Hoppa yfir valmynd

International co-operation

International co-operation and the work of international organisations on well-being issues

The Icelandic government is a participant in the Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo). It is an initiative where member countries are working together to understand the key priorities for a well-being economy. The network enables cross-government engagement, learning and collaboration to utilise the advice of experts and deepen the understanding of delivering a well-being economy for citizens and the environment. The objective is to encourage co-operation of governments interested in expanding understanding of the concept of well-being and introducing this into their strategic planning. The group of well-being economies includes Canada, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, which provides policy advice to member states, has emphasised not only focusing on economic factors when assessing the quality of life in member countries. The organisation publishes, among other things, a Better Life Index, which examines 11 factors influencing well-being and quality of life: housing, economic wealth or income, labour market, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance. Each of these 11 factors is then measured using several metrics. The selection of these factors and metrics is based on the OECD's decades of research and consulting experience. The OECD considers them to be core well-being factors in terms of the standard of living and quality of life. On the organisation's website is an information portal on planning strategy and the use of well-being indicators in government planning. 


World Health Organization, WHO

In June 2023, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir was appointed as a WHO Champion for the European Well-being Economy Initiative for two years. The objective of the initiative is to support actions that improve the well-being of societies and ensure a healthier, fairer and more successful future for coming generations. As a WHO Champion, the Prime Minister works toward raising awareness among global governments and intergovernmental bodies about the imperatives and benefits of transitioning to well-being economies. 

In mid-2023, the World Health Organization published a report on the well-being economy in Iceland. The report, which in English is entitled Country deep dive on the well-being economy – Iceland, was among the first of those prepared by the Organisation on the well-being economy in different countries.

Among the report's main findings is that social challenges related to the welfare system, the economy and the environment have been the main driving forces behind the change in policy towards a well-being economy. Increased emphasis on gender equality has also moved well-being prioritisations up on the agenda.

The report also points out that well-being emphases extend horizontally through the public administration and society. The leadership of well-being, just transitions and sustainable development rests with the Prime Minister's Office, ensuring co-ordination of these convergent policy issues and greater commitment across the ministries. Iceland's approach also aims at ensuring that increased well-being has a positive effect on health, to the benefit of the entire society.

Contact us

Tip / Query
Please answer in numerics