1. Critically assess the sources and types of data used to construct either The Legatum Prosperity Index OR the Social Progress Index. What are the benefits and limitations of using these data?
2. How are or might indexes of national prosperity, progress or development be used in governance? What are some of the critical limitations of such uses? Illustrate your answer with examples.
3. How might Citizen Science techniques be used in the construction of prosperity measures? Illustrate your answer with examples. (Your answer should include discussion of the different types of data that might be collected).
In the modern world, the importance of prosperity index can help in determining the economic and social wellbeing of a nation. Prosperity index helps in understanding the rankings of the countries by taking into consideration factors such as wealth, economic growth, education, health and so on. As stated by Moore (2015) the focus remains on the integrity of the Government and the operations it conducts in a transparent manner. The effective working of the Government can help in the collaboration of business activities as well as identify the political process that exists in the countries. The focus is on the developed countries as well as the developing countries so that identification of strengths and weakness of the countries can be made in a proper manner.
The essay focuses on the importance of prosperity index and the manner in which it can be rankings of the countries have improved or fallen over the past decades. The role of the Government authorities as well as the performance undertaken is discussed in the essay. Examples are also provided that can help in understanding the manner in which national prosperity can help in the ensuring development and progress of countries.
According to Acs, Szerb and Lloyd (2017), the application of prosperity index can be done by analysing four factors that contribute to its success. The importance of the Government is taken into consideration and it is stated that the Government factors play an important role for the prosperity index. As stated by Mandelbaum (2014) the authorities held by the Government require sharing a common goal so that the rules of law can be applicable for every citizen. The trust shown by the citizens of a nation towards the Government displays the amount of trust and confidence that is bestowed upon the legal laws.
At the same time, it is also necessary that the prosperity index focus on the integrity shown by the Government. In this regard, an example can be stated in which the Australian Government is shown to be more lenient towards the people and the business that are undertaken in the country (Fritz and Koch 2016). Therefore, the prosperity index in Australia is much higher as compared to countries in which Government plays a restriction role towards the commencement of business. Recent ranking show that countries like Norway, New Zealand and Finland lead the rankings in terms of gaining free access to engage in any form of life or business as the people wishes.
The third aspect that is the focus of prosperity index is the performance of the Government. According to Rockström et al. (2017), the role of the Government is to ensure that business is collaborated with the social policies that exist in a society. It is essential that Government of every nation support the foundation of the legal business so that the economic condition of the country improves. It has been seen that countries like Germany and other European nations have leniency in terms of maintaining work ethics and providing business organisations with an opportunity to gain success. It is for this reason that in the last decade, Norway has been the most successful country in the prosperity index.
Benefits and Limitations of Prosperity Index
Louis (2017) further elaborated on the factors that help in measuring the prosperity index and the manner in which these can be improved so that countries that are ranked below 30 can improve its positions. In this case, one of the assessment factors is the level of political participation that are undertaken by the people. Examples of countries can be provided which indicate that the involvement in political parties require transparency from the Government as well as the people. In countries like United Kingdom or the United States of America, political parties play a major role in influencing the lives of people. Similar case is also seen in India and this is one of the reasons behind the country being ranked 100th in the prosperity index.
One of the chief advantages of prosperity index is the fact that it assists the Government so that it can maintain its rate of accountability (Rockström, Williams and Daily 2016). The chief objective of the prosperity index is to ensure that the society or the people do not hold the Government responsible or accountable for the economic condition in which the country remains. However, as stated by Verbrugge (2018) it is also the responsibility of the Government to ensure that the citizens are not provided with an opportunity to grieve. Therefore, the Government need to make efforts so that it can share information using various public platforms such as Government sites, newspapers and in the modern world, social media so that it can reach the people.
In the view of Gore (2015), the prosperity index lays its focus on the development of citizens that include the children, families and individuals capable of contributing towards the success of the country. At the same time development of business and communities are also kept in focus so that the investments of the state can help in improving the social and economic life. Strategies need to be undertaken by the Government so that the health and social care of the citizens can improve. Zokaei et al. (2016) is of the opinion that without proper development, it is necessary that the state of progress of the nations be measured so that the economic benefit can be provided to the countries.
In this regard, an example can be stated about the policies that are followed in developed countries. In countries with a high rate of economic growth, determining the budget of the business organisations can help in understanding the tools required for progress. As stated by Gilpin (2018) organisations located in United States and United Kingdom, tend to achieve high rate of growth in the competitive market and at the same time ensure that the country enjoy a healthy rank in the prosperity index. However, in comparison, United Kingdom is ranked 10th in the index while the United States is ranked 18th. This may be mainly because of the influence of political parties in the United States than in the United Kingdom.
Determining the budget is also required so that the economic development can be made. The progress of the countries can be measured based on the prosperity of the policies undertaken and the manner in which the Government develops strategies. Therefore, policy makers need to be encouraged so that a country advance to the right direction in fulfilling the qualities required for growing and improving the index. In this regard, the benefits and limitations of the prosperity index can be stated so that application and analysing of the countries along with the factors required for success can be determined.
Use of Citizen Science Techniques in the Construction of Prosperity Measures
Florida, Mellander and King (2015) is of the opinion that prosperity index possess certain benefits that can help countries to progress in the rankings. One of the benefits that can be gained is the fact that Government authorities can gain appropriate results based on the economies of scale and the prosperity of the business environment. This can help business organisations to increase the investment opportunities. Furthermore, such opportunities can help in the development of the developing countries that are below the top 30 rank in the prosperity index. Hence, inequality of factors such as opportunities and income in underdeveloped countries can be solved and the prosperity level of these countries can improve.
According to Ghemawat (2017), similarity level of the life of the local people and the rate of taxes that are paid are negative in countries that exist in the African region. Thereby, such statistics have a negative impact on the prospect of business. Thus, this can be considered as one of the reasons behind the poor quality of life in the African countries along with a low prosperity index. Results show that African countries like those that of Mali, Ghana, Congo and Libya have a prosperity index rate of below 100, which provide a significant idea about the level of influence lack of business, have on the continent.
Ghemawat (2016) also stated that despite the benefits prosperity index have certain limitations that need to be addressed so that proper calculation of the contribution made by the index is made and the Government of the countries get to contribute heavily towards its success. One such limitation is the fact that the data obtained are not always raw data that are reliable. The data obtained for accessing the prosperity index is often from the polls and public opinions. Radelet (2016) is of the opinion that such opinions are different for different countries and therefore becomes problematic for judging the proper criteria required for understanding the development and progress of the countries. At the same time, it becomes problematic for the Government to determine the objectives that need to be set.
It has also been seen that citizens does not have faith in the authorities particularly in countries like that are dominated by the existence of politics. Countries situated in South Asia, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh suffers from such dilemmas, and thereby the overall calculation of the results is hampered. Hence, mapping these countries in the index prosperity ranking becomes a challenge for the Government. Mandelbaum (2014) is of the opinion that social capital plays an important role for determining the number of citizens that exist in a particular country. However, it is often referred to as a measurement that does not provide proper evidence about the manner in which citizens perform their basic responsibilities. This is particularly seen in countries like Egypt or Zimbabwe, as people are reluctant to provide opinions about any political affairs.
Comparison of the prosperity index of 2016 and 2017, it can be seen that New Zealand dropped from top spot to second post within a year due to the transformation of wealth in the country. The advent of business and politics is alleged to have negative influence on the factors that are required for the existence of a peaceful life within the country. The absence of such complicated issue is the main reason for Norway to maintain its dominance in the prosperity index (Rockström et al. 2017). The closed opportunities of prosperity index provide Norway with the ability to remain at the top of the world in terms of prosperity index. Hence, this can be considered as an important as well as comparable factor that gains prosperity by maintaining a low margin.
The index also shows that the economy of the United Kingdom is poorer than that of Germany or the United States. However, in order to provide prosperity in the global financial crisis the related GDP of United Kingdom can be compared with that of the economies of the other developed countries. Despite this, the only reason behind United Kingdom being ranked low in the prosperity index is based on the failure to capitalise on the demands of the urban population. According to Fritz and Koch (2016), the reason is mainly due to the absence of live expectancy rate in the United Kingdom, as people tend to choose not to have families.
Therefore, after the analysis it can be concluded that it is the duty of the Government of the countries to ensure that the prosperity index account for the requirement of the people. The principles that are required for the successful completion of the prosperity index need to be fulfilled so that any technical errors can be minimised. The issue that arises in the calculation of the prosperity index is that of the rate of transparency and the faith shown by the people of the respective countries. The influence of power and politics provide for a low prosperity index among the countries and based on these strategic embodiments need to be adopted so that every citizen can be made accountable for the actions undertaken concerning the development of a country. The method of development of a country and the Government need to be based on the instrumental values that exist among the people.
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