Economic, Social and Human Development
The power of a nation is more than just its military — it is also rooted in the strength and resilience of a nation’s economy and of its people. Many indicators exist to measure economic, human and social development. Trend data is particularly useful for understanding overall economic power shifts and many on-line databases offer the ability to display data in chart as well as tabular form.
A selection of key databases from OECD, World Bank and other organizations is provided below covering standard macroeconomic indicators on aid, trade, finance and growth. Also listed are indices which measure the human condition including education/literacy, gender equality, health, and environmental considerations. To understand human development indicators, a good place to start is with the interactive “Human Development Index” created by UNDP.
General Reading on Economic, Financial and Business Issues
Your country’s top business or financial newspaper. Read what economic, financial and business leaders in your country read to stay abreast of local and regional economic and business issues. In addition to helping you to become familiar with the issues, this will help you to identify who in economic and business circles you would like to get to know.
- The Economist, weekly magazine. Best single source to monitor major trends important to economic and business leaders.
- The Financial Times, London newspaper. Excellent financial and business coverage. More complete coverage of general and economic news in the Middle East and Africa than is found in most U.S. or East Asian news outlets.
- The Asian Wall Street Journal, daily and weekend edition newspaper. Focused and in-depth coverage of economic, financial and business issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
Databases, Indexes, etc.
UNDP International Human Development Indicators
The office works towards this goal by promoting innovative new ideas, advocating practical policy changes, and constructively challenging policies and approaches that constrain human development. The office works with others to achieve change through writing and research, data analysis and presentation, support to national and regional analysis and outreach and advocacy work.
AidData is an initiative that aims to (a) increase the impact of development assistance by making aid information more transparent and accessible to a wide range of stakeholders, and (b) improve the quality of research on aid allocation and aid effectiveness. AidData provides a searchable database of nearly one million past and present aid activities around the world, aid information management services and tools, data visualization technologies, and research designed to increase understanding of development finance.
Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity
This study reveals surprising global economic growth prospects for 128 countries. The Atlas, which measures the diversity of productive knowledge of countries, demonstrates remarkable predictive value in forecasting how fast countries will grow. Its authors argue that it is 10 times more accurate predicting growth over a decade than the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. The Atlas identifies promising industries in each of the 128 countries. (Note: On this page you will find a link to the Atlas which is over 80+MB)
2011 Commitment to Development Index by the Center for Global Developement
Which wealthy nations are helping poor ones most? Rich and poor are linked in many ways. Each year, the CDI scores wealthy governments on helping poor countries via 7 linkages: aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology. It averages over the 7 for an overall score. To see how well countries are living up to their potential to help, scoring adjusts for size. So small countries can beat big ones. Scores are scaled so 5 is average
Human Security Gateway
The Human Security Gateway is a rapidly expanding searchable online database of human security-related resources including reports, journal articles, news items and fact sheets. It is designed to make human security-related research more accessible to the policy and research communities, the media, educators and the interested public.
The Gateway is an initiative of the Human Security Report Project
Measuring ICT Website
Provides information on the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) statistics and indicators worldwide, with an emphasis on supporting ICT policies and the information economies in developing countries. Core ICT indications, Global status, etc.
miniAtlas of Human Security
Produced by the Human Security Report Project and the World Bank, this at-a-glance guide to global security issues provides a wealth of information on armed conflicts since 1946. It maps political violence, the links between poverty and conflict, assaults on human rights – including the use of child soldiers – and the causes of war and peace.
Minorities at Risk
The Minorities at Risk (MAR) Project is a university-based research project that monitors and analyzes the status and conflicts of politically-active communal groups in all countries with a current population of at least 500,000. The project is designed to provide information in a standardized format that aids comparative research and contributes to the understanding of conflicts involving relevant groups.
OECD in Figures(Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)
OECD in Figures contains key data on OECD countries, ranging from economic growth and employment to energy, trade and migration.
Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR)
The QDDR provides a blueprint for elevating American “civilian power” to better advance our national interests and to be a better partner to the U.S. military. Leading through civilian power means directing and coordinating the resources of all America’s civilian agencies to prevent and resolve conflicts; help countries lift themselves out of poverty into prosperous, stable, and democratic states; and build global coalitions to address global problems.
Strategic Asia Database
The Strategic Asia Database, a service of NBR’s Strategic Asia Program, is a continuously updated resource that tracks key indicators related to the strategic environment in the Asia Pacific. The database currently provides access to data for 70 indicators, across 10 themes (examples include Economy, Trade, Energy, Politics, and Armed Forces), for 37 countries, from 1990 to 2009. Dynamic visualizations—including interactive, data driven maps—help users in the policymaking community, media, business sector, and academe understand key trends in the region.
Tracking Carbon Emissions
A footprint comparison of total carbon dioxide emissions by nation and per capita
UNCTAD compiles, validates and processes a wide range of data collected from national and international sources. Through its data dissemination system, UNCTADstat, it provides free access to comprehensive statistical time series and indicators essential for the analysis of world trade, development, and interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and durable development.
UNCTAD Trade and Development Index (TDI)
“The trade and development index is an attempt by the UNCTAD secretariat to capture the complex interaction between trade and development and, in the process, to monitor the trade and development performance of countries… The TDI is designed as a mechanism for monitoring the trade and development performance of countries, a diagnostic device to identify factors affecting such performance, and a policy tool to help stimulate and promote national and international policies and actions.” The estimates and corresponding ranking of the Trade and Development Index (TDI) for the whole sample of 110 countries are shown in the following table.
United Nations Environment Programme Geo Data Portal
The GEO Data Portal is the authoritative source for data sets used by UNEP and its partners in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report and other integrated environment assessments. Its online database holds more than 450 different variables, as national, subregional, regional and global statistics or as geospatial data sets (maps), covering themes like Freshwater, Population, Forests, Emissions, Climate, Disasters, Health and GDP. Display them on-the-fly as maps, graphs, data tables or download the data in different formats.
HIC – UN OCHA Humanitarian Information Centres
World Bank Mapping for Results
Mapping for Results visualizes the locations of World Bank Bank-financed projects to better monitor development impact, improve aid effectiveness and coordination, and enhance transparency and social accountability. In combination with the subnational socio-economic indicators such as poverty, health, malnutrition, and population density it helps to better target development assistance.
WDR Data Visualizer
The WDR team has brought together a database covering civil war, homicides, terrorism, and trafficking, as well as socio-economic, demographic and political data – more than 300 variables in one place available online through the Bank’s open data initiative.
Asian Development Bank documents and reports. Most are free and can be downloaded from the publications tab of the ADB website at http://beta.adb.org/publications. You can search by country, subject (i.e. Economics, Finance or Industry and Trade) or publication type.
The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011. Available at http://gcr.weforum.org/gcr2010/. Provides comprehensive assessment of countries’ strengths and weaknesses related to national competitiveness. Captures perception of over 13,500 business leaders from the featured 139 economies reviewed. Full report available at http://www.weforum.reports.
Global Risks 2011, Sixth Edition, January 2011. Perceptions of business and world leaders of comprehensive and interconnected global risks. Full report available at http://weforum.org/reports.
Microfinance in Myanmar: Sector Assessment 2013
The document is presented as the first comprehensive publicly available assessment of the microfinance landscape in Myanmar since the enactment of the country’s microfinance law in late 2011.
World Economic and Social Survey 2010: Retooling Global Development. Full report available at http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/wess/index.shtml.
World Bank documents and reports. Many free and can be downloaded from the World Bank website (http://worldbank.org). Of particular interest are World Development Reports, which each year take an in-depth look at a specific economic- or development-related issue, such as development, poverty or water.
2010 Development and Climate Change
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN )
Main purpose is to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavours in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.
Asian Development Bank
ADB – in partnership with member governments, independent specialists and other financial institutions – is focused on delivering projects that create economic and development impact. Whether it be through investment in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems, or helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, ADB is committed to helping developing member countries evolve into thriving, modern economies that are well integrated with each other and the world. The main devices for assistance are loans, grants, policy dialogue, technical assistance and equity investments.
BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), based in Bangladesh, is (as of May 2010) the world’s largest non-governmental development organization. BRAC is present in all 64 districts of Bangladesh, nine countries across Asia and Africa and maintains offices in 14 countries throughout the world, including BRAC USA and BRAC UK. BRAC works in the areas of institution building including functional education and training, credit operation, income and employment generation and support service programmes.
Center for Humanitarian Cooperation
CHC, a not-for-profit organization, was created to assist the international humanitarian community in developing models for greater cooperation. The Center for Humanitarian Cooperation has been created by a devoted and experienced group of professionals. The Center will serve as a neutral party, to foster functional cooperation among the growing group of organizations concerned with humanitarian issues. The CHC will: Provide briefings to members of the humanitarian community, the press, legislative bodies, the military, and other relevant parties upon request; assist in facilitating linkages between groups of organizations engaged in the provision of humanitarian assistance so as to encourage shared allocation and application of resources; chair and organize face-to-face strategy and planning sessions for participating organizations and, assist in preparedness training exercises that will link governmental organizations — particularly military structures concerned with military operations other than war (MOOTW) — to private and international relief agencies.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
UNDP is the United Nations’ global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 177 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Our mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.
World Resources Institute
The World Resources Institute is a global environmental think tank that goes beyond research to put ideas into action. We work with governments, companies, and civil society to build solutions to urgent environmental challenges. WRI’s transformative ideas protect the earth and promote development because sustainability is essential to meeting human needs and fulfilling human aspirations in the future.