FAQ

What is the Policy Coherence for Development Index (PCDI)
How is it related to the 2030 Agenda?
How does the PCDI evaluate countries?
Which policies fall under each component?
What does each component measure?
What is the difference between the PCDI and other ways of evaluating development?
Which are other alternative measurements?
Why is not the index focused on growth? The necessity of going beyond the growth based on consumption.
Why 133 countries?
Which regions are represented by the PCDI?
What is the ranking of the countries?
Which is the position and the situation of Spain?

What is the Policy Coherence for Development Index (PCDI)?

The Policy Coherence for Development consists in the perspective that the human development must be an important aspects in the decision making. That implies knowing and valuing the consequences of the implementation of certain policies – trade, agriculture, environmental or security – for other countries, communities and people. The concept of PCD establishes also that the action of the Government must take into account the promotions  of the human development.

The Policy Coherence for Development Index (PCDI) is a tool designed to measure, evaluate and compare countries’ commitment to sustainable, fair and equitable human development. It was developed as an alternative to the limited, hegemonic vision of the indicators typically used to measure progress, particularly Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A country’s progress can only be considered as such if it is compatible with the progress of other countries and the planet as a whole. The PCDI was built to measure that relationship.

The PCDI analyses both the policies that make a positive contribution to a country’s sustainable development and those that hinder it, not only within that country but also in third countries or on the planet as a whole. The PCDI thus provides a full sustainable development map.

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How is it related to the 2030 Agenda?

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How does the PCDI evaluate countries?

The PCDI totals the scores obtained by each country on the five components. It takes stock of the performance of 133 countries by evaluating 20 public policies expressed across 49 variables which in turn are grouped together into five categories or components: social, environmental, economic, global and production. Of the 49 variables, 18 detract from sustainable development (i.e. school drop-outs, military spending and ecological footprints), while the remaining 31 promote it (i.e. inequality reduction, public spending on social protection, and the ratification of treaties on universal justice). The analysis of each policy includes the variables that help determine positive or negative impact on sustainable development: economic, environmental, social y political.
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Which policies fall under each component?

The PCDI’s five components are global, economic, environmental, social and production, and each measures the following policies.

components

 

 

 

 

 

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What does each component measure?

The score earned by each country on each one of the five components is based on its behaviour from a policy coherence for development perspective meaning that not only economic, social, environmental, global and production data are factored in by sector, but the degree of equity, environmental protection or deterioration, care for underprivileged groups in society, and policy consistency and impact on third parties is also taken into account. By doing so, analysis is not only based on economic factors, but also on whether or not policies are properly distributed and oriented while also considering transparency and global responsibility.

Social Component: examines access to services from a human rights perspective, including the relative disadvantage faced by underprivileged segments of society

The ranking of the social component is lead by Iceland, Norway and Sweden, a group of countries with universal schooling rates and high public investment in social spending as well as a high grade of coverage for elderly people through the system of pensions. Moreover, the benefits schemes for maternity leaves in these countries are very good. In the health sector, all these countries overtake the average healthy life expectancy of 65.

The 20 countries with the worst social component are part of the Subsaharan Africa and the majority of them have low income. The last positions of the list are for Malawi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mali and in the last position, Niger.

Global component: covers countries’ cosmopolitan responsibilities and States’ participation in spheres of global governance

Argentina is in the first position due to its high compromise with the international scheme of human rights, universal justice and the rights of women, and at the same time, its low level of militarization. On the contrary, Omán is in the worst position. The other countries at the end of the ranking are Saudi Arabia and Singapur. These three countries have a high level of income and very high HDI.

Environmental component: includes the deterioration suffered and/or caused by countries, while the production component evaluates whether or not this is coherent with universal production models.

Georgia and Albania (countries with medium income) lead the classification of the environmental component. These two countries use very low fertilizers in the agriculture, have a reduced ecological footprint, due to their production but also related to importation, and finally, they have limited contamination levels as a result of their agriculture activity. However, the high value of the environmental component of these two countries is not consistent with the other components of the PCDI.

Kuwait, Arab Emirates, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago and Singapur are the countries with the worst valuation of the environmental component. They have very high levels of carbon dioxide emissions, too high used of fertilizers in their agriculture activity and a high index of ecological footprint due to their production.

Productive component: it tries to overcome the reductionist logic of “the larger the industry of a country, the better”. For that, it values other factors such as the public expenditure on research & development (R&D), the extraction of fresh water for industrial use and the gender gap on the access to employment in this sector.

South Korea or Israel are in the first positions of the ranking as they have high punctuations in the positive variables for the development (for example, access to electricity) and relatively low in those that are negative for the development (for example, excessive touristic pressure)

Among the 20 countries least consistent in this component, the African subsharan countries are the prominent ones, with low levels of human development and income, mainly due to the deficit of infrastructures and to a industrial sector with low technological content, as their low numbers of R&D show. Angola and Sierra Leone are in the two last positions of the ranking.

Economic component: it analyses not just whether a country gathers more or less wealth in its economic component, but if it is adequately distributed and oriented with transparency and global responsibility criterias.

Czech Republic and Norway take up the first two positions in the economic ranking. They are two of the countries with the most redistributive fiscal policies. Czech Republic is moreover, the country with the highest percentage of expenditure in environmental protection in relation to the GDP. Norway, on the other hand, is one of the five countries with highest levels of taxation pressure.

Although Singapur is considered a “developed” country or a high-income country according to the World Bank classification, Singapur holds the last place in the economic ranking. This is the consequence of the low levels of fiscal pressure and reduction of inequality, before and after of taxation and transfers, as well as the large size of its banking sector, and specially to its high levels of financial opacity. All the variables seems to show not only that the economic policies of this country does not prioritize the well-being of the majority of its population, but that difficult the possibilities to develop in other countries. It evinces also that the income of a country and its contribution or compromise with the global development do not necessarily go hand by hand.

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What is the difference between the PCDI and other ways of evaluating development?

The PCDI sanctions and/or rewards the behaviour of countries in terms of their approach and bent towards highly cosmopolitan sustainable development including a gender and human rights perspective, taking into account ecology, and the extent to which countries realise that the impact of their domestic policies transcends their national borders. Other indicators such as GDP and the HDI are too closely tied to and dependent on economic growth measured in terms of per capita income which ignores other dimensions that are vital for sustainable development.
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Which are other alternative measurements?

Wellbeing

Better Life Index: This Index allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.

http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/

Happy Planet Index: measures what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all. It tells us how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives.

http://Http://happyplanetindex.org

Indexes of policies for development

SDG Index: The SDG Index allows each country to assess its current state of progress relative to its peers (e.g. countries at a given income level or in a given geographic region), to the SDG targets, and to the “best” possible scores on the various indicators.
http://http://sdgindex.org

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Why is not the index focused on growth? The necessity of going beyond the growth based on consumption.

The PCDI constitutes a useful tool to nuance the weight that the disposal of income has in the perception about the state of development or wealth relative to countries, in a greater extent than the HDI does. In fact, the PCDI does not use amongst its variables either the income per capita or other similar indicators of income, the PCDI is constituted by other variables that configure the “state of development”.

Through an analysis of the ranking of PCDI taking into account the income of the countries, it can be observed, for example, how the first 27 countries are part of the group of high-income countries according to the classification of the World Bank, and, at the same time, the last two countries are Angola (medium/high income) and Singapur (high-income country). This shows the important relationship the PCDI has not just with the disposal of the income per capita, but with the margin and the possibilities that the countries have to allocate enough economic resources to stablish taxation policies with greater fiscal base, to keep guarantee systems of social rights and to undertake environmental protection measures.

The classification of the HDI is clearly influenced by the income per capita of the countries. In spite of that, when compared la classification of the PCDI with the HDI, the changes in the positions of the countries are numerous and notables. In fact, amongst the 133 countries only 3 presents an identical position between the HDI and the CPDI (Japan, Hungary and Armenia), which shows a reasonable behaviour on the policy coherence for development taking into account their level of relative human development. A group of 53 countries suffer a descent on their position in the ranking PCDI in comparison with their position in the HDI, and 77 countries have a higher position in the PCDI than in the HDI.

Although, in general, the correlation is high, there are three countries that despite having a high position on the HDI, on the PCDI are situated much below:

Singapur
PCDI (position): 133
HDI (position): 11

United States
PCDI (position): 65
IDH (position): 8

Switzerland
PCDI (position): 58
IDH (position): 3

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Why 133 countries?

In this first 2016 PCDI report, 133 countries are examined. This is the maximum number of countries with sufficient data available on the variables included in the index. In building the index, those countries for which an insufficient amount of reliable data were available on a significant number of variables had to be eliminated. Certain countries in Central Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia that are very important when it comes to assessing development are missing, particularly those immersed in armed conflict such as Libya and Syria, and some very poor countries, such as Haiti, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Chad, because they do not offer reliable data on a sufficient number of variables. Future PCDI reports will include these countries to the extent that updated reliable data are made available.
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Which regions are represented by the PCDI?

The 133 countries were distributed into eight regions based on geographical and geopolitical criteria in order to facilitate the comparison of countries within their geographical and political spheres:
– Sub-Saharan Africa: 31 countries
– Europe, the USA and Canada: 30 countries
– Latin America and the Caribbean: 21 countries
– Central Asia and Eastern Europe: 19 countries
– Middle East and North Africa: 13 countries
– East Asia: 9 countries
– South Asia: 6 countries
– Pacific and Oceania: 4 countries
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What is the ranking of the countries?

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Which is the position and the situation of Spain?

Spain is situated in the position 13, although it is only few decimes from descend to the group of countries with medium PCDI.

Economic component (position 33). It has good performances in the variables that have a link with the fiscal pression and the reduction of inequality, although it is penalized due to the “size of the banking sector in relation to the GDP”, as its banking sector is 3 times bigger than the size of its economy.

Social component (position 41). One of the worst of all the countries of the European Union. In the positive variables obtain good results in almost all of them, except in the incidence of the social benefits in the poorest quintile, the incidence of the hospitals for each 100000 inhabitants and the duration of maternity leaves. Regarding to the variables that penalize, Spain penalizes little in the educative variables and very little in the variable that measures the percentage of employment not remunerated of the total of the women employment, variable that means an approximation to the measurement of the degree of precarization of the female employment.

Global Component (position 4). It is the third country with the best position in this component, and it is in the group of the countries with less military expenditure of the European Union.

Environmental component (position 44). It performs on average in almost all the positive variables, except the relative participation in fishery agreements, where it is higher. One of the most interesting variables from the perspective of the policy coherence for development is the ecological footprint of a country. Spain is in the position 12, each Spanish citizen uses four hectares to consume what is imported.

Productive component (position 66). It has important gender differences amongst the industrial workers and it receives a high number of tourists, which affects in a negative manner. Regarding to the variables that punctuate positively, Spain obtains a discrete punctuation in the R&D expenditure while obtains higher levels of electric and water coverage in the rural sector. An analysis of the information of the expenditure on R&D shows that Spain is in the middle zone of the graphic, although it spends relatively little compared to the countries that spend the most.

The authors of the report PCDI 2016 urge to our country to take measures in the effective guarantee of the social rights, to bet for the transformation of the economy towards a more sustainable one and to generate  a more advanced productive model.

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