The corruption situation in the region remains serious, notwithstanding the anti-corruption efforts undertaken in the framework of EU accession (in Western Balkans and Turkey), UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and other international conventions.
This widespread corruption across the region creates an enormous obstacle to economic and social development which affects access to quality public services, especially for disadvantaged groups and those living in poverty, perpetuating issues of inequality.
Reducing corruption and improving access to essential services, ensuring public money reaches the right recipients is essential if economic and social progress is to be made and is a prerequisite to breaking the intergenerational cycle of social exclusion in the region.
The Regional Project on Anti-Corruption has now entered its third year and thanks to the work done in 2011 and 2012 the project already achieved its overarching objective of creating a series of services and structures allowing UNDP country offices in the region to start or expand effective anti corruption initiatives.
See updates to learn more about current projects across the region.
Although some reports in the region, particularly in South Eastern Europe show an improvement in the area of corruption on the whole, the region, particularly in the Caucasus sub region (with the exception of Georgia) and Central Asia, is perceived as highly corrupt.
In light of this traditional institutional development approaches have come under criticism by observers, donors and academics, lamenting the lack of tangible results.
To address this situation UNDP's regional centre in Bratislava has promoted the introduction of innovative approaches to fight corruption; the strategic approach is built around the necessity of involving a great number of stakeholders, recognizing and engaging with civil society as a key stakeholder, encouraging the participation from all sectors of society in the anti corruption efforts.
In line with this idea BRC has worked to leverage the interest and enthusiasm of innovators and champions of reform, wherever they may be, in the public sector, in the business community, among the youth or in the local communities.
Social debate, awareness raising, openness and access to information are the common denominators of the activities implemented within the following thematic areas:
• Addressing corruption risks in basic public services (health and education),
• Introducing social accountability systems,
• Providing technical assistance for participatory approaches to UNCAC implementation,
• Develop capacities of institutional arrangements for prevention of corruption,
• Engaging non state actors and youth in the development of innovative ideas for open government.
The overall goal of the project is to guide, support and strengthen anti-corruption efforts across the region in order to address corruption as one of the roots of social exclusion -- paying particular attention to the impact of corruption on socially vulnerable and marginalized groups.
- Increase transparency and accountability of public administration.
- Enable greater and more efficient access to public services.
- Enhance capacity of Anti-Corruption Authorities and other integrity institutions.
- Support UNCAC implementation reviews.
- Expand the network and facilitate productive dialogue between Anti-Corruption Practitioners.
As the project draws to a close, some of the activities throughout the year will be dedicated to taking stock of the lessons learned and preparing a detailed anti corruption strategy for the next programming cycle (2014 - 2017).
To this aim the project will explore the opportunities for continuation of the current activities as well as for the introduction of new thematic areas.
This will be done through analysis and (where possible) prototyping for innovation; in particular the following areas will be prioritized:
- Technology for anti corruption, including E-governance, ICT, social media for transparency and accountability at the central and local level;
- Anti corruption for business development, exploring how to eliminate the forms of corruption hampering the activities of medium and small size enterprises, linking with activities for local development, PAR and access to justice;
- Anti corruption and the post 2015 agenda, exploring how anti corruption can contribute to the agenda especially in relation to the issue of inequalities; how to integrate anti corruption, openness, transparency and accountability within the social protection schemes being developed by the governments to address inequality.