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Covid-19: how a virus is turning the world upside down

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 03 April 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1336

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COVID-19 Pandemic, ‘COVID Phenomenon’ and appropriate assessment of nations: rekindling the ‘Eregie Performance Gap Index (e-PGI)’ as a development ranking tool (DRT)

Beyond the ‘Unprecedented Devastating Havoc’ wreaked on its trail, the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ has also brought ‘Illumination’ to the ‘Development Trajectory’ for ‘Our Common Humanity’ [1-4]! The ‘Pandemic’ is disposed as a ‘COVID Phenomenon’: Impacting ‘Virtually ALL Aspects of Human Existence-Development’ denominated verifiably in ‘ALL 17 Integrated SDGs’ [3,4]! The ‘COVID Phenomenon’ of the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ has also been indelibly denominated in some ‘Other Aspects of Human Existence-Development ‘Beyond the 17 SDGs’’ [5]!!

One of the ‘Positives’-‘Benefits’ of ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ is that ‘Governments’-‘Country Leaderships’ are being held ‘Accountable’ re: Their ‘Pandemic Response’ using the ‘Comparative Asian-African Performance Signposts’ [1]. This is another ‘Aspect of Human Existence-Development ‘Beyond the SDGs’’ [5]. This, indeed, is a ‘Positive’-‘Benefit’ of the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’; An ‘Imperative for Sustainable Development’: ‘Government-Governance-Accountability-Assessment’! There are several ‘World Development Ranking Metrics’ and these have been variously reviewed and criticized in previous Presentations-Publications [6-16]! With the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ disposing ‘Benefits for Our Common Humanity’ [1-5], the World is, once again, reminded of the ‘Followership Imperative’ to hold ‘World Governments-Leaderships’ to ‘Accountability’ [1]! As a ‘COVID Phenomenon’, the ‘Pandemic’ brings to the fore the ‘Compelling Issues’ of ‘Good Governance’!! Not all ‘Development Ranking Metrics’ are ‘Good Governance Assessment-compliant’ [16]! This is the imperative to ‘Rekindle’ an ‘Innovative Development Ranking Tool (DRT)’: ‘Eregie Performance Gap Index (e-PGI)’!!

A ‘Tantalizing Teaser’ on some ‘Extant DRTs’ disposes ‘Single-Domain Tools’ and ‘Multi-Domain Tools’!

Some ‘Single-Domain Single-Indicator Tools’ include:

1. Income Domain: Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Gross National Income Per Capita (GNI/pc), Gini Index, Population below International Poverty Line (IPL)

2. Health Domain: Infant Mortality Rate, Under-Fives Mortality Rate, Maternal Mortality Ratio, Life Expectancy, Population using Improved Drinking Water Sources

3. Education Domain: Adult Literacy Ratio, Population with at least Secondary Education, Gross Primary Enrolment Ratio

4. Environment Domain: Primary Energy Supply (Renewables), Emission Per Capita (CO2)

5. Innovation and Technology Domain: Research and Development Expenditure, Patents granted to Residents and Non-Residents

The ‘Multi-Domain Tools’ include:

1. Human Development Index (HDI): Life Expectancy, Education Index, Income Index

2. Inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI): Life Expectancy, Education Index, Income Index with Adjustments for Dimensional Inequalities

3. Gender Inequality Index (GII): Reproductive Health, Empowerment, Labour Market; Women and Men Differences

4. Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI): Deprivations in Health, Education and Income (Living Standards)

5. Corruption Perception Index (CPI): Bribery of Public Officials, Kickbacks in Public Procurements, Embezzlement of Public Funds, Effectiveness of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Efforts

6. World Governance Index (WGI): Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence/ Terrorism, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Control, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption

7. Open Budget Index (OBI): Openness, Transparency and Budget Implementation

8. Global Competitiveness Index (GCI): Institutions, Infrastructure, Macroeconomic Environment/ Framework, Health and Primary Education, Higher Education and Training, Efficient Goods Market, Efficient Labour Markets, Developed Financial Markets, Harnessing Benefits of Existing Technologies, Domestic and International Market Size, Sophisticated Production Processes, Innovation

9. Mo Ibrahim Index (MII): Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development

10. Eregie Performance Gap Index (e-PGI): Resource Endowment and Generation, Leadership, Followership, Corruption Level, Electoral Credibility, Mortality of Women and Children, Inequalities and Sustainable Development.

Of the various ‘DRTs’, the ‘Eregie Performance Gap Index (e-PGI)’ has several ‘Governance-related Domains’ and relatively more manageable ‘Included Indicators’ possibly making it comparatively superior to other ‘Development Metrics’ [16]! The ‘Government-Governance Concept’ reflects the process of using the ‘Entrusted People Power-Authority’ to ‘Manage Transparently Public Resources’ for the ‘Common Good’ of the ‘Majority of the People’ [17-19]. Additionally, ‘Good Governance’ includes ‘Origin and Mechanism of Change of Government’ [16,18,19]! The ‘Performance Concept’ concerns utilizing ‘Available Resources’ to ‘Efficiently and Effectively Achieve’ the ‘Set Governance Goals’ [17-19]! The ‘Performance Gap Concept’ was popularized by UNICEF20 and extrapolated to develop the ‘e-PGI’ [16]!! To optimize the ‘Government-Governance Benefit’ of the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ towards galvanizing ‘Our Improved Common Humanity’ and ‘Sustainable Development’ through ‘Good Governance’, the ‘e-PGI’ should be ‘Rekindled’ for a better ‘Understanding and Universal Application’ so that the ‘Pandemic’ will leave an ‘Indelibly Amplified Human Development Positive’ in its trail [1,16-19]!!

A ‘Tantalizing Teaser’ on the ‘e-PGI’ disposes its ‘Included Indicators’ for the ‘8 Computed Domains’*:

1. Resource Endowment and Generation (REG): GDP, GDP Per Capita

2. Leadership (Bad Insensitive Leadership with Budgetary Indiscipline (BILBI)): Government Policies Sensitive to Security and Welfare of all Citizens, Government upholds Rule of Law and Constitutionality, Budget Appropriation Becomes Law, Preceding Year or Mid-Year Budget Openness, Transparency and Implementation; % GDP Expenditure on Research and Development, Patents Granted to Residents and Non-Residents, FDI (Net Inflows) % GDP

3. Followership (Followership with Responsible Constitutional Expectation (FRCE)): Government held Accountable by Citizens/ Legislature, Confidence Vote on Government by Citizens/ Legislature, Voice and Accountability

4. Corruption Level (C): Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International

5. Electoral Credibility (K): Electoral Credibility and Government Change/ Stability

6. Mortality of Women and Children (M): U5MR and MMR

7. Inequalities (Q): Gini Index, Gender Inequality Index

8. Sustainable Development (S): Renewable Energy (% Energy Supply), Total Dependency Ratio on Ages 15-64 years, CO2 Emissions

*The ‘Included Indicators’ are bifid: Those ‘Developed’ by this ‘Author’ and those ‘Adopted**, Adapted, Classified-Scored and Infused’ into the ‘Computational Equation’!

The ‘Computational Equation’ for the ‘e-PGI’ is 2-Staged: Computation of the ‘Performance Gap Score (PGS)’ and the ‘Transformation of the PGS to an ‘Index’ (e-PGI)’ vide infra:
PGS = - (BILBI/ FRCE) REG + (C + K +M + Q + S);
e-PGI = |(PGS –WPS/ BPS – WPS)|; range is ‘0 to 1’;
WPS = Worst Possible Score, BPS = Best Possible Score Note: positive and negative signs are not considered in the ‘Absolute’ Mathematical Operation.

This ‘Communication’ disposes a ‘Positive-Benefit’ of the ‘Ravaging and Devastating COVID-19 Pandemic’ in the ‘Aspect of Human Existence-Development’: ‘Government-Governance Sphere’! The ‘Citizenry’ should now hold ‘Governments-Leaderships’ to be ‘Accountable’ in their ‘COVID-19 Pandemic Response’ situate with ‘Good Governance Principles’!! The ‘Eregie Performance Gap Index (e-PGI)’ is disposed as a ‘DRT’ for ‘Comparative Performance Assessment’ of ‘Governments-Leaderships’ in this era of the ‘Pandemic’ which is a ‘COVID Phenomenon’!!!

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4. Eregie C.O. Breastfeeding and ‘COVID Phenomenon’: Demystifying the innovative conceptual coinage in human development and sustainable development. of 12th April 2020
5. Eregie C.O. Still on COVID Pandemic as a ‘COVID Phenomenon’: beyond the impact on the goals of sustainable development. of 14th April 2020
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11. Wikipedia. Human Development Index., Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .htm. 2011
12. Eregie, Charles O. Eregie Performance Gap Index (e-PGI): An Innovative Computed Multi-domain Comparative Tool for Development Ranking and Resource Utilization. Paper presented at the Institute Monthly Seminar, Institute of Child Health, University of Benin, 30th May 2013.
13. HDR 2013 United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Report 2013. The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. UNDP. New York, USA. 2013
14. Schwab, Klaus. The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013. 1-527, Geneva, Switzerland, World Economic Forum.2013
15. Wikipedia. Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance., Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.htm. 2013
16. Eregie C.O. Eregie Performance Gap Index (e-PGI): An Innovative Computed Multi-domain Tool For Development Ranking Of Nations Based On Resource Utilization For Sustainable Development. Forum on Public Policy 2014; http//
17. Eregie, Charles O. The Impact of Good Leadership/ Policy on Child Health in Africa. Paper presented at Vision Africa Merit Award. Johannesburg, South Africa. November 2007
18. Odion-Akhaine, Sylvester. The Political Economy of Good Governance and Transparency. Lagos: Spectrum Book Ltd. 2008.
19. Ozekhome, Mike A. Good Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa: A recipe for poverty reduction and development. Paper presented at the World Forum, Cambridge, USA. 28th June -3rd July 2013.
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**’Rule of Law’ and ‘Voice and Accountability’ from World Governance Indicators (Kaufmann, D., Kraay, A., and Mastruzzi, M. The Worldwide Governance Indicators Project: Answering the Critics. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper [Kaufmann, Kraay, Mastruzzi 2003]. 2007.
Open Budget Index from International Budget Partnership 2010

Professor Charles Osayande Eregie,
MBBS, FWACP, FMCPaed, FRCPCH (UK), Cert. ORT (Oxford), MSc (Religious Education),
Professor of Child Health and Neonatology, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria and
Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.
UNICEF-Trained BFHI Master Trainer and ICDC-Trained in Code Implementation.
*Technical Expert/ Consultant on the FMOH-UNICEF-NAFDAC Code Implementation Project in Nigeria.
*No Competing Interests.

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 April 2020
Professor of Child Health and Neonatology, University of Benin and Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. Also, UNICEF-Trained BFHI Master Trainer and ICDC-Trained in Code Implementaion. Also a Technical Expert/ Consultant on FMOH-UNICEF-NAFDAC Project on Code Implementation in Nigeria
Institute of Child Health, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City.