Over the last decade, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has promoted initiatives to stimulate worldwide commitments to the "Decent Work Agenda", based on respect for the statements expressed in the Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Several governments in South America, especially Brazil, have developed national programs that agree the Decent Work Agenda as a means to economic and social development. Having this context in view, this paper aims to analyze how an index developed to measure decent work can also measure changes in quality of life, social progress and national development. Brazil is taken as a reference point in order to measure the variables, using the RAIS / CAGED data bases, maintained by Brazilian Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE), and the census of IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). The study seeks to define a model that correlates selected dimensions of decent work, like provision of suitable jobs for men and women, the extension of social protection, a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, among others, with the variables that measure social progress and quality of life. This paper discusses the methodological implications of this model in comparison to some different proposals for indicators disseminated by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The central question discusses how the different dimensions of decent work can be integrated into an index for monitoring the development and social progress. Along with a theoretical and methodological discussion, it is intended to advance the creation of indicators that can effectively monitor the performance of policies and government actions for promoting decent work as a way to attain social progress, which may serve as a tool for comparison, analysis and questioning of social development at national and regional levels.