30 October 2018

The 2018 update of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) was published last month.  Despite the continuing support of the World Bank and the Brookings Institute, the enthusiasm that has previously accompanied the release of the WGI data seems extraordinarily diminished this year. Few national agencies report satisfaction with – or concern about – the assessed change in the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised.

The WGI is a composite of more than 30 data sources, including international and non-government organisations, think tanks, and private sector institutes. Much of that data is separately published. A strength of the WGI is its comprehensiveness.

The WGI provides 20 years of data on processes by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of governments to formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the State for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions. These dimensions of governance are grouped as:

  • voice and accountability;
  • political stability and absence of violence;
  • government effectiveness;
  • regulatory quality;
  • rule of law; and
  • control of corruption.

Over those 20 years some notable changes in the quality of governance have occurred although movement among the top and bottom dozen countries is generally gradual – and the gap between the bottom and the top rankings doesn’t lessen.  When they are good they are very very good, but when they are bad…..

Scandinavian countries together with Singapore and New Zealand have always measured well on most of the governance dimensions. The 2018 WGI continues that pattern.

The New Zealand Auditor-General has used the WGI as a measure of good governance in the NZ State Sector in the Annual Report of that agency since 2011.   The relevance is evidenced this year with New Zealand as best ranking country in two of the WGI dimensions,  and second, third, fourth, and eighth in each of the other dimensions.

Worldwide Governance Indicators  2018

Voice & Accountability Political Stability & Absence of Violence Government Effectiveness Regulatory Quality Rule of Law Control of Corruption
Singapore   41  99 100 100  97  98
Norway 100  90  99  96 100 100
Sweden 100  81  96  96  99  98
New Zealand  99

(3rd=)

 99

(1st=)

 95

(8th=)

 99

(2nd=)

 98

(4th=)

100

(1st=)

Netherlands  99  80  97  99  97  95
Finland  98  88  98  97 100  99
Switzerland  98  93 100  97  99  97
Denmark  97  76  96  92  98  99
Luxembourg  97  96  94  94  95  96
Germany  96  67  94  95  91  94
Austria  94  86  92  91  98  91
Iceland  94  97 91  90  91  93

http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.aspx#home

https://integritytalkingpoints.com/2017/10/01/new-zealand-continues-to-score-well-in-worldwide-governance-indicators/

https://oag.govt.nz/2018/annual-report

 

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