by | Robert Tai Chiang Vun, email@example.com
The use of country performance indexes is a fast and concise way to gauge a country’s performance compared to other countries. Besides country benchmarking, country performance indexes can also help identify areas of improvement of a given country. There are currently many country performance indexes covering various areas that are important to a country’s development, such as science and technology, economics, social, and the environment. An excellent example of a reputable country performance index is the Global Competitiveness Index from the World Economic Forum.
Given their wide acceptance and relevance to a nation’s development, policymakers have begun to show interest in adopting country performance indexes as a formal means of performance measurement. Just early this year, the Malaysian government launched the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, also known as MyDigital, where the Global Innovation Index (or GII) has been included as a policy target to be improved, specifically in the areas of research and knowledge creation. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (or MOSTI) has also established a national task force to monitor Malaysia’s GII ranking performances.
As country performance indexes are increasingly becoming an important yardstick to measure policy performances, policymakers must understand how Malaysia’s performance is being calculated by the various institutions that publish these indexes, such as WIPO, WEF and IMD. By understanding their methodologies and being able to replicate how countries’ scores and rankings are calculated, relevant stakeholders will be able to (i) evaluate the level of impact that each underlying indicator have on Malaysia’s ranking performance, thus (ii) enabling stakeholders to focus on targeted underlying indicators that would create the greatest impact.
Country performance indexes’ methodologies can be replicated through data modelling and visualisation. Data models built to emulate a targeted country performance index (e.g., GII) can be used to simulate Malaysia’s ranking performance. Being able to simulate ranking performances allow analysts to analyse past accomplishments and estimate future performances. When coupled with other study methodologies, such as Foresighting, various plausible scenarios could be built by examining the underlying input indicators’ qualitative and quantitative aspects.
These plausible scenarios could provide stakeholders with clearer visibility of what’s ahead when planning the appropriate strategies to improve Malaysia’s ranking performance. Besides, the ability to perform simulation could also assist stakeholders in setting realistic and achievable targets for both the input indicators and Malaysia’s annual ranking performances moving forward.
However, the said approach is by no means a substitute for the government’s regular reviews and diagnoses on the country’s needs and performances. Instead, it could serve as a planning tool that complements and supports a more fact-based decision-making process in determining the most appropriate policy interventions. Furthermore, adopting data modelling to support decision making also aligns well with the government’s push for more digitalisation in the public sector.