Basic Capabilities Index 2008

The Basic Capabilities Index, made public today by Social Watch states that the majority of the planet’s population lives in countries with dormant social indicators or progressing too slow to reach an acceptable standard of life in the next decade, or for which there is no reliable information. Progress in basic social indicators slowed down last year all over the world and at the present rate –the index stresses- the internationally agreed poverty reduction goals will not be met by 2015, unless substantial changes occur. In Sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, progress in social indicators is extremely slow and, at the current rate, would only reach an acceptable BCI score in the 23rd century.

See the whole index figures and graphs.

Out of 176 countries for which a BCI figure is computed, only 21 register noticeable progress in relation to how they were in 2000. Other 55 countries show progress that is slight and slow, while other 77 countries are stagnant.

Setbacks are registered in Central Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and even in Europe, yet the majority of countries which have regressed the most in social development are to be found in Sub-Saharan Africa where they are extremely alarming, since countries in this region were already among the lowest in the index.

A summary index, the BCI provides a consistent general overview of the health status and basic educational performance of each country and is proven to be closely correlated to the measurement of other capabilities related to countries’ social development.

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