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.