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2019 Change Readiness Index

2019 Change Readiness Index

Assessing countries’ ability to manage change and cultivate opportunity.

Assessing countries’ ability to manage change and cultivate opportunity.

The 2019 Change Readiness Index (CRI) indicates the capability of a country – its government, private and public enterprises, people and wider civil society – to anticipate, prepare for, manage, and respond to a wide range of change drivers, proactively cultivating the resulting opportunities and mitigating potential negative impacts. Examples of change include:

  • Shocks such as financial and social instability and natural disasters
  • Political and economic opportunities and risks such as technology, competition, and changes in government.


A wide range of organizations can apply the data and insights from the CRI, for example to:

  • Inform investment decisions by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of target countries.
  • Improve government policy by benchmarking national strengths and weaknesses and identifying areas in need of reform.
  • Build leading practices by simulating debate on change readiness and learning from higher-ranking countries.
  • Identify potential public and private sector partnerships by pinpointing areas to match capabilities and resources with highest priority needs. 


In December, the Paris Climate agreement set out a framework among nations to contain the damage from greenhouse gas emissions and stem rising global temperatures. Just months before, world leaders agreed on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and incorporated climate change mitigation and adaptation as critical steps in the quest for greater equity and sustainability. Earlier, in March of that year, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction renewed governments’ commitment to address the costs of natural disasters, including climate change-related events.

These agreements share a common view on the nature of the challenge, recognizing that the response to global climate change requires joint leadership from national governments, businesses and civic groups. Moreover, while the cost is already high, measured in millions of lives affected and billions of dollars,  risk from the incidence of floods, extreme storms, droughts, heat waves, sea level rise and other climate related events is increasing.

In this year's report, we have chosen to take a closer look at one of the major risks facing future generations: climate change. Like all complex problems, there is no single, simple solution to ensure a climate-ready future. In the 2019 CRI report, we highlight the capabilities needed to mitigate and adapt to climate risks, speed up innovation in sustainable energy, and enable more effective roles for governments and civil society. In order to be climate ready, societies must be able to address both sudden onset events, like natural disasters, and build resilience against long-term structural changes, like rising sea levels and temperatures. The analysis emphasizes that effective responses must be founded on collaboration and coordination among a variety of actors, both nationally and globally and underscores the importance of ‘scaling up’ and targeting vulnerable groups in developing countries, like smallholder farmer.

Those that fail to recognize the impact of climate change as the ‘new normal’ and do not adapt accordingly are likely to be unprepared for its growing costs. These costs will be levied on citizens, businesses and economies across the globe, and so the solutions must also be global in scope. It is our hope that this report will contribute to the urgent discussion on how to move quickly on the path towards a sustainable future.

Learn more by downloading the pdf below.

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