What does well-being look like now and in the future?
A key part of the Well-being of Future Generations Act established Public Services Boards (PSBs) to make sure that local organisations work together to improve the well-being of their area for current and future generations.
The first task for PSBs is to develop a Well-being Assessment which will explain the state of economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being in their area.
The Future Generations Commissioner views the Assessments as an important part of the journey to a better Wales for future generations, assessments that set out an accurate and insightful picture of local peoples’ well-being and looks at future trends will provide the basis for Well-being Plans that are more likely to be effective for improving the well-being of people in the future.
We will be working closely with a range of people to formulate our responses to Well-being Assessments, and developing partnership arrangements to analyse and evaluate drafts. The following is an overview of the key things we will be looking for in Assessments.
Assessments are not an event
We are keen that PSBs don’t view Well-being Assessments as an ‘event’ to work towards and then to put on a shelf for five years. Assessing the state of well-being and then planning for improvements is an ongoing, iterative journey.
PSBs should see the Assessments aan opportunity for you to be honest about where the gaps are in your data and evidence, reflecting on what an Assessment doesn’t tell you as well as what it does tell you. This approach will be helpful for the office to form a view on common issues and challenges across PSBs, highlighting key areas to focus on in coming years.
Assessments must be about future well-being
The Assessments cannot just set out data that has been collected about your area – we expect to see analysis making connections between different data, setting data within the context of the seven well-being goals and taking account of the five ways of working set out in the Act. Assessments should also begin considering priorities for formulating well-being objectives (moving towards response analysis)
We will be expecting to see consideration of future trends for your area and how these link back to existing trends and consideration of priorities.
Involving people and communities
The Assessments must show how you have involved people and communities, being clear about how different people, communities and interest groups have been involved. We are keen that this is viewed as an ongoing dialogue with people about the future of their area and their well-being, rather than a series of one-off discussions.
The role of our office
We plan to provide high level feedback to each PSB on their draft Assessment in ways that reflect the need for you to be ambitious but that also recognises these drafts as being at the start of a process. We will also use this information to pull out common issues and challenges together with broader learning for achieving the ambitions of the Act.
We are currently setting up the office, and the Commissioner has challenged us to embed collaboration and maximise opportunities for learning and relationship building through everything we do.
As part of this we are building a partnership with academics and experts to analyse and evaluate draft Assessments, working in ways which will embed academic partnerships within the team with a view to supporting capacity and capability across the office.