National and subnational governments around the world want to reactivate or accelerate growth through the combination of policies and economic development strategies. In addition, most leaders see the well-being of citizens, not just income growth, as the main goal to pursue. In support of that pursuit, governments need a sustainable, comprehensive approach to economic development.
The dual pursuit of economic growth (and variations on that goal that emphasize employment or other related aspects) and improvements in well-being is a matter of importance and urgency. Many countries are still recovering from the global economic crises, and many are increasingly concerned about inequality (the lack of social inclusion) and environmental damage.
There are two ways to address these concerns: BCG's economic assessment and BCG's approach to economic development.
Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA)
BCG’s SEDA provides a definition of well-being based on three fundamental elements, which themselves are comprised of ten dimensions that are used to create a relative fact-based measure of well-being across countries.
The first element is economics, which includes income, economic stability, and employment dimensions. The second element, investments, encompasses education, health, and infrastructure, which account for much of government budgets. The third element covers two aspects of sustainability: social inclusion—including income equality, civil society, and governance—and environment.
SEDA provides four measures that deliver different insights into each country's relative level of well-being: