The Government Defence Integrity Index (GDI) is the world’s leading assessment of corruption risks in government defence institutions.

Produced by Transparency International Defence & Security, the GDI recognises that corruption within the defence and security sector limits a country’s ability to defend itself and weakens public institutions. Government bodies play a pivotal role in preventing the waste of public funds, the abuse of power, and corruption in the defence and security sector. The GDI provides a framework of good practice that promotes accountable, transparent, and responsible governance in the defence establishment. This standard of good practice stems from our extensive work over the last decade in working towards more accountable defence sectors and highlighting the connection between corruption and instability.

The GDI assesses the existence, effectiveness, and enforcement of institutional controls across five key corruption risk areas, and provides data on the performance of governments on a range of corruption issues. The 2020 GDI is composed of nearly 90 country assessments, all published between October 2019 and November 2021.

The GDI is compiled using research produced by a small team of local and highly experienced researchers for each country. This specific expertise, along with a triangulated data collection process, ensures that the GDI is a robust tool to measure corruption risk.

The GDI assesses five key corruption risk areas: financial, operational, personnel, political, and procurement. In order to provide a broad and comprehensive reflection of these risk areas, the Index assesses both legal frameworks (de jure) and implementation (de facto), as well as resources and outcomes in some areas. This is intended to capture the implementation gap between law and practice, and possible areas for reform to narrow that gap.

As an assessment of the weaknesses in the institutional controls of a country’s defence sector, the GDI forms the basis for Transparency International’s work, as well as being a useful tool for civil society to collaborate with Ministries of Defence and military and oversight institutions to build their capacity in order to improve transparency and integrity. It provides rigorous evidence-based data to civil society organisations, research institutions, international organisations, investors, and the media focusing on the nexus of corruption and defence.

Transparency International Defence & Security has extensive experience of using the GDI to support reform efforts and a track record of ensuring our work has a real and lasting impact. In the past, this has included: assisting with drafting or critiquing an integrity action plan, supporting ‘building integrity’ training sessions or workshops, facilitating a consultation process with civil society, organising capacity-building workshops to sensitise civil society on defence integrity, helping to build capacities of parliamentarians to exercise oversight or creating secondment opportunities to enhance officials’ expertise.