Comprehensive Wealth Data

Building Post-COVID Recovery around Wealth rather than GDP

12 July 2021 | Online


This HLPF side event introduced examples of expanded wealth measures and how they can help prioritize post-COVID recovery investments and better measure progress toward achieving the SDGs.

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Comprehensive Wealth Data

This side event introduced examples of expanded wealth measures and demonstrated the ways in which they can be used to prioritize post-COVID recovery investments while promoting and contributing to SDGs 8 (decent work and economic growth), 13 (climate action), and 17 (partnerships for the Goals).

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) organized the event, which brought together experts from IISD, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the UN Environment Programme, Cambridge University, and Universitas Indonesia to discuss the use of these expanded measures of wealth to evaluate economic health and national progress. A number of prominent organizations are currently developing “comprehensive” or “inclusive” measures, such as financial resilience, as a potential complement to the traditional measure of GDP. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has highlighted the need for broader measures that enable improved understanding of socio-economic resilience under stress.

The experts shared insights as they addressed the following questions:

  • What types of investments and policy measures would be the most relevant to expand countries’ wealth and address post-COVID needs?
  • How can we strengthen resilience by better measuring wealth?
  • What are the capacity needs at the country level to advance the integration of wealth measures to address post-COVID needs and build resilience?

The event drew on IISD’s ongoing initiative, Measuring Comprehensive Wealth to Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Development, which is supported by IDRC. The initiative aims to encourage governments to move “beyond GDP” as the main measure of societal progress.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of this event is here

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