The New York Times article on the corruption studies focuses on a squabble that caused them to split into two. Harvard political scientist, Robert Rotberg, and Sudan philanthropist, Mo Ibrahim, used to work together on the project, but differences over control and the final say led to the split.
For our snippet, we go to an analysis of the rankings from the two surveys, and the results are very similar. Writer Celia Dugger breaks down the data for us.
The two rival ratings count 9 out of 10 of the same countries among the best and worst governed, though not in the same order. Among the best governed, both name Mauritius, Seychelles, Cape Verde, Botswana, Tunisia, Ghana, Namibia, South Africa and São Tomé and Príncipe. The Rotberg index also includes Algeria in the top 10, while the Ibrahim index counts Lesotho.
Among the worst performers, both count Guinea, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Congo, Chad, Sudan and Somalia. For the Rotberg index, Angola made the bottom 10, while the Ibrahim index included Equatorial Guinea.
They had more substantive differences over rankings for nations in the middle. For example, the Rotberg index ranked Malawi, a small, impoverished southern African nation, 14th, while the Ibrahim index put it 25th.
Daniel Kaufmann, a Brookings Institution expert on corruption who is advising the Ibrahim Foundation, said the effort to make the index an African assessment of African governance could add to its influence on a continent where there is still suspicion of Western research.
“It will be harder to reject because of the Africanization,” said Mr. Kaufmann, who was formerly at the World Bank Institute, where he shaped its global governance ratings.
The Ibrahim Foundation has placed full-page advertisements in newspapers in 45 African countries describing its findings in local languages, an attempt to inform a broader public and to encourage civic groups to take advantage of the trove of information on its Web site.
Advisers on the Ibrahim index say it relies on more recent data — from 2008, as well as 2007 — and tracks a broader array of information, including assessments by experts, than does the Rotberg index.