The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) is an annually published index that provides a statistical measure of governance performance in 54 African countries. The 2018 IIAG, which is its 12th iteration, spans a ten-year period (2008-2017).

Governance is defined by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation as the provision of the political, social and economic public goods and services that every citizen has the right to expect from his or her state, and that a state has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens. This definition is focused on outputs and outcomes of policy.

The IIAG governance framework comprises four categories:

  1. Safety & Rule of Law
  2. Participation & Human Rights
  3. Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and
  4. Human Development.

These categories are made up of 14 sub-categories, consisting of 102 indicators. The 2018 IIAG is calculated using data from 35 independent African and global data sources.

The IIAG is refined on annual basis. Refinements may be methodological, or based on the inclusion or exclusion of indicators.  When new historical data are made available, or the structure of the IIAG is strengthened, the entire dataset is updated back to the first year of the time series. Users of the Index should therefore always reference the most recent version of the IIAG dataset.

Calculation stages

  1. Indicators that are consistent with the Foundation’s definition of governance and meet specific standards of quality, periodicity and country coverage are selected and missing raw data values are estimated.
  2. Raw data come in different scales from source. In order to be compared and combined, data are transformed to a standardised range of 0.0-100.0, where 100.0 is the best possible score.
  3. Once the 100 indicators have been transformed to a common scale, a simple method of aggregation is applied to calculate the scores. The Overall Governance score is the average of the underlying category scores; the category scores the average of their underlying sub-categories, and the sub-categories the average of their constituent indicators.

Note on decimal place precision in the 2018 IIAG

All figures on IIAG outputs are displayed to one decimal place. The calculation method to arrive at these scores is as follows:

  • Country scores are calculated on full-precision raw data values (using the exact values as they are collected from source). All scores are then rounded to one decimal place.
  • Group averages are calculated on the rounded, one decimal place country scores.
  • Both trends over time and ranks are calculated on the scores to one decimal place.

The exception to this are the annual average trend figures. These are calculated on the rounded trends over time, and displayed to two decimal places. Trend classifications are assigned based on the full precision of the annual average trend.

An explanation of how we approach trend classifications can be found here.

A detailed, technical methodology is available here. Visit the downloads page for more technical documents.

If you would like to view the methodologies of commissioned datasets and data projects the Foundation contributes to (to increase the availability of governance data on Africa), they can be found here:

If you would like to view how data from Afrobarometer was coded for inclusion in the 2018 IIAG, please see the following document:

IIAG data sources

The 2018 IIAG consists of 102 indicators that are formed by 191 variables, from 35 independent, external data sources.

Safety and Rule of Law

27 indicators in four sub-categories:

Data sources

Participation and Human Rights

19 indicators in three sub-categories:

Data sources

Sustainable Economic Opportunity

30 indicators in four sub-categories:

Data sources

Human Development

26 indicators in three sub-categories:

Data sources