Our book is a useful "how to" book for researchers and government offices wanting to start or improve their own QOL survey, and contains "best practices" from all over the world. We discuss cutting-edge surveys that are being adopted by all countries in the European community as a standardized measure of each country's progress. We also discuss how developing countries can begin the measurement of Quality of Life in ways that will increase political credibility and require smaller budgets. Other chapters describe policy applications of the Quality of Life surveys, including nations' health goals, smoking cessation, child welfare, and poverty reduction.
The authors of these chapters are the world's top experts on assessing Quality of Life. For example, the author of the first chapter is Sten Johansson, former Director of Statistics Sweden, responsible for creating the first comprehensive QOL assessment systems in the world, beginning in the 1960's. The author of the second chapter is Professor Ruut Veenhoven, known as the premier researcher on national happiness, having developed the largest database in the world on the subjective measures of well-being. Heinz-Herbert Noll is responsible for developing the unified Quality of Life measurement system for the new European Union, where up to 25 countries will be assessed using the same methodology and questionnaires.
This volume is a valuable resource for four groups of readers. To researchers interested in best practices for well-established surveys of living conditions, the papers by Boelhouwer, Noll, Vogel, and Berger-Schmitt will be of special interest. To researchers and policy analysts interested in establishing a living-conditions report in their country, the papers by Kamen, Møller and Dickow, Estes, Andersen and Poppel, May, Stevens and Stols and Aasland and Tyldum give invaluable information about developing credibility, consensus-building, and survey design. For researchers interested in cross-national comparison, the papers by Hudler and Richter, and Delhey, Böhnke, Habich, and Zapf describe the rich resources already available, as well as problems of different wording, interpretation, etc. Finally, for citizens wishing to effect changes in public policy, and for researchers studying that process, the papers by Ferris, Estes, Hagerty, and Behrendt outline how organizations should select goals, utilize social indicators, and develop programs that improve the Quality of Life in their nations.