The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Is Wellbeing the Way Forward? Budgeting for a (Post)Pandemic World

15 February 2022, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm


A ‘(Post)Pandemic Planning in the South(s)’ event hosted by the State and Market research cluster

Event Information

Open to



Sold out


Armando Caroca Fernandez


Virtual event

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J6YSs694h8



The economic consequences of the global pandemic have been far-reaching and deeply felt. They may also have upended economic policy making as governments tore up their fiscal rule books, supply-chains creaked, and low wages for ‘essential work’ became a glaring reminder of the gap that can exist between social and economic values. Add growing inequality and the looming climate catastrophe, and many are asking: does our economic system deliver the things that really matter? And if not, what can be done about it? 

In this context, there is growing interest in well-being approaches to align economic progress with broader social values and goals.  Many countries are looking to New Zealand – which introduced its first well-being budget in 2019 – as an example.  Although New Zealand was not the first country to introduce wellbeing measures into their policy decision making, their approach is arguably the most comprehensive to date – drawing on 60 indicators and integrated into the heart of the budget process.  Yet what is a wellbeing approach and how does it shape policy outcomes in practice? How are targets constructed, who decides, and under what conditions can it lead to meaningful change? 

Chaired by: Dr Alexandra Panman - Lecturer in Urban Economic Public Policy at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL

Speaker: Professor Arthur Grimes - Professor of Wellbeing and Public Policy at Victoria University

Discussant: Dr. George Larbi - Lead Public Sector and Governance Specialist in the World Bank

Image: Pixabay/nattanan23



About the (Post)Pandemic Planning in the South(s) series

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new imperatives for the field of Development Planning. As a response, last year DPU proposed a webinar and blog series around ‘Post COVID-19 Urban Futures' as an outward facing space for reflection with scholars, practitioners, students, and alumni on the impacts the pandemic is having on the cities in all spheres of life. The question we used to connect all the sessions and written contributions revolved around: Are we ready to imagine a better post COVID world?  

Find out more on the series webpage.