Copyright 2017. © Center for Social Well-Being and Development. All rights reserved.

The Center for Social Well-Being and Development is a chartered center at the George Washington University.

The idea of social well-being draws from the World Health Organization’s definition of health:  

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

Social well-being is a holistic conception of what is necessary for people and communities to experience positive life trajectories. It assumes that individual well-being is most likely to occur when there is an environment or social ecology that includes multiple supports, protections, resources and opportunities. 

Social well-being increases the likelihood of healthy outcomes and behaviors, and the attainment of human rights, good health and socio-economic conditions. A lack of social well-being is associated with negative outcomes, including violence, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, school dropout, infant mortality, sex or labor exploitation, gender and social inequity, chronic disease, substance abuse, social marginalization and poverty.

​From this perspective, we do not view specific problems in isolation, but in context. We seek to promote those aspects of social well-being that are most likely to have a positive impact towards resolving the problem and generally advancing sustainable development.