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The Legatum Institute

The Legatum Institute curates data and generates research that aims to create a global movement of people committed to creating the pathways from poverty to prosperity and the transformation of society.

Legatum Institute
Legatum Institute: part of the Legatum Portfolio
Portfolio
The Legatum Institute

The Legatum Institute curates data and generates research that aims to create a global movement of people committed to creating the pathways from poverty to prosperity and the transformation of society.

Legatum Institute
Legatum Institute: part of the Legatum Portfolio
Overview

The Legatum Institute was formed to create a global movement of people committed to creating the pathways from poverty to prosperity and the transformation of society. It exists to provide both the leadership and the vision to address the biggest challenges of our generation. It does this by taking a data and research-led approach with a remit to shape the values, ideas and policies which will see all people prosper.

The work of the Institute is underpinned by the Prosperity Index, an annual report measuring the national prosperity of 167 countries based on 12 pillars that cover institutional, economic and social wellbeing.

The Institute operates as an independent registered charity in the UK. Legatum is one of many independent funding partners that support the Institute’s research across a range of areas. Alan McCormick, Partner at Legatum, is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Background

Legatum first began establishing metrics around prosperity in 2006 when we engaged a team of Oxford University professors. Together, we sought to define the pillars that would allow us to understand the overall quality of life for a nation’s people, using an evidence-based approach. Looking beyond economic indicators, we identified metrics that affect wellbeing, such as family relationships, the role of the community and the environment. The report produced from this work was the foundation upon which the Prosperity Index was established.

In 2007, Legatum founded the Institute with an initial remit to specifically focus on authorship of the Index. In subsequent years, the Institute extended its programmes into other areas such as Russian disinformation, refugees, international development and the health of society.

Today, the Legatum Institute’s CEO is Baroness Philippa Stroud, a peer in the UK’s House of Lords and formerly co-founder and Chief Executive of The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

Since joining, Philippa has deepened the Institute’s work in the areas of poverty and social breakdown, in particular through the establishment of the Social Metrics Commission, which was set up to provide a new measure for poverty in the UK.

Approach

The Legatum Institute currently runs a number of research programmes that analyse the factors impacting the wellbeing of individuals, communities and nations around the world. These include specific programmes focused on exploring prosperity across Africa, the US and the UK, using the global Legatum Prosperity Index as a framework; as well as Global People Movements, which aims to identify the solutions that would assist migrants and refugees; 21st Century International Development, which examines how nations succeed; and Economic Openness, which aims to provide the international community with tools to identify and tackle barriers to economic progress.

The Institute uses its research to inform social discourse and move the debate on prosperity away from the traditional, narrow focus on wealth or GDP, towards a broader, more holistic conversation focusing on other factors that contribute to individual and societal wellbeing.

The Institute works with individuals from the business community, politics, and academia, as well as the general public, to create empirical research and open debate to enlighten perspectives and public policy.

Analysis

The Legatum Institute continues to grow and evolve in its reach and remit, building tools that track the indicators of progress as well as creating research programmes that inspire change in a wide range of different areas.

In everything the Institute approaches it aims to be helpful and impactful, and to build pathways from poverty to prosperity.

Some of its recent outcomes include:

1. The Prosperity Index is featured as a key metric of success by a number of governments and international organisations, including the World Economic Forum and the US Agency for International Development.

2. The Institute’s measure of poverty in the UK was featured as the headline measure of the UN Rapporteur on extreme poverty; has been a central part of a House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee report; is used as the most reliable measure by numerous media outlets and fact check websites; was referenced in the Labour Party 2019 manifesto; and is in the process of being adopted as an official national statistic by the Government.

3. The Institute’s work on economic openness has been used by a number of governments around the world as a reference point for priority areas, as well as by leaders in the global business community to argue the case for policies to support free trade and open economies.

Legatum Institute Philippa Stroud
Philippa Stroud
CEO of the Legatum Institute
Baroness Philippa Stroud founded the Social Metrics Commission during her tenure as CEO of the Institute to further expand the Institute’s work in poverty
We are constantly probing answers to big questions: how do people flourish? Why are some nations more prosperous than others?
Philippa Stroud
CEO, Legatum Institute
The Legatum Institute's 2020 US Prosperity Index
Creating Pathways to Prosperity: Insights from the US Prosperity Index
The Legatum Institute has developed the US Prosperity Index to holistically measure the economic and social wellbeing of the 50 states
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Legatum's Approach: Our Model
Approach
Model
Our model leads us to look at society as a whole, and to direct resources towards activities that address different aspects of people’s prosperity
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14th
edition of the Legatum Prosperity Index
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