Suffering Metrics & Quantification

As preventing intense suffering is the most important goal of compassionate governance and policy-making, it is essential that this be reflected in the metrics used for decision-making and tracking progress. OPIS advocates for the establishment of new suffering metrics such as Years Lived with Severe Suffering (YLSS) and Days Lived with Extreme Suffering (DLES). The case for these suffering metrics, including their advantages over existing health metrics such as the QALY and the DALY, was made in The Tango of Ethics (2023). The relevant excerpt is available here.

We are currently working on a semi-quantitative overview and visualisation of world suffering, which we will release in 2024.


We are using QuestionPro’s survey software  to conduct research on suffering, and we appreciate the free non-profit license they have granted us, allowing us to design our survey more effectively than with other tools.