The peaceful transition to democracy and a market economy remains one of the most demanding political, economic and societal challenges facing the world's nations today. By providing a knowledge base of factors leading to success or failure in development and transformation, the BTI facilitates learning amongst decision makers and helps to improve future strategies. 

Despite decades of success and failure in applied development and transformation policies, there has been no systematic analysis of varied experiences with the management of change up until now. The Bertelsmann Stiftung has analyzed and compared development and transition performance worldwide to make this rich base of knowledge available for use. 

The search for tenable possibilities in managing and supporting development and transformation lies at the heart of the project: It analyzes transformation processes toward democracy and a market economy in international comparison. Updated every two years, the Transformation Index BTI provides a ranking that combines qualitative, in-depth evaluations with quantitative scores for the performance of 129 developing and transition countries. It provides the basis for:

  • a discussion of current trends and government performances with reference to BTI-results by academic experts and journalists at the BTI-Blog.
  • an exploration of selected governance issues in in-depth studies by the BTI-team in cooperation with development and transformation experts in our Working Paper series.
  • a well-grounded exchange with selected partners to develop strategic recommendations for transformation management. Currently, the BTI-team cooperates with the Club de Madrid, International IDEA and numerous regional think tanks in the project Next Generation Democracy to deliver recommendations for the improvement of democratic governance. 

The BTI-team also wishes to establish a continuous dialogue on governance and management expertise with political decision-makers and external supporters. To achieve this, it works with the network of Transformation Thinkers, initiated in cooperation with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), promoting an interregional and cross-sectoral exchange on democratization and good governance between reform leaders of currently 72 countries. It also engages in strategic networking with like-minded organizations, which use the BTI and its assessments for their own reform initiatives.