4. The Gap Frame calculation methodology
4.3 Harmonization and conversion of source data
To measure the Gap Frame issues and dimensions, we use publicly available indicators coming from divers sources (see Tables 1 – 4). In order to harmonize data across all 68 indicators, we create a normative scale that allows unique comparison of the current state of the world with a normative desired future state. In such an approach, the 68 indicators and the related 24 issues and 4 dimensions are presented on a scale from 0-10, with 10 being the desired ideal state and 0 being the worst case (farthest from the target).
The critical point of the Gap Frame lays in definition of ideal and worst values that serve to convert the indicators data into a normative 0-10 Gap Frame scale. Accurate definition of ideal and worst values for each of considered indicators is of highest importance and demands an ongoing effort to check and improve these values and how they are measured.
Applied rules to define ideal and worst values for indicators
Whenever possible we respect the original scale and the target ideal / worst values associated with the individual indicators. For example, the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) indicators are already measured on the 0-100 scale, with 100 being the target value to be achieved. Similarly, the Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI) are measured on the 1 – 10 scale, with 10 being the target value and 1 being the worst value.
For indicators without specified target values (e.g., most of The World Bank indicators or Sustainable Society Foundation indicators), we define the ideal and worst values based on currently observable min and max values as well as by projecting ourselves into an ideal state, following common sense.
Tables 1 – 4 provide detailed information on how the ideal and worst values were set for each individual indicator in our framework.
Data conversion into a 0-10 Gap Frame scale
In the Gap Frame approach, we convert the most recently observable values for indicators into a consistent and common set of data, as outlined in 4 steps below:
Step 1: Conversion of indicators values into a 0-10 scale based on identified ideal / worst values:
(a) If a worst value for an indicator equals to 0, an indicator value is divided by the indicator’s ideal value and multiplied by 10 (a scale factor)
(b) If an ideal value for an indicator equals to 0, an indicator value is divided by the indicator’s worst value and multiplied by 10 (a scale factor). The obtained result is subtracted from 10 (reversal method)
(c) If the ideal and worst values are different from zero, the values are normalized before starting the operations (a) or (b).
Table 5 lists the formulas applied to convert the 68 indicators into a 0-10 Gap Frame normative scale, illustrating the steps (a) – (c).
Step 2: Calculation of issues by averaging the related indicators
Step 3: Calculation of dimensions by averaging the related issues
Step 4: Calculation of the Gap Frame Score and Average of 4 Dimensions for all the countries.
Table 5. Formulas applied to convert the 68 indicators values into a 0-10 Gap Frame scale.