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Developing the NTI Index

December 28, 2015

NTI and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) rely on a rigorous and transparent process to develop the NTI Index. These are the key elements:

  • Broad framework. Recognizing the need for a holistic approach to security, the NTI Index framework is intentionally broad and is made up of the five categories of indicators. A subset of categories and indicators was used in the assessment of countries without materials and in the assessment related to sabotage. The categories and indicators are weighted in a way that reflects their relative importance, as determined by NTI in conjunction with the International Panel of Experts.
  • Robust data and analysis. The research process is led by the EIU and takes advantage of its global network of analysts skilled in researching country laws and regulations. EIU analysts rely on public and open-source information, including national laws and regulations, government reports and public statements, and reports from non-governmental organizations and international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency. The NTI Index does not provide a facility-by-facility assessment of security practices.
  • International perspective. The International Panel of Experts guides the overall Index process and informs the selection of indicators and their relative weights. In addition, the panel helps ensure that the NTI Index reflects diverse viewpoints and ongoing international discussions on priorities.
  • Transparent process. Engagement with governments is key to ensuring that the NTI Index process is as transparent as possible. The 24 governments with weapons-usable nuclear materials, as well as 23 governments without weapons-usable nuclear materials but included in the sabotage ranking, were offered briefings about the NTI Index. Those governments also were offered the opportunity to review and comment on preliminary results to ensure that the NTI Index reflects the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. Of the 24 states, 14 took advantage of this opportunity and of the 23 states, 11 took advantage of this opportunity:  Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.