The Comparative Survey of Freedom is an institutional effort by Freedom House to monitor the progress and decline of political rights and civil liberties in 191 nations and 59 related territories. These year-end reviews of freedom began in 1955, when they were called the Balance Sheet of Freedom and, still later, the Annual Survey of the Progress of Freedom. This program was expanded in the early 1970s, and has appeared in Freedom Review since 1973. It has also been issued in a more developed context as a yearbook since 1978.
Since 1989, the Survey project has been a year-long effort produced by regional experts, consultants and human rights specialists. The Survey derives its information from a wide range of sources. Most valued of these are the many human rights activists, journalists, editors and political figures around the world who keep us informed of the human rights situation in their countries.
Throughout the year. Freedom House personnel regularly conduct fact-finding missions to gain more in-depth knowledge of the vast political transformations affecting our world. During these week-to-month-long investigations, we make every effort to meet a cross-section of political parties and associations, human rights monitors, religious figures, representatives of both the private sector and trade union movement, academics and journalists. During the past year. Freedom House staff traveled to numerous countries throughout most of the world's geographical and political regions. The Survey project team also consults a vast array of published source materials, ranging from the reports of other human rights organizations to often rare, regional newspapers and magazines.
This year's Survey team includes: Adrian Karatnycky, Martin Edwin Anderson, Kristen Guida, Marshall Freeman Harris, Thomas R. Lansner, Arch Puddington, Leonard R. Sussman, and George Zarycky. The general editor of Freedom in the World is Roger Kaplan; the managing editor is Tara Kelly. This year's research coordinator was Charles Graybow.