Venture into the future of giving: The potential of emerging technologies in the giving sector
A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, developed with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, examines the potential of ten emerging technologies to improve the quantity and quality of charitable giving.Download the free report
2019 Infrascope: evaluating the environment for public-private partnerships in Latin America and the Caribbean
The Infrascope index is a benchmarking tool that evaluates the capacity of countries to implement sustainable and efficient public-private partnerships (PPPs) in key infrastructure sectors, principally transport, electricity, water and solid waste management.Learn more
Hard currency availability and debt sustainability in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia
Since the drop of commodity prices in 2014-16, foreign exchange (FX) availability has become a critical challenge for some of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economies. Commissioned by CDC Group, this report takes a closer look at recent economic trends in five of sub-Saharan Africa’s economies.Download the report
Scaling Up: The Potential Economic Impact of AI in the UAE and Saudi Arabia
This report by The Economist Intelligence Unit report, and commissioned by Google, examines how AI could bolster the economies of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Today, these countries face a mixed outlook, with real GDP growth set to grow slower than in the past decade.AI could be the key to boost diversification and growth in the next decade.Download the report
We specialise in evidence-based insights that create impact for leading companies, governments and non-profits. Uniquely, we combine the depth of a think tank with the breadth of a global media company.
- Foresight and Scenario Service
- Policy strategy & development
- Policy thought leadership
- Insights & analytics
Foresight and Scenario Service
Through megatrend analysis, scenario planning and quantitative scenario modelling, our Foresight and Scenario Service can help organisations to understand emerging trends, address strategic challenges, capitalise on opportunities and make better decisions.
Policy strategy & development
We help clients to develop effective and resilient policies, and to monitor and communicate success.
- Evidence-based issue analysis
- Defining and prioritising challenges
- Stakeholder perception surveys
- Investment prioritisation
- Policy benchmarking
- Economic and social impact
- Policy best practices
- Policy recommendations
- Policy impact analysis
- Advanced analytics
- Convening decision-makers and stakeholders
Policy thought leadership
We provide clients with research and tools to engage and amplify, in order to gain a voice, spark conversation and help shape the future.
- Economic and social impact assessment
- Issue drivers and risk factors
- Stakeholder mapping
- Primary research and perception surveys
- Policy best practices and toolkits
- Credible voice in global debates
- Convening decision-makers and key influencers
- Events and workshops
- Amplification and outreach strategy
- Media and communications
- Digital platforms
Insights & analytics
Our research services help our clients understand the potential implications of political, economic and policy developments on their business and sector.
- Economic Analysis
- Political Analysis
- Risk Analysis
- Market Opportunity
- Industry Analysis
- Economic Impacts
Structured solutions we created out of our experience helping clients use data to plan ahead:
- FDI targeting tool
- Operational risk tool
We build awareness and influence policy on the biggest issues facing our world.
Technology & society
Economics & finance
Labour & human capital
Food & agriculture
Politics & security
The impact of our work
Our consultants have been helping clients develop data-driven solutions to public policy challenges since 1946. We create compelling stories, based on robust evidence, expert insights and data analysis.
Our work for The Nuclear Threat Initiative drives tangible improvements in countries’ nuclear security policies. Highlighted country-level gaps to be addressed at NTI’s Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security, with the goal of strengthening the global nuclear security system.
Our program for the Yidan Prize Foundation leads to innovative thinking about how countries’ education systems must evolve to cope with future challenges. Supports the Yidan Prize, the world’s largest education award. Our work has helped a new foundation take the lead globally on education reform.
We helped the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Clinton Foundation examine the global progress of women and girls and highlight key gaps. Informed the 21st Century Participation Plan for women and girls around the world.
We are trusted by the most influential stakeholders in public policy and international development across the world.
World Bank asked The Economist Intelligence Unit to develop a benchmarking index that would measure the economic potential of women both as workers and entrepreneurs at the country level. We worked with the Bank to create the Women’s Economic Opportunity Index, which examines conditions in more than 100 countries in such areas as labour policy, education, access to finance and social and cultural norms. The index included newly created indicators on women’s labour market implementation, availability of childcare and the presence of training programmes. The results were presented in a report and in an interactive Excel tool that allows users to compare results across countries and correlate index scores with potential drivers of women’s economic advancement.
A social media company wanted to understand the key barriers associated with connecting the remaining half of the global population to the Internet. The EIU created the Inclusive Internet Index to assess and compare countries according to their enabling environment for adoption and productive use of the internet. The aim of the index is to help policymakers and influencers gain a clearer understanding of the factors that contribute to wide and sustainable inclusion, a key focus of the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the UN. The Index has led to several countries, including Chile and Mexico, introducing policy measures to improve the enabling environment for internet adoption.
Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) wanted to further explore the challenges highlighted by the 2015 Milan Food Protocol and become a thought leader in the food sustainability space in order to create stakeholder engagement opportunities. EIU created the Food Sustainability Index assessing the sustainability of food systems in 25 countries. The index allows policymakers and consumers to understand which countries have more sustainable food systems. The research has gained significant media attention and allows for ongoing engagement with private and public sector stakeholders on key issues.
At the request of Citigroup, The Economist Intelligence Unit was asked to assess the current competitiveness of more than 100 cities around the world and, in a follow-up effort, to project their competitive ranking more than a decade into the future. The Hotspots reports looked at the drivers of city competitiveness, including economic strength, availability of talent, environmental performance and global and cultural appeal. The 2025 report required The EIU to use its forecasting models to assess economic growth more than ten years ahead. The first Hotspots report was launched with the participation of then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and both studies were widely covered in the global media.
The EIU Public Policy has executed a number of strategic programs for US government clients. Projects include global energy sector demand analysis for a federal agency, risk analysis of global energy and health trends for an intelligence agency, portfolio risk modelling for a US government credit agency, and Flood Economics, a multi-year engagement highlighting the business case for communities investing in flood mitigation, created on behalf of FEMA. The EIU has been awarded a GSA Schedule contract.
Public-private partnerships (PPP) are an important way to leverage resources for developing vital infrastructure projects. The Economist Intelligence Unit, using its well-developed skills in country benchmarking, was asked by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to determine the capacity and readiness of countries in the region to engage successfully in PPPs. Using a model we first developed for the Inter-American Development Bank, we worked with the ADB to modify it for Asian economies, and we added a sub-national component for an important country in the region. The index was supplemented by a report that fully explained the findings and methodology.
With increasing longevity and ageing populations, demand for end-of-life care is likely to rise sharply. However, many countries, including rich ones, fail to incorporate palliative care strategies into their overall healthcare policy. To help the Lien Foundation raise awareness around these issues, The Economist Intelligence Unit devised a Quality of Death Index ranking 40 countries on their provision of end-of-life care. We also interviewed global experts to develop a white paper on the topic. The index is widely regarded as the first attempt to compare the palliative care environment within a comparable framework. The index spurred numerous policy debates, and four years after the launch is still covered in international media.
UNICEF wanted to understand how future economic and other trends would impact the globe and children in the years to 2030 in order to develop effective, forward-looking strategic initiatives and influence policy. The EIU developed a comprehensive research framework to provide UNICEF with actionable insights on potential risks and opportunities for children around the globe through 2030. Via expert insight and secondary research, we analysed key trends, mapped their trajectory to 2030, and outlined their implications for children. The foundational research and scenarios workshop were incorporated into UNICEF’s strategic planning, policy development and programming initiatives.
Financial services firm wanted to expand its reputation as a trusted global advisor and help its customers better understand their barriers to doing business. The EIU created the Business Reality Check, a research program that explores business challenges from two distinct perspectives: business views and market data. From talent management to cybersecurity, the research explores where views are aligned—or not—with market data to uncover the real obstacles and potential opportunities for businesses. The research is housed in a dedicated digital hub.
Starting in 2012 The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) partnered with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) on the Nuclear Security Index, with input from a respected international panel of nuclear security experts. The Index tracks country-level progress on nuclear security and encourages governments to take actions to protect and build confidence in the security of their materials and facilities. The NTI Index is recognized as the premier resource and tool for tracking progress on nuclear security.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has worked with the Inter-American Development Bank on a number of strategic projects, including the Global Microscope on Microfinance (now in its 11th edition); the Infrascope (a measure of public-private partnerships in Latin America); and the Women’s Entrepreneurial Venture Scope, which assesses conditions for the growth of women’s businesses in the region. Each of these projects allows stakeholders to understand policy drivers and identifies areas of strength and areas for improvement at the country level.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on several important initiatives. We contributed economic analysis and modelling to a project that sought to further three key foundation goals: lifting millions of subsistence African farmers above the poverty line, providing vaccines to children under one year of age, and improving access to clean water and sanitation for populations in selected developing countries. We also worked with the Gates and Clinton Foundations on a project to examine the global progress of women and girls and highlight key gaps. This project informed the 21st Century Participation Plan for women and girls around the world.
The Economist Intelligence Unit helped design a monitoring, reporting, evaluation and learning (MREL) framework for a new GBP1.2m development fund. We designed an indicator framework, based around the Theory of Change, to measure the impact of the fund's activities. We also advised on the methodology for monitoring secondary benefits from the fund’s activities. Our work will provide the client with a robust way to measure the new development fund’s wider impact and to communicate it effectively to a broad and diverse audience.
A government agency needed to provide their senior leadership with a quick and easy way to track and assess innovative policy developments from across the world, in eight priority areas identified by their national agenda. The EIU designed a visual and interactive web app that examined 50 priority challenges facing the country, from improving early childhood education and care to financing high-growth startups. Senior government leaders use the app to stay abreast of policy innovations and as an input into the government’s own strategy formulation, as they seek to meet the objectives set out in their national agenda.
A government agency identified 14 diverse challenges preventing youth in their country from fulfilling their potential, such as learning disabilities, financial illiteracy and substance abuse. The EIU carried out an in-depth assessment of the scale, drivers and effects of each issue, based on a literature review, data audit, on-the-ground interview programme and focus groups with youth. We also provided evidence-based policy recommendations, tailored to the local context, for how to address each issue. Based on our work, and consultations with government agencies, non-profits and companies, our client created a new Youth Action Plan to address the challenges.
A government client was interested in better understanding how transnational education qualifications offered in an Asian country were perceived compared with degrees offered at the parent institutes and universities. Through a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, The Economist Intelligence Unit developed a research framework to assess the quality of degree programmes offered in the parent and receiving university. We conducted more than 30 interviews and used social media sentiment analysis to better understand differences in service provision. The findings were presented in a report that also outlined policy implications. Our research supported strategic transformations to regulations around private university programmes.
Experienced senior team