for each domain should encourage even more discussion, within government and across the community, about important linkages and what that might mean for both policy development and delivery.
Indeed, one of the aspirations for the Framework is that it will encourage more collaborative discussion and consideration across the Public Service directorates as to the factors that might contribute to delivering effective policy and 'joined-up' outcomes.
Getting around to places we value and accessing the services we need.
Our planning, mobility and service systems allow us to move around our liveable city and access the types of places and services we need, when we need them. Those who require additional support to gain independence can access responsive, tailored services.
We share in our city’s economy.
A strong economy, business and innovation sector creates opportunities for all Canberrans to share in the wealth of our city.
Gaining the skills and education needed at all stages of life.
Canberrans have equitable access to education and learning opportunities, through all ages and stages of life, to develop and gain the skills needed to live life well.
The environment sustains all life now and into the future.
Canberra’s natural environment sustains all life, is accessible, climate resilient, and clean.
Having a say, being heard, and working together for better outcomes.
All Canberrans can have their say, connect with and be part of key government processes. Canberrans have a government and other institutions that respect human rights, are responsible, reliable, have integrity, are open, and are fair.
Being healthy and supported with the right care.
Canberrans have good physical and mental health at every stage of life and can access the services they need to lead healthier lives and manage illness. Individuals take steps to proactively maintain good health with the support of health-promoting environments.
Having a place to call home.
Canberrans have access to secure, suitable and affordable housing throughout their lives.
Being able to express identity, feel a sense of belonging, and participate fully in society.
All Canberrans can participate on equal terms, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, cultural background or disability. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a strong voice, are decision makers on issues that impact them, and lead in the achievement of positive life outcomes. We are proud to be Canberrans.
Having the financial resources to live life well.
Canberrans can be economically secure and have the means to help manage their lives.
Feeling safe and being safe.
Canberrans are and feel safe and secure around their families, homes, community and on-line.
Being connected with family, friends and community.
Canberrans are connected and supported within our community and come together in areas such as sport, culture, spirituality, religion and the arts.
Having time to live life well.
Canberrans have the time to do things we want to as well as the things we are required to do.
Indicators: measuring wellbeing
Indicators are the information that show the condition of a domain. They are statistical aids that, when viewed together, demonstrate the state of wellbeing across the twelve domains. Indicators included in the ACT Wellbeing Framework have been developed from a number of sources:
- consultation with the Canberra public through the processes outlined in the Consultation Summary Report;
- deliberations by the ACT Public Service in relation to relevant policy and service delivery outcomes, and their measurement;
- discussions with data and indicator experts including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Institute of Health and Welfare, and leading academics from the University of Canberra and Australian National University; and
- consideration of areas covered by other ACT Government frameworks.
The indicators have been selected based on their ability to provide valuable insights about what matters to Canberrans. They primarily focus on ‘outcomes’ rather than system outputs or inputs and operate at a whole-of-community level. The degree of influence the ACT Government has over different indicators varies, with some being under closer control than others. But indicators have been included because they matter to people in Canberra.
It is expected that a significant amount of indicator information will be obtained through surveys of the Canberra population. This represents the best way of gaining insight into how the community considers their current and future wellbeing.
Administrative data can only tell us so much; but will be all the more powerful when combined with survey information from the community. The Government will be considering the most appropriate forum for seeking such information from the Canberra population, noting that a range of community surveys are already undertaken.
Release of indicator data
Data development in relation to the indicators is continuing and an initial ‘dashboard’ of indicator data will be released later in 2020. Further information about specific data sources – including technical considerations that have shaped our choice of data sources – will also be released at that time.
Comprehensive data reporting is expected every two years, with updates in relation to government and community action to support wellbeing being reported periodically in the intervening years.
Data availability will also be a key consideration. Different information sets will draw from different sources that don’t necessarily report information with the same regularity. In the instances where survey results are used, the ACT Government will need to consider how frequent and of what size these surveys should be. These considerations, along with the issues of data usability, reliability, relevance and sensitivity will continue to be thoroughly considered in the context of finalising a first dashboard of indicator data in the second half of 2020.