Development Challenges Index: impact of the COVID-19 pandemic - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia


Development Challenges Index: impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL6.GCP/2023/TP.4

Country: Global

Publication Type: Information material

Cluster: Governance and Conflict Prevention

Focus Area: Governance & enabling environment, Resilient development & conflict prevention

Initiatives: Development challenges

SDGs: Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 13: Climate Action

Keywords: Covid-19, Governance, Index numbers, Environment, Development indicators, Statistical data

Development Challenges Index: impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

July 2023

This paper provides an update on the Development Challenges Index (DCI) to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that development progress has been either reversed or stagnated in all regions. In terms of the share of the three challenges within the overall DCI, no significant changes were depicted and the governance component retains the largest share. As for the performance in each of the three challenges, the paper finds a deteriorating performance in all three with the governance component being the most impacted.

Although, on average, richer countries perform better than poorer ones, the paper examines the DCI results by the different income per capita levels and finds striking differences between these and the DCI levels. In particular, rising income per capita contrasts with accentuated development challenges, especially in the poorest countries. DCI scores by challenge level show that all challenge groups saw an increase or stagnation in their scores between 2019 and 2021, with the exception of medium challenged countries.

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