Cross-regional dialogue on implementation of Korea-inspired anti-corruption initiatives in ECIS
July 18, 2022
As a part of UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub’s Future of Governance Dialogue Series, UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) co-organized a cross-regional conference to discuss the achievements and lessons learned from implementing Korean anti-corruption tools in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia on 23 June 2022.
Since 2015, the anti-corruption assessment tools of Korea’s Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission (ACRC), including the Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment (AIA) and Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA), have been introduced to 12 USPC partner countries including Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro and Uzbekistan, stimulating local demand for corruption prevention and development of domestic anti-corruption initiatives inspired by Korean methodologies.
Following opening remarks by Dr. Anne Juepner, Acting Director of USPC, Mr. Young Jae Won, Director of International Relations Division in ACRC, and Mr. Gerd Trogemann, Manager of UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, Dr. Anga Timilsina, UNDP Global Programme Advisor on Anti-corruption, provided an overview of UNDP’s anti-corruption programmes from a global perspective. Highlighting that corruption prevention is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Dr. Timilsina pointed out that country-level efforts are crucial to build up institutional capacity and the vision of long-term achievements with more systematic approaches, including cross-regional knowledge-sharing, technology innovation and evidence-based policymaking.
Mr. Irakli Kotetishvili, Policy Specialist on Anti-corruption and Public Administration in UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, elaborated on different country-level anti-corruption initiatives in the Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (ECIS) region. Highlighting the heavy focus on digitalization and reform of broader public administration within the region, Mr. Kotetishvili explained how the Istanbul Regional Hub and UNDP Country Offices in Kazakhstan, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Moldova have been empowering civil societies and assisting the development of digital public grievance handling systems, to develop innovative anti-corruption methodologies within the region.
Ms. Ahjung Lee, Policy Specialist and Governance Portfolio Manager of USPC, described how USPC collaborates with ACRC to generate political will and a sustainable mechanism for anti-corruption policies in partner countries. She explained the technicalities of USPC’s ‘SDG Partnership’ Programme for knowledge exchange and seed funding. She added that the opening of a new call for expression of interest is forthcoming in the coming months with a focus on ACRC’s corruption reporting and public grievance handling system called “CleanPortal”.
Following an overview of the partnership outcomes between USPC and the four ECIS countries on AIA and CRA, Mr. Mato Meyer from UNDP Kosovo highlighted that while there has been a lack of corruption proofing in Kosovan legislation that allowed loopholes for personal gains, support from USPC and ACRC in the form of high-level webinars and peer-to-peer discussions allowed the government to run an inter-agency working group and a Corruption Proofing Legislation Unit, leading to the actual piloting of legislative amendments. Ms. Jelena Mrdak from UNDP Montenegro mentioned that after establishing a point-based anti-corruption assessment system inspired by ACRC’s AIA mechanism, 32 out of 40 Montenegrin state authorities were assessed, with 27 of them successfully establishing a formal internal audit system.
This meeting concluded with Ms. Olesea Perean from UNDP Moldova and Mr. Nariman Muradasilov from UNDP Uzbekistan appreciating their partnership with USPC and ACRC that accelerated the creation of local digital anti-corruption platforms, such as Uzbekistan’s ‘E-Anticor.uz’.
* UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) shares Korea’s tested-and-proven policy tools with other countries through SDG Partnerships since 2015. SDG Partnerships provide a combination of support, including partnership development with Korean institutions, seed funding, technical assistance, and policy advisory services. It utilizes UNDP’s global policy network of country offices and the policy expertise and know-how of partner organizations such as ACRC.