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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yet another index?

The Global Integrity Index seems to have been around since 2004, but this is the first I have heard of it. That might say more about me than about the index.

Are we approaching diminishing returns between (from the top of my head):

Economic Freedom of the World
Heritage Index of Economic Freedom
Transparency International Corruption index
Freedom of the Press index
Global Integrity Index

Thank you for posting the 2006 Global Integrity Index, which I worked on. This is our first global release, after a 25-country field test in 2004.

There are quite a few indices out there. For us, the index is not an end to itself, but a way to simplify and communicate the immense volume of data collected in the Global Integrity Country Reports. That said, the Global Integrity Index is unique and useful in several ways:

It is peer-reviewed research by local experts, with the research being done in country. We don't use opinion surveys, or assign scores to countries we've never lived in.

The index is based on 290 discrete Integrity Indicators. These can be unpacked easily to see beyond a simple good-or-bad judgment, to become a diagnostic tool identifying specific problems in governance, down to individual laws and institutions. We break it into 6 categories, and 23 sub-categories, though many other aggregations are possible.

Global Integrity is completely transparent: we published more than 10,000 data points, each with commentary, references, and critical peer review perspectives in the Global Integrity Country Reports.

Global Integrity is independent. We aren't a donor or advocacy agency. Obviously, we want governance to improve worldwide, but we have no personal stake in whether any given country or agency improves or declines.

Jonathan Werve
Director of Operations, Global Integrity
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