Feb. 25, 2015
Recently, V-Dem provided the UNDP with suggestions on how to measure the proposed Sustainable Development Goal 16 using V-Dem data.
The goal is to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” One of the sub-goals is to “develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.” The V-Dem indicators that were suggested to measure it are illustrated in the graph of Zambia below.
The electoral component, which measures the extent to which the electoral principle of democracy is achieved, performs the worst of the indicators included, although it has improved slightly since the 1990s. Judicial accountability indicates how often judges are removed from their posts or otherwise disciplined when found guilty of serious misconduct. In the case of Zambia it is on the same level as it was in the 1950s, with both improvements and setbacks since the 1990s.
The two indicators on executive constraint focus on the extent to which the executive respects the constitution and complies with court rulings, and to what extent the judiciary is able to act in an independent fashion, as well weather the legislature and government agencies can questioning, investige, and exerciseg oversight over the executive. They end up with similar scores in 2010, but the legislative constraints indicator experienced a large drop in 1972 and an even larger increase in 1990. Less drastic improvements took place around 1990 also on the judicial constraint and the electoral component indicators as well.
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