Developing and Evaluating Governance Indexes
Recent years have seen a proliferation of composite indicators or indexes of governance and their use in research and policy-making. This article proposes a framework of 10 questions to guide both the development and evaluation of such indexes. In reviewing these 10 questions – only six of which, it argues, are critical – the paper advances two broad arguments: First, more attention should be paid to the fundamentals of social science methodology, that is, concept formation, content validity, reliability, replicability, robustness, and the relevance of particular measures to underlying research questions. Second, less attention should be paid to other issues more commonly highlighted in the literature on governance measurement, that is, descriptive complexity, theoretical fit, the precision of estimates, and ‘correct’ weighting. The paper builds on review of the literature and on three years of research in practice in developing a well-known governance index.