Political corruption data measures levels of corruption within governments. This includes either the government of a country as a whole or only local governments.
This data primarily comes from third-party international organizations. However, some government agencies monitor corruption within the government and in the private sector, such as the US Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section and the Inspectors General.
Corruption data is generally presented as a rank or a score, based on measures and methodologies set by the investigating agency. Some organizations—for example, Transparency International with its Global Corruption Barometer—poll citizens on their perceptions of corruption in their governments.
All organizations that collect political corruption data state that they use the information to fight against all forms of corruption; their aim is to eliminate it entirely. Activists and politicians use the collected data to do the same thing.
By its nature, measuring corruption directly is extremely difficult. Researchers therefore often use indirect methods, despite their lack of accuracy. Polls and surveys, in particular, cannot make distinctions between perception of crime and evidence of it. Afterward, agencies supplement these indirect measures with analysis from experts.
Despite these difficulties, however, researchers can still gather direct evidence of corruption via reports submitted to regulatory agencies, news, and criminal convictions data. They also closely watch election results for anomalies.
In short, to ensure your political corruption data is as accurate as possible, make sure your sources are as diverse and fact-based as possible, with any supplemental expert analysis provided by only the best and most thorough authorities you can find.
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