A group of Kazakh citizens returned home from Syria

Today, on 28 January 28, the global anti-corruption movement Transparency International published the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2020.This year, the main theme of a global study identified the disruptive impact of corruption on health systems and the exacerbation of violations of democratic principles in countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the end of 2020, Kazakhstan scored 38 points and took 94th position, sharing it with Brazil, Ethiopia, Peru, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Tanzania.

Kazakhstan, as before, was estimated based on 9 sources. Experts from four rating agencies raised their assessments of the anti-corruption measures taken, the other five – kept their assessments at the level of the previous year.

Research source CPI 2020 CPI 2019
1. Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index

(Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index)

33 points 33 points

2. Economist Intelligence Unit Country Ratings

(Economist Intelligence Unit Country Rankings)

20 points 20 points

3. Freedom House Nations in Transit Ratings

(Rating Freedom House Nations in Transit)

24 points 24 points

4. Global Insight Country Risk Ratings

(Global Insight Country Risk Ranking)

47 points 35 points

5. IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook

(IMD Global Competitiveness Yearbook)

61 points 55 points

6. PRS International Country Risk Guide

(PRS International Country Risk Guide)

58 points 43 points

7. Varieties of Democracy Project

(Diversity Democracy Project)

17 points 17 points

8. World Economic Forum EOS

(EOS World Economic Forum)

47 points 47 points
9. World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

38 points 36 points
TOTAL 38 points 34 points

The growth of Kazakhstan’s positions in the CPI rating against the background of an emergency situation in the healthcare sector and threats to the stability of democratic institutions, testifies to the country’s ongoing work in combating corruption. The world community positively assesses the activities of the leadership of Kazakhstan, which has adopted a package of measures to support the population and business during a pandemic, as well as amendments to strengthen responsibility for corruption and digitalization of the public services sector. However, along with this, the authorities of Kazakhstan committed violations of democratic freedoms related to transparency and access to financial information on health care costs, unjustified restrictions on the activities of journalists, human rights defenders and representatives of civil society.

Denmark and New Zealand became the leaders with 88 points each. Syria, Somalia and South Sudan occupy the last lines with 14, 12 and 12 points respectively.

26 countries showed significant growth, including Ecuador (+39), Greece (+50), Guyana (+41), Myanmar (+28) and Korea (+61). The ranking of 22 countries fell sharply, including Bosnia and Herzegovina (-35), Guatemala (-25), Lebanon (-25), Malawi (-30), Malta (-53) and Poland (-56).

In the regional context, the best were the countries of Western Europe, where the average score for the level of perception of corruption was 66 points. The regions with the lowest scores are Sub-Saharan Africa (32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (36). Kazakhstan was ranked in the ECA group of countries (Europe and Central Asia).

In the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, 19 countries were assessed. The leaders were: Georgia – 56 points, Armenia – 49 points, Belarus – 47 points, Montenegro – 45 points, Turkey – 40 points, Kazakhstan – 38 points and Serbia – 38 points.

They are followed by Albania and Kosovo (36 points each), Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia (35 points each), Moldova (34 points), Ukraine (33 points), Kyrgyzstan (31 points), Azerbaijan and Russia (30 points each), Uzbekistan (26 points), Tajikistan (25 points) and Turkmenistan (19 points).

In Central Asia, Kazakhstan remains the leader – 38 points, 94th place.

International experts concluded that COVID-19 triggered not only a health and economic crisis, but also a wave of corruption, the harmful effects of which, which prevented the fair and equitable provision of global assistance, led to the death of many people.

The emergency response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted huge gaps in democratic institutions, demonstrating that the authorities or actors in charge of financial policy often defend their own interests, ignoring the needs of the most vulnerable groups.

Notably, low levels of corruption in the public sector correlate with increased investment in health care. For example, in Uruguay, where the highest ranking in the CPI in Latin America (71), significant investments are made in health care and a reliable epidemiological surveillance system is functioning, which has contributed to the effective fight against the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

In contrast, in Bangladesh, which scored 26 points, the government invests very little in healthcare, while corruption amid COVID-19 has reached unprecedented levels, from bribery in clinics to the misappropriation of humanitarian aid. Corruption is also widespread in the procurement of medical devices. Countries with higher levels of corruption during the COVID-19 crisis are significantly more likely to experience violations of democratic rule of law and the rule of law. Such countries include the Philippines (34), where the response to COVID-19 has been characterized by excessive use of force and serious violations of human rights and media freedom.

The past year has highlighted problems of professional integrity even in the top-ranked countries, indicating that no country has yet conquered corruption. To reduce corruption and better respond to future crises, Transparency International recommends all governments:

  1. Strengthen oversight bodies to ensure access to resources for populations most in need. Anti-corruption and oversight bodies must have sufficient funds, resources and independence to carry out their duties.
  2. Ensure open and transparent contracting to combat delinquency, identify conflicts of interest, and ensure fair pricing.
  3. Defend democracy and help expand the space for civil society to create an enabling environment to hold governments to account.
  4. Publish and guarantee access to relevant data to provide people with simple, accessible, relevant and meaningful information.


About Transparency International

Transparency International is a global civil society organization that has been fighting corruption for over 25 years.

About the Corruption Perceptions Index

Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index has become the leading global indicator of public sector corruption.

Based on 13 types of business surveys and expert assessments, TI experts assessed the extent to which countries are prone to corruption on a scale from zero to 100, where zero is high and 100 is low. By the end of 20220, 180 states passed the assessment of the perception of corruption in the public sector.

In 2012, Transparency International revised the methodology used to construct the index so that estimates from one year to the next can be compared.

For more information, click here.

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