Friday, June 18, 2010

Getting serious with "eradicating" corruption

Are we really serious about "eradicating" corruption? If so, then we should start with some key performance metrics to help us track results. That's right. Measures and results. Those are two words that people who make promises tend to shy away from when push comes to shove.

Here is an interesting indication of where we stand in this initiative that is so often made campaign fodder by every politician bozo and his dog. The following is taken from the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International (CPI). It is the Philippines' CPI track record since 2001.

Note data format: Year, CPI Rating, (Country Rank).

2009 2.4 (139)
2008 2.3 (141)
2007 2.5 (131)
2006 2.5 (121)
2005 2.5 (117)
2004 2.6 (102)
2003 2.5 (92)
2002 2.6 (77)
2001 2.9 (65)

The CPI is a rating over a scale of perceptions from survey respondents ranging from zero (highly corrupt) to 10 (not corrupt). Despite the Philippines' CPI rating fluctuating around the same general magnitude over the last 10 years, it has progressively gone down in ranking. It means that even as other countries improved their rating (became perceived to be less corrupt), the Philippines did not improve.

So that's the challenge the new government faces. Since Noynoy Aquino has made eradication of corruption the defining platitude of his campaign, it will be interesting to see how the rating -- and ranking -- of the Philippines will be changing over the next six years. Even America will be watching.

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