What is not measured cannot be managed and what is measured determines where attention and resources are focused by Government and the whole country.
Therefore, it is important to have good performance indicators and that those chosen respond to a clear national development purpose and strategy. Government should not measure for the sake of measuring or get filled with dozens of indicators, but select those needed to reflect valueable outcomes and catalyze laudable changes needed in their society.
Moreover, for the public to know what is happening and to exercise active citizen monitoring and control, there should be objective, timely and high quality performance information available.
With these two objectives in mind comes the Indicators section of “Inclusive Development.” This contains 15 tools to monitor the development process of a country in social, economic, political and environmental fronts. Similarly, for the specific case of Colombia and Colombians it contains tools to monitor the country’s Government performance against goals specified in the National Development Plan 2010-2014 and against other developing countries.
Each of these tools will allow you to compare countries like Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa with more than 100 countries. At the same time, you can answer questions like what countries are better at meeting the basic needs of their people and which are lagging behind? What countries offer better quality of life for its residents? How are we doing in education compared to other countries in Latin America and the world? From what countries can we learn to improve the welfare of our people? How is this Colombian Government performing?, Among many others you can think of.
I chose each tool for its quality and for being developed by serious organizations, including multilateral institutions like the United Nations and the World Bank; think tanks such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), The Economist Intelligence Unit, and the Heritage Foundation; as well as academic institutions of excellence such as Harvard University and Yale University.
The section is organized into three parts. The first part is development indicators which has the following categories: (1) social development, (2) economic development and competitiveness, (3) political and democratic development, and (4) environmental and sustainable development. The second part is comprised by monitoring tools of Colombian Government’s goals. It includes Monitoring System to Government Goals (SISMEG) and Colombia’s International Benchmarking Report against 20 other developing countries and emerging in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe under the framework and indicators of Colombia’s National Development Plan from 2010 to 2014. The latter was personally developed by me for the Ministry of Planning and the President of Colombia in the second half of 2011 and you will have the opportunity to give it a first-hand read Mr. Juan Manuel Santos did. Finally, the third part shares two dynamic exploration tools. These allow you to see the progress of countries over time and in more than one dimension. Here is the summary of this valuable toolbox:
- Development Indicators
- Social Development
- Social Progress Index (Harvard University)
- World Development Indicators (World Bank)
- Better Life Index (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – OECD)
- Human Development Index (United Nations)
- DevInfo (United Nations)
- Economic Development and Competitiveness
- World Competitiveness Report (World Economic Forum – WEF)
- World Competitiveness Yearbook (International Institute for Management Development – IMD)
- Ease of Doing Business Index (World Bank)
- Economic Freedom Index (The Heritage Foundation)
- Political and Democratic Development
- Democracy Index (The Economist Intelligence Unit – EIU)
- Environmental and Sustainable Development
- Environmental Development Index (Yale University)
- Social Development
- Monitoring tools of Colombian Government’s goals
- Monitoring System of Government Goals – SISMEG (Colombian Ministry of Planning)
- Colombia’s International Benchmarking Report (Colombian Ministry of Planning)
- Dynamic exploration tools
- Dynamic time series of development statistics (Gapminder)
- Public Data Explorer (Google)
Now its time for you to explore! I hope you find it useful and come back to “Inclusive Development” to see the menu of indicators as often as you need. Any of your comments or suggestions to improve this section are welcome.