Bertelsmann Stiftung

SUSTAINABLE GOVERNANCE INDICATORS: How fit for the future are the OECD and EU states?

We believe good governance and sustainable development go hand-in-hand. We also believe in mutual learning. As a cross-national comparative survey designed to identify and foster successes in effective policymaking, the SGI explores how governments target sustainable development.

In our globalizing world, increasingly complex challenges – from shifting economic power and social inequalities to aging societies and depleting resources – are placing governments under intensifying pressure. Now more than ever, governments must rapidly adapt and deploy policies to meet these challenges. When confronting these challenges, most OECD and EU governments continue to struggle with implementing sustainable policies. All too often, ad-hoc measures rule the day. Mounting debts shift unfair burdens to future generations. The lack of equal opportunities in labor markets, education and health care put the future viability of entire societies at risk. And most countries fail to prioritize the efficient use of natural resources for long-term sustainability.

Driven by evidence-based analyses, the SGI helps a variety of stakeholders throughout the OECD and EU navigate the complexity of effective governance. What works in which context and why? Answering these questions can help generate innovative responses to cross-cutting challenges worldwide. Whether citizen or a member of the public, private or third sector, practitioners across the policymaking spectrum will find the SGI useful in identifying “good“ practices and in adapting them locally.

Measuring Sustainable Governance

With the SGI, we advocate for more sustainable governance, which is built on three pillars: Policy Performance, Democracy and Governance. For each of these three pillars, the SGI offers a composite index based on a broad range of quantitative and qualitative data. A network comprising a total of more than 100 renowned scholars from around the world has been engaged for the study. All data and rankings, as well as the comprehensive country reports, are freely accessible at our interactive SGI website.


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