Engage Nova Scotia (ENS) is a not-for-profit organization based in Halifax, Nova Scotia who is fostering a network of change-makers in Nova Scotia. ENS and a collaborative of government, business, institutions (including Nova Scotia Community College), the voluntary sector and engaged citizens have spearheaded a massive effort to research and improve the quality of life of all Nova Scotians. Known as the Nova Scotia Quality of Life Initiative, in partnership with the CIW, it released a Nova Scotia Quality of Life Index Report in 2018 and a province-wide Nova Scotia Community Wellbeing Survey Report in 2020. Preparations are in place to conduct a second CIW Community Wellbeing Survey across Nova Scotia in 2024.
The Nova Scotia Quality of Life Initiative was launched by ENS to advance a shared framework for measuring and improving the daily lives of everyday Nova Scotians. It is hoped that The Nova Scotia Quality of Life Index Report published in 2018 and the subsequent reports produced from the results of the Nova Scotia Quality of Life Survey in 2020 will offer new perspectives and prompt action to improve the overall wellbeing of all residents of Nova Scotia, across economic, environmental, and cultural lines.
"The Nova Scotia Quality of Life Index – based on the Canadian Index of Wellbeing – assembles 21 years of data for 60 of the 64 original indicators in eight domains of quality of life to offer a high-level view of how Nova Scotians are really doing. It identifes trends and compares them to results for Canada overall. It explores strengths and challenges within each domain."
From May to July 2019, over 80,000 households across Nova Scotia received invitiations to complete the CIW Community Wellbeing Survey. The survey includes focused questions in the CIW's eight defined domains of wellbeing and will help measure quality of life in communities across the province. The CIW prepared two reports outlining the results of this survey (see links above). The results of the survey are actively being used by ENS and others to facilitate conversations aimed at developing innovative solutions to pressing challenges that affect quality of life at both the local community and provincial levels. Results of the NS Quality of Life Survey have been shared through a newly developed Wellbeing Mapping Tool that visualizes the survey data. Communities can now share with others, what is going well in their region and why (types of programs and services in place), so that together, Nova Scotians can improve the quality of life for their people, without reinventing the wheel.
Engage Nova Scotia stepped out of the office to speak with locals and find out why they are excited about the Quality of Life Initative and what "wellbeing" means to them: