Assessing Corruption Assessments: TI’s National Integrity System

Paul Heywood and Elizabeth Johnson raise important questions in a recent journal article about Transparency International’s corruption assessment methodology; it deserves close attention by consumers and producers of any type of corruption assessment.  The purpose of a corruption assessment is to determine where a country is falling short in the fight against corruption and what more it needs to do.  It is the backbone of any national anticorruption policy, providing both a roadmap for reform and a gauge for measuring progress, and with a wrong map or inaccurate gauge, the chances the policy will curb corruption are slight.

TI calls its corruption assessment method the National Integrity System (NIS).  One of the more than 500 different corruption assessment methodologies (or “tools” in anticorruption jargon) now in use, it is among the oldest and most widely used.  Since 2001, it has been an input into anticorruption policy in over 100 countries.  Heywood and Johnson find it has four weaknesses  – Continue reading