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47 The importance in measuring corruption, and by extension, good governance (one of its antidotes), is not simply an esoteric academic debate left to development economists, political theoreticians, and statisticians. It has become, rather, a central issue to the broader field of good governance and anti-corruption reform, as a country’s performance in such reforms has become increasingly linked to foreign aid flows. While former World Bank President James Wolfensohn’s famous 1996 “cancer of corruption” speech marked a watershed in acknowledging corruption as a central development issue, the challenge of measuring corruption and anti-corruption performance leapt to the forefront during the “Monterrey process.”Major multilateral development organizations and governments met in 2002 at Monterrey, Mexico, to agree on practical steps for implementing the Millennium Development Goals: high-level objectives aimed at reducing poverty and accelerating development by 2015 in the world’s poorest countries. The basic bargain agreed on at Monterrey moved corruption measurement to the front and center of the debate: if developing countries performed well on anti-corruption and good governance assessments, they would be rewarded with increased aid from the developed donor countries.1 This decision implied that the international community now needed consistently to measure corruption levels and countries’ anti-corruption and good governance performance to determine those countries that would respond to the carrot of increased aid.The establishment of the U.S.Millennium 3 Defining and Measuring Corruption: Where Have We Come From, Where Are We Now, and What Matters For the Future? nathaniel heller The author wishes to thank a number of colleagues at Global Integrity for their insight and feedback on this chapter, including Julia Burke, Marianne Camerer, Raymond June, Stephen Roblin, and Jonathan Werve. 03 0328-0 ch3.qxd:Rotberg 7/16/09 4:42 PM Page 47 Table 3-1. Select Timeline of Major Corruption and Governance Metrics Index Name Origin Economic Intelligence Unit’s Index on Democracy Early 1970s Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World Survey 1972 Polity Country Reports 1974 Transparency International’s National Integrity Systems studies (NIS) 1994 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 1995 World Bank Institute’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) 1996 Afrobarometer 1999 Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS) 1999–2000 International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)’s Media 2000 Sustainability Index (MSI) World Bank’s Doing Business Indicators 2003 Global Integrity’s Integrity Indicators 2004 Open Budget Index (a project of the International Budget Project) 2006 Index of African Governance 2007 48 Nathaniel Heller 03 0328-0 ch3.qxd:Rotberg 7/16/09 4:42 PM Page 48 Defining and Measuring Corruption 49 Description The index provides a snapshot of the current state of democracy for 165 states and 2 territories and includes 5 categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Data are drawn from third-party surveys and assessments. The Freedom in the World survey evaluates the state of global freedom as experienced by individuals in countries. The survey measures freedom according to two categories: political rights and civil liberties. Centralized scoring committees outside of the country generate the scores for each country. The Polity project examines the characteristics of governing institutions in countries, envisioning a spectrum of governing authority that spans from fully institutionalized autocracies through mixed authority regimes to full democracies. Coding of countries is performed by trained researchers outside of the country. The NIS applies a holistic approach by assessing the key institutions, laws, and practices that contribute to integrity, transparency, and accountability. The NIS offers analysis on the extent and causes of corruption in a given national context as well as the adequacy and effectiveness of national anti-corruption efforts. Local experts are employed to generate the qualitative analysis. The CPI ranks 180 countries according to their perceived levels of corruption. The rankings are determined by aggregating third-party expert assessments and opinion surveys. The WGI report governance indicators for more than 200 countries and territories over the period 1996–2007 across 6 dimensions of governance, including control of corruption. Data are generated by aggregating third-party surveys and expert assessments in a similar fashion as the CPI. The Afrobarometer measures the social, political, and economic atmosphere in Africa. Original household surveys are conducted in more than a dozen African countries and are repeated on a regular cycle. BEEPS surveys more than 4,000 firms in 22 transition countries on a wide range of interactions between firms and the state. The MSI analyzes...


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