The ND-GAIN Country Index applies our research, measurement and analytics to sectors crucial for human wellbeing that can be greatly improved by innovation and action.


Life-supporting ND-GAIN vulnerability sectors measured include:


•  Food

•  Health

•  Ecosystems

•  Human Habitat

  Coastal Infrastructure

  Energy Infrastructure

  Transportation Infrastructure


Uniquely, ND-GAIN also researches country readiness to leverage investments to enhance adaptive capacity:

  Economic Opportunity


  Social Structures


Reliable water is the basis for economies and civilizations. Industry, agriculture, human health and livelihoods can be immediately impacted by water vulnerability that will grow as precipitation intensity, phase and geography shifts. Technologies that make water use more efficient will be in high demand and resilient water systems will save lives and ensure business continuity.

Food & Agriculture

Billions around the world depend on agriculture for their livelihood and subsistence, and agriculture is a key element of many corporate supply chains.  Innovations in the agricultural sector will help reduce the vulnerability of food insecurity due to changed precipitation and temperature patterns. 


Global shifts are impacting human health through food and water insecurity, extreme weather events, and shifting ecosystems for vector born disease. Innovative corporations will seize the opportunity to make susceptible populations more resilient to these vulnerabilities.


Ecosystems provides natural capital upon which human society builds its economy and social system.  Ecosystems include natural resources that are at the foundation of all almost all product value chains.  Shifting geoclimes due to changed temperature and precipitation cause stress within ecosystems unable to respond as quickly as these shifts require. 

Human Habitat

Cities have been growing rapidly and the power of cities continues to provide catalyst for countries’ development. However, when the impact of climate change is unfolding, cities are more frequently confronted with floods, heat waves and other extreme weather events. Less resilient cities and their residents have to face more pressures than those well prepared. Improving infrastructure provides cities capacity to deal with extreme events and their negative impacts.

Infrastructure: Coastal Protection

Rising sea levels and more intense coastal storms create challenges to any nation with a coastline and those communities living near the sea. Land loss will not only lead to a decline in the value of coastal property, but also threaten global ports crucial to corporate value chains and impact livelihoods dependent on fishing and tourism in these areas.

Infrastructure: Transportation

Transportation systems are susceptible to extreme events such as fires, hurricanes, typhoons and floods, while extreme heat increases stress on transportation infrastructure.  Corporate value chains depend on reliable transportation for movement of goods and employee livelihoods.


Increases in extreme events such as fires, hurricanes, typhoons and floods can disrupt energy transport and transmission routes, as well as physically damage energy facilities. Droughts can impact hydropower availability and extreme heat stresses energy infrastructure systems. Increasing resiliency within the energy grid has collateral benefits for developing economies and corporations who benefit from increased reliability and resiliency in the energy grid.   

Economic Opportunity

Strong national economies create favorable investment conditions.  More corporate resources can flow to vulnerable sectors when governments are open to doing fair business.


Governments can encourage investments through maintaining political stability and safety.  Especially for international corporations, lack of governmental corruption is crucial for the ease of doing business.

Social Structures

Societies that have solid education systems up to and through the tertiary level, a fair rule of law and adequate information and communication technologies are more attractive to corporate investment.