Global Corruption Barometer: The human dimension

Transparency International wants to hear your story!
Client of an ALAC

Client of an ALAC

The Global Corruption Barometer is a global public opinion survey commissioned by Transparency International, which looks at the corruption-related perceptions and experiences of ordinary people. It asks people which institutions most frequently extort bribes, which institutions are perceived to be most compromised by corruption, and asks a whole host of questions about the effectiveness of government efforts to fight corruption and the shape and form bribe demands take in their daily lives. We’ll be launching the 2009 Barometer on 3 June.

What is special about the Barometer is that it highlights the human dimension of corruption by capturing the experiences and feelings of ordinary people, not just experts (although we’ve found that the two groups generally agree). And so we’re asking people around the world to tell us about their personal experiences of corruption.

Submit your stories by commenting on this post, on Facebook, via Twitter (please use #gcb) or e-mail. The important thing is that other people hear about the impact of corruption in your life. All eligible (*see below) submissions will be published on TI’s blog, with highlights posted on this page below.

Of course, Transparency International doesn’t just crunch numbers and carry out research. We also help victims of corruption through our growing fleet of Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres. The centres educate citizens about their rights and avenues for legal recourse, and provide legal advice on pursuing corruption complaints. The Centres are a powerful tool for empowering citizens and for creating greater demand for integrity and accountability in both business and government.

*Please understand that for legal reasons we won’t be able to include names of individual persons or organisations in the corruption accounts we publish. If you live in a country with an Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre, you can get expert advice on how to pursue an active corruption complaint there.

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Jesse Garcia

About Jesse Garcia

Jesse Garcia is Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer in the Communications Department of Transparency International.

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10 Responses to Global Corruption Barometer: The human dimension

  1. vs 17 May 2009 at 5:20 am #

    regards from NSW, Australia

  2. Georg Neumann
    Georg Neumann 25 May 2009 at 11:31 am #

    Following another comment sent by Nancy Swan on 22 May:

    To Transparency International, 2009 Barometer request for corruption stories.

    Nancy Swan, a former teacher, lives in a body damaged by methyl isocyanate, one of the most deadly and toxic chemicals in the industry. Despite warning labels on barrels and the history lesson from the tragedy in Bhopal, the Long Beach Mississippi school board allowed a roofing contractor to apply a spray on foam roofing and coating during the school day. The chemicals contained various compounds of isocyanate, including methyl isocyanate and toluene diphenol isocyanate. After three days of exposure, over two dozen children and teachers, including Mrs. Swan, were left with serious and permanent damage to respiratory and nervous systems.
    Nancy Swan’s soon to be published book, Toxic Justice, describes her metamorphosis from middle school teacher to ardent crusader for safer schools, environmental protection, judicial reform. She has been named by POPULAR, Inc, a human rights and anti corruption organization as one of the foremost corruption fighters in the nation.
    Over the course of the last ten years, her commentaries have been published in USAToday, the Jackson Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Biloxi Sun Herald, and others, including the Huntington News. Nancy Swan’s husband is a professional editorial cartoonist. Three of his cartoons judicial corruption were published alongside her commentaries.
    One of Nancy’s editorials on judicial reform led to the conviction of half a dozen high profile attorneys and judges on federal judicial bribery charges.
    Nancy Swan’s most recent success story was getting Alabama USA Governor Bob Riley to sign a proclamation proclaiming April 27, 2009 National Healthy Schools Day in Alabama. Her opinion article promoting National Healthy Schools Day was published in the Mobile Alabama Press Register.

    Nancy Swan is advocating the removal of storage of MIC at the Institute plant in West Virginia USA. The leak of MIC at the Union Carbibe plant in 1984 was responsible for over a half million deaths and injuries in Bhopal India. Over the last 20 years Ms. Swan has advocated for justice for the victims of Bhopal.

    Ms. Swan has a master’s level education from the University of California at San Jose and the University of Southern Mississippi. She supporter of Healthy Schools Network and will be speaking in July on preventing toxic injuries at school. She serves as Advisory Board Vice President of POPULAR and Alabama’s Delegate leader for Amnesty International USA.

    Nancy Swan’s story is posted on

    Submitted by Nancy Swan
    582 Summerlake Dr. E.
    Mobile, Alabama USA 36608
    (251) 633-6728

  3. Georg Neumann
    Georg Neumann 25 May 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Following a comment sent by Jon Cloke via email:

    When I was living and working in Nicaragua in 1999-2001, about one sunday a month the police would put up check-points on the few major roads and sometimes on the main Managua-Granada road. They would pull passing motorists over (particularly cheles, foreigners) and ask for driving licences and generally try and find minor traffic infringements for which they could levy an on-the-spot fine.

    I got caught in one such check-point on my way to the beach on the Pacific Coast once, and paid something like C$1,000 (maybe $80 at that time?) to the police. They were very polite, looked quite embarrassed and wouldn’t specify an amount; they said: “whatever your conscience dictates…”

    The average monthly wage for a Nica policeman at that time was something like $70. I was temporarily short of cash but I have to say that I didn’t and don’t care about paying the bribe, what made me really angry was that at the time these policemen were having to survive by doing this, the then-president of Nicaragua, Arnoldo Aleman, was busy stealing over $100 million from that desperately poor country. At the same time the International Financial Institutions and the G8 community of donors all did nothing, even though everyone knew this was going on.

    The fact of the matter is that all of the IFIs know about and are complicit in ‘gross’ corruption and yet they, and the international donor community, do nothing to act against it for what are deemed ‘reasons of national interest/security’. I would really like to see TI start campaigning and pressuring the international community and in particular the offshore financial networks, where the real power to stop the flow of corrupt money lies, but somehow I don’t think I’ll live to see the day. One doesn’t after all want to bite the hand that feeds one…

    Jon Cloke

  4. Georg Neumann
    Georg Neumann 27 May 2009 at 9:57 am #

    Thank you to Michael Buehler, who shared this story, written for Inside Indonesia.

  5. Georg Neumann
    Georg Neumann 28 May 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Thank you to Morten L. Pedersen, Denmark who sent the following comment on 27 May:

    In Denmark there is no help from any part of the system against corrupt or incompetent judges. No one has ever successfully complained over a corrupt or incompetent judge in Denmark and even the minister of justice seems to have given up bringing corrupt or incompetent judges to justice.

    I have personally written 10 letters directly to the minister of justice presenting overwhelming evidence of corrupt or incompetent behavior amongst judges in Denmark. The response was: “Go somewhere else with your complaint”. Well, I had already been everywhere and written to everyone that I thought could do something.

    The whole thing started when I took the role of a whistleblower. I was blowing the whistle on an incompetent member of the police force. But it was in his capacity as head of a board – not as a policeman – that I blew the whistle on him. And I never said anything that I could not prove or substantiate in a court of law. Nevertheless he successfully pulled his strings and had me convicted for just telling the truth.

    The police have refused to investigate this head-of-a-board/policeman for perjury in this case and the state has refused to give me free access to a retrial although I was able to present overwhelming evidence for perjury, corruption and gross incompetence. The reason: According to the state I do not have a legal interest in the case!?!?!?

    In conclusion: According to the state it doesn’t matter if you are right or wrong. If your opponent is “one of the boys”, then you do not have a legal interest in a retrial that would expose your opponent’s perjury and the gross incompetence or corruption of the judge.

    This only goes to show how blatantly open this type of corruption operates and how forgiving or naive the system is towards someone considered to be a member of the system or “one of the boys”.

    Denmark is part of an international coalition that is supposed to show Iraq how to build institutions such as independent courts. I feel truly ashamed if my country is now exporting the fabric of this type of corruption to Iraq.

    All my life I have heard again and again that we do not have corruption in Denmark. And this is still the general opinion. Like a fish needs water corruption can only thrive in Denmark because of gross neglect from the political leaders and the government.

    It is ironic that the corruption, incompetence and neglect that I have experienced after being a whistleblower dwarfs the subject matter that made me chose to follow my conscience and blow the whistle on the incompetent head-of-a-board/policeman.

    The fact that this happened in Denmark only goes to show that it could happen anywhere in the world and that we need something that we clearly do not have today to cope with this type of widespread corruption.

  6. tim boyer 28 September 2009 at 12:36 am #

    Hey, I’m doing a report on Denmark and governmental corruption. Would you be able to send me any documentation on your experience and maybe any other examples you know about? My name is Tim and my email is

  7. Georg Neumann
    Georg Neumann 29 September 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    Dear Tim, thanks for your interest. The best would be to contact our national chapter in Denmark at: Also Transparency International is currently undertaking an in-depth analysis of the state of corruption in the country as part of its National Integrity Assessments (

  8. Konrad Kierklo modetøj 25 November 2009 at 7:35 am #

    Thanks for the articel very nice reading.

    Iam looking for a articel about corruption in Denmark, but it seems that I can’t find anything about the subject.

    Regards from Denmark.

  9. Henrik 17 November 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    very interesting. Just as Konrad said above this post, I would like to read about corruption in Denmark.


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