The rise of crowdfunded corruption indicators: the T-index 2023 and beyond

In 2021, the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building (ERCAS) conducted the first direct measurement of state transparency by introducing 20 objective indicators – 14 de facto, 6 de jure – each of which can be traced back to its original source with a single click on the website. ERCAS initially assessed the level of state transparency in 129 countries with the help of a group of international students to collect information and evaluate the availability and accessibility of the resources.

In 2023, the team undertook a novel strategy to update the T-index for the coming years, and thereupon, moved to the crowdsourcing phase to enhance the quality of its data. This new approach involves engaging with a broader community in data collection and analysis, such as governments and civil society organizations, who were also asked to provide feedback on the previously collected information. This collaborative effort aims to ensure the T-index remains accurate and reflective of real-time changes. The crowdsourcing phase allowed the team to add 14 new countries to its analyses and thus cover 143 countries in total in the 2023 edition.

ERCAS is now updating the T-index for 2024 and continually expanding its expert portfolio. The initial phase of the update for this year has been completed. Thanks to the efforts of the ERCAS researchers and governments and CSOs across different continents, 23 new countries with feedback have been added while maintaining the rate of response in other regions. With the inclusion of experts from Southeast Asia and the Pacific, ERCAS is likely to increase the number of contributors even further in the upcoming months.

At the 2024 Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network in Lisbon, the ERCAS team presented the 2023 version of the T-index and emphasized the actionability of its indicators – as it informs directly on which indicators countries need progress – and the dynamic nature of the new data collection process. The panel saw great participation, engagement and feedback from researchers and practitioners across various institutions.

Global Map of Transparency
Global Map of Transparency
28 June 2024, 8th Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network Forum