On May 14-15, 2019, UNDP project “Preventing corruption through effective, accountable and transparent governance institutions in Uzbekistan” jointly with the Ministry of Justice, the General-Prosecutor’s office and the Republican Inter-Agency Commission on Combating Corruption organized an international regional forum “On innovations in anti-corruption”with the support of the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub and the UNDP’s Global Anti-Corruption Project (ACPIS).
The Forum was aimed to share and discuss best practice examples of using innovations in the prevention, detection and investigation of corruption in the ECIS region and beyond, reflect on the next generation of anti-corruption solutions, #NextGenAntiCorruption, linked to UNDP’s #NextGenGov initiative and UNDP’s flagship Accelerator Labs programmeas well as preventingthe misuse of innovations and technologies for private gain in corruption offences.
“The cost of corruption equals more that 5% of global GDP, and over $1 trillion are paid in bribes every year globally. In Europe and Central Asia one in three citizens think that corruption is a major problem facing their societies.”, Ms. Spoljaric Egger marked in her welcome speech, and concluded “I trust that this Forum will be a useful and beneficial platform for all to share ideas about the future of Innovations in Anticorruption, and hope that Uzbekistan will be one of the leading examples of harnessing the power and potential of technologies to end corruption”.
New technologies and artificial intelligence are transforming the way we live, work, and interact with each other. The advent of the fourth industrial revolution shaped by Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Robotics, Augmented Reality and mobile and cloud computing enables policy makers to do more (and better) with less. This is particularly relevant to the public sector as governments are starting to recognize the power of technology in advancing and transforming the public sector landscape and are gradually adopting new solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in public administration and the quality of public services.
As stated in the Forum while the private sector – banks, mobile operators and insurance companies – has been leading in the innovations in most parts of the world. Institutions and processes need to evolve in the light of emerging trends, with transparency, accountability, rule of law and citizen-participation remaining valid key principles for democratic governance.
During the event, it was emphasized that new technologies can be used to prevent and detect corruption in, among other things, public procurement, local municipal services, public financial management, urban planning, tenders, human resources management and auctions. However, while emerging innovative solutions have enormous potential to help build transparency, accountability and integrity, these developments can also have negative impact and add new dimensions of vulnerability.
At a separate session was discussed how to harness these opportunities to unlock their benefits, prevent the negative effects and misuse of technologies for private gain, and build just, inclusive and sustainable digital societies.
International participants highlighted the need for collaboration and knowledge exchange involving a wide range of stakeholders is needed to maximize the positive and reduce or eliminate the negative that comes with innovations and new technologies.
The Sustainable Development Goals provides an opportunity to link anti-corruption with their programs in the areas of development, peace and security.Anti-corruption benefits will remain limited if they are not combined with a wider set of initiatives aimed to improve the quality of institutions and governance processes in general, aimed at building peaceful, just and inclusive societies that countries are striving to achieve by 2030. As a result, the UNDP anti-corruption workis part of the broader mandate to promote effective, inclusive and accountable governance.
The creation of information platforms within UNDP projects in a number of countries has enabled anti-corruption authorities to enhance outreach activities and public participation.
Given the enhanced attention to anti-corruption and for accountability and transparency within the public sector in the context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the forum will facilitate the implementation of the UNDP anti-corruption program strategy.
Within the Forum, a platform for an exchange of views between foreign experts and representatives of state bodies and civil society institutions in the field of anti-corruptionwas created.
The Forum brought together more than 40 innovation champions from central and sub-national governments, NGOs, academia, think-tanks and UNDP Country Offices from the Europe and Central Asia region to share best practice examples of utilizing innovations and technology in the fight against corruption as well as sharing experiences on how to prevent the negative effects and misuse of technologies.
As a follow-up to the forum, recommendations were produced for further promotion of innovative solutions in anti-corruption.