Attention to equitable wellbeing and sustainable development has increased considerably over recent years becoming an established part of the political agendas of governments around the world. The belief has in fact become stronger and stronger that traditional macroeconomic measurements, such as GDP, are incapable of measuring “that which makes life worthwhile” (J.F. Kennedy). However, the ever growing need is noticeable for reliable data and appropriate methodologies for measuring and evaluating the impact of public policies. For these reasons, over the past decade indicator systems have been developed such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), internationally, and the Equitable and Sustainable Wellbeing (BES) initiative in Italy.

Public Administration (but also subsidiaries and/or private companies) has an essential role in pursuing the targets set by the BES and SDGs. However, the practice, also due to the bureaucratic and compliance approach adopted by Italian performance management, seems to suggest the compelling need to fill a methodological and organisational gap with regard to the ways in which public administrations can affect the improvement of their citizens’ wellbeing, also in the light of the investments programmed in the missions of the Recovery Plan.

In this sense, the concept of Public Value can be used, or rather “the level of economic-social-environmental wellbeing of the reference community in which an organisation works, compared to the initial starting conditions”, through a dual function. On the one side, in organisational terms, the PA could plan its operations along the lines of a cyclic programming approach, measuring and evaluating the policies (and their relative impacts) and the administrative actions (and relative performances) according to the improvement in wellbeing of consumers. On the other, from the methodological perspective, the Public Value Pyramid model could be used, in order to standardise the performance of an authority (or of several authorities) and to direct them towards a single meta-target: wellbeing. This methodology sets itself the ambitious goal of measuring, by means of a multidimensional system of indicators and/or a final composite index, Public Value created by the public and/or private organisations, while at the same time making it possible to standardise the four dimensions of performance: the health of resources, efficiency, effectiveness and impact.


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