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2010 Muskoka G8 Summit Issue Assessment:
Executive Summary

Erin Fitzgerald and Netila Demneri with the G8 Research Group
June 27, 2010
Download the full report here

The G8 Research Group, the world‘s leading independent research institute on the G8, provides onsite analysis of the performance of the G8 Presidency on the priority issue areas identified by the presidency prior to the summit. This analysis is manifested in the G8 Country Assessment Report, which is released annually at the close of the summit. This analysis is manifested in the G8 Issue Area Assessment Report, which is released annually at the close of the summit.

Definitions and Methodology

Approximately one month prior to the summit, a team of more than twenty analysts identified issue priorities for the G8 Presidency. This timeline was intended to capture in order to capture the G8 Presidency‘s objectives before entering into the "expectations management" phase when political rhetoric is adjusted in order to manage public expectations once concessions are made at sherpa and ministerial meetings.

For the purposes of this report, performance is defined as the ability of the G8 Presidency to successfully advance its priority objectives as it hosts the summit and to steer the statements that emerge from the G8 to reflect said objectives. The objectives in each issue area are ranked and weighted in priority sequence following a rigorous review of government statements and communiqués, as well as international media coverage.

At the summit, performance is assessed based on pre-established interpretative guidelines for evaluating the success or failure of the G8 Presidency to advance its priority objectives in each issue area. Scores are assigned based on how well the communiqués that are released by the G8 at the summit reflect the stated objectives of the G8 Presidency in each of the priority issue areas. If the statements and communiqués emerging from the summit reflect the pre-identified priority objectives of the G8 Presidency, a high score is assigned for the objective.

An aggregate score is assigned to each issue area, which is calculated using a weighted average in which the weight a particular objective receives is relative to its ranking in the sequential priority ordering. These weights were developed with a quadratic function, allowing us to assign decreasing weights to each objective while ensuring that the difference between each weight increases as priorities descend. By this methodology, a country‘s most important objectives will have the greatest impact on its aggregate score. This same methodology is used to score the summit overall.

Performance by Issue

At the 2010 Muskoka Summit, Canada achieved varying levels of success with the different items on its agenda. It scored the highest on World Economy, receiving a score of 0.830. Regional Security ranked second, while African Development was third. This is worthy of note, given Canada‘s emphasis on its Child and Maternal Health Initiative. The Environment ranked fourth and Outreach and Expansion ranked fifth. Food Security ranked last, with Canada

achieving very little on this front. These results are detailed in Table 1 of this Executive Summary.

Table 1: Performance Scores by G8 Country

World Economy

African Development

Regional Security

Food Security


Outreach and Expansion









The Overall Final Performance Score

The results of the G8 Research Group‘s assessments indicate that, for the 2010 Muskoka G8 Summit, the G8 member states received an average performance score of 0.437. The average final score is slightly below previous year‘s.


This report is made possible by the commitment of our team of dedicated analysts from the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto. Their efforts have culminated in a significant contribution to the study of the G8 and global governance. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Cliff Vanderlinden, the 2007-8 Chair, whose work served as the foundation of this project.

Erin Fitzgerald
Chair, G8 Research Group 2009-10

Research Team

Professor John Kirton, Director, G8 Research Group
Erin Fitzgerald, Chair, G8 Research Group
Netila Demneri, Vice-Chair, G8 Research Group

Katie Andrews
Natalie Antonowicz
Hana Bokshi
Nikki Cargill
Adrienne Davidson
Meara Deutsch-Goulet
Sarah Ellis
Shiva Logarajah
Egor Ouzikov
Lauren Perruzza
Sam Plett
Sabina Voicu


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