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The 2014 Corruption Perception Index. How have EITI countries fared?

Finding a direct relationship between the EITI and CPI ranking is challenging, but the general trend is still positive.

‘Tis the season for writing lists. Shopping lists. Gift lists. Regret lists for the year that was; wish lists for the year to come. And in many parts of the world, the ever popular Santa’s list.

Lists and rankings may have their inherent weaknesses, but that doesn’t stop many children hoping they will be rewarded for their efforts come Christmas morning.

Something similar happens when Transparency International publishes its annual Corruption Perception Index. Some countries look at it to find confirmation that their efforts are paying off, while others will find that the index only tells part of the story. What about countries that implement the EITI?

As we wrote around this time last year, it is difficult to claim any relationship between membership in the EITI and the CPI rankings. The chart below shows that some countries are perceived to have improved, others to have done worse, and the reasons for these developments are not always clear. The index is based on perceptions and these are by definition subjective.

At a country level the range of scores is very broad, with Norway and Afghanistan on either extreme. Most EITI countries have improved their scores compared to the previous year, especially AfghanistanCôte d’Ivoire and Mali, though they all faced relative crises in 2013. Only four countries, the Central African RepublicLiberiaTanzania and Timor Leste, have received worse scores.

It would be of little use to credit the EITI with either development, insofar as there are likely to be a number of factors contributing to a country’s scores and rankings. The EITI is after all only one tool in the reformers’ tool box.

At an aggregate level one could argue that the general trend continues to be positive for implementing countries. Last year we noted that on average EITI countries had climbed five positions on the CPI over four years. In 2014 the CPI shows that EITI countries on average climbed another two positions on the index. For compliant countries this average increased to just under 2.5 positions. EITI countries improved their score on average by one point vis-à-vis the previous year.

For many people around the globe corruption still hurts daily lives. Countries like Angola, China, and Turkey that the index highlights as having done substantially worse in relation to the previous year,  might seize this opportunity and consider taking steps towards greater transparency. When it comes to natural resource transparency, an important first step might be to implement the EITI – the global standard for the sector.

We hope that for many countries, the transparent and accountable management of natural resources will be near the top of their priority lists for the coming year. Who knows, for some it may even result in a better ranking in next year’s CPI. Even Santa needs helpers though, and we at the International Secretariat would welcome any opportunity to assist in any way we can.

We’ll even forgo the cookies and eggnog. 

Performance of EITI countries compared to the previous year: