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Networks for Prosperity: Connecting Development Knowledge Beyond 2015

The report illustrates the importance of network governance in the context of economic globalization, aid and development. It argues that this is of particular relevance in the context of the current debate on the establishment of a new set of global development goals by 2015. The updated 2012 Connectedness Index, covering 132 countries, shows that many emerging economies – such as Chile, Costa Rica, South Africa and Viet Nam – have systematically improved their connectedness.

The top 10 performers in the 2012 Connectedness Index are Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Singapore, Ireland, Canada and the United States, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Since last year, Canada and Ireland have significantly improved their positions but the United States, while still among the top 10, has lost six places in the index due to its deteriorating international connectedness sub-index and is now ranked 10th.

A strong correlation exists between a country’s connectedness – its readiness for the challenges of globalization – and its government effectiveness, regulatory quality, competitive industrial performance and overall economic success. Based on this evidence, the report urges the international community to adopt network governance and knowledge network approaches in its global development strategies and the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda. It also recommends middle-income countries to strengthen their role in global development cooperation through intensified knowledge networking and South-South cooperation.

This report has been jointly produced by UNIDO and the Centre for Global Governance Studies in Leuven, Belgium, under the overall umbrella of the Spanish MDG Achievement Fund. It includes contributions from a wide variety of experts in the field of knowledge networks and network governance.