The Future Governance Index: FAQs

Year: 2021
  1. What does the Future Governance Index (FGI) measure?

The FGI is an original and independent index that measures, ranks and examines countries’ quality of governance with a future-focused perspective.

The index addresses the governance readiness of 65 countries in the face of five profound and complex global structural shifts, which we refer to as “Megatrends”, namely: Climate Change & Resource Scarcity; Technological Advancement; Ageing & Urbanising Population; Shocks & Crises; and Slowbalisation.

By looking at the quality of governance with this perspective, it allows us to not only evaluate countries’ governance performance in the past, but to assess governance readiness for the future. A country’s ability to do so, in our view, very much depends on the health of its “Governance Bank” which is made up of three capital accounts – Economic, Social and Political capital.

  1. Why do we need the FGI?

We were first inspired to create this index from our observations as to how the impact of Covid-19 around the world was simultaneously highlighting the critical importance of effective governance, while also demonstrating that traditional measurements of governance – which tend to focus on governments and the maturity of political processes – needed to be taken further.

Our index’s central idea and methodology were thus based on our conviction that for leaders and decision-makers to spearhead a whole-of-nation effort towards better governance, they need to do so with a future-focused outlook in mind.

With our classification of the five megatrends in the FGI, we believe we have identified the most pertinent global issues governments, businesses and citizens face today, and will continue to face in the future.

We hope that our index will be regarded as a valuable tool to help countries benchmark the quality of their governance and call attention to areas in most need of improvement, so that they can build a healthier and stronger Governance Bank.

  1. How does the FGI differ from existing governance indices?

There are two main aspects where the FGI differs from other governance indices.

First, we adopt a broader, more nuanced definition of “governance”. We see governance as more than central government and government processes. Instead, we refer to governance as the manner in which countries are governed within a larger ecosystem of actors that encompasses both state players (e.g., policymaking and political institutions), as well as non-state players (e.g., businesses, academia, NGOs and the wider citizenry).

Second, our index is underpinned by a future-focused perspective in evaluating the quality of governance, and not just past government performance, which tends to focus on political processes, rule of law and government policies. Our interpretation of “Megatrends” and our original “Governance Bank” framework are therefore central to this index, which address key contemporary factors influencing the quality of governance.

Section One of our report discusses the unique aspects of the FGI in further detail.

  1. Who should read the FGI?

Given the broad and nuanced definition of governance we have adopted, the FGI is useful for a wide range of stakeholders within society. This includes policy makers, regulators, public sector officers, business leaders, academics, thought leaders, and any citizen who wishes to participate in effecting change towards improved governance quality.

  1. How were country scores and ranks obtained?

Our index uses a comprehensive and proprietary methodology, with each country’s ranking computed from a database consisting of 117 individual measures informing a total of 90 indicators.

Countries receive a score and ranking for each of the five megatrends, with these scores then aggregated to produce a final overall Future Governance ranking.

Section Three of the FGI describes our Methodology in full.

Data for the index was compiled from a wide range of publicly available data sources and publications, which were carefully selected to best reflect the intended indicators within our index.

A comprehensive list of sources is provided in the References section of the FGI report.

  1. How should country scores and rankings be interpreted?

The scores and rankings facilitate a relative comparison of governance quality between countries as a whole, as well as across individual megatrends. By doing so, we hope the FGI will illuminate areas of governance in most need of improvement.

The scores involved are as follows:

  • Indicator-level scores range from 0-1 based on minmax normalisation
  • Megatrend scores are weighted averages of indicator scores, ranging from 0-1
  • Overall country scores are similarly weighted averages of megatrend scores, also ranging from 0-1.

We further note that the published ranking does not represent an exhaustive list of all existing countries, i.e., having a rank of 24th means the country is ranked 24th out of 65 listed countries, but not necessarily 24th globally.

  1. How does a particular country compare to others?

You can use our user-friendly data dashboard – available here to create and view country-by-country comparisons, as well as explore several other interactive functions.

  1. How can a country improve its score in the FGI?

High level prescriptions are provided at the end of each country study in Section Five of the FGI report.

Should you require further analysis and insights to better understand how future governance considerations will affect your country, organisation or business, our team at FMG will be happy to learn more about your needs and connect for further discussion.

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