Claire Melamed, researcher at the Overseas Development Institute, was right when she blogged, 'Happiness is suddenly fashionable in the UK again', as David Cameron is due to launch a well-being index from April next year.
Yet this is not just something that is occurring in the UK: France's President Nicholas Sarkozy announced a year ago that he wanted to include happiness when measuring France's progress. And happiness is already firmly on the public policy agenda in Bhutan, with a twice-annual happiness survey already conducted there.
It was the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that first took a monumental foray into the idea that there are more ways of measuring development than simply looking at income, when it published the first Human Development Report in 1990.
Twenty years on, the UNDP has published a 20th anniversary edition of the report, looking at the progress, of international development, over that time.
Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand and current administrator of the UNDP, attended the UK launch of the report at a joint meeting of the all-party parliamentary groups on Africa and overseas development, on Tuesday.
At a headline level the report demonstrates that "people are healthier, better educated and have more wealth than ever before", said Clark.
The signature aspect of the report, the Human Development Index (HDI), which ranks countries according to development, has seen recent innovations including an inequality-adjusted index.
"Inequality within a country can lead to a reduction in scores by 20 per cent," said Clark.
There are still huge disparities in equality not only between the developed and the developing world, but within countries.
Michael Anderson, director general for policy and global issues at the Department for International Development, told the audience that inequality will "pose some serious challenges around the world".
The issue of gender inequality is addressed in the report, and the importance of creating societies where women have access to education, medical care and sexual and reproductive health was pinpointed at the launch.
Clark spoke passionately about the need for gender equality and the role it can play in boosting a country's rating.
"From the point of view of development, investing in women is a breakthrough strategy which a country can't perform without.
"Women and girls of the world need support, but we are a long way off from rolling out global access to sexual and reproductive health," she said.
Anderson reiterated this point by stating, "we just have not invested enough".
Over the years the report has proven that growth in a monetary sense cannot determine development alone.
Jenni Klugman, the report's author, pinpointed China as "the only country that has been solely reliant on economic growth over time".
Clark asserted that in order for truly sustainable development, growth that does occur needs to be "inclusive and job-rich, leading to a growth in tax revenues".
Comment was also made about the effect the global financial crisis has, and will have on future development.
Responding to such comments, Clark called the crisis a "blight" on human development, quoting from research conducted by the World Bank which reports that due to the crisis 64 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty who would previously not have been.