Working to make government more effective


The International Civil Service Effectiveness (InCiSE) Index 2017

Helping civil services learn from each other and discover how well their civil services are functioning


Canada, New Zealand and Australia top a brand-new index that ranks countries according to their civil service effectiveness.

The International Civil Service Effectiveness (InCiSE) Index draws together a wealth of existing data to provide a concise assessment of how a country’s central government civil service is performing compared with others around the world. The first of its kind, the Index covers 31 countries across Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Australasia.

By assessing how the civil service works in many different countries, the Index reveals what countries do well and where they can improve. It helps civil services to learn from each other and gives people the chance to discover how well their civil service is functioning.

The top 10 countries on the civil service effectiveness are:

  1. Canada
  2. New Zealand
  3. Australia
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Finland
  6. Sweden
  7. Estonia
  8. Norway
  9. Korea (Republic of)
  10. United States of America.

The report assesses civil service effectiveness based on what the civil service delivers and how the functions are delivered. 

Each of the 31 countries is scored on overall effectiveness, and on a more specific breakdown which includes: tax administration, inclusiveness, capabilities, openness, integrity, HR management, crisis/risk management, regulation, fiscal and financial management, digital service, social security administration, policy making.

The overall results present an interesting and surprising variety. For example, if the scoring is adjusted by country GDP, then the overall effectiveness score is:

  1. Estonia (the country also scores first on the tax administration variant)
  2. Mexico (which scores first on regulations)
  3. Korea (Republic of) (which scores above average on most variables).

The InCiSE Index is a collaboration between the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and the Institute for Government. The project has been supported by the UK Civil Service and is funded by the Open Society Foundations.

A separate technical report is available. 

Interactive charts are also available [external link].

Download the InCiSE results [Excel].


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