Measuring Efficiency
The Index measures the efficiency of civil-military relations in Arab countries. Efficiency is defined as the ability of civilian and military actors to negotiate, formulate, and coordinate coherent policies in the sphere of national defense, in ways that further effective governance of the defense sector and assist its professional development. The institutional architecture and modalities of managing civil-military relations are specific to each country, as are the political, social, and institutional legacies shaping them, and so the Index both reflects these and allows them to be compared across countries.

Civil-military relations in countries tend to be politicized and subject to formal and informal restrictions on information sharing and public debate. The Index aims to demonstrate the usefulness of civilian engagement in defense affairs and of data driven analysis to enable better outcomes for governments, citizens, international partners, and defense sectors themselves.

The Index is based on a survey that was developed and validated in consultation with several dozen defense sector professionals and experts. Survey results were then generated and peer-reviewed by country and defense experts. These results are presented along with links to the rationales for each domain and each question.

The survey contains sixteen questions, comprising 123 expert coded indicators and a scoring rubric. The full list of indicators may be accessed here. Collectively, these indicators measure the most salient processes, practices, and competences shaping civil-military relations in each country. The questions and indicators are grouped into five domains:


Military Professionalism

Social Perceptions and Cultural Attitudes

Defence Finances and Economics

Civilian Competences


Index indicators are scored on a 4-point scale, where 4 denotes the highest efficiency and 1 the lowest. The scoring rubric avoids a neutral scale point so as to allow for an accurate representation of efficiency. The results for each survey indicator are aggregated and normalized. A scarcity of data on defense sectors in Arab countries and a lack of transparency regarding their relationship dynamics with government and nongovernment sectors mean that Index results should only be considered indicative of the efficiency of civil-military relations in various domains.

Aggregate efficiency scores are given for each domain and each question so as to allow for construction of maturity models and comparisons. The efficiency score of a question is an average of the indicator scores for that question, and the efficiency score of a domain is the average of the efficiency scores of questions in each domain. Aggregate efficiency scores are not given for each country so as to avoid suggesting normative evaluations of their civil-military relations or a ranking between countries.

The detailed domain and question scores, as well as the reasoning behind them, may be accessed here for each country. The survey questions, rationales, indicators, and scale descriptions may be accessed here. The following table lays out the efficiency levels and normalized score ranges:

Efficiency LabelPoint Range
High 4.215.00
Fair 3.414.20
Intermediate 2.613.40
Low 1.812.60
Very Low 1.001.80
Results are analyzed through Maturity Models. These are used to measure process efficiency on five levels, allowing users to identify performance gaps and develop better management options for defense sectors. Maturity models are derived from the aggregate scores for each Index question and domain, to visualize the different combinations of indicators that account for the relative efficiency of civil-military relations specific to each country. Maturity models are therefore a tool to enable comparison between countries and highlight areas in which policy intervention could improve efficiency.