Finding the right measurement for corruption
Do you want to know more about the different ways to measure corruption? Are you thinking of undertaking an assessment and want to find out what others have done? Do you want to learn about some of the challenges you might face in conducting a corruption assessment? Then GATEway, the new online portal for measuring corruption, may just be for you.
How can we measure corruption?
In order to fight corruption, we need reliable information on what forms it takes and where it arises. But because it is usually a covert activity, corruption is notoriously hard to measure.
One approach is to measure perceptions of corruption. Our Corruption Perceptions Index, for example, ranks countries by the perceived levels of public sector corruption, in order to raise awareness of the issue among policy-makers and the general public.
Another way is to compare the performance of different institutions in preventing corruption. For example, Global Integrity’s Global Integrity Report and our National Integrity System Assessments assess the health of a country's anti-corruption system. The International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Index, meanwhile, looks at the transparency and accountability of national budgets, crucial to preventing the abuse of public money.
Recently, a new wave of tools has emerged, designed to provide more precise information on specific corruption hot spots at the local level and in specific sectors. TI’s CRINIS Index, for example, evaluates the transparency of political financing, while the World Health Organization has developed a method for measuring corruption risks in the public pharmaceutical sector.
This rapid expansion has yielded some innovative solutions, but it also has its challenges. In particular, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of what has been done and where, which often leads to a duplication of efforts. This is where GATEway, a new project launched in November 2011 by Transparency International, aims to make an important contribution.
GATEway: finding the right tool for you
GATEway collects and shares the anti-corruption community’s collective knowledge on corruption assessment. It presents a comprehensive overview of the various methods for measuring and analysing corruption.
Doing this allows civil society actors, researchers and government officials to compare the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches, and to select the most appropriate tool for their needs
For example, a reform-minded politician who knows that corruption is a problem in his country’s justice sector can find the best way of doing a quick assessment to identify where the biggest corruption risks are.
A local NGO looking to monitor the activities and spending of their municipal government can use GATEway to find out what methods are available and what other organisations in similar situations have done.
To help our users sort through this wealth of information, GATEway highlights those tools which have the most potential for replication and adaptation.
GATEway makes this all freely available through an easy-to-use website which includes a searchable database of more than 250 tools (and counting) to measure and analyse corruption, and a set of guides to the different approaches with examples of good practice.
The website also offers an interactive space where you can contribute your own tools, share your experiences in measuring corruption with others, and discuss what works and what doesn’t in different contexts.
Thinking outside the box
And it doesn’t stop there. GATEway is not just about sharing what is out there. It’s also about understanding what is not there. We want to find out what forms of corruption are most difficult to diagnose and what can be done about it. In collaboration with a group of anti-corruption experts, we will be looking at where the major gaps are in terms of assessment tools.
We will then work with the anti-corruption community to develop innovative new approaches to measuring corruption in those areas where they are most needed.