The Index of Multilateralism

An Overview of the Project by Jake Sherman, Senior Director of Programs 

An empirical basis is needed to better understand the state of the multilateral system and to inform decision making on where to focus political and other efforts to advance collective action. The Index of Multilateralism, co-developed by IPI and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), will provide an evidence-based assessment of several questions: What areas of international cooperation are resilient, and which are at risk? What are the trends over time? Which multilateral mechanisms are best suited to address different traditional and emerging challenges? Which provide opportunities for local or non-state stakeholders such as cities, the private sector, and civil society?

The index will measure international engagement in areas including international peace and security, human rights and humanitarian affairs, economic cooperation and development, climate, and public health. It will draw from available data sets on, inter alia, institutional membership, diplomatic presence, public perceptions of international institutions, multilateral voting patterns, financial contributions to international organizations, and compliance with international treaties, compacts, decisions, and rulings.

The index was a selected project of the 2020 Paris Peace Forum.