This stage focuses on defining what collective wellbeing looks like within the specific geographical area and seeks to articulate that with a set of wellbeing outcomes that encompass the collective wellbeing of people, including current and future generations, and the planet. These are the end goals that the economic system should be designed to serve and should be based on the National Performance Framework (see Annex C) and tailored to the particular characteristics of the local area.
The NPF embeds ‘improved wellbeing’ within Scotland’s core purpose. To help achieve this purpose, the framework sets out 11 National Outcomes. These are population-level end results we want to be experienced by the people of Scotland. The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 places a duty on public authorities to have regard to the National Outcomes in carrying out their functions. It belongs to the whole of Scotland, not just the Scottish Government and COSLA. The NPF has undergone extensive public participation in its development.
While stages one and two focus on gathering data to inform the evidence base, policy makers are encouraged to build in public and stakeholder participation from an early stage and throughout the process. More detail on participation and engagement is set out in stage three, with links to helpful resources in Annex E.
The forthcoming Local Wellbeing Economy Monitor, due for publication in December 2022, can be used to create a benchmark for a chosen local authority area on a range of indicators of wellbeing. This process will help to build a ‘wellbeing economy story,’ or a picture of the chosen area’s relative wellbeing across social, environmental, and economic dimensions that reflects local circumstances (see Box A).
These indicators should be viewed as a starting point, with users encouraged to supplement the Monitor with other sources of evidence relevant to local circumstances and priorities, for example from other available data and gathered through engagement with both internal and external stakeholders. Consideration should also be given to longer term wellbeing and resilience, taking account of evidence indicating stocks of natural, human, social and produced capital (see Annex A), such as different types of infrastructure (physical, digital, social, natural, etc).
In following the wellbeing economy approach, and contributing to the NPF National Outcomes, it is important to ensure local wellbeing outcomes take a broad view across key dimensions of wellbeing, as illustrated by the full range of National Outcomes and UN SDGs, including both short and long term outcomes.
This stage is intended to look above and beyond traditional economic metrics like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), productivity and employment statistics, to start by benchmarking the outcomes that a wellbeing economy seeks to achieve. The following stages look more deeply at how such economic drivers are impacting those outcomes.