The Americas Quarterly’s Social Inclusion Index!

Our friends from the Americas Quarterly have released a fantastic and useful document: The Social Inclusion Index - a way to measure, track and compare social inclusion in the Americas.

You can read here their article presenting the Index:

What really is social inclusion? Implicitly, most of us understand it as more than development; it includes elements of political participation, social rights, civil liberties, and equal access — across race, ethnicity and gender — to social services and labor markets”.

As we can also read on the article, “if we can define it, presumably we can also measure it, or at least some components of it. There are a number of evolving and sophisticated efforts currently under way to measure elements of social inclusion. One of these is the World Bank’s excellent Human Opportunity Index that measures circumstances affecting access to goods and services (education and housing). Yet social inclusion also contains an element of political voice and freedom that is often lacking in more economic measures”.

The Index has three parts:

  1. How the countries rank
  2. Grading the countries
  3. Methodology

The Index will be revisited every two years in order to track it. For now, the point is to begin a debate on the concrete dimensions of social inclusion, how to measure it and where countries rank.

Relative Ranking on 15 variables:

That Chile and Uruguay rank the highest in social inclusion is no surprise. The ranking, however, obscures the differences among the countries. Despite coming in third, brazil’s aggregate score of 51.4 is far below Chile’s (71.9) and Uruguay’s (71.2). Ecuador, in fourth place, was boosted by above-average scores in GDP growth and secondary-school enrollment, though, as mentioned earlier, the latter numbers have been questioned. Mexico’s appearance in the middle of the pack is consistent with its performance across the variables, with one important exception—living on more than $4 per day, which is high even taking into account gender and race.

Ranking by Other Variables:

Variable by variable, this is how the countries stacked up. One methodological note: for the indicators secondary-school enrollment, daily income, access to adequate housing and access to a formal job, to take into account countrywide rates and differences by gender and race/ethnicity for each category, we calculated the differences between male/female and non-minority/minority and then subtracted those from the overall national percent. The idea was to score countries by their overall performance with penalties for the differences in access by gender and race/ethnicity. The differences were not weighted by population size, based on the assumption that differences in the distribution of resources matter regardless of the size of the population. Learn how we calculated the variables and the rankings.


You can read the full version in a PDF document clicking here.

An amazing document! Enjoy and share with us your comments!

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