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Corruption, Aid and the CPI

Written by Robert Barrington on Friday, 10 January 2014

We are aware that as a result of a couple of recent press articles, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is yet again being misquoted and misused. Read our Executive Director’s response here.


We are aware that as a result of a couple of recent press articles, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is yet again being misquoted and misused. It has been implied that Transparency International produced specific research linking UK aid to countries at the bottom of the index. This is incorrect.

The issue of corruption and development aid is extremely complex. In part it depends on how aid money is spent and where it goes – e.g. to government or to the poor.

Creating a simple correlation between aid flows and the Corruption Perceptions Index potentially gives a very distorted picture.

As a producer of objective independent corruption information, Transparency International always recommends that those using such information should do so objectively. We also firmly believe the CPI is limited in scope, measuring the extent of corruption in the public sector, from the perspective of resources-resources-business people and country experts. It should be used with other measurements that capture other aspects of corruption.

For more information about the CPI and its uses, please read the Frequently Asked Questions section for the 2013 CPI here.

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Robert Barrington

Robert is TI-UK's Executive Director. You can view his full bio here, and tweet him @TIukED.

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