Beyond GDP

  • Year: 2012

Official project name: Beyond GDP

Client: British High Commission and South African government (Department of Environmental Affairs, National Planning Commission, Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Economic Development Department)

Funder: British High Comission – Prosperity Fund

Duration: 1 February 2012 – 31 March 2012


In 2012, TIPS initiated research on Beyond GDP indicators of sustainability in South Africa with the financial support of the British High Commission. The project analysed whether gross domestic product (GDP) or alternative measures of welfare, specifically Real Wealth or Adjusted Net Savings (ANS), provide a better indicator of sustainable development, by evaluating the correlation of these measures with indicators representative of the South African government’s 12 Outcomes approach to performance management. The project provided a first-ever objective measure of government’s delivery on sustainable development, as well as providing a means for evidence-based policymaking towards a long-term sustainable economy, society and environment.

A Policy Brief was published in February 2012 to make the policy case for a tailor-made indicator of sustainable development for South Africa. A closed session of relevant governmental departments (such as the Department of Environmental Affairs, the National Planning Commission, the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation and the National Treasury) was organised at TIPS to present and disseminate the findings of the research.

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