Thursday, 27 January 2022
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The National Resilience Index 2020 is a study measuring how capable each of the D-10 club of democracies is in facing crises like pandemics or terrorist attacks.

Introducing it, the co-authors said :

"The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that the UK must do more to build up its national resilience. In the post-Brexit world, the UK needs to work on boosting public trust in central government, creating high-quality domestic supply chains for critical medical supplies, and improving social systems which help to protect the most vulnerable. " - Dr Rakib Ehsan Research Fellow, Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism

"Public health events have the capacity to cause disruption similar in scale to that of terror or hostile state activity. It is important that government systems recognise this in their outlook." - Nikita Malik Director, Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism

Read more on next page

Our findings – made using a 10-component, 30-indicator weighted methodology – show that the UK entered the COVID-19 pandemic less resilient to a public health crisis when compared with India, the United States, Australia and Canada.

The overarching measurement of national resilience, which includes 10 components — trust in civil society, trust in democratic governance, trust in law and order, critical infrastructure, technological prowess, government capacity, altruism, population resilience, national identity and belonging, and public optimism/national happiness — places the UK fourth amongst the D-10: higher than major EU member-states such as Germany, France, and Italy, but below 'Five Eyes' allies such as the USA, Canada, and Australia.

The USA ranks first for the NRI indicator of Critical Infrastructure. As well as performing strongly in terms of logistical strength and broader infrastructural quality (both weighted at 30% of the indicator), the USA is the strongest-performing country for the primary sub-indicator of health system robustness (weighted at 40% of the indicator).

The UK scores strongly in three components of national resilience: trust in law and order, critical infrastructure, and technological prowess. The trust placed by the public in the UK's law and order is reflected in the UK's relatively strong performance in the re-weighed "terrorism resilience" indicator within the report.

On the overall performance of each country for Trust in Law and Order, seven countries performed above the D-10 average of 90.62 for this indicator, with three countries – USA, South Korea, and Italy – scoring lower than the D-10 average. The USA's lowly position of eighth place is largely determined by a relatively low level of public trust in the judicial system (this could possibly take in both social class and racial dynamics).

The D-10 rankings are:

- USA – 100
- Canada – 99.79
- Australia – 96.54
- United Kingdom – 95.57
- Germany – 93.75
- India – 93.11
- D-10 Average – 91.29
- France – 87.94
- Japan – 85.70
- South Korea – 82.94
- Italy – 77.56

The report recommends that the UK more closely integrates health resilience into its national security apparatus, and that the USA should implement measures to bolster trust in public institutions and satisfaction with the democratic system by upholding responsible political conduct, maintaining and defending independent media, and supporting socially responsible corporate behaviour.

The report also suggests that a D-10 taskforce on bio-preparedness should be created, which would also examine the overlaps between bio-security and health preparedness. The taskforce should hold annual meetings aimed at the development of rapid response capabilities necessary for outbreaks that originate in or spread through the D-10, as well as combatting potential political or security risks.

The National Resilience Index 2020 is published by the Henry Jackson Society. It can be read in full at


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