Comprehensive Wealth data

Building Post-COVID Recovery Around Wealth Rather than GDP

How can measures of wealth that go beyond GDP be used to prioritize post-COVID recovery actions and contribute to SDGs? Find answers at this HLPF side event.

July 12, 2021 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

(Open to public)

Expanded measures of wealth (“comprehensive” or “inclusive” measures) that complement GDP are under development by UNEP, the World Bank, the Bennett Institute at Cambridge University and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, among other prominent organizations. They are critical to helping governments deploy policies to improve well-being without depreciating natural capital, as the recent Dasgupta Review highlighted. This side event will introduce examples of expanded wealth measures and demonstrate how they can be used to prioritize post-COVID recovery investments while promoting and contributing to SDGs 8, 13, and 17.

The potential for decision-makers to increase national wealth and well-being by basing decisions on expanded wealth measurements is significant during the unprecedented post-COVID recovery period. The pandemic has highlighted the need for broader measures of wealth to understand socio-economic resilience under stress. As one example, tracking financial assets as part of a country’s wealth portfolio can demonstrate the under-recognized need for financial resilience. Financial assets are important elements of a wealth portfolio, along with produced, human, natural and social capital, to see a country (or a family) through difficult times.

The side event will draw on an ongoing initiative on “Measuring Comprehensive Wealth to Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Development” implemented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and supported by Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC). The event will bring together leading experts in the area and provide insights on:

  • What types of investments and policy measures would be the most relevant to expand countries’ wealth and address post-COVID needs?
  • How can we strengthen resilience by better measuring wealth?
  • What are the capacity needs at the country level to advance the integration of wealth measures to address post-COVID needs and build resilience?

Moderator: Dominque Charron, Vice-President, Programs and Partnerships (International Development Research Centre, IDRC)


Rob Smith, Principal, Midsummer Analytics, and Senior Associate, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Pushpam Kumar, Chief Environmental Economist, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Matthew Agarwala, Project Leader, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge

Alin Halimatussadiah, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia