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Juanita R i año Transparency International www.transparency.org. The Empirics of Governance May 1-2, 2008 Washington D.C. Measuring governance and corruption internationally: progress thus far. Corruption high on the international agenda Increased understanding of its nature :

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Juanita Riaño

Transparency International


The Empirics of Governance

May 1-2, 2008

Washington D.C.

Measuring governance and corruption internationally: progress thus far

  • Corruption high on the international agenda

  • Increased understanding of its nature:

    • supported by broader research base

  • Growth in development of new measurement tools:

    • especially surveys

    • at global, regional and national levels

    • complemented by other initiatives and tools

Measurement tools production process

Validity progress thus far

Measurement Tools: Production Process

Legitimacy, credibility, reliability

What for? (Purpose)





Measurement process

What (Target)

What’s possible? (Resources, information, capacity)

Use (communication, advocacy, interpretation etc.)

Measurement tools production process1
Measurement Tools: progress thus farProduction Process

What for? (Purpose)

  • Awareness

  • Academic research

  • Advocacy, Policy reform

  • Diagnostics (targeting action)

  • Monitoring (policy evaluation)

What do we want to measure? (Target)

  • Costs of Corruption

  • Trends of corruption

  • Extent of corruption

What’s possible?

  • Information available

  • Capacity

  • Funding

  • What you want and what you need

Aggregate indicators what for
Aggregate Indicators: What for? progress thus far

  • To create public awareness of corruption and put corruption on the public debate contributing to create a climate for change.

  • To offer a snapshot of the extent of the corruption problem.

  • To enhance comparative understanding of levels of corruption and trends over time.

  • To motivate new research and complementary diagnostic analysis on causes and consequences of corruption.

Aggregate indicators what not and what not for
Aggregate Indicators: What NOT? and What NOT for? progress thus far


  • Not an in-countrydiagnostic tool: doesn’t offer analysis on causes, dynamics or consequences of corruption


  • Not to make inferences about petty/grand corruption, public-private sector interface, etc.

  • Not to design policy actions or country reforms.

Perceptions-based data progress thus far

  • Unbiased, hard data difficult to obtain or validity questionable

    • e.g. comparing number of prosecutions, court cases or media coverage as a way to measure effectiveness and capacity of a country's judiciary in prosecuting corruption.

  • Legal definition of bribery and corruption may differ (e.g. facilitation payments)

  • Perception questions have become more rigorous, experiential and quantitative.

  • Cultural biases seem not to be as strong as they were originally thought (tested e.g. by vignettes)

  • Even the fact-based data have elements of subjectivity involved

Interpreting perceptions
Interpreting perceptions progress thus far

  • Potential bias resulting from cultural background.

  • Residents

    • Comparing to other problems, not countries

    • Standard of ethics

  • Expatriates

    • Dominance of a cultural heritage in the sample

    • Lacking cultural understanding

What about people perceptions regarding corruption vs experts perceptions
What about people perceptions regarding corruption vs. experts perceptions?


Source: Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer 2007 and CPI 2007

At the national level
At the National Level… equation…

  • TI national chapters have developed a wide range of tools that provide indicators for the fight against corruption:

    • National household surveys: TI Bangladesh, TI Lithuania, TI Madagascar, TI Mexico, TI Morocco, TI Peru, TI Russia

    • Index of public institutions: TI Kenya, TI Colombia

    • Public sector diagnostics: TI Bangladesh, TI Nicaragua

    • Monitoring political party financing: TI Bulgaria, TI Latvia

    • Private sector assessment: TI Mexico, TI Madagascar

The kenya bribery index an example
The Kenya Bribery Index, an example equation… .

  • Captures bribery experiences among general public on an annual basis

  • Who is bribed, how much and for what?

  • Results have been used to

    • Provide information on the nature and extent of bribery in Kenya

    • Generate public awareness

    • Advocate for and support reforms

    • Setperformance targets and monitor reforms

Lessons learned
Lessons learned equation…

  • Methodolgies

    • Use of expertise

    • Right for the purpose of the tool

  • Process: validation (external, internal) – who else has seen it?

  • Communication: as important as production

  • If the tool is solid, criticism is a sign of success

  • Don‘t ask more from a tool than it can bear

  • Measuring equation… corruption: challenges ahead

  • Improving use of results by various stakeholders (civil society, private sector and governments) and to convert research into policy.

  • Taking stock of what we have learnt, without reinventing the wheel.

  • Strengthening research in diagnostic indicators.

  • Supporting repetition of tools over time, in order to set performance targets and measure anti-corruption efforts.

  • Extending coverage of measuring corruption tools to countries/sectors where no data-research has been conducted so far.

the coalition against corruption equation…