There are many international reports concerned with evaluating and monitoring the status of citizens and their communities. The results of some of these reports have come to illustrate the developments and that these communities witness. However these reports sometimes conflict with the reality of the situation due to the dependence of such reports on material standards that are applied throughout the world, without regard to the differences between the stable and advanced west and the developing and highly turbulent east.
These reports, including the international happiness index published by the U.N. and prepared by The Sustained Development Solutions Network, the information is based on the Gallop opinion polls. It deals with the relationship between the citizen and the state, the importance that the political regimes give to the opinions of citizens, monitoring the level of satisfaction and happiness with state offered services, knowing citizen fears and concerns, and understanding the issues of highest interest to citizens. The Arab revolutions and protests expressed the gap between the state comprehension of its role and citizens’ needs. Now, there are regular procedures some countries have begun to focus on within the context of measuring the satisfaction of citizens with the services offered by the government.
The ranking of Arab countries:
Scandinavian countries were ranked at the top of 158 countries included in the report. Only one Arab country, the United Arab Emirates, was ranked within the first of 20 occupying the 20th internationally. Oman came second in the Arab ranking and 22nd internationally, followed by Saudi Arabia as the 35th, Kuwait 39th and Bahrain 49th slots internationally.
The ranking of Arab countries continues in later positions according to the international happiness index. Libya comes in 63rd, Algeria 68th, Jordan 82nd and Morocco 92nd. The following came at the bottom of the list: Tunisia 107th, Palestine 108th, Iraq 112th, Egypt 135th, Yemen 136th and Syria 156th. The rankings for the following countries dropped in 2013: Tunisia from 104th, Iraq from 105th, Egypt from 130th and Syria from 148th.
Reasons for Decline:
According to the results of the happiness index report for 2015 which covered the period between 2012 and 2014, it is clear that the ranking is low for most Arab countries, and that some of these rankings have declined from their previous rank in 2013, which covered the years of 2010 to 2012. This leads to the following observations:
1 – The report takes utilizes Gallops polls in the countries covered by the report. Factors examined include: The gross economic output per capita for each state, level of population, citizen mortality, corruption levels in institutions and society, level of individual education, granted social freedom by the state for the individual, and the standards of social support by the state and other citizens. From there, the reasons behind the decline of most Arab countries compared to the rest of the world can be explained by the economic index decline of most the countries over the last two years, which is the period of time covered by the report. This economic index decline is due to the lack of foreign investment, the suspension of many production sectors due to a lack of security, the spread of terrorism in the region, and the grand spread of worker protests that have suspended many vital economic sectors.
2 – The emergence of the political and security turbulences witnessed by most Arab countries during the post revolution period have affected the Arab economy. In this context, the AMF confirmed in its unified Arab economic report 2014 published in February 2015, the performance of Arab economies was affected by a number of factors in the region, which led to a decline in the registered growth rates of Arab countries. In this context, the total GDP of Arab countries with standard prices recorded 4.2% growth in 2013, which is less than the average registered growth rate of developing countries and emerging markets at 4.7% throughout the same year.
3 –The decline in oil prices last year contributed greatly to the declining performance of Arab economies. This has been reflected upon the rankings of some Arab countries in the Happiness index. This was also confirmed by the AMF, clarifying that the fall in registered growth rates of Arab oil The decline in oil prices last year contributed greatly to the declining performance of Arab economies. This has been reflected upon the rankings of some Arab countries in the Happiness index. This was also confirmed by the AMF, clarifying that the fall in registered growth rates of Arab oil exporting companies came as a reflection for the decline in oil production quantities in some of these countries and the fall in international oil prices. Other indicators point out that the fall in rank of most of these countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index issued by the World Transparency Organization, was another reason why they held low ranks in the Happiness index, as the latter depends on the corruption index as one of the main indexes in assessing the level of citizen happiness.