A composite index
ANDI will also draw domain results together into a ‘composite index’. A composite index combines progress measures across many dimensions of wellbeing into one single number to show progress over time. This will not be easy.
The single number will not stand alone. It will be accompanied by domain results to provide context, and a technical reference guide to detail weightings and processes used to reach the result.
There are a number of benefits from such an index. It will distil the multiple dimensions of progress measures. It will also attract high levels of public, political and media attention. The single number result will be the doorway through which people will start thinking about which elements of progress matter most to them. It will also challenge the specificity of economic measures that are currently used.
ANDI and its single index will be based on robust data and a rigorous and transparent methodology. We will work in close partnership with technical experts who have experience developing similar tools. It will be thoroughly tested prior to its release.
By the end of 2013, ANDI will release its first single number index of Australia’s progress. Think about it — for the first time, we will be able to measure whether Australia is progressing or declining against a carefully-crafted composite of the many dimensions of progress.
The index will need to maintain flexibility over time in order to incorporate additional data sets. During the index’s establishment phase, technical consideration will be given to incorporating additional data or for changing weightings.