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Learning to measure wellbeing from the Swedish experience

27 September, 2018

Two Swedish poverty and wellbeing specialists will be in Wellington next week as guests of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.

“The Government is committed to developing a Child Wellbeing Strategy and implementing official measures of child poverty”, says Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft. “We invited Professors Mood and Jonsson to share the Swedish experience with us and help us understand what child well-being can mean and how we can measure it.

“Arguably, successive governments have dropped the ball in developing a child focussed policy over the last 30 years. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”

Professors Carina Mood and Janne Jonsson will lead workshops on measurement of wellbeing and poverty and share their perspectives on poverty mitigation and wellbeing. They are also interested in the relationship between poverty and social outcomes.

“Poverty is commonly defined as a lack of economic resources”, says Carina Mood. “But surprisingly little is known about the importance of economic hardship for social outcomes.”

Professors Mood and Jonsson will also meet with Minister for Children, Tracey Martin, and Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

They will also give public lectures at Victoria University of Wellington at 12.30pm on Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd of October.

“Professors Mood and Jonsson provide a unique opportunity for us to learn from the Swedish experience as we develop our own policies to combat child poverty and nurture child wellbeing” Commissioner Becroft says.

About the Office of the Children’s Commissioner

The Children’s Commissioner is an Independent Crown Entity, appointed by the Governor-General, carrying out responsibilities and functions set out in the Children’s Commissioner Act 2003. The Children’s Commissioner has a range of statutory powers to promote the rights, health, welfare, and wellbeing of children and young people from 0 to 18 years. These functions are undertaken through advocacy, public awareness, consultation, research, and investigations and monitoring. The role includes specific functions in respect of monitoring activities completed under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989. The Children’s Commissioner also undertakes systemic advocacy functions and investigates particular issues with potential to threaten the health, safety, or wellbeing of children and young people. The Children’s Commissioner has a particular responsibility to raise awareness and understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Children’s Commissioner’s activities must comply with the relevant provisions of the Public Finance Act 1989, Crown Entities Act 2004 and any other relevant legislation.


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