In the global fight against corruption, our intuition is often right. We expect countries with faltering governments, fragile institutions, and low per capita incomes to struggle to keep money from going where it shouldn’t—and generally speaking, they do. Likewise, many examples of wealthy countries with strong rule of law and government integrity institutions lead us to associate wealthier states with higher integrity—and data confirms this trend too.
But sometimes, new data challenges our intuition. In the anti-corruption world, nowhere is this more apparent than on the new and free-to-the-public Corruption Risk Forecast (CRF). Launched in April 2022 by the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building (ERCAS) in partnership with CIPE, the CRF offers three global lenses on the state of corruption in over 120 countries: the Index of Public Integrity (IPI), the Transparency Index (T-Index), and the eponymous Corruption Risk Forecast dashboard. Each view provides new and important information about corruption risks around the world.
Let’s start with an example from the IPI. Tracking integrity using over a decade of information collected by ERCAS, the IPI tracks how each country controls corruption. Each overall score is averaged from six easy-to-understand factors like Press Freedom and Judicial Independence, giving users a quick and easy way to identify where corruption risks exist in a country.
The IPI’s wide-lens snapshot of corruption risk includes important information that is missed on other indices. This is evident in the case of Thailand, which received a 35/100 score and a rank of 110 out of 180 countries on the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, placing it in the 39th percentile. Similarly, Thailand placed in the 35th percentile in the Control of Corruption category of the World Bank’s most recent Worldwide Governance Indicators. By these measures, Thailand appears institutionally troubled and a big investment risk.
The CRF tells a slightly different story. While the IPI confirms the country’s low relative scores in Administrative Transparency and Press Freedom, it also reveals that Thailand is a high performer in Budget Transparency, Online Services, and e-Citizenship. In fact, on these factors, Thailand surpasses world, income group, and regional averages, and overall reaches the IPI’s 60th global percentile.
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of an article published by CIPE’s Anti-Corruption & Governance Center (ACGC). Click here to read the full article.