The quality of democracy, market economy and governance in developing and transformation countries has fallen continuously over the past decade and has reached a new low. The recently published Transformation Index BTI 2020 shows that democratic regression, increasing corruption and deepening polarization are interlinked and mutually reinforce each other in many of the 137 states surveyed. COVID-19 threatens to exacerbate the very weaknesses that have marked the negative balance of the last decade: a weak rule of law, a lack of fairness, limited political rights, fiscal instability and rising social inequality.
For the ECA region, a decade of BTI data for 2010-2020 show mixed trends: many countries have been able to further strengthen their structural market and competition frameworks as well as their welfare regimes, but political participation and the rule of law have deteriorated. The sustainability of environmental and educational policies remains a weak spot and the protection of property rights is guaranteed to a lesser extent than 10 years ago. While more governments were able to improve their capabilities to prioritize and implement reforms, the inclusiveness of governance has deteriorated in the vast majority of countries.
With its holistic and granular approach to political and economic transformation as well as democratic governance and its qualitative country-level analysis, the BTI provides a unique perspective on the progress that ECA countries have made over time and the setbacks they are facing.
During this session, the BTI team discussed the main findings and trends over time for the ECA region, identified potential challenges or reform drivers in individual countrie and sub-regional groups, and presented the various ways to access BTI data and analyses.