It’s not fair to penalise poor countries by ranking them low in the Good Country Index

For most indicators, each country’s score in the Good Country Index is divided by its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) so that smaller and poorer countries aren’t unduly penalised in the ranking for their limited ability to ‘make a difference’ in the world. This is in consideration of the fact that a majority of the indicators are positive and hence large countries would automatically perform better in the index if we did not adjust for size.

And if you take a look at the 35 datasets we use to calculate the Good Country rankings, you'll see that only a small handful of them are directly related to money. The Good Country Index is definitely not a list of the biggest contributors to foreign aid: our definition of a "good" country is much broader than that.

It's also important to emphasize that the Good Country Index isn’t passing any kind of judgment on countries, nor is it commenting on the reasons behind any country’s scores. It is certainly true that countries which need to focus on severe domestic challenges tend to be more concerned about their own populations and their own stability than those of other countries. Maybe this is right, and maybe it’s not: one for further discussion.