IV. Conclusions and Next Steps
This Report has analyzed and presented the results of the first edition of the Inclusive Growth and Development Benchmarking Tool, which assesses the inclusiveness of the process and benefits of growth in 112 economies across all geographies and stages of development. It provides policymakers, business leaders, and key decision-makers with benchmarks spanning seven policy areas and 15 sub-areas going well beyond fiscal transfers. The aim is to enable stakeholders to gauge how well their countries are exploiting the policy space available in these domains to advance inclusive growth and development based on the experience of countries at a similar level of development.
Through this Framework and cross-country benchmarking data, the Forum hopes to stimulate concrete discussion among policymakers and stakeholders about opportunities to translate an aspiration for a more socially inclusive growth model into a practical national strategy through an added emphasis on institutional development.
This is a beta version of the Framework, and work on refining the data and methodology will continue in two respects. First, based on feedback and ongoing research, the indicators will be improved and, where possible, country coverage will be expanded. Second, the relative significance of sub-pillars and individual indicators will be investigated empirically. This will be a complex undertaking, as the pace of progress in broad living standards is affected by many factors, both transient and longer term, most notably the level of growth itself. The challenge will be to isolate these from other factors in order to gain a better appreciation of which features of the institutional enabling environment are more or less determinative of the quality of growth over time as measured by levels of productive employment and median household income. Depending on the outcome of this exercise, it may be possible to assign weights and construct an index, providing a further degree of guidance about the practice of inclusive growth and development.
Finally, work has begun on a compendium of best practices in policy approaches, corporate and public-private partnerships. For example, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Meta-Council on Inclusive Growth is collaborating with the Center for International Development at Harvard University and the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth in seeking examples of practices, policies, and institutional initiatives, both public and private, at the intersection of inclusion and growth. The best proposals have been selected by a panel of international jurors and will be featured at the Symposium on Inclusive Growth to be hosted at Harvard University in October this year.
Over time, the goal is to develop a qualitative database that would be of utility to policymakers, companies, and other stakeholders interested in adapting approaches used with success elsewhere to their own circumstances, helping them to respond in concrete ways to the policy and institutional gaps revealed by the quantitative benchmarking information presented preliminarily in this report.
This report will inform discussions and activities of the World Economic Forum over the next two years, including in its National Strategy Meetings, Regional Summits and Annual Meetings, as part of the Global Challenge Initiative on Economic Growth and Social Inclusion. Through the Framework, Dashboard of National KPIs and Country Profiles, the Forum hopes to contribute to a better appreciation within societies of how to make inclusive growth a reality.