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The Indicators Challenge ( iChallenge )

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iChallenge Workshop
October 29-30 iChallenge Workshop

The iChallenge Workshop was held on October 29-30, 2014 at the OECD Conference Center in Paris, France. All presentations at the Workshop can be found in the "MATERIALS" section.


Read the Workshop summary | See the agenda | Access the ISPMS dashboard


The iChallenge ran from April 14, 2014 - July 1, 2014 and received over 90 ideas from around the globe for indicators to better measure government capacity and performance. An infographic summarizes some of the key characteristics of the submissions, and you can view each one here.

All 90+ ideas underwent an extensive review process and the Evaluation Body selected the following three ideas as finalists to be featured at the iChallenge Workshop scheduled for October 29-30, 2014 in Paris, France (see agenda):

  1. Average number of bids per procurement process in a year and/or the average number of firms submitting bids per procurement process in a year [submitted by Federico Ortega]: view the presentation at the Workshop
  2. The response time (days) to an official inquiry made online [submitted by Alexandru Roman]: view the presentation at the Workshop
  3. Budget Literacy Index (the extent to which budget documents are understandable to parliamentarians/CSOs/citizens) [submitted by Babacar Sarr and Maria Elkdhari]: view the presentation at the Workshop

All ideas meeting basic qualifications will be published in a “menu” of indicators for take-up/piloting by individual countries, donors, data collectors, researchers or others. This menu will be actively promoted to potential funders, data collectors, and users of indicators, giving your ideas wide exposure as well as opportunities to become more widely collected.


The iChallenge is an effort to crowdsource ideas for indicators to measure government capacity and performance. It is part of the Indicators of the Strength of Public Management Systems (ISPMS) initiative, which is coordinated by the World Bank. Our goal is to identify and build consensus around a comprehensive and comprehensible set of regularly collected cross-national indicators that can be used to provide a “health check” of a country’s governance and public management systems and to prioritize and target reform efforts and track progress.

We know that there are good ideas for indicators out there – tested or untested – that can be rolled out across more countries. We created this space to share ideas and learn from what others are doing. We want to start a conversation about what should be measured and how it can be done.


As taxpayers, citizens want governments to use their money efficiently, effectively and responsibly to deliver quality services – like smooth roads, clean and safe neighborhoods, good schools, and accessible health care.

We know that delivering these quality services depends in part on how well governments hire people (like teachers); collect, budget and spend resources; and contract out with private companies. For example, good, well-trained staff make sure that your tax refund or passport is issued quickly. Sound budgeting processes ensure that there is enough money to repair potholes. Effective procurement processes mean that bridges are built on time and within budget.

The iChallenge aims to measure and compare how well governments' public management systems (tax, financial management, procurement and human resource management functions) work. Governments can use this information to identify areas for improvement and to monitor progress. Researchers can use this information to build evidence on what works where and why. Citizens can use this information to hold governments accountable and demand change.


The iChallenge is looking for indicators that are: action-worthy, actionable, behavioral, replicable, feasible (see more guidance on the selection criteria)

And address one of the following public management systems or cross-cutting themes:

  • Public management system: Public financial management, Procurement, Tax administration, Public administration and civil service, Public Information
  • Cross-cutting theme: Transparency, Accountability, Participation

These indicators would complement and expand upon the 100 indicators that are already being collected around the world to measure the strength of public management systems. These include indicators from datasets like Global Integrity, Open Budget, PEFA, Doing Business, and TADAT.


Consultation Phase:
Challenge Open:
April 17, 2014 to July 01, 2014
  • iChallenge Workshop
    October 29, 2014
iChallenge Workshop

How can government performance best be measured? And whose perspective should be used to judge this performance? Citizens? Businesses? Politicians? Technocrats?

The iChallenge Workshop explored these two, related issues of how to measure government performance and from whose perspective, aiming to move forward international thinking and debate. It also featured the top 3 ideas that emerged from the crowd sourcing effort, with the goal of identifying the most promising to be piloted. The Workshop was held on October 29-30, 2014 in Paris, France at the OECD Conference Center. See the Workshop agenda and summary. The following are presentations given at the Workshop:

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