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Juanita R i año 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 :

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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


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: Production 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?
  • 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?


  • 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

  • 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
  • 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…
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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.