Giving Compass' Take:

• Institute for Competitiveness broke down social progress data for each district in India and analyzed the need and opportunity for progress in each area.

• How can philanthropy use this information to guide giving? 

• Find out why giving India offers an opportunity to scale impact

By separating the measurement of social performance from economic performance, the Social Progress Index makes it possible to examine the relationship between economic development and social progress. Understanding this relationship is also the next frontier in understanding economic development because societal constraints and deficits clearly retard economic development.

Despite the overall positive association between economic performance and social progress, the variability of performance among districts with comparable levels of economic activity is considerable. The evidence supports the conclusion that economic measures cannot be the sole driving force of inclusive growth: it is important to focus on the social aspects as well.

Similarly, a high ranked district does not necessarily perform well across all dimensions of progress and vice versa. Every district faces challenges and has room for improvement. For instance, Hyderabad is ranked among the top districts in the country, but this does not mean that its performance is among the best on all aspects of social progress.

A total of 159 districts register strong performance on social progress. The overall scores of the Very High Social Progress districts are clustered around 65. The average score of the group is better in Basic Human Needs and Opportunity as compared to Foundations of Wellbeing. The results of Foundations of Wellbeing are driven down by Health & Wellness. The component looks at lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, obesity, etc.