75 Most Influential Policies

This year, Driving Change set out to identify the seventy-five most influential post-war policies which have had the greatest impact on shaping the world as we know it today. These policies span interventions on everything from sustainability to education to healthcare. They come from Bangladesh and Brazil, India and China, the United States and the United Kingdom, South Africa and Sweden, among other pioneering countries. We hope that by creating this list we can spark discussion around what defines great policymaking and what processes are needed to produce it. Read more in our letter from the editors.


  1. Britain’s NHS (universal healthcare)
  2. Formation of the United Nations (global governance)
  3. The Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer (environmental treaties)
  4. Adoption of the world wide web standard (creation of the internet)
  5. Smallpox eradicated (eliminating infectious diseases)
  6. Man on the moon (space exploration)
  7. End of apartheid in South Africa (racial equality)
  8. The nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty (arms control)
  9. Deng Xiaoping’s reforms (opening China’s economy)
  10. Regulatory approval of contraceptive pill (female empowerment)
  11. Dutch same-sex marriage law (equality of sexual orientation)
  12. India’s Aadhaar program (citizen identity cards)


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