Which Countries Are Ready to Deal with Change?



Every day on the news we hear about challenges that countries face, ranging from domestic crises to natural disasters. At the same time, we learn about opportunities for advancement created by new technologies and global markets. How ready are countries to absorb negative shocks and capitalize on positive changes? This is the question that KPMG, in cooperation with Oxford Economics, seeks to address through the 2013 Change Readiness Index (CRI).

The index, this year in its second and expanded edition, assesses the ability of 90 countries around the world – from Australia to Afghanistan – to manage change and cultivate opportunity. Based on the analysis of secondary data and primary surveys of over 500 country experts, the index looks at three key elements: enterprise capability, government capability, and people & civil society capability. This data is also accompanied by several case studies that put CRI to the test, looking for instance at the varied capacity of countries to respond to major earthquakes (Haiti, Chile, and Japan).

At a recent launch event KPMG’s Trevor Davies and Mark Fitzgerald presented the findings, highlighting changes and methodological improvements from last year’s edition where just 60 counties were featured. An interesting panel discussion and Q&A followed. Dan Runde, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development at CSIS stressed that quality of governance matters for a country’s change readiness – and not just the administrative capacity of government but the level of democratic governance.

“In the top 50 countries ranked, 41 are democracies,” he said. Charlotte Nan Jiang, co-author of the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators, and Alicia Philips Mandaville at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, both noted that the disaggregated data set provides a rich source for country comparisons and analysis of outliers.

There is a wealth of information in CRI that policymakers, governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations can use to analyze strengths and weaknesses, identify reform priorities, and benchmark performance. To learn more and explore country data visit: kpmg.com/changereadiness

Anna Nadgrodkiewicz is Director of Multiregional Programs at CIPE.