Saturday, 6 November 2010
CASE 152 - Transparency International
Transparency International (TI) is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide. The headquarters is located in Berlin, Germany but operates through more than 70 national chapters. TI was founded in May 1993 through the initiative of a Jesuit Dr Peter Eigen, a former regional director for the World Bank. Founding board members included Eigen, Hansjörg Elshorst, Joe Githongo, Fritz Heimann, Michael Hershman, Kamal Hossain, Dolores L. Español, George Moody Stuart, Jerry Parfitt, Jeremy Pope and Frank Vogl. Eigen acted as Chairman and Pope was Managing Director. In 1995, TI developed the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI ranked nations on the prevalence of corruption within each country, based upon surveys of business people. The CPI was subsequently published annually. It was criticized for poor methodology and unfair treatment of developing nations, while also being praised for highlighting corruption and embarrassing governments. In 1999, TI began publishing the Bribe Payers Index (BPI) which ranked nations according to the prevalence that a country's multinational corporations would offer bribes. Its very close linked to the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection and the Ford foundation.
TI is organised as a group of some 100 national chapters, with an international secretariat in Berlin, Germany. Originally founded in Germany in May 1993 as a not-for-profit organisation, TI is now an international non-governmental organisation, and claims to be moving towards a completely democratic organisational structure. TI says of itself:
"Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption. It brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world. TI's mission is to create change towards a world free of corruption."
Since 1995, TI has issued an annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI); it also publishes an annual Global Corruption Report, a Global Corruption Barometer and a Bribe Payers Index. TI does not undertake investigations on single cases of corruption or expose individual cases. It develops tools for fighting corruption and works with other civil society organisations, companies and governments to implement them. The goal of TI is to be non-partisan and to build coalitions against corruption. Its a great way for the elite to keep their corruption and power underground and away from the public
TI's biggest success has been to put the topic of corruption on the world's agenda. International Institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund now view corruption as one of the main obstacles for development, whereas prior to the 1990s this topic was not broadly discussed. TI furthermore played a vital role in the introduction of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
The CPI—besides the World Bank corruption index—is the most commonly used measure for corruption in countries worldwide. To form this index, TI compiles surveys that ask businessmen and analysts, both in and outside the countries they are analyzing, their perceptions of how corrupt a country is. Relying on the number of actual corruption cases would not work since laws and enforcement of laws differ significantly from country to country.
The CPI has received criticisms over the years. The main one stems from the difficulty in measuring corruption, which by definition happens behind the scenes. The CPI therefore needs to rely on third-party survey which have been criticized as potentially unreliable. Data can vary widely depending on the public perception of a country, the completeness of the surveys and the methodology used. The second issue is that data cannot be compared from year to year because TI uses different methodologies and samples every year. This makes it difficult to evaluate the result of new policies. The CPI authors replied to these criticims by reminding that the CPI is meant to measure perception and not "reality". They argue that "perceptions matter in their own right, since... firms and individuals take actions based on perceptions"
2010 Corruption index of 2010