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CGD's annual Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit people living in poorer countries. We measure hundreds of indicators across seven policy areas: aid, climate, finance, migration, security, technology, and trade. Our rankings not only help citizens understand how their country’s policies help or harm developing nations; the CDI is also used by governments to learn how to do better.
Commitment to Development Index Ranks World’s Richest Countries on How Well Their Domestic Policies Improve Lives in the Developing World
Center for Global Development
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WASHINGTON – Today, the Center for Global Development announced that Sweden claimed the #1 spot in the Commitment to Development Index, which ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries by how well their policies help improve lives in the developing world.
The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) is released annually by the Center for Global Development. It is a quantitative, broad based analytical tool that measures contributions in seven policy areas: aid (both quantity as a share of national income, and quality), finance, technology, environment, trade, security, and migration. Within each component, countries are measured on how their domestic policies and actions support poor countries in their efforts to build prosperity, good governance, and security.
“Good development policy is about much more than foreign aid,” said Masood Ahmed, the president of the Center for Global Development. “While aid is important, policymakers in rich countries need to assess all the ways their choices, from refugee policies to intellectual property rights, help or hinder developing countries.”
In this year’s Index, Sweden edged out Denmark (which led the index last year). Sweden’s top performance was driven by excellent scores on foreign aid, environment, trade, and migration. It also led all 27 countries in the migration ranking, with a high share of refugees and strong policies to help integrate migrants.
You can view the full 2018 rankings at www.cgdev.org/cdi.
“Domestic policies can have a major impact on other nations around the world – both intended and not,” said Ian Mitchell, a senior fellow and the report’s author. “Sweden sets a great example on its approach to environment and has migration policies that benefit migrants, Sweden, and developing nations alike, but Sweden’s work isn’t finished. As new global challenges emerge, we hope Sweden will continue to put in place domestic policies that improve outcomes in the developing world.”
Other findings from this year’s results include:
For the first time a G-7 country, Germany, clinched a place in the top three, overtaking France and just behind the Nordic powerhouses Sweden and Denmark.
The U.S. ranked 23rd in this year’s Index, while European countries dominate the top spots.
Australia surged up 4 spots in this year’s Index.
The Netherlands takes the top spot in the trade rankings, and Japan rises 10 slots.
Learn more about the rankings and how countries performed at www.cgdev.org/cdi.
About the Methodology: The CDI is transparent about its method and data, with full details available at www.cgdev.org/cdi. All the data and calculations are published with full sources in a series of spreadsheets. The CDI uses an updated methodology each year, making improvements in the way we measure how policy impacts development. Year on year changes reported above can reflect new data, or an improved method, or both.
Think tanks and international organisations publish a lot of indices that rank countries or institutions by their policies. We ourselves here at CGD we have recently published the fifteenth edition of the Commitment to Development Index (CDI), which ranks 27 rich countries by how their policies affect the lives of people in poorer countries. As we embark on a review of the CDI, here we start by looking other across country-level indices to see if the CDI is still distinct.
Germans have given Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term as chancellor, but once again without a parliamentary majority. It seems likely that Merkel will now try to negotiate a black-green-yellow “Jamaica coalition” (referring to the parties’ colors) with the Greens and the pro-business Liberals replacing the Social Democrats as coalition partners. Despite the gain in vote for nationalists, our analysis suggests the Jamaica coalition could actually strengthen Germany’s role in accelerating global development, as well as benefitting Germany.
How well do your country's policies make a positive difference for people in developing nations? That’s the question CGD seeks to answer each year in our Commitment to Development Index (CDI). The team behind the CDI, deputy director of CGD Europe Ian Mitchell and policy analyst Anita Käppeli, join me to discuss why these rankings matter, how countries stack up, and how their scores may be impacted by the shifting political environment.