Each year since 2003, the Center for Global Development has “ranked the rich”—assessing which wealthy nations do the most (for their size) to bring good government and prosperity to the rest of the world. Today, we released the 9th edition of this assessment, the 2011 Commitment to Development Index. The core idea of the CDI is that nations are linked in many ways: through foreign aid, trade and investment flows, movement of people, natural resources, military affairs, technology. Governments, through their policies and actions, influence these linkages for good and ill. In particular, helping poorer nations takes more than aid.
Of course, government policies and actions don’t usually change much from year to year. So the top (and bottom) countries on the new ranking should look familiar. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands take the top four spots while South Korea and Japan come last. The high scores of the top four owe above all to their generous aid giving. The high standings of Sweden and Norway also derive from their openness to immigrants from developing countries, including refugees.
– In a globalized world it requires more than traditional assistance to lift people out of poverty. I see Sweden’s ranking as a proof that our efforts to make the Swedish development cooperation relevant, effective and realistic, has paid off, says Ms Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation.