Measuring What Matters: Defining the Methodology to Assess Quality of Life

The Quality of Life Initiative wrapped up its 4th Expert Group Meeting (EGM) 25-26 April in New York. The two-day event brought together data experts from the private sector, academia, government, and other UN agencies to fine-tune and validate the global Quality of Life indicators of the quality of life measurement tool.  

The meeting focused on finalizing robust, measurable, and universally applicable indicators for the global Quality of Life’s innovative measurement tool which is being piloted in 11 cities around the world in 2024. A diverse panel of 23 data experts from academia, the private sector, government, and United Nations agencies were gathered to contribute their expertise to advise on finalizing the global layer metrics. 



During the two-day meeting, participants engaged in thematic sessions to review and refine the proposed global indicators. The focus was on assessing practical data collection methods and the feasibility of the indicators across different global contexts. Innovative methodologies such as social media surveys, mobile data analysis, and satellite imagery were critically assessed for their potential to bridge data gaps. Data collection methods, feasibility, quality and reliability of data were also assessed. 



The meeting successfully contributed to the refinement and finalization the global layer of the Quality of Life’s measurement tool. The approved technical methods for novel data collection, alongside substantial recommendations for changing some indicators, ensured alignment with practical data availability and the causal links to quality of life. 



The refined indicators will be piloted in 11 cities worldwide to validate their effectiveness and applicability. This next phase will focus on refining methodologies and data sources with the pilot cities.