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Arab Democracy Index

One of ARI’s main endeavours, the intra-Arab collaborative Arab Democracy Index provides an assessment of the democratic transition in selected countries based on the measurement of 40 key indicators, selected on the basis of their immediate relevance to policy-making and on their sensitivity to change, thus allowing to measure change over time. The overall goal is to influence the process of transition to democracy in the Arab world by documenting the process of transition and providing policy makers and pro-democracy groups with tools to mobilise public and government support for specific democracy- related recommendations.

The ADI is produced biannually with ARI member the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. Country teams survey each of the countries covered in the report. Four ADI reports have been published (2008, 2009-2010, 2011, 2014), with the fifth scheduled in 2016. This fifth edition of the report will include new indicators measuring comparatively the specific issue of the governance of diversity in the 12 countries covered. The ADI targets policy-makers and parliamentarians who seek to introduce reforms in the political system; pro-democracy groups and activists who lobby for reforms; the general public including the media, academics, local and international NGOs, political parties; and international institutions working in the development field such as the UNDP, the World Bank and the European Union.

The ADI has gained in value since the Arab Spring revolutions and its potential to impact policy-makers has grown as newly elected governments become more sensitive to their public image and hence to assessments conducted by civil society groups. It also contributes to challenging and gradually breaching the dominant culture of secrecy through seeking information from state agencies which are often reluctant to provide it. In the emerging democratic contexts, the ADI provides a tool to compare democratic and undemocratic countries and to compare data over time before and after the uprisings and in countries that have undergone a change of political systems.

Bassma Kodmani, ARI Executive Director, and Salam Kawakibi, Deputy Director, lead this project inside ARI. The Arab Democracy Index is produced in partnership with ARI member the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Project sponsor: IDRC - International Development Research CentreOpen Society Foundation

Project Publications
Arab Democracy Index IV
Arab Democracy Index IV
The 4th edition of the Arab Democracy Index, published in 2014, reflects the positive impact of the Arab Spring of 2011 on the 9 countries from its in-depth survey carried out by local social scientists.
Arab Reform Initiative
The State of Reform in the Arab World 2011
The State of Reform in the Arab World 2011
This report appears at an extraordinary moment in the history of the Arab region. Although the region as a whole is undergoing varying degrees of transformation, it relies on the inevitability of change and democratic transition based on local specificities and mechanisms. With the publication of its third report on the State of Reform in the Arab world, the Arab Reform Initiative maintains a tradition which it hopes will become part and parcel of academic and political practices in our region. The report allows the monitoring of changes, reforms and transformations based on objective standards and indicators, carefully drawn to suit the nature of societies under study. The report is considered essential material for the development of comparative studies, since the image it reflects is based on indicators with the highest possible degree of precision, and on scientific analyses of the conditions under which target societies lived before the outbreak of popular protests, and onset of revolutionary activism.
Arab Reform Initiative
The State of Reform in the Arab World 2009-2010
The State of Reform in the Arab World 2009-2010
The ADI, in its second edition, covers ten Arab countries with the mission to eventually cover all the countries in the Arab world. The study measures forty indicators to gauge four major values and principles relevant to the democratization process: strong and accountable public institutions, respect for rights and freedoms, the rule of law, and equality and social justice. The selected indicators measure daily political, economic and social issues, and reflect the entire democratic decision-making process.
Arab Reform Initiative
The State of Reform in the Arab World 2008
The State of Reform in the Arab World 2008
“Democratic Transition is still at the embryonic stage and is more visible in countries that are keen to project a positive image of modernization Progress achieved in constitutional, administrative and other kinds of formal steps to reform remains unmatched by practices and progress on the ground”: this represents one of the key conclusions of the recently launched State of Reform in the Arab World 2008.
Arab Reform Initiative