Dr. Saamah Abdallah

“The great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things”  – Benjamin Franklin, 1779

Wellbeing was barely known as a concept in policy when Saamah began working in the field in 2006, based at the New Economics Foundation in London. Since then, starting with the launch of the first Happy Planet Index in the same year, he has contributed critically to the growing increase in interest in wellbeing economics and alternative indicators. Saamah has in-depth knowledge of the different approaches to measuring progress, from the international level all the way down to the local level. His academic background in psychology contributes to skills in designing and analysing surveys on social issues, as well as an understanding of the conditions required to achieve sustainable behaviour.

Saamah helped develop the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, a UK government-funded initiative to marshal and disseminate wellbeing evidence useful for policy and practice. He was a member of the Eurostat Expert Group on Quality of Life, and in 2016 won the award for Emerging Leader in the field of Community Indicators.

At Hot or Cool he seeks to use his knowledge on wellbeing and indicators to work towards the goal of good lives that don’t cost the Earth.

Contact: s.abdallah@hotorcool.org

Research Highlights and Accomplishments

  1. What works to improve social capital? Cairns M, Maguire R, Abdallah S & Zeidler L. Centre for Thriving Places & What Works Centre for Wellbeing, 2022.
  2. The Relative Importance of Self-Focused and Society-Focused Values in Explaining Political Attitudes in Europe. Abdallah S. Political Psychology, 2022.
  3. Understanding Thriving Communities. Abdallah S, Abreu Scherer I, Brunetti S, Hardoon D, Maguire R, Moran P, Safazdeh S & Zeidler L. The National Lottery Community Fund, 2019.
  4. Drivers of wellbeing inequality: Inequality in life satisfaction across local authorities in Great Britain. Abdallah S, Wheatley H & Quick A. What Works Centre for Wellbeing, 2017.
  5. Looking through the Wellbeing Kaleidoscope: Results from the European Social Survey. Harrison E, Quick A & Abdallah S. New Economics Foundation, 2016.
  6. Principles for a new economy. Berry C, Jenkins T & Abdallah S. New Economics Foundation, 2015.
  7. Well-being at work: A review of the literature. Jeffrey K, Mahony S, Michaelson J & Abdallah S. New Economics Foundation, 2014.
  8. The BRAINPOoL Project: Summary, Recommendations and Next Steps. Whitby A, Seaford C, Berry C & Abdallah S. BRAINPOoL, a collaborative project funded by the European Commission under the FP7 Programme (Contract no. 283024), 2014
  9. Third European Quality of Life Survey – Quality of Life in Europe: Subjective well-being. Abdallah S, Stoll L & Eiffe FF.  Eurofound, 2013.
  10. Well-being and transport: Taking stock and looking forward. Reardon L & Abdallah S. Transport reviews 33:634-657, 2013.
  11. The Happy Planet Index: 2012 Report: A global index of sustainable well-being. Abdallah S, Michaelson J, Shah S, Stoll L & Marks N. New Economics Foundation, 2012.
  12. The distribution of total greenhouse gas emissions by households in the UK, and some implications for social policy. Gough I, Abdallah S, Johnson V, Ryan-Collins J & Smith C. LSE STICERD Research Paper No. CASE152,
  13. Moments of Change’ as opportunities for influencing behaviour. Michaelson J, Abdallah S, Johnson V, Morris D, Riley K & Simms A. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK, 2011.
  14. The (un)Happy Planet Index 2.0: Why good lives don’t have to cost the Earth. Abdallah S, Thompson S, Michaelson J, Marks N and Steuer N. New Economics Foundation, 2009.
  15. National Accounts of Well-being: bringing real wealth onto the balance sheet. Michaelson J, Abdallah S, Steuer N, Thompson S and Marks N. New Economics Foundation, 2009.
  16. Estimating worldwide life satisfaction. Abdallah S, Thompson S, Marks N. Ecological Economics 65:35-47, 2008.
  17. The European (un)Happy Planet Index: An index of carbon efficiency and well-being in the EU. Thompson S, Abdallah S, Marks N, Simms A and Johnson V. New Economics Foundation, 2007.
  18. The (un)Happy Planet Index: An index of human well-being and environmental impact. Marks N, Abdallah S, Simms A, Thompson S. New Economics Foundation, 2006.

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