Norway is the most resilient country in the world while Yemen and South Sudan lead the list of the least resilient countries according to the first issue of the State Resilience Index which was recently published by The Fund for Peace. The report also finds a strong correlation between providing better conditions for women and resilience in terms of a country’s performance.
While for the last 18 years, the Fund for Peace (FFP) has been gathering and studying data to produce the State Fragility Index, this year the organization decided to produce a complementary publication – the State Resilience Index. According to FFP, the measure of resilience refers to the ability of countries to forestall, recover, and handle crises, taking into account the severity of these.
Resilience vs fragility
The FFP explains that, in general, the term ‘resilience’ is commonly used as the opposite of ‘fragility’ meaning that if a country has no fragility, it is resilient. At the same time, others use the term ‘resilience’ to describe the ability of people to fight dire conditions in fragile countries. However, neither definition clearly describes resilience and does not offer insight into how it can be measured, promoted, or improved. For the purposes of the State Resilience Index, resilience is “the extent to which a country can anticipate, manage, and recover from a crisis, relative to the severity of that crisis”.
According to the State Resilience Index 2022, to build a resilient country it is not sufficient to simply create new infrastructures or promote new job openings. Obviously, both are important for a strong economy, but resilience requires diversity. In a resilient economy, progress must be reached without creating “dependency on a single commodity export, a single trading partner, a single authority figure, a single energy source, a single monocrop, or single industry.” Because otherwise, if the economy is dependent, if that source fails then a crisis will spread through the entire system.
Top 10 most resilient countries
The FFP measures resilience through seven pillars, with gender-integrated and mainstreamed within all seven. These pillars are inclusion, social cohesion, state capacity, individual capacity, environment and ecology, economy, and civic spaces. According to the Index, of 154 countries, Norway is the most resilient country in the world, with a score of 8.4 out of 10. Sweden and Finland follow Norway with a total score of 8.3 each. The top 10 resilient countries in 2022 also include Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, and Australia.
Fig.1. State Resilience Index Heatmap
Source: Fund for Peace
Interestingly, the report also finds a solid relationship between the Women, Peace, and Security Index and the State Resilience Index. The existence of this correlation implies that countries with better conditions for women also have higher levels of resilience. For instance, according to the latest publication of the Women, Peace, and Security Index, which measures women’s inclusion, justice, and security in 170 countries, Norway has the highest performance. The top 10 countries with the highest rankings include Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
Fig.2. The Women, Peace and Security Index ranking, 2021/ 2022
Top 10 least resilient countries
According to the State Resilience Index 2022, the list of the least resilient countries is led by Yemen and South Sudan, with a total score of 2.9 out of 10 for each. Syria follows Yemen and South Sudan with a score of 3.3. The list of the least resilient countries includes Chad, Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Congo Democratic Republic, and Guinea. As is the case with the most resilient countries, again the countries that fail to provide better conditions for women also have poor performance in terms of resilience. According to the Women, Peace and Security Index, those countries that have the least performance toward women’s inclusion, justice, and security are Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Chad, Congo Democratic Republic, Sudan, and Sierra Leone.
Fig.3. Least Resilient Countries, 2022
Source: Fund for Peace