3. Благополучие и его культурные контексты
UNESCO, 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity
By adopting Health 2020, Member States mandated the WHO Regional Office for Europe to measure and report on the well-being of the European population in a holistic manner.
Well-being is a unifying concept that is relevant to many government sectors. Engaging with well-being provides an important opportunity to take a whole-of-government approach to improving the health of the European population.
A growing body of evidence shows that:
- well-being can be reliably measured at the local and national levels;
- this shows something not captured by other metrics; and
- designing policies that take account of well-being can improve the delivery of health-related programmes, services and benefits.
Well-being is experienced at the subjective, individual level; it can also be described objectively through several indicators at the population level, such as education, income and housing. Engaging with the full complexity of subjective well-being demands a multidisciplinary, integrated health-research approach. This will require a more sustained use of different types of qualitative evidence to enhance the quantitative data available from wellbeing surveys.
Comparing subjective well-being data between groups from very different cultural contexts remains a challenge. Since cultural contexts strongly influence well-being, their importance to wellbeing and health more generally must be investigated more systematically.
A more participatory approach grounded in the local voices of communities should be adopted to communicate information about well-being. Top-down reporting frameworks are likely to miss out on the rich diversity of cultural contexts within which health and well-being are situated.
In January 2015 WHO launched a review of the cultural contexts of health (CCH), which seeks to synthesize the evidence about the impact of culture on well-being and on health more broadly. One of its longer-term objectives is to create a richer set of tools and methodologies for measuring and reporting on well-being.