Monday 31st March 2014; 10:30 (for 11:00 start) - 14:00; Age International, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9NA

Global ageing is calling into question the differences between developed and developing countries.

Developing countries are seeing a growth of non-communicable diseases usually associated with affluence in wealthier countries: obesity; diabetes; cancer; heart disease; dementia; among others.

Urbanisation is posing significant challenges and opportunities, but countries like China are also seeing vast areas of rural hinterland with an increasingly ageing population.

At the same time, a complex picture of wealth and financial satisfaction is emerging across the world. The global economy is more heavily interlinked than ever before with the future economic success of the UK and wealthier countries likely to rely on the success of development in lower and middle income countries. There is a very positive story to tell about wellbeing in developing countries which is rarely heard.

Across the world, transitions are varying in pace, but a common factor facing most parts is ageing.

Focussing on ageing makes good development sense, a fact that policymakers are increasingly recognising. There has been growing interest from academics and policy makers in exploring how to best compare the impact of ageing in a global context.

HelpAge International's Global AgeWatch Index ranks countries by how well their ageing populations are faring.

The EC and UN supported Active Ageing Index (AAI) is an analytical tool that aims to help policy makers produce policies for active and healthy ageing.

The Global Aging Preparedness Index (GAP) was developed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ with financial support from Prudential plc. The GAP Index seeks to inform the policy debate about global aging and focus attention on the need for constructive reform.

Following introductory remarks from Chris Roles of Age International, Jessica Watson of ILC-UK presented new work using a major international dataset – the World Values Survey – about levels of self-reported financial satisfaction. Analysing data from 56 countries over six continents, these findings throw new light on levels of financial satisfaction within and between countries. This analysis has been made possible by the ESRC SDAI initiative.

Rodd Bond of the Netwell Centre in Dundalk discussed the need for a new capability approach to wellbeing across the world.

During the debate we will consider:

  • What is the relevance of ageing to the broader international development agenda?
  • How should we measure wellbeing in old age across the world?
  • What does financial satisfaction mean in the developing world?
  • What is the significance of financial wellbeing in a global context?
  • What can the UK learn from approaches to wellbeing in later life in the developing world?

This debate will be chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross, ILC-UK's Chief Executive.

Agenda from the event

Welcome - Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive, ILC-UK~
Introduction - Chris Roles, Director, Age International
Presentation - Jessica Watson, Policy and Communications Manager, ILC-UK
Presentation - Jane Scobie, Director of Communications and Advocacy, Helpage International
Presentation - Tim Fassam, Head of Public Affairs, Prudential
Panel Debate - Rodd Bond, Director, Netwell Centre; Dr Jack Watters, Vice President for External Medical Affairs, Pfizer; Ken Bluestone, Policy Adviser, Age International

Presentation slides from the event: