Tracking state-level developments in campaign finance By Azeezat Adeleke, Sunlight Foundation, August 10, 2016 – The contents of this blog and the underlying research are the result of a partnership between Global Integrity and the Sunlight Foundation in relation to…
In July 2015, we launched the Campaign Finance Indicators dataset, a unique repository of rich, comparative country level data assessing the transparency and effectiveness of political finance regimes in countries across the world. Working with more than 110 political finance experts from academia, journalism, and civil society in 54 countries, Global Integrity examined both the legislation on the books to regulate political finance, and the way those enforcement mechanisms played out in practice. By measuring the scope of legal frameworks and assessing on-the ground realities of political finance, the Campaign Finance indicators deliver detailed, comprehensive scorecards on the role of money in politics, especially during campaigns.
The Campaign Finance Indicators were part of the broader Money, Politics, and Transparency project that GI undertook with the Sunlight Foundation and the Electoral Integrity Project (with financial support from the Open Societies Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation). Since launching the data, we’ve worked with electoral oversight bodies in Georgia and Bosnia to understand the results, and how they can inform their ongoing efforts to improve the ways in which they regulate money in politics. We’ve spoken with reporters in South Africa, Malaysia, and Georgia about the project, and received substantial coverage in countries across the world. Our team has also been contacted by reformers in Slovenia, Croatia, and elsewhere who want to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their countries’ approaches to campaign finance. These experiences have been useful, both by revealing how our existing data can be of tangible use to reform networks in particular countries, and by helping us think more creatively about how we can use local input and demand to drive the development and implementation of future work on these topics.
Read more about our methodology here.
What are the integrity indicators?
Each integrity indicator is composed of three components:
- A quantitative score, selected in accordance with strict scoring conditions that ensure the cross-country comparability of the information presented
- An explanatory comment
- A list of sources that provides the evidence upon which the score and comment are based
De facto realities often fail to align with de jure legal frameworks. Disjunctions between in law frameworks and in practice realities are common throughout the MPT sample. In some cases, an absence of regulation does not necessarily result in widespread misconduct. In others, established legal frameworks are routinely violated. At the same time, some countries score more highly on in practice questions than on in law indicators. These divergent outcomes highlight the extent to which political traditions and particular contexts inform the effectiveness and needs of a given regulatory system.
State resources are regularly deployed for electoral advantage during campaigns. 37 countries in the sample prohibit the use of non-financial public resources for campaign purposes. However, in practice, nonfinancial state resources, including vehicles, cars, buildings, and staff, are often directed towards political ends. The MPT evidence indicates that only three countries – Austria, the United Kingdom, and Sweden – avoided the abuse of public resources during the most recent election campaign.
Key Findings 2014 (PDF)
In the coming months, we’ll be exploring a number of ways in which we might build upon the Campaign Finance Indicators and deepen our contribution to the field of money in politics. Potential partnerships with International IDEA, IFES, IRI, and NDI are currently under discussion. We’re excited to build on these conversations and figure out how to best deploy our expertise on these subjects to empower in country reformers, with specific needs in specific contexts, in their efforts to drive progress towards more open, accountable campaign finance systems.
Recent Blog Posts
Tracking state-level developments in campaign finance By Azeezat Adeleke, Sunlight Foundation, July 28, 2016 – cross-posted from the Sunlight Foundation blog. The contents of this blog and the underlying research are the result of a partnership between Global Integrity and…
By Johannes Tonn — March 8, 2016. Last week, I participated in the launch of the Governance Data Alliance (GDA), a consortium of organizations joining forces to better understand how the marketplace for governance data works and how the field collectively — data…
A Top Performer In Need of Reform: The Curious Case of Georgia’s Political Finance System, and How to Understand the Campaign Finance Indicators
By Michael Moses — September 21, 2015. NB: This post was published as an op-ed in Netgazeti, one of Georgia’s leading newspapers, on September 21, 2015. Check out the published piece here. Early last week, the State Audit Office (SAO)…
By Michael Moses — July 14, 2015. Global Integrity is pleased to announce the launch of the Money, Politics and Transparency website, a cutting edge suite of tools, data, and analyses that digs into the role of money in politics…
By Michael Moses — May 27, 2015. The influence of money in politics is a hot button issue. Recent elections in countries as diverse as the United States, Malawi, Bangladesh, and Venezuela have seen large inflows of money of uncertain provenance….
By Christina Crawley — April 19, 2014. Global Integrity is embarking on a partnership with the Sunlight Foundation and the Electoral Integrity Project to launch the Money, Politics and Transparency Project. Our goal for this multi-year effort is to promote…
By Nathaniel Heller — March 27, 2014. “What?!” is probably most readers’ reaction to that headline. Of course we know that money in politics transparency is a big problem. Tell us something new. What worries me is that we say…
Partners and Funders
Global Integrity would like to thank the Electoral Integrity Project and the Sunlight Foundation for partnering with us on this project.
Global Integrity is dedicated to producing high quality data and insuring that it is as useful as possible to local stakeholders — both inside and outside of government around the world. If you have questions, comments, or thoughts please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.