Case Studies

Scotland – Building a Wellbeing Framework through Public Consultation

Tags: Wellbeing Policy Design

Scotland introduced their Wellbeing Framework, called the “National Performance Framework” (NFP) in 2007, which was later put into law in 2015.

“Putting wellbeing at the heart of our approach means we can focus on a wider set of measures which reflect on things like health and happiness of citizens as well as economic wealth to create a world that considers the quality of a person’s life to be as precious an asset as financial success”. – Scotland’s First Minister

In order to inform its development, the Scottish government used data collected by a public consultation, entitled ‘Creating a fairer Scotland’, to better understand the wellbeing priorities of the population. The consultation included questions such as:

  • What are the issues that matter most to you?
  • What do you think needs to be done to create a fairer Scotland?
  • How can you and your community play a role in helping to shape our future?

Participants were able to engage through the government’s website, social media platforms, via email and freepost, or attend one of the 200 open events organised across the country. During this process, 7000 people took part in the public events and around 17,500 visited the social media platforms. The responses were then summarised in five core categories (working and living standards; homes and communities; early years, education, and health; community participation and public services; respect and dignity), which relate to some of the National Performance Framework themes.

In 2018, the National Performance Framework was reviewed and updated, with the aim to publish a new set of National Outcomes and to embed the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Scotland’s Action Plan for Human Rights. To ensure greater public involvement so that the new National Outcomes reflected the values and aspirations of people in Scotland, the Scottish government organised a two-phased consultation.

The first phase of the process focused on public engagement. During this phase, public views and opinions were collected through public discussion groups and street stalls, and workshops and a review of projects and programmes were provided by the Children’s parliament. In addition, the Scottish government took into consideration the findings of the conversation for “Creating a Fairer Scotland”, held in 2015, and “Creating a Healthier Scotland” in 2016 when drafting the National Outcomes.

The second phase of the consultation included expert engagement. During this phase, a lead Committee was formed, comprised of the Local Government and Communities Committee, and various stakeholders were approached seeking views on the revised National Outcomes and National Indicators to inform the framework’s scrutiny. The Scottish Government also organised conversations with stakeholders, an online survey, along with a series of discussions to explore whether the National Performance Framework reflects the set vision.

After this large-scale consultation, the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework Team, part of the Data, Statistics and Outcomes Division, with the support of the government’s Performance and Priorities, collated the data, and the findings were further worked up into thematic areas.

Each of the thematic areas was identified based on the relative depth and breadth of the participants’ views during the consultation process, and, subsequently, were further developed into a draft set of National Outcomes.

The output of this process was the development of the refreshed National Performance Framework, which sets out 11 National wellbeing Outcomes measured through 81 National Indicators.

Scotland articulated their wellbeing vision as having the purpose of “creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish through increased wellbeing, and inclusive and sustainable growth” underpinned by the values we are a society that treats all our people with kindness, dignity and compassion, respects the rule of law and acts in an open and transparent way”.

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