They say that when a person has a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
For Costa Rica, the hammer is the new index of social progress that is being promoted by Casa Presidencial to evaluate the quality of life in the nation’s 81 cantons.
The index came from the Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas in Alajuela and the Social Progress Imperative, which says “Our vision is a world in which social progress sits alongside economic prosperity as a measure of a sustainable society.”
Using the index, the Consejo Presidencial de Innovación y Talento Humano said Monday that the cantons with the highest index of social progress are Moravia, Flores, San Rafael, Zarcero and San Isidro. In the cellar as the five worst are Upala, Garabito, Los Chiles, La Cruz and Talamanca.
The social progress index is designed to evaluate human development without the use of financial measures such as gross domestic product.
As Casa Presidencial explained in a summary, the four principles of the index are social and environmental indicators.
Expats will be hearing more about this index as municipal governments begin using it.
The index evolves from the traditions in the social sciences that seek to measure and statistical analyze aspects of human behavior. Modern economics is an example of this quantitative approach.
The summary said that the index had three dimensions, basic human needs, welfare fundamentals and opportunity. In all, there are 46 variables.
As to the evaluation of the best and the worst, Casa Presidencial said that the cantons on the coasts and on the
national borders have lower levels of social progress with weaknesses in access to basic knowledge, access to housing, access to information and communications, and access to higher education.
The higher ranking cantons have high levels of social progress but with problems associated with health and welfare, ecosystems and sustainability and personal security, said the summary.
The index will be used by various governmental and private institutions to create and put programs into practice. Among these is what is called a hackathon where in 24 hours experts will produce solutions to improve the life of Costa Ricans in the 10 cantons that rank the lowest.
There also is a contest being planned to invite citizens to propose solutions to address the priorities outlined by the index.
The index project has its own Web site HERE!