The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) – a list of the world’s most and least corrupt countries – for 2017 has just been released and it’s not looking good.
The index by Transparency International, which ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, uses a score of zero to 100.
The closer the score is to 100, the better a job the country is doing at preventing corruption, while a score below 50 suggests that a country has a serious problem.
New Zealand tops the index, while the Nordic nations – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – shine. But, disturbingly, two-thirds of countries scored below 50, with an average score of 43.
And it doesn’t look like the situation will improve anytime soon. The majority of countries are moving slowly in their efforts to stop corruption.
In the last six years, many have made little to no progress. Some countries have significantly improved their score – including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and the United Kingdom – while others declined, including Syria, Yemen and Australia.
Unsurprisingly, the countries with the lowest protections for press and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) also tend to have the worst rates of corruption. Almost all journalists killed since 2012 were killed in corrupt countries.
The CPI, one of the best-known measures of corruption, takes data from a range of institutions, but predominantly considers surveys of business people from across the globe.
Patricia Moreira, managing director of Transparency International, said:
No activist or reporter should have to fear for their lives when speaking out against corruption.
Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up.
Obviously, we should take this ranking with a pinch of salt.
The index generally measures the perception of corruption, so might no represent actual corruption.
Plus, it is impossible to number properly compare the complexities and differing struggles between countries.