Normally, when I read something from the prestigious DC-based think tank known (because that’s its’ name) as the Center for Global Development, I feel better informed and enlightened. But not always. A post from David Roodman suggesting a more accurate way to assess the positive impact specific countries have upon the rest of the world just confuses me.
Roodman, writing under the headline Which G-20 nation is the most upstanding global citizen?, notes that the earlier methodology for answering this question (called the Commitment to Development Index) is based on what he contends is a fairly simplistic assessment of foreign aid and development funding.
By that measure, the UK, France, Australia, the Netherlands and Sweden ranked high:
But Roodman says this is all based on an inaccurate ‘dichotomous’ distinction between rich and poor nations, measurements that often fail to take in ‘externalities’ like air pollution and too much focus on helping the poor, specifically.
He thinks a more accurate view may be had by asking “not what your country has done for the poor, but what your country has done for the world.” Here’s what Roodman’s new proposed yardstick comes up with:
Seriously? India, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Korea and Indonesia have done the most for the world?