A web-based seminar was organized on 6 November 2020 as a part of the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC)’s SDG Partnership to share Korea’s Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment (AIA) with the UNDP Uzbekistan Country Office and the Uzbekistan Anti-Corruption Agency. The webinar focused on introducing the Korean AIA model, and understanding the challenges facing the newly-established Anti-Corruption Agency in Uzbekistan, and the plans for establishing an AIA-inspired mechanism in Uzbekistan.
The AIA, which the ACRC annually conducts on all public organizations, is used to examine and incentivize anti-corruption and integrity activities promoted by public organizations with pre-specified criteria and indicators. So far, it has promoted integrity within the public sector by providing clear and periodic guidance and incentives for behavioral change.
Learning from Korea’s experience is timely for Uzbekistan which has been demonstrating substantial political will to tackle corruption at all levels. The Government of Uzbekistan has initiated the implementation of an AIA-like methodology including the ranking of public agencies and institutions for a more transparent anti-corruption environment. As such, UNDP Uzbekistan, with the support of UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, launched a project to support the country's institutionalization of the AIA-like mechanism. In 2020, a new Anti-Corruption Agency was created, whose mandate is largely on corruption prevention. The webinar kickstarted the partnership with the Agency and served to provide policy advisory support.
Mr. Akmal Burhanov, Director of Uzbekistan’s Anti-Corruption Agency, and Ms. Doina Munteanu, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Uzbekistan, emphasized the anticipation and appreciation of the collaboration. USPC’s Director, Mr. Klingebiel, noted that he “believes in the power and value of knowledge sharing and inspiration from peers in addressing this complex issue of corruption” and was hopeful that the webinar would facilitate a meaningful sharing of lessons learned and experiences for both sides.
An overview of the AIA approach was provided by Ms. Ahjung Lee, Policy Specialist at USPC, and Ms. Gichung Lee, Policy Analyst at USPC. In turn, Mr. Burhanov gave an overview of Uzbekistan’s new Anti-Corruption Agency and their plans for utilizing AIA, which led to a fruitful dialogue and Q&A discussion assisted by Mr. Jungoh Son, Policy Advisor and ACRC Secondee to UNDP. The webinar was also an opportunity to reaffirm the robust political will of Uzbekistan in setting preventive measures for corruption as the country’s priority, as well as the collaboration between UNDP and ACRC.
Ms. Munteanu emphasized that “Uzbekistan is persistently and consistently pursuing reforms in the field of anti-corruption… while USPC provides invaluable technical and advisory support.” She stated that they “look forward to a deeper study and use of Korea’s experience in the fight against corruption, other innovative solutions, technologies, and non-traditional approaches.”