In 2012, HelpAge International embarked on the development of a multidimensional measure of older people’s wellbeing. The initiative came on the heels of the review Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and a Challenge, which identified a need to monitor governments’ progress in eradicating poverty, improving health and advancing the inclusion of older people. Global AgeWatch Index was launched in 2013 and published annually until 2015. The index has been a popular and effective advocacy tool, highlighting key data gaps on ageing and older people at the global level. Based on what we have learned from our experience of publishing three editions of the index, we have now decided to re-launch it as Global AgeWatch Insights. The first edition of Global AgeWatch Insights will be published in 2018.
The UN adoption of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, accompanied by an unprecedented emphasis on the improvement of data systems to measure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), offers both challenges and opportunities for data work on ageing. The potential to map between SDG indicators and the Global AgeWatch Index, as currently configured, is limited, as we have found from a review of the Global SDG Indicators Database. Few of the SDG indicators are disaggregated by age due to persistent challenges in data collection and analysis. To tackle this, we need to move from broad awareness-raising about data gaps to more tailored work with national statistical offices and other relevant stakeholders to improve production and reporting of data in local contexts. There is also an opportunity to directly link data advocacy to the implementation of Agenda 2030 policy goals that are critical to the wellbeing of older people. Considering all of these factors, we have redesigned the Global AgeWatch Index to become the Global AgeWatch Insights, which will be published every three years. It will be thematic in focus, will provide data from a smaller number of countries but in greater depth, and will explore and analyse themes linked to key policy goals from Agenda 2030. Credit: Global Age Watch Index.
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