Social Progress Imperative defines this concept as:
“The capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives, and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential.”
From this definition the Social Progress Imperative derives the three dimensions of the Social Progress Index Framework: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. Each of these dimensions is disaggregated into its components (there are four components for each dimension). Each component is based on between three and four indicators (Social Progress Index 2014).
The three dimensions are defined by the following three questions:
- Does a country provide for its people’s most essential needs?
- Are the building blocks in place for individuals and communities to enhance and sustain wellbeing?
- Is there opportunity for all individuals to reach their full potential?
From all the numerous efforts and alternatives to go beyond GDP to improve the measurement of national performance and well-being, the Social Progress Index is distinct in its measurement of social progress and its relevance to regions at all levels of income. It measures progress independent of economic indicators, unlike the other measures to move beyond GDP.
This tool can be adapted and used at a sub-national level, thus IFC has taken the lead in implementing the Social Progress Framework within the Indian context at a states, districts and cities level.
The results revealed from this project will assess on the well-being of Indian population taking in to account exclusively social and environmental indicators at three geographical levels. Given all this, hereinafter this tool will track social and environmental performance rigorously driving improvement in choices, policies and investments by government and businesses.
The Social Progress Index Framework defines the structure of the Social Progress Index. It is build on three architectural elements: Pillars, Components and Indicators.
The three pillars of SPI are Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunity. They reflect three distinct but interrelated measures to quality of life. For each of the three pillars, there are four components. These components reflect the broad areas that can be captured within the pillar. Every component reflect a different area of concern. Then there are appropriate indicators under each component.
No, SPI is not a substitute of growth measures. In fact, looking at SPI along with GDP rates will provide us insight into the matter that whether economic gains are being translated into social gains or not. SPI measures the social and environmental measures that are of importance to people. GDP rates, on the other hand, looks at economic aspects.