Money, Politics and Transparency Campaign Finance Indicators Project (MPT) 2014

Resource Type
  • Pienaar, Gary David
  • Global Integrity
Publication Date
Embargo End Date
  • Global Integrity (Producer)
Funding Reference
  • Global Integrity
Free Keywords
  • Abstract

    Description: Country's in law score is the unweighted average of the scores on all 23 de jure indicators in a country scorecard: It provides an indication of how stringently a country's laws regulate political finance. The in practice score is the unweighted average of the scores on all 20 de facto indicators. This measure assesses practical enforcement within a country. The composite score is the average of all scores on a given country scorecard, weighted by each of the scorecard's five sections. Only the South African data scores are available in the HSRC web site. The complete dataset which consists of all 54 countries can be downloaded from - The full report of the study can be accessed from - For more information regarding the study which includes the methodology, key findings, etc. the websites below may be accessed:

    Abstract: The MPT project assessed 54 countries on both their legal frameworks and the practical implementation in the realm of political finance across various categories, including monitoring and enforcement, disclosure and publication rules, and expenditure and contribution caps. The MPT country scorecards are comprised of 50 indicator questions. The assessment for each country scorecard examines two primary concepts: The existence of laws and regulations to govern the role of money in political campaigns Whether and how laws and regulations, in practice, are enforced. The MPT Indicators are organized into the following five main categories and nine subcategories: Direct and Indirect Public Funding Direct Public Funding (4 indicators) Indirect Public Funding (4 indicators) Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions (4 indicators) Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods (8 indicators) Reporting and Public Disclosure Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity (5 indicators) Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public (8 indicators) Third Party Actors Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors (4 indicators) Monitoring and Enforcement Monitoring Capabilities (9 indicators) Enforcement Capabilities (4 indicators) Each MPT indicator was scored directly by the lead researcher and substantiated with relevant references and comments based on desk research, information requests, media searches, and original interviews with key informants. Three types of indicators were deployed for this project: "in law," "in practice," and "open text." "In law" and "in practice" indicators are scored on an ordinal scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is synonymous with the worst score, and 100 the best. "In law" indicators provide an objective assessment of whether certain legal codes, regulations, and mechanisms exist. These de jure indicators have three possible answers: "Yes", "Moderate" and "No" where "Yes" receives a 100 score, "Moderate" receives a 50 score, and "No" receives a 0. When answering "in law" indicators, lead researchers are required to provide a reference to all current legislation that substantiates their chosen score. They must also write a comprehensive explanatory comment in which they address each of the indicator's scoring criteria, thus demonstrating that the selected score is correct. In some cases, where the legal code may be ambiguous, lead researchers must consult with legal experts to determine the correct score. "In practice" indicators address de facto issues of implementation, enforcement, effectiveness, and accessibility. Due to the complexity of many "in practice" situations, these indicators are scored along a scale of 0 to 100 in which the possible scores are 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100. Lead researchers are required to provide a minimum of three primary sources for "in practice" indicators. An explanatory comment referencing the relevant scoring criteria is also necessary. At least one of the three sources must be an interview with a key informant, while financial reports, information requests, media articles, and relevant domestic civil society and academic reports may also be used as primary sources. All primary sources must be from within the study period, or refer to the most recent national level general elections at the time of the research. To minimize bias in score selection and maximize the comparability of the country scorecards, MPT's methodology provided researchers and peer reviewers with extremely detailed scoring criteria for each individual indicator. The scoring criteria effectively anchor each indicator to a predefined set of conditions, and specify the general situations in which a particular score will be earned. For "in law" indicators, explicit scoring criteria are provided for each of the possible answers: "Yes," "Moderate," and "No." For "in practice" indicators, criteria are defined for 100, 50, and 0 scores. 25 and 75 scores are deliberately left undefined to serve as in between scoring options when appropriate. The scoring criteria for each indicator are available for scrutiny on the MPT website. Researchers and peer reviewers were also all provided with a specific set of instructions that guided their research for each indicator. This guidance further ensures the consistency and comparability of the collected information. Indicator scores and comments were deemed incomplete until all specified instructions had been demonstrably carried out. Indicator instructions can be accessed upon request. "Open text" indicators are meant to provide additional context, and to give researchers the opportunity to delve into elements of the political finance system that are not directly addressed elsewhere in the scorecard. As such, "open text" indicators do not have a scoring element. The answer to each "open text" indicator consists of a detailed explanatory comment in which the researcher answers the indicator question and a series of related sub questions. As with "in practice" indicators, all information presented in "open text" comments must be thoroughly sourced. A minimum of three primary sources from within the study period is required. The Peer Review is an essential part of the MPT Campaign Finance Indicators research. The expert peer reviewers employed on the project provided an excellent source of perspective on the draft data, and used their own networks and skills to provide additional research, sources, and challenges when necessary. Peer reviewers blindly reviewed the scores, comments, and sources prepared by lead researchers. Each peer reviewer was an expert on the country in which they were deployed. As such, they were able to identify and correct errors, bias, and out-of-date information that had been submitted by researchers. Each peer reviewer was also given the task of conducting additional research on specific indicators on their scorecard. Flaws in the draft research identified by GI staff were sent to the reviewers, who were asked to resolve those flaws.

Temporal Coverage
  • 2014 / 2014
Geographic Coverage
  • South Africa (ZA)
Sampled Universe
Elections, Law and Finances of 54 countries.
In an iterative process dating from March to June 2014, Global Integrity, the Sunlight Foundation and the Electoral Integrity Project worked in close consultation with a carefully selected reference group of political finance experts to develop a concise set of 50 indicator questions, which were compiled into a comparative country scorecard. The project partners also selected an economically, politically and regionally diverse sample of 54 countries in which to apply the scorecard. The selection process, though not randomized, ensures that MPT reflects the exceptional variety characterizing the range of political finance systems across the world.
Time Dimension
  • Longitudinal: Cohort/Event-based
    Longitudinal: Cohort/Event-based, Individual interviews and desktop research.
Collection Mode
  • Administrative records
  • Content analysis
  • Face-to-face interview
  • Telephone interview
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Update Metadata: 2021-01-13 | Issue Number: 999 | Registration Date: 2017-10-10