Measuring Well-Being in Germany – Communication Strategy To Raise the Awareness of Our Statistical Expertise
Sibylle von Oppeln-Bronikowski
Federal Statistical Office, Wiesbaden, Germany

As a result of the strong interest shown at the highest political level, the outcome of the work done by the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission (SSF Commission) has received a great deal of attention in the media in Germany. At its meeting in February 2010, the Franco-German Ministerial Council chaired by the Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy discussed the report of the SSF Commission and commissioned the German Council of Economic Experts and the French Conseil d'Analyse Έconomique to jointly prepare an associated expert report. In addition, the German Bundestag established a Study Commission on this theme. Due to the great interest subsequently shown by the media, official statistics has faced competition from other data providers in this area.

To make sure that official statistics will be heard on the subject, the Federal Statistical Office must pursue an offensive policy in the context of its communication strategy. Organising a colloquium with high-ranking participants on the occasion of the World Statistics Day, providing the ministries with specific information and bringing the subject up for discussion in the Statistical Advisory Committee have been just some of the measure taken to reach this objective.

Because of the long-term experience of German official statistics, for instance, in conducting time use surveys to measure the quality of life and providing indicators in the sustainability report, its involvement in putting the results of the SSF Commission into practice is of great importance. The same applies to the experience it has gained in presenting, in a transparent way and using state-of-the-art communication tools, politically sensitive issues such as the population census.

The Federal Statistical Office's paper will describe both the way in which the above challenges have been addressed and the strategy aimed at providing adequate communication.

Keywords: Measuring progress; Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi-commission; Communication strategy

Biography: Sibylle von Oppeln-Bronikowski, Head of Department

Economics studies in Heidelberg, university degree (Diplom) with a focus on economic and social statistics, supervised by Prof. Wagenführ

Since 1980 at the Federal Statistical Office

From 2004 to 2008, Head of Department on Prices, Foreign Trade, Transport and Earnings

Since 2008, Head of Department on Questions of Principle of Federal and International Statistics, Dissemination of Information

Focus of career: Strategic orientation of statistics and communication as well as international relations