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© Social and Political Research Foundation 2019

SPRF FREEDOM INDICES

Press Freedom Index (Reporters Without Borders) - The index uses pooled expert opinions and quantitative data on abuses and violence against the media in different countries all over the world to rank them for press freedom. An online questionnaire with 87 questions is sent to a select group of media professionals, sociologists and lawyers.

 

The themes evaluated under the questionnaire are pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and infrastructural support for producing news and information.

 

The final country-wise score is calculated by combining the questionnaire responses and data about abuses against journalists during the period of evaluation. A higher rank on the index signifies lesser incidents of abuse against journalists and better press freedom.

World Index of Moral Freedom (Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty) - The index measures the level of moral coercion across countries, i.e. how much governments across the world force their citizens to act in line with an officially sanctioned set of values. In other words, the index measures the level of individual liberty citizens have to make moral decisions.

 

The index has five themes or indicators, each of which contributes to the final score of a country. These include religious (freedom to practice religion, etc.), bioethical (abortion rights, etc.), drugs (cannabis legalisation, etc.), sexuality (legal status of pornography, prostitution, etc.), and gender & family indicators (women’s mobility, etc.). The higher a country’s rank on the index, the greater the level of moral freedom available to its citizens.

Democracy Index (Economist Intelligence Unit) - The index studies the state of democracy across 167 countries/territories in the world. It consists of 60 indicators divided among 5 categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation, and political culture.

 

Based on the respective scores of the countries, they are ranked as well as classified under four regime categories: full democracy (8-10), flawed democracy (6-7.99), hybrid regime (4-5.99), and authoritarian regime (0-3.99).

Global Hunger Index (Concern Worldwide) - Based on publicly available data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank and other multilateral organisations, the index captures the level of hunger across countries using four indicators: undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality. The GHI methodology understands hunger as a combination of child undernourishment, insufficient calorie intake, and child mortality.

 

The index ranks countries on a 100-point scale that indicates the severity of hunger by classifying countries as having low hunger (score <10), moderate hunger (10-19.9), serious hunger (20-34.9), alarming hunger (35-49.9), and extremely alarming hunger (>50).

Human Development Index (UNDP) - The HDI measures average achievement of countries in three dimensions of human development by aggregating the scores based on 3 sub-indices: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable, and having a decent standard of living.

 

These dimensions are based on four indicators: life expectancy at birth, mean years of schooling for adults aged 25 and above, expected years of schooling for children of school-entering age, and per capita Gross National Income (GNI).

 

There are sub-indices for each dimension of human development which score and rank countries, namely, the life expectancy index, education index, and GNI index. 

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Human Freedom Index (Cato Institute) - The HFI measures the state of human freedom based on intersections of personal, civil and economic freedom and observes the relationship between freedom and socio-economic phenomena.

 

The index is based on 79 indicators, including religion, rule of law, access to sound money and legal system and property rights, with freedom defined as the absence of coercive constraint. 

Global Peace Index (Institute for Economics and Peace) - The GPI ranks states and territories based on the level of peacefulness. It does so by using qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure the state of peace under three thematic domains: level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation.

 

The GPI studies the relationship between actual peace in the country and the concept of positive peace, i.e. the attitudes and institutional structure necessary for peaceful societies. The index shows how the deficit in positive peace is often an indicator of future increase in violent conflict and how an increase in positive peace can have positive economic outcomes. 

Rule of Law Index (World Justice Project) - The RLI measures how rule of law is experienced, perceived, and adhered to by the general public based on a survey of 110,000 households and 3000 experts across 113 countries.

 

The index measures each country's performance across eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice.

Country Profiles:

 

Note: The darker background represents the worst-case scenario, while the yellow represents the performance of the country on 8 indices above. The smaller the yellow area in relation to the darker area, the better performing the country.