The Good Country Index
The public impression of a country is important as a source of national pride. Invariably, people source part of their own identity from the image of their country.”
Robert Cevero, Professior Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley
The idea of measuring how „good” a country is belongs to Simon Anholt, a policy advisor that assists national, regional and city governments to earn better reputation. This initiative was triggered by the necessity to drive change amongst the way governments behave in order to achieve prosperity. And what better way to initiate change than to point out what needs to be done for success?
The National Brand Index designed by Simon Anholt in 2005, illustrates how important reputation is for a country. This index measures the global perception regarding the world’s nations. Good reputation means easier trade and transactions, cheaper goods, more tourists, lucrative investments and a high degree of competitiveness.
What contributes to a nation’s reputation?
The country’s economic competitiveness? The value of its foreign investments? How technological advanced it is?
Research has shown that none of the above. What matters for people’s perception is how good a country is, meaning how much does it contribute to humanity. This discovery represents the primary reason of why The Good Country Index was created.
This index does not make any moral judgements about how countries are acting or what they do at home. It is focused on how nations can balance their responsibility to look after their citizens with the responsibility to support the future of humanity and the world.
The Good Country Index is split in seven categories to measure the nation’s contribution in the following fields:
- Science and technology
- International peace and security
- World order
- Planet and climate
- Prosperity and equality
- Health and wellbeing
For each category there are five Key Performance Indicators measured, for example the Science and technology ranking is given by measuring:
The higher the scores, the higher the position in the top. The 2013 data outlines the following worldwide ranking, as shown in the top above.
So what do all these country have in common?
It is easy to notice that they are mostly European and Nordic nations and are among the richest countries in the world. These are the states that even during recession times haven’t forgotten their responsibilitilies for the world.
At first glance, one would say these results are not surprising, because richer countries are able to contribute more to global development. However, in top 30 there is also Kenya (26th in ranking), proving that being a good country is not just about the money, is firstly about the interest of contributing, about thinking globally and finding innovative initiatives that can make a difference.
Emerging countries like China, India and Russia have low scores as they have been spending the last years investing in their own economies to ensure growth and progress.
The purpose of this index is to open the eyes of governments, so that „good” can become a strategic objective that will enable the progress and survival of todays globalized world.
- Anholt, S. (2014), Which country does the most good for the world?
- Future Brand (2013), Country Brand Index
- Goodcountry.org (2014), The Good Country Index