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Secrets of Transformation

Exploring the 'Secrets of Transformation'

DW has set out to explore a diverse group of developing and transition countries around the world. Every two weeks we'll bring you a new episode, with insights into countries that are doing well and those falling behind.

In "Secrets of Transformation" we travel around the world, stopping off in eight different countries - Indonesia, Hungary, Liberia, Ukraine, Bolivia, Pakistan, Tunisia and Madagascar - to meet the people behind change. We show how the separation of power works, the damage caused by corruption and why experts are calling for a new means of measuring economic performance.

Simply securing a journalist visa for Indonesia was no easy feat, and reporter Frido Essen didn't actually get one until he was at the airport ready to depart. When he arrived in Jakarta, the authorities wanted to know all about him, and it was only after being grilled that he was able to meet his colleague, Yerry Borang, and get to work.

Looking behind the numbers

Data from the Bertelsmann Stiftung served as a compass during our research. The DW editorial team worked with the foundation to highlight the long-term winners and losers in the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI). Our international teams of reporters bring you stories that put a face on the statistics, looking at how people have experienced change and what exactly leads to success and what leads to failure.

Secrets of Transformation navigation

A journey above and below the median - The navigation for 'Secrets of Transformation'

In these stories, we meet people like the Hungarian journalist Támas Bodoky, whose office was searched by the police just before we started filming, and Luis Arce Catacora, Bolivia's minister of economy and finance, who explains his country's partially socialist model. We also hear from Galina Tallach, a Ukrainian who tells us how she had to spend all her savings on a cancer operation. Had she not paid the authorities, she would not have received treatment. Her husband, also a cancer sufferer, could not be saved.

A lot of preparation went into our features, reports and interviews. The international makeup of the teams simplified things, with local correspondents working closely with reporters from Germany to find the right interview partners and organize filming.

Nicolas Martin

Follow project leader Nicolas Martin on Twitter @_nico_martin

In "Secrets of Transformation" we travel along the median, moving up to explore the successes and down to look at the failures. Moving along the green line, you can decide for yourself where you want to go.

Tell us what you think: #BTI14 #DW will take you directly to our feedback widget.

Along with the reporters, the following people were also involved in "Secrets of Transformation:" Dagmar Breitenbach, Charlotte Collins, Suzanne Cords, Sue Cox, Rebekka Drobbe, Nicole Goebel, Peter Hille, Simone Hüls, Nancy Isenson, Martin Kuebler, Martin Lichtenberg, Christoph Ricking, Louisa Schaefer, Jan-Philipp Scholz, Peter Steinmetz, Claudia Unseld, Tamsin Walker, Greg Wiser and Stephanie Zunk.

The individual episodes were published over the course of January, February and March 2014 ("Separation of Powers" on 21.01.2014, "Fighting Corruption" on 04.02.2014, "Economic Growth" on 18.02.2014 and "Freedom of Expression" on 04.03.2014.)