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World Engineering Index


The role of engineering in facilitating development cannot be underestimated. UNESCO estimates that around 2.5 million engineers and technicians will be needed in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, if the region is to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of clean water and improved sanitation.

The guiding principle for this index is that engineering is a vital component in ensuring good development. ‘Good’ development is a difficult concept to define but we broadly refer here to the facilitation of economic and social prosperity that is accessible to all segments of a population.

A robust engineering sector is vital for ensuring for the provision of essential services for a population. Advancements in engineering bring improvements to healthcare, housing, transportation, communication and countless others.

In addition to facilitating improved service provision, engineering can also act as a powerful economic driver. Sustained economic growth relies, to a large extent, on a country’s ability to move up – or remain at the forefront of – the Global Value Chain, through their ability to produce goods with greater added value. This route allows a country to become and remain globally competitive, exporting goods that are in high demand and provide high financial return. Goods with higher added value are often those that are technologically advanced, the development of which relies upon engineers and the engineering process.

The World Engineering Index is comprised of four principle factors: Engineering Expertise, Potential, Status and Sustainability. In addition to these, the extent to which an Enabling Environment exists for the Engineering sector is also measured.

  • Engineering Expertise measures the quality of engineering and research output within a country 

  • Engineering Potential includes the number of trained engineers, and a measurement of the engineering opportunities available to a population

  • Engineering Status reflects the perceived importance of engineering within a country, particularly in terms of government policy, relative to other academic disciplines 

  • Engineering Sustainability is based on how forward-looking, robust to change, and environmentally sustainable a country's engineering industry is

  • Enabling Environment is a measure of the infrastructural and business enablers that are needed to support engineering.

The team members were Annie Hamill, Sarah Wilson, Thomas Choi, and Ismail Akram, supervised by Andrew Lamb.


For more information, please contact Andrew Lamb at


The World Engineering Index was created in association with the Centre for Global Equality with funding from the Happold Foundation.




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