A framework to measure the relative socio-economic performance of developing countries
This research develops a framework to estimate the relative efficiency of developing countries in utilizing both their domestic and external resources to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The analysis highlights distinct efficiency differences across lending groups and geographic regions e.g. between Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The performance of regions exposed to natural disasters and political violence need to be analyzed individually and risk management ought to be an integrated part of development policy. The gap between the Millennium Development Goals and human rights approaches is then examined. Finally, we qualify a country's performance level as potentially sustainable in terms of human, social and environmental welfare, in turn searching for realistic benchmarks and intermediate targets for the relatively inefficient countries. Principal component analysis in combination with data envelopment analysis was applied to solve the problem of efficiency overestimation with multi-dimensional scaling used to present the issue graphically. In summary, the aim of this work is not to rank countries in a league table rather to provide a framework that combines economic, environmental and social issues in order to search for sustainable, pragmatic benchmarks, pushing the boundaries of the Human Development Index.
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