Global Index on Responsible AI

PolicySouth Africa


The Global Index is a new rights-based tool being developed to support a broad range of actors in advancing responsible AI practices. It is intended to provide a comprehensive, reliable, independent, and comparative benchmark for assessing progress toward responsible AI world over.  Ultimately, the Global Index will bolster the capacity of governments, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders in countries around the world to uphold rights-based responsible AI principles by providing research and data to foster accountability, develop more precise policy interventions, refine best practices, and encourage regional and international cooperation.

One of the key innovations of the Global Index is the development of a fully-integrated human rights-based approach which will inform the comparative dimensions of the Index. This approach is innovative for two reasons. First, in codifying human rights obligations alongside accepted principles of AI ethics to establish concrete benchmarks for responsible AI based in existing human rights treaties and standards. And second, in developing an index – a research instrument designed to create a ranking system against the achievement of universally applicable benchmarks – that seeks to fairly assess a country’s progress toward responsible AI with a methodology based around the human rights standards pertaining to the progressive realisation of socio-economic rights subject to available resources, in order to accommodate the diverse conditions within countries.

The index is co-funded by IDRC and the Government of Canada.

For more information on the Global Index on Responsible AI, check out this article by Dr Rachel Adams.


  • Rachel Adams