MFAN partner the Center for Global Development has just released its 2010 Commitment to Development Index (CDI). Each year, the CDI rates 22 rich-country governments on how much they are helping poor countries via seven key policy linkages: aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology. The CDI then takes the average for an overall score. Scoring is adjusted for size to see how well countries live up to their potential to help. What does this year’s index deduce? “The Center’s 2010 Commitment to Development Index shows most wealthy nations have modified their policies since 2005 in ways that make them more supportive of sustained growth and poverty reduction in the developing world. But the CDI found overall improvement has been slight, and the seven major industrialized countries, in particular, could do far better.” To view the 2010 Index, click here.
The aid component of the CDI measures both the quantity and quality of aid each government gives. It penalizes donors for giving aid to rich or corrupt governments, for overburdening recipients with lots of small aid projects, or for “tying” aid, which forces recipients to spend aid monies on the donor country’s own goods rather than on the lowest price goods available. The component also rewards tax deductions that support private charity.
From a statement by CGD: “The CDI contributes to this discussion by measuring whether the rhetoric of the high-income countries, including the richer G20 members, is matched by their policies. There are many connections between industrialized countries and developing ones, not just aid but also trade, investment, environmental policy and other linkages. The failure to use these channels to their full potential is a blow to the goal of shared global prosperity.”
Sweden comes in first on the 2010 CDI, followed closely by Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway – all generous aid donors. New Zealand and Spain, generally low aid donors, make it into the top half of the CDI with strength in trade, investment, migration, and security. Japan and South Korea rank low on the CDI because, like the U.S., they have small aid programs for their size. They also engage less with the developing world with tight restrictions on the entry of goods and people and limited involvement in peacekeeping. See below for more on the US ranking:
“Along with Portugal, the United States recorded the largest one-year gain in the Index, up 0.7 points from its 4.7 score in 2009. Much of that gain was due to the increase in U.S. troops to the U.N.-mandated military force in Afghanistan because the Index gives countries credit for contributing to internationally sanctioned security operations. As in past years, the United States also scored well in the trade component of the Index but lagged behind in aid and environment. U.S. foreign aid is small as a share of its income, and it ties a large share of this aid to the purchase of U.S. goods and services.”