Multidimensional Measurement of National Progress: A Practitioner’s Suggestions for a New Framework

By Simon Anholt

This paper proposes a new multidimensional approach to the measurement of national progress that combines three metrics: the level of human development of each country’s own population (using the Human Development Index), the impact each country has on the world outside its own borders (using the author’s Good Country Index) and the degree to which these factors are reflected in both elite and mass opinion worldwide. In an age of multiple global challenges, the external impacts of countries are as important as their domestic performance. Further, since none of the global challenges can be tackled without widespread behavioural change, public perceptions are a critical factor that cannot be left out of the equation. The paper includes some illustrative measurements of the gaps among domestic performance, international impact and international perceptions.