The Daily Corruption: News Feed & Database project is an effort to build a constantly updated web database of corruption and anti-corruption news from countries around the world. It involves the indexing, quantification, and statistical analysis of daily national news as inputted into the system by local partners, and monitored by international experts to ensure a high level of quality and validity. At the second stage of implementation, data is retrieved and processed using text mining and classification algorithms which switches the focus of local efforts to a purely validation-based process.
This project is a response to the deficiencies commonly pointed out against traditional aggregate indexes and to the constraints regularly affecting case studies. Its objective is to be able to provide daily, readily processed, and immediately available qualitative and quantitative data on a number of characteristics concerning ongoing corruption cases and anti-corruption efforts. Such could include public sector (commerce, education, tax administration, etc.), corruption type (bribery, embezzlement, money laundering, etc.), range (local, national, international), resources (petty, grand) and organisations involved (executive, judiciary, military, etc.), and several others.
Hence, by being based on the processing of events as communicated by the main media outlets of each country covered, the project aims to:
(1) limit the loss of data accuracy regarding the perception of political corruption;
(2) drastically cut down the financial and logistic costs of conducting case studies in developing countries;
(3) offer a constantly updated map of political corruption at the national level; and, perhaps most importantly,
(4) provide an instrument for the follow-up of political will for anti-corruption efforts in the country.
In this way, Daily Corruption does not represent another news aggregator, but a proper measurement tool that relies on a systematic effort of content analysis to provide information on trends and characteristics of national and international corruption. Thus, the Daily Corruption project hopes to be considered and utilized by anti-corruption experts alongside Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and Global Corruption Barometer (GCB), the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), and others of their kind.
We hope that established researchers and activists find this project valuable, and they wish to collaborate with us. Active participation would be especially welcome, as we are currently looking for regional coordinators and support members, and academic institutions that may be interested in actively hosting us. Implementation is scheduled to begin in early June starting with the countries of the Americas, the first region where the project will be tested before rolling it out to other continents.
If you would like to know more about the Daily Corruption: News Feed & Database project, please visit http://dailycorruption.info/feedback/. If you would like to take a detailed look at the entry form we use to index news, visit http://dailycorruption.info/add-new-entry-2/. Please feel free to send us any feedback you think might help us produce the kind of data most useful to scholars and practitioners.
There is much to be done to aid the work of scholars and activists, and the proposed database could provide the basis for the next wave of international anti-corruption efforts.
Author: Joseph Pozsgai Alvarez, Ph.D.