Western Australia Development Index (WADI) Project

The Government of Western Australia has expressed interest in the development of a social progress index for the State. Together with Ernst & Young (EY) Perth, ANDI had developed a Business Case describing a five-year project. The WADI Project will be grounded in the priority objectives and desired outcomes identified by the Western Australian community. This could be a major new policy tool for government and community, helping to define and set directions for ‘the Western Australia we want’. The WADI would traverse a number of domains representing many facets of progress and wellbeing, regularly measuring the change in outcomes across these domains through a set of agreed indicators. 

The aims of the WADI Project are to:

1. Establish a holistic and standardised measurement of social progress, to improve the cohesiveness of cross-agency collaboration and improve the clarity of the Western Australian Government’s understanding of community wellbeing (i.e. the WADI)

2. Comprehensively engage the Western Australian community in defining and confirming the main priorities and outcomes for social progress that ought to be measured

3. Embed the WADI within policy decision making frameworks to aid monitoring and evaluation of societal progress and ensure policy decisions are aligned with improving the wellbeing of Western Australians

4. Establish a framework as part of the WADI to allow regular feedback on Western Australian’s wellbeing to improve the community-centred nature of policy making; and

5. Use the WADI as a platform for the development of an Australian National Development Index at a later stage.

The WADI development process

The WADI will be developed via the following steps over four to five years:

Stage one: Undertake planning and design of the WADI, map associated funding, build a network of partnerships and establish a core project team, culminating in a comprehensive blueprint of the WADI development.

Stage two: Establish the broad values, aspirations and domains of the WADI: ‘the WA we want’ via extensive state-wide community engagement, culminating in an initial community engagement report outlining community priorities pointing to likely domain indicators.

Stage three: Establish the research team and domain advisory groups to identify specific goals, outcomes and index in each domain leveraging expertise from research and statistical advisory groups, and state and local government departments, culminating in a draft index ready for community feedback. 

Stage four: Draft and promote the first annual state progress index report having tested the draft index and indicators with the community.  

Stage five: Commence activities to embed the WADI within government including drafting a framework to embed the WADI into state government reporting and strategic priority setting and develop and empower local leadership and decision-making at the local level; 

  • enable an improvement in public discussion on the importance of wellbeing and provide stronger foundations for a shared vision for Western Australia; and
  • provide Western Australia the opportunity to be leaders in the field across Australia and to lead the National conversation concerning social progress measurement. 

The WADI project has been presented to the Premier and several Ministers, and has been favourably received. Funding for the project is being sought from the State government, Lotterywest and relevant philanthropies.