Every country in the world just got a report card. Grades are assigned based on on how each country satisfies the basic needs of its people and how much opportunity is available.
It’s the result of a collaboration between Global Citizen and the Social Progress Imperative for the past two years to make tracking the Global Goals a little more transparent.
Each year the People’s Report Card is there for Global Citizens to see what progress is being made toward the Global Goals.
The overall goal of the People’s Report Card is to get the world to reach an A, meaning everyone everywhere is safe, free, and healthy by 2030.
This year, each country’s grade was averaged out to create a report card and grade for the entire world. So how did we do? We got a C+. Not exactly the type of report card your parents will take you out for ice cream over, but it’s definitely an improvement.
For some countries, scores were predictable. Norway, we know you rock at everything already. The US is a little bit behind the UK and Australia when it comes to health, and environmental care. But some countries scores were not what you might think.
Here is a deeper dive into four countries that might be doing better or worse than you expected.
Myanmar had a landmark year in 2016. Thanks to the persistent efforts of Aang San Suu Kyi’s Democratic party, the nation has made great strides in breaking from the restrictive yoke of authoritarian military rule. Her party’s peaceful transition into power is a landmark event for democracy in a political system where voter fraud and corruption had been the status quo just a few years before.
Looking ahead, we are hopeful that in the years to come Myanmar can build upon its progress. Its first steps will need to be amending its unbalanced electoral and congressional systems. It should prioritize repairing a culture without civil liberties and true freedom of speech, a process which it can start by releasing the rest of its political prisoners. Still a country coming out of decades of civil war, Myanmar has a few areas for civil rights to improve on.
Brazil has had a tough couple of years. What with the 2014 World Cup Tournament, which was shortly followed by the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the government has certainly had its hands full. It wouldn’t be easy for any country, let alone on that is in the process of impeaching its own president. Dilma Rousseff’s approval ratings, as well as those of her substitute, Michel Temer, have hit record lows, reflecting the sheer caliber of unrest in the country.
Brazil needs to work on recognizing the validity of that unrest. This means democratizing the voices of the people, not simply by creating an electronic voting system but by listening and respecting the will of the people. This is especially true of the disenfranchised and the indigenous. The government ought to invest in these people like they invest in the rich, and in tourists.
For what it’s capable of, Brazil urgently needs to work on issues of crime, housing and sanitation. An emerging economic world power, it will be in its response to these civil and humanitarian problems that it defines itself as a truly modern country.
The increasing number of strikes in India are symptomatic of a country with many divisive issues. The continually under-addressed issue of the Kashmir border is a black mark on the developing nation. Moreover, it is a black mark that refuses to go away as India blocks the involvement of international humanitarian organizations, like the UN.
For India to make strides, it also needs to earnestly address the issues of weak structural sanitation. Resurgent cases of the mosquito-borne virus, Chikungunya, also suggest a slow response time in the realm of public health, a problem in a country vulnerable to dengue, tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV. We know it is a tall order for a country with such a large population, but the health of a populace is always an urgent priority.
When you account for the rising disparity of wealth and unpopular labor laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has quite long to-do list in order to make humanitarian progress for India.
For the past decade, the small nation of Uruguay has consistently punched above its weight class. Uruguay is one of the most open and democratic countries in the world. In terms of civil liberties and electoral system, it even beats the United States in some categories like tolerance and inclusion. The country is also a leader in sustainable energy, deriving a whopping 95% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2015.
While it does share some traits with the much-lauded progressivism of Scandinavian nations, such as size, Uruguay’s success is very much unique. Its population demographic is nowhere near as homogenous as Sweden or Norway. Its political and economic structure comes out of a much less supportive framework than that of the European Union. Uruguay, along with Chile, is a pioneer on the continent. Moreover, it is one of few nations in the South Americas that has separated governance from both religious and nationalist rhetoric. It is these humanitarian ambitions that have well and truly earned it a solid score on this year’s Global Report Card.
Where does your country rank? Let us know @glblctzn.