eFrame-Project: European Framework for Measuring Progress


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Heinz-Herbert Noll
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From its beginnings research on social indicators was not primarily considered as pure, but rather applied research in terms of the regular monitoring of and reporting on quality of life. Thus, the successes—but eventually also failures—of social indicators research may first of all be visible in its most important field of application. Social monitoring and reporting activities, which can be traced back to the early 1970s provide quantitative information and empirically based analytical knowledge on well-being and progress in a single society or groups of societies to be used for different purposes, including policy making. Providing an overview over the variety of social monitoring and reporting projects emerging from social indicators research is supposed to be important with a view to form a more solid fundament for present and future discourses and initiatives in the field of measuring and monitoring well-being and progress. The article looks back to this field of applied social indicators research and —with a focus on Europe — identifies patterns and recent trends in this sort of activities. By looking forward, it finally discusses selected issues that are considered to be crucial for further improvements in this field.