The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on setting the second wave of national milestones for Wales that will assist Ministers in assessing progress towards achieving the seven well-being goals as set out in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
The consultation will run from 21 June to 12 September during which time we will be undertaking a programme of engagement to raise the profile of this important work and seek wider views.
The Minister for Social Justice has published a Written Statement to launch the consultation.
It’s important that we draw on the views and experiences of people across Wales as we carry out this work and we invite you to contribute!
In a previous post on the national indicators, we asked for your views on the set of national well-being indicators, and any gaps that the pandemic had highlighted as important to national well-being.
These indicators were set by Welsh Ministers to measure progress towards achieving the seven well-being goals. Each indicator was mapped to one or more well-being goals as part of the 2015-16 consultation and laying of indicators. Based on recent feedback, we would like to hear your views on the current mapping of indicators to goals to ensure this is still the best it can be.
What are the well-being goals?
The seven well-being goals show the kind of Wales we want to see. Together they provide a shared vision for the public bodies listed in the Well-being of Future Generations Act to work towards. They are a set of goals – the Act makes it clear the listed public bodies must work to achieve all of the goals, not just one or two. The goals are:
A Prosperous Wales – An innovative, productive and low carbon society which recognises the limits of the global environment and therefore uses resources efficiently and proportionately (including acting on climate change); and which develops a skilled and well-educated population in an economy which generates wealth and provides employment opportunities, allowing people to take advantage of the wealth generated through securing decent work.
A Resilient Wales – A nation which maintains and enhances a bio-diverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example, climate change).
A Healthier Wales – A society in which people’s physical and mental well-being is maximised and in which choices and behaviours that benefit future health are understood.
A More Equal Wales – A society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances (including their socio economic background and circumstances).
A Wales of Cohesive Communities – Attractive, viable, safe and well-connected communities.
A Wales of Vibrant Culture and Thriving Welsh Language – A society that promotes and protects culture, heritage and the Welsh language, and which encourages people to participate in the arts, sports and recreation.
A Globally Responsible Wales – A nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global well-being. Goal 7 recognises that in an inter-connected world what we do to make Wales a sustainable nation can have positive and adverse impacts outside of Wales.
To gather your views on the mapping of national indicators to well-being goals, we have created a survey form which lets you allocate indicators to what you think are the best fitting goals. For each indicator you can assign goals, remove goals you feel are not appropriate for that indicator, or leave the current mapping as it is.
Before suggesting changes for an indicator, please make sure you are familiar with the description of the goal being added or removed. More information on the indicators can be found on the online webpages or in the technical description document.
Please provide your response by 11th February 2022
Thank you for taking the time to share your views, and happy mapping!
As part of the Shaping Wales’ Future programme, the Welsh Government has published the first wave of Wales’ national milestones under the seven well-being goals, an updated suite of national well-being indicators, and the second edition of the Future Trends Report Wales.
These are three important parts of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 that tell us about the progress we’re making towards our well-being goals, help us better understand any challenges we might face on the way and ensure we seize the opportunities we have to do things better. You can access the publications here:
We will use the publication of the national milestones, updated indicators, and Future Trends Report as a platform to bring renewed focus on what matters to Wales and where progress is needed, and to ensure that we are better prepared to meet the challenges and seize the many opportunities that lie ahead.
In partnership with Public Health Wales, Natural Resources Wales, and the Future Generations Commissioner’s Office, Welsh Government recently held a series of workshops with Public Services Boards (PSBs) across Wales on considering future trends as part of their local well-being assessments. The aim of the workshops was to explore the trends that could be driving change in the long term and how futures thinking techniques can help PSBs evaluate what that may mean for their well-being assessments.
Ahead of the publication of the Future Trends Report Wales 2021 in December, the workshops provided an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of embedding long-term thinking when assessing local well-being.
Under the Well-being of Future Generations Act, PSBs must publish an assessment of the state of economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being in their areas no later than the date of an ordinary local government election. Their local well-being plans must be published within a year of those elections.
The assessment must include predictions of likely future trends that may impact the well-being of the area, and refer to the Future Trends Report to ensure the long-term needs of the area are taken into account.
Exploring the dynamics of change
The aim of the workshops was to provide an opportunity for PSBs to discuss the key trends that will be featured in the Future Trends Report, to what extent these trends may relate to the various regions within Wales, and how they may affect planning for the future.
Workshop attendees were provided with a list of likely trends and were asked to complete an impact-certainty matrix using the digital collaboration platform MURAL. Categorising the trends in this way can help identify what next steps, if any, are required (see Figure 1). This futures exercise required attendees to consider what the impact of each trend would be on their local area and think about how certain they are about the impact, and how important they think it will be in terms of affecting well-being. Officials supported the PSB attendees in exploring the potential impacts of a specific trend where they felt the potential impact was important but uncertain. Some key questions were asked during the workshop:
What could the potential outcome of this trend be?
Do you consider this trend an opportunity or a threat?
What action can you take to harness this opportunity or mitigate this threat?
Who else do you need to engage with to help you better understand the issue or take action?
Some key principles to consider were also outlined in the workshop, including:
Embracing and managing uncertainty
When dealing with uncertainty, the more you think about how different scenarios could play out, the more questions and uncertainties you are likely to uncover. The future is an uncertain place and the aim of futures thinking is not about how to find the ‘right’ answer but about how to make the best possible decisions by thinking about all the possibilities, and by flushing out potential assumptions and biases.
It is important to involve people with an interest in the well-being of the area to better understand the potential impacts of trends. Incorporating diverse perspectives will challenge existing assumptions and will uncover blind spots. Anyone who is likely to use the outputs of the assessment should be involved in their development if possible.
Moving to more conscious futures thinking
‘Futures thinking’, or ‘scenario planning’ is something humans do every day – we make decisions based what we expect to happen as a result. It is important to remember that we are not passive observers; we have a role in determining the shape of the future.
The 90-minute workshops helped start to uncover the trends that PSBs need to think about, to monitor, and those which are important for the well-being of an area but have an uncertain outcome. The workshops helped strengthen the understanding of the trends, identify some initial knowledge gaps, and helped attendees consider additional stakeholders to involve going forward. The workshop also gave attendees practical experience of a futures-based exercise. We hope this can act as a blueprint for further such exercises within the PSBs.
The futures exercise used during the workshops was based on the ‘Driver Mapping’ tool included in the UK Government’s Futures Toolkit. This exercise represents just one of many different tools that can help embed long-term strategic thinking within the local well-being assessment process. Many futures tools are flexible, and can be adapted as required. We would encourage readers to explore some of the other futures tools and resources available:
This year we are setting National Milestones for Wales. We hope for these milestones to play an important role alongside the Programme for Government in fulfilling our commitment of delivering a stronger, fairer and greener Wales. We have been working closely with stakeholders to develop our thinking on draft national milestone values in eight important areas, and these have become the national milestones we will set in 2021 and areas are the values we are seeking views on in our current Shaping Wales’ future consultation.