Improving education outcomes by linking payments to results: an assessment of disbursement-linked indicators in five results-based approaches.

Sarah Holzapfel & Heiner Janus

What are good indicators and how can they be selected? While results-based approaches are gaining popularity with donors and partner countries, there remains a question of whether they deliver higher returns than traditional aid modalities. This paper argues that the quality of indicators may determine the success of results-based approaches; the link between disbursement of ...» more

The Fragility Spectrum. Note on the g7+ Fragility Spectrum


This note sets out the rationale and benefits of a ‘spectrum approach’ to fragility, and the purpose and use of country-specific fragility spectrums and indicators (developed through fragility assessments). It also discusses the utility of a consolidated fragility spectrum and a shared menu of indicators. The note is the result of the g7+ discussion on the Fragility Spectrum. ...» more

Monitoring and evaluating civil society partnerships

This report lists and describes tools used by NGOs to monitor the quality of their relationships with partner organisations. It begins with a brief analysis of the types of tools and their approaches, then describes each tool. This paper focuses on tools which monitor the partnership relationship itself, rather than the impact or outcomes of the partnership. While there is ...» more

Post-2015 governance and peace indicators

The post-2015 High Level Panel (HLP) produced a report in May 2013 which outlined their recommendations for moving the development agenda beyond the Millennium Development Goals. The report contained 11 illustrative goals which the UN might consider for adoption. This report considers potential indicators for the new Goals 10 and 11, which are: 10. Ensure Good Governance and ...» more

Evaluating governance indexes: Critical and less critical questions

Rachel M. Gisselquist

Recent years have seen a proliferation of ‘composite indicators’ or ‘indexes’ of governance, but some are better tools than others and some are better suited to certain purposes than others. This paper provides a framework of ten questions to help users and producers of governance indexes to evaluate them and consider key components of index design. The paper argues that:more ...» more

Perception surveys in fragile and conflict affected states

Perception surveys are widely used in OECD countries, and are increasingly used in developing countries and in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS). Some results of these surveys have been published, and are publicly available. However, many perception surveys are not published due to sensitivities around the questions and data collected. Perception surveys measure ...» more

Governance Measurements for Conflict and Fragility: A Comparative Inventory

United Nations Development Programme

This publication aims to provide a representative catalogue of governance assessments and measurement initiatives conducted in conflict/fragile countries and territories over the last decade (2000-2010). It covers initiatives that operate at different levels (global, regional, national or local), have distinct objectives, apply a variety of data collection and analysis ...» more

Country Risk Indices

Key finding: There are many country risk indices available, primarily produced by private companies. Different risk indices use different combinations of political, social, economic, environmental and other factors, but there is no universally accepted methodology for assessing risk. Comparison between methodologies is made difficult by the relative opacity of the ...» more

Indicators for investment and business climate

Key findings: There are many indicators available that can be used to indicate improvements in the business environment. Some indicators focus on the microeconomic, business-focused factors, while others concentrate on the macroeconomic and policy factors. In addition to indicators with an explicit focus on business and investment climate, there are also indicators, such as ...» more

Measuring results


How can the impact of governance and social development programmes be assessed with a view to improving their efficiency and effectiveness? What particular challenges are involved in monitoring and evaluating development interventions, and how can these be addressed? How can the ‘value for money’ of a particular intervention be determined? Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) ...» more

Poverty and wellbeing indices

The Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress was created in 2008 to explore the limits of GDP as an indicator of economic performance and social progress. Much literature in the past has critiqued the inadequacy of income measures. The Commission was also tasked with considering additional information and tools required to produce a more ...» more

Governance and Conflict Indicators Report

Chris Barnett et al.

How can a robust and clear set of indicators be established to monitor effectively the progress of a programme? Which indicators show best that a programme has achieved what it set out to achieve? This study tests the relevance and robustness of a list of indicators for the Department for International Development's (DFID's) conflict and governance programmes. The list consists ...» more

What Makes a Good Governance Indicator?

Gareth Williams

What are the most common pitfalls associated with the use of governance indicators? How can these be avoided? This brief examines the different types of governance indicator, their use and their misuse. Users need to ask critical questions about what exactly indicators are measuring, and to remember the limited ability of broad governance indicators to demonstrate causality. ...» more

The Worldwide Governance Indicators: Six, One, or None?

Laura Langbein, Stephen Knack

What is the validity and reliability of aggregate indexes of the quality of governance such as the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGIs)? This study uses factor, confirmatory factor and path analysis to test both measurement and causal models of the six WGIs. Rather than distinguishing among aspects of the quality of governance, this paper finds that they appear to be ...» more

Critique of Governance Assessment Applications

Governance assessments are based on subjective indicators (or measures), objective indicators or a combination of the two, known as composite indicators. Composite indicators are the most popular and are used by international organisations, donors, investors and the media (Arndt, 2008). Of these the most popular seems to be the World Bank’s World Governance Indicators (WGIs). ...» more

Evaluation of Governance Programme Indicators

Literature on performance indicators for governance programmes is sparse, and disparate in nature. In general such literature criticises the approach of applying quantitative indicators to governance programmes, or criticises the confusion of which aspects to monitor. The main weakness in the literature is a clear understanding of the relationship between governance projects ...» more

Citizen-centric Governance Indicators: Measuring and Monitoring Governance by Listening to the People and Not the Interest Groups

Maksym Ivanyna, Anwar Shah

How can governance measurement be improved? Governance indicators influence development work and foreign direct investment, but this World Bank paper argues that current indicators are inadequate because they fail to conceptualise governance or to capture citizen opinion. It offers instead a citizen-centric framework for measuring governance quality based on four dimensions: ...» more

Users’ Guide on Measuring Fragility

Javier Mata, Sebastian Ziaja

This Users’ Guide on Measuring Fragility presents a comparative analysis of 11 cross-country fragility indices. It assesses their conceptual premises, methodological approach and possible uses. The interest in understanding and predicting situations of fragility has grown exponentially amongst research and policy communities in the last years, in parallel to debates around ...» more