Transparency International, the non-governmental organization taking on the task of monitoring and publicizing both corporate and political corruption in the international world, yearly publishes an index of the perceived level of corruption by country. We acknowledge that efforts like this are vital to regulating and improving the global political economy; especially in an era riddled with recession and corporate infiltration of the political process. The people of the world, indeed, must be aware of the extent to which their country is said to be in good standing.
However, we advise you to keep in mind that in order to measure corruption, the agency undertaking the task must set its own definitions and parameters as context. It is within this context that our countries are measured. This means that our own countries whether ranked in a positive or negative light are actually held to the standard of the surveying institution and not our own.
It is important, therefore, to know the methodology employed found below:
Corruption Perceptions Index 2014: Short Methodology Note
The Corruption Perceptions Index aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions of business people and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector.
The following steps are followed to calculate the [Corruption Perception Index] CPI:
- Select data sources: Each data source that is used to construct the Corruption Perceptions Index must fulfil the following criteria to qualify as a valid source:
- Quantifies perceptions of corruption in the public sector
- Be based on a reliable and valid methodology, which scores and ranksmultiple countries on the same scale
- Performed by a credible institution and expected to be repeated regularly
- Allow for sufficient variation of scores to distinguish between countriesThe CPI 2014 is calculated using 12 different data sources from 11 different institutions that capture perceptions of corruption within the past two years. These sources are described in detail in the accompanying source description document.
- Standardise data sources to a scale of 0-100 where a 0 equals the highest level of perceived corruption and 100 equals the lowest level of perceived corruption. This is done by subtracting the mean of the data set and dividing by the standard deviation and results in z-scores, which are then adjusted to have a mean of approximately 45 and a standard deviation of approximately 20 so that the data set fits the CPI’s 0-100 scale. The mean and standard deviation are taken from the 2012 scores, so that the rescaled scores can be compared over time against the baseline year.
- Calculate the average: For a country or territory to be included in the CPI, a minimum of three sources must assess that country. A country’s CPI score is then calculated as the average of all standardised scores available for that country. Scores are rounded to whole numbers.
- Report a measure of uncertainty: The CPI is accompanied by a standard error and confidence interval associated with the score, which capture the variation in scores of the data sources available for that country/territory.
Lastly, take note that this information is only a measure of the perceived corruption of a country. This index does not give you a measure of the actual corruption levels of a country. They may vary.
Here are Transparency International’s infographics: