My Authors
Read all threads
Over the last 12 months, @isabellasaund and I have had the privilege of working with @socprogress to develop Australia's first Social Progress Index.… @CSIsocialimpact
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact Why measure #socialprogress? We live in a country that prioritises economic growth and #GDP over pretty much everything else. The logic goes that if economic progress increases, so should social progress.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact But we know that's not the case - we know that the mining boom, while contributing to 28 years of unprecedented economic growth, has also had ongoing impacts on communities and the environment where mining companies have now left.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact The #SPI provides a measure that is independent of economic indicators, and instead looks only at the social and environmental: it's interested in how equipped a society is to care for basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity for the people living there.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact So we looked for indicators that would tell us what #socialprogress looks like in Australia! We considered over 450 indicators, but had to consider things like age of the data, it's robustness, and whether it was collected across all states and territories.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact First lesson: we need to be better at collecting consistent #data in Australia - especially if we're wanting to understand things like #environmental quality and #social factors such as inclusiveness, personal rights, and personal freedom and choice.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact Secondly: how we collect data matters. It was really hard to find data that was able to capture cultural background, disability, and gender that could be meaningfully integrated into an Index model.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact Data that compares #Indigenous outcomes were easier, but this helps to play into a deficit narrative - where non-Indigenous people are positioned as being the 'norm'.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact However, if we can use data like the rate ratio of Indigenous to non-Indigenous kids in out of home care (a ratio of about 10:1 in #NSW) to highlight where there are policies that are racist and targeting particular groups of society, then I felt more comfortable with that.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact This is how #Australia scored on #socialprogress in 2018. It shows how states and territories rank *relative to one another* on things like environmental quality, access to basic education, nutrition and basic medical care, and personal rights.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact It's important to note that these scores are reflective of how socially progressive the policies and society of the state and territory are, not the people that live there.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact For most states and territories, we did pretty well on basics like access to #nutrition and #basicmedicalcare…
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact Less swell? Access to #information and #communication - this reflects whether people able to access reliable information from anywhere in the world.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact #Environmental quality was also a kicker - we struggled to find good data, and settled on the Air Quality Index (even though at the time we didn't know if #PM2.5 was a good indicator of the environment) Then the #bushfires started
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact #Personal freedom and #choice were included the ratio between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in out of home care, plus abuse substantiations. This represents both the freedom of children in how they are treated by the state, but how these decisions are unequally made.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact The elephant in the room: the #NT. Again, the Index is how socially progressive the policies of the territory are, not the people who live in it. Consistent low performance across all components tells us the way policy is being made in the NT isn't working.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact This is where #community led decision making, that allows community-led programs, especially for Aboriginal communities, should be prioritised. There are particular contexts in the NT which means a policy or program used in Victoria can't be assumed to work there as well.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact Back to the economy. If we use the argument that as the economy increases, so does social progress, we would expect to see a positive relationship between GSP per capita (the state/territory version of GDP) and SPI.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact We didn't see that. WA and NT have some of the highest #GSP per capita in the country, but also some of the lowest SPI rankings. It's not enough to talk only about the economy, when we are seeing that communities are being let down by the policies that impact their lives.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact .@ScottMorrisonMP and @JoshFrydenberg have recently emphasised that we can't risk the Australian #economy for things like environmental policies or a #wellbeingbudget. The Australian #SPI uses data to show what life is looking like for Australia right now, beyond #GDP
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact @ScottMorrisonMP @JoshFrydenberg We want the Australian #SPI to be a tool that can help government, #NFP, and Industry to work together using a shared language of #socialprogress to determine priorities for investment and policy unique to each state and territory.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact @ScottMorrisonMP @JoshFrydenberg We want to go #beyondGDP and instead look at the human side of #socialprogress in Australia. An Index is only as good as its data, and I personally would willingly die on the hill of trying to get better social data for Australia.
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact @ScottMorrisonMP @JoshFrydenberg (For fellow data nerds, you can see the methodology and data sources here:…)
@isabellasaund @socprogress @CSIsocialimpact @ScottMorrisonMP @JoshFrydenberg Hit me up if you want to talk about any of this more; we are so excited to have calculated and to now release the Index. It's a conversation we need to have in Australia, and the Australian #SPI is one way to help guide that conversation!
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Megan Weier

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!