Transparency International

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Transparency International
Transparency International logo.png
The Global Coalition Against Corruption
Abbreviation TI
Formation 1993 (1993)
Type INGO
Purpose/focus Anti-Corruption
Headquarters Berlin, Germany
Region served Global
Chair Huguette Labelle
Managing Director Cobus de Swardt
Key people Peter Eigen
Website transparency.org

Transparency International (TI) is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. Originally founded in Germany in May 1993 as a not-for-profit organization, Transparency International is now an international non-governmental organization. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide. The headquarters is located in Berlin, Germany.[1]

The organization defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain which eventually hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.[2]

Transparency International consists of chapters – locally established, independent organisations – that address corruption in their respective countries. From small bribes to large-scale looting, corruption differs from country to country. As chapters are staffed with local experts they are ideally placed to determine the priorities and approaches best suited to tackling corruption in their countries. This work ranges from visiting rural communities to provide free legal support to advising their government on policy reform. Corruption does not stop at national borders. The chapters play a crucial role in shaping its collective work and realising its regional and global goals, such as Strategy 2015. Transparency International’s multi-country research and advocacy initiatives are driven by the chapters.

In 2013 Transparency International published the Government Defence Anti-corruption Index with which corruption in the defence sector of 82 countries was measured.[3] Some governments expressed criticism towards the methodology of the report. Mark Pyman defended the report in an interview and stressed the importance of transparency in the military sector. The plan is to publish the index every two years.[4]

History[edit]

Transparency International's headquarters in Berlin (5th floor).

Transparency International was founded in May 1993, with the participation of Peter Eigen, a former regional director for the World Bank. Other founding board members included Hansjörg Elshorst, Joe Githongo, Fritz Heimann, Michael Hershman, Kamal Hossain, Dolores L. Español, George Moody Stuart, Jerry Parfitt, Jeremy Pope and Frank Vogl.[5][6][7]

In 1995, Transparency International 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.[8]

In 1999, Transparency International began publishing the Bribe Payers Index (BPI) which ranked nations according to the prevalence that a country's multinational corporations would offer bribes.[8]

Organization[edit]

Transparency International consists of over 100 locally established, independent national chapters as well as an international secretariat in Berlin, Germany. Each chapter tackles corruption in their respective country, constructing methods relevant to their national context in order to bring about change. The secretariat provides support and cooperation among chapters, as well as collaborating with these chapters in order to approach corruption on a global and regional scale.[9]

Role[edit]

Transparency International claims that:

"Transparency International is the global civil society organization 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, Transparency International has issued an annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI); it also publishes a Global Corruption Report, a Global Corruption Barometer and a Bribe Payers Index.

Transparency International 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 organizations, companies and governments to implement them.

Transparency International'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. Transparency International furthermore played a vital role in the introduction of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

Corruption Perceptions Index[edit]

Competitiveness and corruption. Presented at the workshop Corruption – how and why to avoid it in Prague, November 1998

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index – a combination of polls – drawing on corruption-related data collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The CPI reflects the views of observers from around the world.[10]

The Corruption Perceptions Index has received criticisms over the years. The main one stems from the difficulty in measuring corruption, which by definition happens behind the scenes. The Corruption Perceptions Index 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 Transparency International uses different methodologies and samples every year. This makes it difficult to evaluate the result of new policies.[11] The Corruption Perceptions Index authors replied to these criticisms by reminding that the Corruption Perceptions Index 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".[12]

Competitiveness and corruption[edit]

A review of the linkages between countries' competitiveness and the incidence of corruption was initiated at a Transparency International workshop in Prague, November 1998 and picked up in the International Anti-Corruption Conference three years later.[13]

Mara Faccio (Purdue University, USA) has issued a number of papers on this subject, including a study entitled “Differences between Politically Connected and Non-Connected Firms: A Cross Country Comparison” .[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Who we are. Transparency International.
  2. ^ What We Do. Transparency International.
  3. ^ "Government Defence Anti-corruption Index". Transparency International. 2013. 
  4. ^ Mark Pyman (March 2013). "Transparency is feasible". dandc.eu. 
  5. ^ Transparency International(TI), International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities
  6. ^ Hicks, Bill (2010). "Transparency International". Pinkindustry.com. 
  7. ^ Larmour, Peter (September 2006). Bowden, Brett, ed. Global standards of market civilization. Routledge. pp. 95–106. ISBN 0-415-37545-2. 
  8. ^ a b Chaikin, David (June 2009). Corruption and money laundering: a symbiotic relationship. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 12–13. ISBN 0-230-61360-8. 
  9. ^ http://www.transparency.org/whoweare/organisation
  10. ^ CPI in detail. Transparency International.
  11. ^ "A Users' Guide to Measuring Corruption". Global Integrity & UNDP. 
  12. ^ Uslaner, Eric M. (2008). Corruption, inequality, and the rule of law: the bulging pocket makes the easy life. Cambridge University Press. pp. 11–17. ISBN 0-521-87489-0. 
  13. ^ "tenth international anti-corruption conference: The Prague agenda". Differences between Politically Connected and Non-Connected Firms: A Cross Country Comparison. Financial Management, Autumn 2010, vol 39(3), 905–927. November 2002. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  14. ^ "Differences between Politically Connected and Non-Connected Firms: A Cross Country Comparison". Differences between Politically Connected and Non-Connected Firms: A Cross Country Comparison. Financial Management, Autumn 2010, vol 39(3), 905–927. November 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 

External links[edit]