The Haas Institute is holistically focused on processes of “othering” and marginalization which share common structures and features. These structures and institutions create barriers that engender inclusion or marginality across multiple social cleavages. Our goal in developing the inclusiveness index is to measure holistically and better understand inclusivity and group-based marginality across a range of geographic settings and social dimensions.
Inclusivity entails greater access to power, public and private resources and improves the way society views group members. Inclusivity is realized when historically or currently marginalized groups feel valued, differences respected, and their basic and fundamental needs and rights, relative to dominant groups, are met and recognized. We focus on social groups rather than individuals or even communities, as marginality often occurs as a result of group membership.
The Inclusiveness Index is a multi-factor index that incorporates key indicators of inclusivity, which are each given a pre-assigned weight within the index. In developing the Inclusiveness Index, the Haas Institute was guided by our conviction that multi-factor indices paint a more vivid portrait of underlying structural conditions and forms of advantage and disadvantage experienced by marginalized groups than any single indicator, such as poverty or per capita GDP. Single indicator metrics fail to capture the myriad of inputs that shape individual and group life chances. Our selection of indicators for our index were guided by a few important criteria. Firstly, the indicators had to be scalable to the global level. Developing a nation-state ranking would not be possible if the data sets did not exist for a sufficient number of countries to justify a global ranking. We were also limited by data sets that were commensurate or comparable across geographies. Secondly, we wanted our indicators to reflect cultural and institutional practices rather than economic strength or tax base capacity. Therefore, insofar as possible, the indicators are non-economic, and not proxies for governmental expenditures in human capital, but rather reflect legal and institutional regimes.
The Haas Institute launched its first Inclusiveness Index in 2016. The press release, report, webinar and raw data can be accessed here. Reporting out the index is planned as a regular yearly release. We are working on the second index release scheduled for last quarter of 2017.