Disclosure: The World Bank is a funder of Global Integrity.
The World Bank’s Actionable Governance Indicators Data Portal (AGI) is now available to the public and, while exploring the platform will definitely take a couple of days, we are excited about the possibilities it represents: a move away from simple name-and-shame rankings addressing fuzzy concepts and into the more practical insights provided by specific observations.
The portal comprises more than a thousand indicators from 12 data sources — the Global Integrity Index among them — and it offers customizable tools for comparative data analysis and display. The common thread amongst all of the source data on the portal is their emphasis on disaggregated, “actionable” indicators that offer more than just single-number rankings for countries on issues of governance and transparency. Actionable data is the difference between learning that “corruption is bad here” and instead learning that, say, cost barriers are preventing journalists from using a new access to information law.
Additional data sources include the non-governmental Open Budget Index; the World Bank’s Doing Business surveys; and the multi-donor Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessments, all of which are standouts in the field. This can all be easily linked up with our Global Integrity Index scores, now covering more than 100 countries, and exported. This is big step forward in the usability of our work, and exactly why we have made efforts to make our data as accessible as possible to outside users. Think of the portal as a giant mash-up machine.
The portal also has an interactive map for the user to combine indicators from several sources to get a snapshot of the quality of governance in any specific country, or to graphically demonstrate the progress of governance reform worldwide.
New data source: Public Accountability Mechanisms
The Public Accountability Mechanisms (PAM) data are also part of the site’s data library. PAM is a new collection of data generated by the World Bank assessing asset disclosure, conflicts of interest, freedom of information, immunity provisions, and ethics training laws. Currently, the PAM data only cover select countries but are expected to expand in the future. They are in many ways similar to some of the de jure Integrity Indicators you will find in our national-level toolkits assessing a country’s legal anti-corruption framework. We like them.
Our managing director, Nathaniel Heller, was a panelist at the launch event on October 22nd at the Bank and noted that: “Today arguably marks a watershed in the history of governance indicators: the end of the era of single-number, name-and-shame country rankings.”
Also participating in the discussion were top World Bank governance experts, including Ritva Reinikka, Director of the Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Social and Economic Division who pioneered some of the earliest Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) in Uganda more than a decade ago.
All in all, we highly recommend the AGI portal. It’s a great way to mash-up some of the best and most current actionable indicators out there in an easy-to-use, web-friendly format.
Bookmark your browser now: http://www.agidata.org.
— Hazel Feigenblatt and Global Integrity