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|Beginners Guides on Measuring the
Progress of Societies
major project is to prepare a set of reports about how to
measure the well-being and progress of societies. These
pamphlets are available on this page and also at the
Wikiprogress website http://www.wikiprogress.org/index.php/Global_Social_Change_Research_Project
This series of pamphlets briefly introduces basic concepts
on measuring the well-being and progress of societies.
These pamphlets are intended to be easy to read, non
technical, introductions. The pamphlets start by
discussing why to measure progress and what, in general,
to measure. Then the pamphlets introduce specific measures
of progress, such as economic, demographic or political
There are many indicators of progress. For example,
typically, an indicator of economic progress might be
measured by average economic wealth per person, poverty or
inequality. However, there may be many issues involved in
measuring the indicators. For example, there might not be
universal agreement on which measures to use, how to
define the measures, or even how to define the indicator.
Additionally, there may be issues with the quality of the
data, for example whether it is reliable and valid.
Thus in these pamphlets, we give brief overviews of the
indicators of progress, and discuss some of the main
issues involved in measuring/defining/using the
For each indicator, we review the most recent literature,
including reports and papers from major researchers or
organizations. We then summarize major points about the
indicators and their measurement, what the current
thinking is about the indicators, and major problems and
solutions, if available.
These pamphlets are introductory and brief overviews. In
general, we try to focus on the major issues and provide,
where possible, links to additional resources which may
provide more comprehensive views and may also be useful
We also ask scholars in the field to review the pamphlets
and then we revise the pamphlets according to the
feedback. We also invite any other interested individuals
or organizations to review the pamphlets and provide
These pamphlets can also be used as a springboard for
further discussion by those involved in measuring
progress, and we would be happy if this set of pamphlets
could reflect diverse viewpoints, from the many scholars
involved in measuring progress.
The data for the reports on the Wikiprogress page are
available here http://stats.wikiprogress.org
See Combined data
sets, and then Is
life getting better.
Pamphlet 1 http://gsociology.icaap.org/progress/IsLifeGettingBetter_1_theproject.pdf
Introduction to measuring well-being and progress
Pamphlet 2 http://gsociology.icaap.org/progress/IsLifeGettingBetter_2_whymeasureprogress.pdf
Pamphlet 3 http://gsociology.icaap.org/progress/IsLifeGettingBetter_3_What2Measure.pdf
What to measure.
Pamphlet 4 http://gsociology.icaap.org/progress/IsLifeGettingBetter_4_AboutThePamphlets.pdf
Pamphlet 5 http://gsociology.icaap.org/progress/IsLifeGettingBetter_5_EconomicsGDP.pdf
Pamphlet 6 http://gsociology.icaap.org/progress/IsLifeGettingBetter_6_poverty.pdf
Pamphlet 7 http://gsociology.icaap.org/progress/IsLifeGettingBetter_7_WhatIsInequality.pdf
Introduction to inequality.
Pamphlet 8 http://gsociology.icaap.org/progress/IsLifeGettingBetter_8_inequalitydata.pdf
Pamphlet 9 http://gsociology.icaap.org/progress/IsLifeGettingBetter_9_MeasuringInequality.pdf
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last updated 9/26/11