Member of the Managing Board
Over the past several years, a worldwide consensus has emerged on the need for a more socially-inclusive approach to generating economic growth. However, inclusive growth and development remain primarily an aspiration. No systemic framework has emerged to guide policy and practice.
The World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Economic Growth and Social Inclusion has taken on this challenge with the release of the “Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017.” Building on a beta version of a policy framework released in 2015, this Report provides a practical guide for policymakers and stakeholders seeking to build a strategy to capture greater synergy between economic growth and more broadly-based progress in living standards in their countries.
In addition to the Report’s policy framework and metrics –which provide a comparative illustration of institutional strength and enabling environment conditions in 15 of the most relevant policy domains for inclusive growth – a new set of national key performance indicators are presented to help countries track progress. These have been compiled into a composite global index, the Inclusive Development Index, measuring the accumulated level as well as the most recent five-year trend of performance for the 109 countries for which such data is available. The former offers a more integrated and holistic picture of the state of economic development of countries than Gross Domestic Product per capita alone. The latter is useful for governments and stakeholders seeking to assess the effect of changes in policy and conditions within a typical political cycle.
Together, the policy framework and benchmarking data are intended to provide countries with the practical tools needed to help turn the ambition of inclusive growth into a practical and measurable plan of action. At the same time, they yield several important conclusions for national policy and international economic cooperation, which the Report articulates in considerable depth. These provide the basis for a new global growth agenda at a time when the world economy sorely needs new impetus.
This Report, and the System Initiative on Economic Growth and Social Inclusion of which it is part, exemplify the World Economic Forum’s ambition to serve as a platform to enable closer cooperation between multiple institutions and stakeholders sharing a common aim. We wish to thank the International Labour Organization, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Finance Ministry of Canada, as well as Barclays, McKinsey Global Institute, and Microsoft for their thoughtful written contributions to this volume. We also wish to express appreciation to all members of the System Initiative who provided comments and general guidance. The richness of the data found in these pages is also due to the work of numerous public and private institutions.
Finally, this project benefited immeasurably from the creativityand diligence of Jennifer Blanke, Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz, and particularly Gemma Corrigan, as well as valuable input from Thierry Geiger, Stefan Hall, and Aditi Sara Verghese.
Geneva, January 2017