UNDP Seoul Policy Centre and Seoul Government Discuss Ways to Share Korea’s Open Data and Public Construction Policies with Partner Countries

Mar 15, 2016

Ms. Ahjung Lee, Policy Specialist at USPC, presents on ways to achieve effective development cooperation (Photo: USPC)

“Our experience shows that we can ensure a more transparent construction sector by simply informing people about the kind of work being carried out in their neighborhoods. By disclosing SMG's construction work information on the Construction Informer website, all the stakeholders, from private contractors to the responsible Seoul government officials, came to adopt a more transparent, responsible, and accountable administration of our public construction development.”

--Mr. Won Soon Park, Mayor of Seoul

2 December 2015

 

Local government initiatives in Seoul have the potential for becoming a global model for corruption prevention. Recognizing this, the United Nations Development Programme's Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) undertook a full-day workshop to discuss the most effective ways to share with developing countries Seoul’s experiences and lessons learned from its Clean Construction System (CCS).

The workshop was part of USPC’s Development Solutions Partnership (DSP) on Open Data and Public Construction Management for efficiency, transparency, and integrity in the public construction sector. Introduced in 2011, CCS is an effective technological and institutional approach to enhancing transparency, efficiency, and the protection of construction workers’ rights in the public construction sector. The system won the prestigious UN Public Service Award in 2013, in recognition of its innovation and potential for application in other countries.

The workshop was organized to strategize on how to provide follow-up support to countries that had participated in the International Training Workshop on Public Construction Transparency, co-organized by USPC and SMG on 2-4 December 2015 to share CCS with some 70 overseas participants from 20 countries around the world.

Based on demand for sustained partnerships and support from the participants of the December meeting, USPC and SMG released a Call for Expressions of Interests (EoIs) in February 2016 to solicit proposals from these countries in order to provide advisory and technical support, combined with seed funding, for their application of the points learned in December. Almost all of the eligible countries submitted their proposals, making the selection process very competitive.

At the workshop, Ms. Ahjung Lee, Policy Specialist at USPC made an introductory presentation and facilitated intensive discussions with Seoul Government partners on how to design and implement effective triangular cooperation among UNDP, SMG, and partner countries. Seoul Government officials shared their ideas for development cooperation, particularly how they plan to share their expertise on specific components of the proposed initiatives. Furthermore, the workshop participants deliberated on each of the submitted proposals against a set of evaluation criteria that included implementation opportunities and capacities in candidate countries, project sustainability and ownership, availability of necessary expertise and resources, and quality of the proposed work plans.

“It is important to establish a long-term collaborative relationship that does not end as a one-time meeting,” said Mr. Jong Geon Kim, Director of the SMG Construction Management Division. “Capacity building and resource mobilization are important pre-conditions to make such relationships sustainable.”

Support will be delivered for the period of 2016-2017 to a maximum of five countries selected through this competitive process following further in-depth discussions. DSP partner countries will apply Korea’s CCS and lessons learnt shared at the workshop, and implement various initiatives to promote more transparent, efficient, and accountable management of the public construction sector at the country-level, with Seoul’s CCS as a reference point.

Since early 2015, USPC has been partnering with the Seoul Metropolitan Infrastructure Headquarters of SMG to share Seoul’s CCS under the DSP. The ‘Open Data and Public Construction Management’ DSP is one of two DSPs UPSC is currently conducting alongside the ‘Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Systems’ DSP in partnership with Korea’s Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission (ACRC).

Initiated in 2014, DSP is a new approach for USPC, acting as a knowledge broker and facilitator, to connect Korea with the wider UNDP network and enhance the Korea-UNDP partnership on strategic development issues globally. DSPs work through triangular cooperation among Korean Government institutions, UNDP, and partner countries.

The workshop took place on 14 March, 2016 in Seoul, Korea.