Methodology

Category: About us

Assessing levels of need 

The methodology of the good guide is simple.  The aim is to start by assessing levels of need, and to do this,  an overarching indicator is selected to represent the state of need in a  sector.  Based on the indicator, the countries of the world are ranked from the greatest need (ranked 1) to the least need.  This is how the levels of needs are assessed between countries for a specific sector. 

Comparing needs in countries 

The Good-Guide.org also needs to compare different types of needs within countries (i.e. compares sectors within a country).   To do this, the Good-Guide.org compares the  country's world rankings for each sector.  If a country is rated as having high need for health (e.g. ranked 5) and this is followed by a lower need in the area of research (e.g. ranked 28) then health is considered the greatest need.  By doing this comparison of rankings across all sectors it is possible to compare and rank different types of need. 

Filling data gaps (i.e. imputation) 

It is very rare that an indicator covers all countries (the research indicator being the exception).  When a country lacks data we have to decide whether the country should be ignored just because there is no data for an indicator, or whether we should try to estimate a value for the country (i.e. impute a value).  We have decided to impute values for countries without indicator values.  The method the Good-Guide has used is basic.  The Good-Guide.org simply looks at the correlation between GDP per capita and the indicator (e.g. life expectancy at birth for health), and then selects a curve that best fits the data.   The formula for the curve is used to impute values, by entering the GDP per capita of the country into the formula to calculate a value for the indicator.  The imputed indicator value is used along with other measured and imputed values to estimate the rank of the country in terms of need. In reality imputed values only give a general sense of where the country might be in terms of need, and it would be ideal to find better imputation methods for each indicator.  The Good-Guide is very eager for feedback in this regard.

For more information on the sectors assessed, please see The Classification of Needs for the Good Guide.

For more information on data sources and indicators, please see data sources.