The Social Progress Index

Deloitte Global and its member firms are working with Social Progress Imperative (SPI) to promote the Social Progress Index, a measure which is redefining how the world measures success.  
World Economic Forum, SPI


Social Progress Imperative

Deloitte's strategic partnership with SPI

Deloitte is committed to making an impact that matters in society. Yet complex societal challenges demand collaboration. No one sector can do it alone. Deloitte Global and its member firms are working with Social Progress Imperative, a non-profit committed to change the way we measure what matters most.

Who are the Social Progress Imperative?

SPI are an NGO focused on measuring and advancing social progress, led by Michael Green. They are committed to improving lives through the provision of robust, holistic and innovative measurement tools that equip leaders and change makers in business, government and civil society to advance progress. Original collaborators, who now sit on the Advisory Board and Board of Directors respectively, include Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter and Economist US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief Matthew Bishop.

What is the Social Progress Index?

Relying only on a country’s GDP as the measure of progress provides an incomplete picture of human and societal development. Designed to complement GDP, the Social Progress Index provides an authoritative view on the things that matter most to people, across three dimensions:

  • Basic Human Needs – such as water and shelter
  • Foundations of Wellbeing – such as health and education 
  • Opportunity – equality and personal rights

The Social Progress Index uses 50+ societal and environmental indicators to measure 133 countries, covering 94% of the world’s population.

Custom, subnational indices also provide tailored, local measurement allowing highly targeted investment and intervention, examples include:


How does the Social Progress Index make an impact?

The Social Progress Index:

  • Empowers leaders to convene all the right local actors, global partners, and subject-matter experts necessary to develop and deploy meaningful solutions, through collaborations.
  • Develops a common language which government, business and civil society can use to communicate with each other more clearly on the issues that matter.
  • Enables leaders to systematically identify and prioritize issues through the Social Progress Index as well as through regional, local and community level social progress indices. 
  • Acts as a road map to guide leaders’ resourcing, collaboration and investment decisions.

What is The People’s Report Card?

The People’s Report Card charts progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals, at a global and national level. It is the result of a collaboration between Global Citizen, a social action platform, and Social Progress Imperative. Launched at the Social Good Summit during UN General Assembly week in September 2016, and powered by the Social Progress Index, the People’s Report Card aims to generate and align campaigning and advocacy toward the leaders responsible for delivering on the SDGs. The methodology, indicators, press release and FAQs are available for further reading.

Deloitte regards business as essential to meeting the SDGS. While the cost of delivering the SDGs is estimated to be $2-3 trillion a year of public and private money over 15 years the cost of not meeting just one of the goal – Goal 13: Climate Action – could cost as much as $24 trillion globally. Projects like The People’s Report Card show business how much positive impact can be made on these goals and where they can best contribute. Helping them communicate this impact will thus be critical, both for the health of society and the survival of many companies.

"Deloitte is collaborating with the Social Progress Imperative and others because we believe business has a role to play in helping solve the world’s critical issues and the Index is a tool that can ignite collective action from business, government, and society."

David Cruickshank
Global Chairman, Deloitte Global

Why is Deloitte partnering with SPI?

Business and social progress are linked; fundamentally we believe that social progress is the foundation of competitiveness and stability.

Economies cannot thrive without healthy and well-educated citizens, adequate infrastructure, effective legal systems, peace and tolerance. These are the basic pre-conditions for investment and entrepreneurial activity in an economy over the long term - sustainable growth will only follow where people are ready and able to engage in the economy with the resources they need.

We believe therefore that business has the imperative to help address the challenges society faces. It also has the power to do so.

The Deloitte network does this every day through client service work, strategic partnerships and corporate responsibility programs. These activities provide the opportunity for our people to use their expertise and insights, and engage their networks, to address issues that matter most to society. We are not alone in this. An increasing number of CEOs of major companies recognize that ‘doing business better’ not only produces better returns, but attracts better talent, helps restore public trust in business and adds real value to society. Social challenges also present clear business opportunities for companies that understand sustainable change can be met through innovative products and services.

But business cannot, and should not, do it alone. The business community should actively collaborate to drive policies and initiatives that seek to address and improve the wellbeing of society.

To this end, the Social Progress Index can help:

  • Provide an independent benchmark around which to convene leaders from government, business and civil society, and engage ecosystems such as local Social Progress Networks.
  • Guide decisions around investment to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information see Deloitte’s report on the SDGs, ‘Social Progress in 2030’.
  • Create frameworks to help business measure its social impact in order to identify social priorities e.g. SPI’s work with Coca Cola and Natura in the Amazon 
  • Governments use social progress as a tool to attract Foreign Direct Investment and drive development. In turn, this model can be used by businesses to support strategic choices such as market entry and the mitigation of supply chain risk. For more information see our ‘FDI and Inclusive Growth’ report which looks at the relationship between social progress and Foreign Direct Investment.

For further information on how we can use the Social Progress Index to help our clients and society, see our Collaborations page.

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David Cruickshank

Global Chairman, DTTL

Leena Patel

Associate Director, Global Brand & Communications


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