Nigeria has been ranked the 13th least stable country in the world for the second year in a row on the Fragile States Index, FSI, released by the Washington DC-based Fund for Peace, FFP.
The FSI Index measures levels of stability in 178 countries and ranks them according to their vulnerability to threats from social, political, economic and demographic pressures.
In the 2017 FSI (the thirteenth annual edition), released on Monday, Nigeria outranks seven African countries which include: South Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Guinea, who are all considered less stable than Nigeria.
Zimbabwe is co-ranked 13th with Nigeria and Ethiopia follows both countries as the 14th least stable country in the world.
Nigeria has consistently been featured in the FFP index since it was first published in 2005 when the country was ranked 54, its highest position yet.
In this year’s ranking, the United States is placed as the thirteenth-most worsened state of the year, while Ethiopia, Mexico and Turkey are the most worsened since the 2016 assessment. The 2017 Index also shows pressure continuing to mount in Brazil and South Africa, while Belgium, Italy, Japan and South Korea experienced upticks in fragility.
The Fragile States Index—and the social science framework and software application upon which it is built—serves as a critical tool for governments, international organizations, private corporations, humanitarian organizations, the military, academic scholars and the media. It not only highlights current trends in social, economic and political pressures, but provides risk analysis and serves as a useful metric for measuring the effectiveness of policies and development programs.
The Index also helps governments, NGOs and aid agencies identify where they need to focus their attention. For example, FFP data illustrates that the use of wedge issues—in particular those that target ethnic or cultural groups for short-term political gain—has grave consequences for a nation’s stability.
In the FSI, scores are apportioned for every country based on 12 key political, social and economic indicators and over 100 sub-indicators. The Index is based on the Fund for Peace’s proprietary Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST) analytical platform that has been used widely for the last quarter-century by policy makers, field practitioners and local community organizations.
Supported by comprehensive social science methodology, data from three primary sources—including quantitative data sets, content analysis of over 50 million data points and expert validation—is triangulated to obtain final scores for the Fragile States Index.
The Fund for Peace (FFP) is an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit research and educational organization that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security.
FFP’s Executive Director, J.J. Messner said: “Even the most stable countries must pay attention to early warning signs of social and political conflict, as this fragility has a direct causal effect on prosperity and security.”
According to Messner, the Fragile States Index is designed to spur conversations, encourage debate and help guide strategies for sustainable security.
“We hope the Index this year will empower more citizens and government officials to take decisive action to craft policies that foster greater stability and sustainable human security,” Messner said.