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.
Read more about our methodology here.
Each integrity indicator is composed of three components:
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.
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.