2018 Research Process

Index research is conducted following a rigorous process of cross checking, peer review, company feedback, and quality control. The process for the 2018 Corporate Accountability Index, conducted by RDR and a team of international researchers, includes the following steps:

  • Step 1: Data Collection. Primary research team will collect data for each company and provide a preliminary assessment of company performance across all indicators. Researchers will also evaluate if company policies have changed or have remained the same in comparison to the previous year (2017).
  • Step 2: Secondary Review. A second team of researchers conducts a fact-check of assessments provided by primary researchers in Step 1.
  • Step 3: Review and Reconciliation. The RDR team examines the results from Steps 1 and 2 and resolves any differences that arise.
  • Step 4: First Horizontal Review. The RDR team cross-checks the indicators to ensure they have been evaluated consistently for each company.
  • Step 5: Company Feedback. Initial results are sent to companies for comment and feedback.
  • Step 6: Secondary Horizontal Review. RDR team conducts a second horizontal review, drawing in feedback from companies collected in Step 5, and cross-checking the indicators for consistency and quality control.
  • Step 7: Final Scoring. RDR team calculates final scores. Results include an assessment of how companies performed in 2017 in comparison to 2018 .

Note on national contexts affecting company performance: In most countries, certain laws, regulations, or political factors will either enhance or limit a company’s ability to perform well on certain indicators. Our methodology does not compensate for these factors: in other words, the Index evaluates companies on what they do or don’t do, regardless of the reason. However, narrative profiles for each company will include an analysis of how the company’s home jurisdiction’s legal, regulatory, and political environment may have affected its score. In some cases the reason for a company’s strong or weak performance on a given indicator will be due to the legal, regulatory, or political environment of that company’s home country. In situations where laws and regulations cause companies to perform poorly, we encourage companies to advocate for laws that enable them to fully respect users’ rights to freedom of expression and privacy by disclosing strong commitments, policies and practices.

[last updated 25 July 2017]