Corruption: a Threat to our Civic Space - Open Gov #24 | Datasketch
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Corruption: a Threat to our Civic Space - Open Gov #24

Corruption | Civic Space | Algorithmic Transparency

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We are about to end the week, but first, we want to talk to you about how corruption and the state of civic space are related: social control over the public decreases with the restriction of civil liberties, which makes, in turn, the risk of corruption increase. The formula, sadly, also works in the opposite direction.

We will tell you about two reports on this topic just out of the oven. In addition, given the rise of AI in the public sector, we highlight the importance of creating standards for transparency. Here we go!

The perception of corruption

Tuesday was the launch of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2022. To do so, Transparency International (TI) assessed 180 countries with a score from 0 to 100, i.e., from most to least perceived as corrupt. The global average has remained at 43 since 2012, with no improvement. This number is equal to that of the Americas, which has stayed the same since four years ago.

The countries with the most corruption also have high levels of violence. Hence, TI focuses on the correlation between corruption, conflict, and security for this edition.

We have reviewed the results for countries in the Americas, Latin America, and the Caribbean and will tell you how we see the outlook in the region.

🔢 CPI in the Americas

Participate freely

Strengthening civic space, which has to do with defending the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, and association, is one of the foundations of open government. It allows people to think and speak freely associate, and advocate for change without fear of reprisal or violence.

This has been threatened by pandemic restrictions and remains an urgent concern in many countries. In this regard, the OECD published a report assessing the status of promoting and protecting civic space in its member states in December.

The document notes that in such countries, there are strong foundations for protecting civic freedoms. However, it warns that about 20% of its members need to improve in areas related to civic space. This means legal loopholes, regulatory enforcement problems, violence, misinformation, hate speech, or strategic lawsuits against public participation.

👓 I want to read the report

Artificial Intelligence in the public sector.

Algorithms facilitate decision-making in the face of socially relevant issues, but how do they work, or more importantly, how do we know their use is responsible?

Algorithmic transparency makes accountability for these tools possible. It is of utmost importance, as the use of AI for decision-making is becoming more and more widespread within public entities, especially those in Global North countries.

The Algorithmic Transparency Standard offers guidance to European cities to provide clear information about the algorithmic tools they use and why they use them in open, accessible, and understandable formats. We hope this practice will be replicated worldwide, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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