Berlin, 04 May 2016 – A new ranking lists the Scandinavian countries Norway, Denmark and Finland as the countries with the best public integrity systems in the world, followed by New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The Index of Public Integrity (IPI) represents the first objective, actionable measurement of public integrity in the world. As such it assesses a society’s ability to control corruption. Myanmar, Chad and Venezuela receive the lowest scores in the index which covers 105 countries across the world. The IPI is published by the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building (ERCAS) at the Hertie School of Governance.
Why do we need a new index?
Currently the most cited corruption indices, such as Transparency International’s CPI and the Worldwide Governance Indicator on the Control of Corruption, are based on perceptions and expert assessments. They do a lot to raise awareness about the state of corruption in different countries. However, they do not help policy makers to understand how to better prevent corruption. The IPI is aimed to address this issue. Its six components are covering specific policy areas which enable governments to design policy reforms improving their integrity systems. It thus not only offers an evaluation of the state of corruption in different countries, but can also serve as the start of a roadmap for reform.
What is the IPI made of?
Based on years of empirical research and a solid theoretical framework, the IPI consists of six individual components. They are all significant factors in the control of corruption and represent the most vital policy areas in this field:
- Judicial Independence represents an assessment of the independence of the judiciary from influences from the government, citizens or companies;
- Administrative Burden is based on the time and number of procedures it takes to start up a business and the number and times it takes to pay taxes in a given society;
- Trade Openness looks at the number of documents and time required to complete importing and exporting procedures in a given country;
- Budget Transparency looks at the way a government publishes its executive budget proposal;
- E-Citizenship measures the opportunities for citizens to take part in online discussion by taking into account internet access, the number of Facebook users and the number of broadband subscriptions;
- Freedom of the Press looks at the legal and societal framework that the press operates in and if journalists are allowed to do their work without interference.
The components are chosen to be more objective and actionable than previous corruption indicators. Using data from different international organisations and non-governmental organisations, ERCAS aims at publishing new data every two years to make comparison possible over time and enable policy-makers to track changes.
What can the IPI be used for?
The IPI can serve as a starting point for policy-makers to identify reform areas to build a better framework to control corruption. To facilitate this, ERCAS developed www.integrity-index.org, an interactive online tool to help policy-makers and civil society leaders to use the IPI. The online tool enables users to compare countries to their peers in their region or income group in order to see the potential for improvement in specific policy areas. The website also includes indicative suggestions for reforms.
The IPI was supported and funded by the EU FP7 ANTICORRP project. European civil society groups, investigative journalists and civil servants involved in or concerned about transparency, accountability and the control of corruption are invited to contact the project for more information.