Measurement of Various Dimensions of Democracy

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG Center) sought the services of an organization to provide expertise and conduct statistical analyses of cross-national datasets that measure various dimensions of democracy. NORC contracted Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) consultants at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana to produce a variety of analytical products for a democracy practitioner audience. V-Dem maintains a multidimensional and disaggregated dataset that reflects the complexity of the concept of democracy as a system of rule that goes beyond the presence of elections and formal freedoms.

The contracted organization was required to demonstrate index construction; hypothesis testing using multivariate statistical models; statistical modeling based on social science theory; and deep familiarity with academic literature on democracy, human rights, and governance. The V-Dem team produced and submitted: four papers on priority DRG sub-sectors, four portraits of priority countries for USAID DRG assistance (Ukraine, Colombia, Tanzania, Nepal), five trend analyses for each USAID geographic region, and four customized data visualization tools. A final workshop on the findings of the reports was held in Washington DC in 2018. NORC coordinated the workplan and communication between USAID and the subcontractor V-Dem.

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