Anti corruption

Two boys wearing gigantic boxing gloves in the middle of a multicolor air-filled boxing ring, about to fight each other
In Ukraine, the street campaign “Boxing Hook Against Corruption” allowed passers-by to literally punch corruption out of their lives. Click on the image for more information (in Russian).

Corruption and the lack of transparency and accountability of public institutions are widespread across the region creating an enormous obstacle to economic and social development. This affects access to quality public services, especially for those living in poverty, perpetuating issues of inequality.

see Call to Action

The transition recession, which many countries in the region experienced, contributed to a deterioration of social protection and increase in inequality of wealth. Reducing corruption and improving access to essential services is a prerequisite to breaking the intergenerational cycle of social exclusion in the region (see Regional Human Development Report).

The situation in the region varies but remains serious with Georgia being the only country to score above 50/100 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index while Central Asian countries all scored below 30. Trust between citizens and government is key to good governance, however, the Global Competitiveness Index indicates that public trust in politicians is low across the region.

Many governments lack the institutional capacity to address corruption, but more importantly state capture by corrupt political and economic power makes it extremely difficult to implement serious reforms for transparency and accountability.

Facts and Figures: Corruption in the region

What we do

To address corruption, UNDP works with national partners to enhance openness, transparency and accountability throughout public administrations, promoting effective and responsive public institutions.

This includes:

  • Supporting governments to fulfil their international anti-corruption obligations, including the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the Open Government Partnership. (Develop institutional capacities to address corruption)
  • Encouraging and assisting NGOs and citizens to monitor corruption and hold public institutions accountable
  • Engaging the public sector, private sector, the media and civil society to take part in dialogue and cooperation on anti corruption
  • Advising anti-corruption agencies and national integrity systems (supreme audit institutions, procurement offices, integrity Commissions)

Some results so far

In Montenegro, UNDP carried out an integrity assessment (pdf), which focused on informal payments and was used to develop a strategy for health care reform. The Government also developed a new online petition, Citizens Voice, and citizens developed a mobile app to enable a more open government.

Serbia on the Move, with support from the Ministry of Health and UNDP, opened a phone number for sms-ing information about corruption in healthcare. In one week, the NGO received nearly 200 text messages which will all be responded to with a call back and followed up.

In June 2013, Armenia hosted another social innovation camp, HuriLab building on the success of past camps: nine finalists, selected out of 111 ideas, presented their projects which ranged from apps to engage citizens in urban planning in Ukraine to Montenegro’s ‘Robin Hood’ TV host, or Darko Ivanovic’s pitch for an “E-Citizen” open source platform mapping public administration problems.

Quote from Huguette Labelle, Transparency International, saying

Call to action

Government officials and policy makers:

  1. Strengthen democracy by ratifying and implementing the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
    Prevention: Support anti-corruption authorities and encourage citizen engagement
    Criminalization: Implement laws and sentences that match the severity of the issue
    Asset recovery: Return recovered assets to the people in efficient public services
    International cooperation: Corruption is a transnational issue - progress in tackling the problem requires a united front and sharing of knowledge and good practices.
  2. Make the most of available technology to develop effective and impartial monitoring systems that provide frequent, timely, publicly accessible and relevant information to citizens.
  3. Lead by example in the areas of integrity transparency and accountability.

Civil society and citizens

  1. Say no to corruption, get involved and hold your government accountable. 
  2. Make use of the corruption reporting tools available to you (or heck! invent new ones):

Regional project

Addressing corruption for sustainable development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Read more
Fight corruption in Kosovo invites you to report cases of corruption in Kosovo.
>>Report corruption


Not from Kosovo?
See our "Call to action" section!

Corruption Trends in Serbia

Discover the perspective, problems, consequences, and perception of corruption in Serbia.

View it on Slideshare