What is the Index?
The Saskatchewan Index of Wellbeing (SIW) is based on the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW), a national resource that measures progress over time of 8 inter-connected domains, each with 8 indicators, for a total of 64 indicators. The Index provides trends for each domain, for wellbeing overall, and compared to GDP. The SIW utilizes the same domains and indicators, with Saskatchewan-specific data, to provide a comparable portrait for the province.
Why are Heritage Saskatchewan and the Community Initiatives Fund partnering on the SIW?
The Index is strongly aligned with the mandates of both provincial organizations and will inform the work we do, both individually and in partnership. With a shared vision that all Saskatchewan residents enjoy a high quality of life and wellbeing, we have combined our resources to work with the CIW to develop an Index that is specific to Saskatchewan. As we believe that partnerships, across all sectors, are necessary to address the gaps identified in the Index, we felt the Index should be developed in partnership.
Why are we developing the Index?
Growth both nationally and provincially is typically measured in economic terms, and in particular using the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While the GDP provides us with one measure of wellbeing, it is not the only indicator of how citizens are faring. The Index provides an additional resource, that when combined with the GDP, provides a more comprehensive picture of wellbeing in Saskatchewan. The goal for the Index is to provide evidence to inform policy making, encourage community engagement, and lead to implementation of multi-sectoral approaches to addressing community priorities and issues.
Who else is doing it?
In addition to the national Index, both Nova Scotia and Ontario have developed a provincial Index. Local communities, organizations and businesses, such as Wood Buffalo, Alberta, the Association of Ontario Health Centres, and Manulife are also applying the Index to their work in a variety of ways. Globally, there is a growing interest in how progress is being defined and measured, with several other countries such as the United Kingdom, Kenya, Israel, and Australia leading initiatives related to wellbeing. There is strong alignment between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the CIW that can be utilized to advance efforts and monitor progress on achieving globally recognized indicators of wellbeing.
How were the domains and indicators selected?
The eight inter-connected domains were identified by the CIW following a values-driven consultation process with the Canadian public, Canadian and international experts, and an environmental scan. Once the domain framework was developed, criteria for the selection of indicators was established. This includes the availability of valid, relevant data over a long period of time, and consistency in how the data is collected. Eight indicators for each domain were identified, resulting in a total of 64 indicators.
Not all of the indicators seem relevant to Saskatchewan.
As the CIW was created as a national index, it is challenging to identify indicators that meet the selection criteria and that are also relevant in all regions of the country. The CIW framework was utilized for the SIW to allow for comparability nationally, and with other provinces. During the SIW’s consultations with communities and other stakeholders we collected suggestions for additional indicators and data sources that would be more relevant to Saskatchewan that will be used in our ongoing communications to further enhance the story of the SIW.
Is Index data available at a local or regional level?
Some data used to develop the SIW may be available at a regional level. Heritage Saskatchewan and the Community Initiatives Fund will be exploring this further over the next several months. We encourage organizations and communities to also identify what data they are collecting themselves and how this can be used in conjunction with the SIW.
The data appears outdated – why isn’t newer data included?
As noted in the Appendix of the SIW report, the indicators draw on data from numerous sources that become available at varying times. Due to the nature of the selected indicators, the trend lines reported in the SIW would not be expected to change with the addition of 1 or 2 years of data as 4 – 5 years is usually required to see a change. Generally we expect the report to be updated every 4 to 5 years, as data becomes available. It’s possible a second SIW report may be completed in 2021.
What is the methodology?
The methodology can be found on the CIW website.
What happens in between reports?
We will continue to communicate the results of the SIW, including at a domain and indicator specific level, as well as supplementary data not included in the SIW but that is relevant and meaningful to Saskatchewan.
Who will use the SIW?
We encourage everyone to use the SIW! All levels of government, businesses, nonprofit organizations, funding bodies, community groups, etc. – anyone involved in influencing policy, programming or decision-making that impacts Saskatchewan people.
How can the SIW be used?
Our hope is that the SIW will encourage multi-sectoral, solution-oriented conversations and actions to address the gaps and lagging trend lines at an organizational, local, regional and/or provincial level. Examples of how the Index has been used in other jurisdictions include:
How is the SIW different from other reports such as Vital Signs?
The SIW is aligned with, and complementary to, a number of other frameworks such as Vital Signs, the Social Determinants of Health, the SDGs, and The Framework for Recreation in Canada. Each of these frameworks were developed for specific audiences and purposes and can be used in combination to tell a fuller story of how citizens in Saskatchewan are faring. Many of the indicators in these frameworks utilize the same data sources.
Some of the data presented in the SIW is different from other reports – why? Which is correct?
Data can be collected and reported using different methodologies, reporting periods, sample frames, frequencies, etc. This does not mean any of it is incorrect, but the variables in the data sources should be recognized. Due to the selection criteria for indicators utilized by the CIW, the SIW results ensure that consistent and reliable data sources are utilized that present a credible trend analysis over time.