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Prosperity index

Mar 28,2016 - Last updated at Mar 28,2016

On March 24, the Jordan Strategy Forum launched a report titled “Jordan Prosperity Index: Prosperity Beyond GDP”.

The index measures the change in prosperity of the Jordanian society from 2007 to 2014.

The three main pillars used to measure prosperity are income, living environment and human capital development.

In turn, each of these pillars is composed of a number of sub-items that were also measured. In all, the final prosperity index is the resultant of 51 indicators.

Data was drawn from various local sources (Department of Statistics, Central Bank, Ministry of Finance, etc.) and from international sources such as World Bank, World Economic Forum (Davos) and Transparency International.

A year-long monumental effort was exerted in this effort. The independent Jordan Strategy Forum relies mainly on the contributions of its Jordanian members and affiliates.

No government, foreign NGOs or non-Jordanian sources are allowed to contribute to it in order to ensure its independence and integrity.

Thus the index it produces is bias blind and reflects reality as best deemed by its staff and collaborators.

Over the period under study, the prosperity index in Jordan went up and down, then settled by the end of 2014 at its base level of 2007.

The base year (2007) is well chosen. It was in a way a normal year and it had preceded the international economic crisis of the subsequent year.

In the period 2007-2014, Jordan was exposed to a series of monumental shocks that included the world economic crisis, the rise and fall of oil prices, the chaos in the international currency and stock markets, the stoppage of gas supplies from Egypt, the Arab Spring, the influx of refugees from neighbouring countries, the halt in exports to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the freezing of transit trade and transshipment and high-security alertness.

The cumulative impact of all of these shocks is yet to be measured. However, Jordan had demonstrated a very high degree of resilience, which the index adequately reflects.

This is the first Jordanian-made index. It was mainly done by youth who will find in it a channel to influence public policy decisions.

Nobody in the public or in the private sector should ignore the findings of this scientific information-based index.

Jordan Strategy Forum is an excellent addition to the Jordanian scene. In the near future it is poised to launch an investment confidence index. That should be very interesting.

 

The writer, a former Royal Court chief and deputy prime minister, is a member of Senate. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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