Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Iraq "not the most corrupt country"

So that's a relief! David Hayes forwards the following:

In today's Weekly Review I stated that "Transparency International announced that Iraq is now the most corrupt country on Earth." This is an error. In fact, Iraq scored 2.1 on TI's corruption index, along with Cameroon, Kenya, and Pakistan. Sixteen countries received lower scores. Bangladesh and Haiti were the most corrupt with a score of 1.5.
Roger D. Hodge, Weekly Review, Harper's Magazine

Seriously, though, David Hayes comments: “Haiti is desperate. You sometimes think there is no hope. Especially when I heard on [BBC] World Service about all the trees being cut down for fuel. Then you see people reading and children learning and there's another side".

It will be interesting to hear from Roland Hodson, a long time battler against corruption who now runs a very large official assistance programme in Bangladesh.

More than once I've heard the TI index methodology criticised on the grounds that it is largely based on polling executives of large corporations as to which countries they think are most corrupt. Is this correct? If so, is there a need for another index on corrupt corporations? And if it already exists, how sound is the methodology? If the methodology is sound then why is it not better known? And what would Maria Cattuai say?

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