Freedom House
http://www.freedomhouse.org/
 
Source description last updated: 4 June 2014

In brief: Freedom House is a U.S.-based non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights.

Coverage on ecoi.net:
Freedom in the World, Freedom on the Net, Freedom of the Press, Nations in Transit, selected special reports.
Covered weekly on ecoi.net, for countries of priorities A-C, annual reports also for of priority D.
 
Mission/Mandate/Objectives:
“Freedom House is an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world. Freedom is possible only in democratic political systems in which the governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, and belief, as well as respect for the rights of minorities and women, are guaranteed.
Freedom ultimately depends on the actions of committed and courageous men and women. We support nonviolent civic initiatives in societies where freedom is denied or under threat and we stand in opposition to ideas and forces that challenge the right of all people to be free. Freedom House functions as a catalyst for freedom, democracy and the rule of law through its analysis, advocacy and action.”  (Freedom House: About the Author, undated)
Established in 1941 Freedom House was originally developed as a social movement to secure “popular support for American involvement in World War II”. During the post war era the organisation became an internationally recognised institution for promoting freedom and democracy. Since 1973 Freedom House launches its annual report “Freedom in the World” (Freedom House: Our History, undated)
 
Funding:
The Funding of Freedom House relies on public funds and on tax-deductible donations from private foundations, private companies and individuals. The US government provides a substantial percentage of the annual budget, which has often been criticised. (Freedom House: Freedom House Annual Reports, undated)
A list of members of the board of trustees can be found on the Freedom House website. (Freedom House: Our Leadership, undated)
Scope of reporting:
There are four major report series - Freedom in the World, Freedom on the Net, Freedom of the Press, Nations in Transit and Countries at the Crossroads. All these publications take the form of country reports.
Freedom in the World gives a worldwide rating on the status of political rights and civil liberties in every country. Freedom on the Net assesses the degree of internet and digital media freedom around the world. Freedom of the Press provides a worldwide ranking by rating each country’s media. Nations in Transit tracks the development of 29 countries and territories from Central Europe and the Eurasian region of the former Soviet Union with regard to their transition into fully developed democracies. Countries at the Crossroads, published from 2004 to 2012, was an annually published report on the reform development of strategically important countries. In addition, there are special reports on various themes. (Freedom House: Reports, undated)
 
Methodology:
“In cooperation with a team of methodology experts, Freedom House designed a methodology that includes a questionnaire used both to prepare analytical narratives and for numerical ratings for each government. The survey methodology provides authors with a transparent and consistent guide to scoring and analyzing the countries under review, and uses identical benchmarks for both narratives and ratings, rendering the two indicators mutually reinforcing. The final result is a system of comparative ratings accompanied by narratives that reflect governments’ commitment to passing good laws and also their records on upholding them.
Freedom House enlisted the participation of prominent scholars and analysts to author the survey’s country reports. In preparing the survey’s written analyses with accompanying comparative ratings, Freedom House undertook a systematic gathering of data. Each country narrative report is approximately 7,000 words long. Expert regional advisers reviewed the draft reports, providing written comments and requests for revisions, additions, or clarifications. Authors were asked to respond as fully as possible to all of the questions posed when composing the analytical narratives.” (Freedom House: Survey Methodology for Countries at the Crossroads 2007, 2007)
“The survey findings are reached after a multilayered process of analysis and evaluation by a team of regional experts and scholars. Although there is an element of subjectivity inherent in the survey findings, the ratings process emphasizes intellectual rigor and balanced and unbiased judgments” (Freedom House: Methodology for Freedom in the World 2012, 2012)
See also:
Freedom House: Freedom on the Net 2013 2013 Methodology and Checklist of Questions, undated
Freedom House: Freedom of the Press 2014 Methodology, undated
Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2014 Methodology, undated
Freedom House: Nations in Transit 2013 Methodology, undated

Language(s) of publications:
The Freedom House Website is only available in English.

The Publications are mainly available in English, sometimes in other languages.

Further reading / links:
Gerardo L. Munck, Jay Verkuilen: Conceptualizing and measuring democracy: Evaluating Alternative Indices, 1 February 2002
United Nations Economic and Social Council, Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations: Special report by Freedom House [E/C.2/2001/3], 30 April 2001

 
 
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All links accessed 27 May 2014.
Homepage:
http://www.freedomhouse.org/
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