IDM poll: 41 percent of Albanians have witnessed acts of official corruption

About 41 percent of Albanians say they have witnessed acts of corruption taking place in their municipal government, according to the results of an Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) public survey conducted for a PASOS project on transparency in the Western Balkans.

And 34 percent said they had seen corruption take place in national offices, the poll showed. The survey was held as part of as part of Advocacy for Open Government, an EU-funded PASOS project to encourage governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to become more transparent.

“One of the interpretations that can explain the higher number of surveyed claiming to have witnessed a corruption case in their municipality might be the fact that this Opinion Poll was conducted nationally – using quotas based on the administrative division (61 municipalities),” states an IDM report on the poll findings. “Citizens residing in cities or villages outside of the capital are expected to have more contacts with the local government rather than with the central government.”

Poll respondents identified abuse/theft of public funds and nepotism as the most common forms of corruption taking place in Albania.  Citizens of age 18-35 were the age group most likely to report personal exposure to corruption, either at the municipality or at the central level (46% and 40%), as compared to 36-55 years olds (31% and 30%) and those 55 and over (30% and 22%).

The polling, which was conducted in November 2015, was the third year IDM measured public opinions on a wide variety of topics related to trust in government in Albania as part of the PASOS project. Other results from the survey showed that:

In Albania, the highest level of trust is enjoyed by NATO (74%) and EU (72%). The Judiciary system (80%) and Political Parties (79%) are the least trusted institutions.

Public opinion is divided in its stand to whether Albanian institutions are transparent and accountable with regard to their daily work. 47% of surveyed citizens believe that Albanian public institutions are not transparent and accountable, compared to 41% that believe the contrary.

Slightly more than 9 in 10 Albanians believe that Open Data policies increase citizens’ trust in government; strengthen the relationship between the government and its citizens; improve peoples’ life; and, ultimately foster economic development.

Whilst citizens believe they have sufficient knowledge to judge whether a government decision is good or bad for Albanian society (62%), they do not appear to believe in the efficiency of the mechanisms that enable citizen engagement in policy- and decision-making, thus transferring the power of shaping public polices and holding the government to account to their Parliament.

IDM’s report on all the findings can be downloaded here.


1 February 2016