Commitment to Development Index 2018
Center for Global Development – Ian Mitchell , Anita Käppeli , Lee Robinson , Caitlin McKee and Arthur Baker
September 18, 2018 : 6 pages
The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries on policies that affect more than five billion people living in poorer nations. Because development is about more than foreign aid, the Index covers seven distinct policy areas:
We use thousands of data points across more than a hundred indicators to come up with overall rankings and for each policy component. Countries score well for things like generous and high-quality aid, financial transparency, low barriers to trade for developing countries, and migration policies which are open and promote integration. They also do well for policies that enhance global public goods, for example, robust support for technological research and development, protecting the environment, and contributions to global security like peacekeeping contributions and avoiding arms sales to poor and undemocratic nations.
Like the Sustainable Development Goals, the CDI recognizes development progress is holistic. But while the SDGs focus on outcomes and all nations, the CDI emphasizes how the policies of the richest countries can make a huge difference.
CDI 2018 Results: How Well Are Countries Doing?
Sweden tops this year’s Commitment to Development Index, followed by Denmark. Germany climbs to the podium and shares third place with Finland. Sweden scores well across six out of seven components of the CDI, ranking first on migration, second on environment, and third on aid. It has room for improvement on security, given its substantial arms exports and low contributions to international peacekeeping and sea lanes protection.
Denmark comes second this year, topping the list on security and with the second-best aid score. Finland and Germany share third place. Finland scores consistently well across nearly all components.
Germany scores particularly well on migration and trade, with the most efficient trade logistics and the least restrictions on trade in services. However, Germany could improve its aid quality and its contributions to international security.
European countries lead the way.
European countries take up the first 12 positions on the Index, highlighting European leadership on development issues. France comes seventh this year, with good performance across all components. It is one of the few countries which has increased its aid spending, by 0.05 percent to 0.43 percent of gross national income (GNI). The United Kingdom, in eighth place, is the third G7 country in the top 10, scoring especially well on trade and security. The UK is one of the few countries meeting the international commitment of 0.7 percent of GNI spent on overseas development assistance but ranks in the lower end of the table on technology and migration.
The Netherlands and Luxembourg share position five and Belgium ranks 10th. All three countries have smart policy designs in place: Luxembourg tops the aid component; the Netherlands the trade component; and Belgium the finance component. Portugal, in ninth position, demonstrates that commitment to development isn’t for the richest only.
Despite its contribution to global security, the United States ranks 23rd of 27.
Like last year, the United States scores close to the bottom of the table, performing poorly on finance, aid, and environment, with high greenhouse gas emissions, significant fossil fuel production, and the lowest gasoline taxes. Its best performance is on security as the biggest contributor to global sea lanes protection and a major supporter of international peacekeeping. However, its security score is held back for failing to ratify most International agreements, including the Arms Trade and Nuclear Test Ban treaties. Our trade data predate the recent protectionist trade policies implemented by the US government, resulting in the US scoring above average on trade, with low agricultural subsidies and average tariffs. The US’s stated withdrawal from the Paris agreement only comes into effect in 2020 but will lower the US score further…