What is corruption?
Corruption includes a wide number of offences, such as bribery, embezzlement, abuse of functions and trading in influence, which affect public procurement, delivery of government services and undermine the confidence in institutions such as the criminal justice system.
It also erodes economic growth and development, prevents private investment and distorts market competition. Furthermore, the borders between licit and illicit behaviors are not always thoroughly defined for corruption cases and victims and offenders are often co-responsible for these crimes.
How do we measure corruption?
Measuring corruption presents as an extremely complex task when considering its many methodological challenges and the political sensitivity of its nature. Despite the important progress undergone in this area throughout the past decade, UNODC is well aware that existing methodologies and indicators on corruption require further development. While difficult to produce, the most reliable sources of information to design strategies and policies to fight this crime are evidence-based assessments and high quality databases.
Drawing from this need and from the goals set forth on the Roadmap to improve crime statistics at the international and national level (E/CN.3/2013/11), the UNODC-INEGI Center of Excellence has spearheaded international efforts to produce methodological guidelines on the measurement of corruption at national level, aiming to develop standard survey tools, identify core sets of statistical indicators, and strengthen the analytical capacity in the region.
With the recent adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the work of the Center of Excellence becomes a critical step forward in supporting UNODC and the international community to produce better data on crime and criminal justice. Thus, improving our understanding of the corruption affecting citizens, businesses, public administration and political processes, and promoting international best practices and lessons learned from all around the globe.