FIGHTING CORRUPTION

USAID Field Day in Vinnytsya - USETI
USAID Field Day in Vinnytsya - USETI
USAID/Ukraine
THE CHALLENGE

The Government of Ukraine (GOU) and the Ukrainian public acknowledge that high levels of corruption have become a serious impediment to the country’s economic, political, and social development.

Transparency International rates Ukraine 142nd of 175 countries it surveys in its 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index alongside Nigeria, the Central African Republic and Papua New Guinea.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Strengthened the organizational capacity of over 200 Ukrainian civil society organizations
  • Media partners conducted 230 in-depth journalism investigations
  • Improved local citizen oversight and engagement around energy  sector pricing and infrastructure site development
  • Strengthened financial sector disclosure and reporting requirements
  • Assisted targeted municipalities in developing transparent budget processes
  • 1.6 million students accepted to university programs based on their preparation and knowledge as reflected in their standardized external testing performance rather than family contacts or their ability to pay.

OVERVIEW

Transparency International rates Ukraine 142nd of 175 countries in its 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index alongside Comoros and Uganda. USAID is supporting anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine across several of its programs, including in higher education admissions testing, municipal decentralization, financial sector, and judicial reform.

USAID counters corruption through support for policy initiatives and by promoting government transparency and accountability at the local and national level.

OPEN AND TRANSPARENT GOVERNANCE

USAID programs work across the spectrum of Ukrainian society, including with the media, civil society, Parliament, and the Government.

USAID’s civil society program in Ukraine fosters civic activism, boosts reforms, and builds sustainable NGOs. It assists NGOs to increase citizen participation in policy-making, establish legal frameworks that govern civil society, and improve the institutional and financial viability of NGOs across the country. USAID-supported civil society organizations monitor members of parliament, including reports on their financial declarations and conflicts of interest. USAID is providing assistance to the Reanimation Reform Package to facilitate civil society efforts to draft, advocate for, and promote implementation of key anti-corruption legislation and initiatives.

USAID’s media program improves the quality of local media and investigative journalism to promote government accountability and provide transparency on public activities.

USAID also works with Ukraine’s Judiciary to promote greater transparency and accountability of judicial institutions and reduce opportunities for corruption. USAID supports the development and implementation of merit-based judicial selection and standardized judicial discipline procedures and monitoring by civil society organizations of judicial selection and discipline processes.  Today, civil society organizations conduct user satisfaction surveys in 51 courts to ensure citizen involvement in oversight of the judiciary.

In 2015, USAID began assisting the Kyiv City Administration to pursue anti-corruption reform in six municipal services: parking; waste management; procurement; land allocation, permitting, and construction; public transportation accessibility; and, investment oversight.

eGovernance Capacity Building in Ukraine

The eGovernance Capacity Building in Ukraine activity will provide assistance to stakeholders in the Government of Ukraine in three key areas related to eGovernance: Strategic Communications to ensure that the general public and all government entities understand the role of e-governance in supporting reforms in Ukraine;  support to the Inter-Ministerial Council on ICT, which represents a multi-stakeholder approach to developing a strategy and implementing e-governance in Ukraine; and development of e-services to ensure that citizens and businesses can benefit from more effective and transparent services.  

CROSSCUTTING EFFORTS TO STIMULATE ECONOMIC GROWTH

USAID's financial sector development assistance strengthens financial disclosure and reporting requirements and supports advocacy campaigns for the rights of consumers of financial services to promote transparency and accountability. USAID also initiated pilot Legal Corruption Impact Reviews (LCIR) to identify and remove avenues of corruption from financial sector legislation and started the Institutional Corruption Risk Management (ICRM) assessment to identify and minimize corruption risk factors within financial sector governmental institutions.

In agriculture, USAID works with sector associations and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food to ensure effective private sector engagement and civil society oversight of the government decision-making process.  To combat corruption in land governance, USAID developed a policy program entitled: “10 Steps to Combat Corruption – Recommendations for Government Actions.” The program has already resulted in the drafting of four laws that are presently at various stages of readings and revisions within the Verkhovna Rada.

In the energy sector, USAID improves citizen oversight and engagement around energy pricing and infrastructure site development and assists the government to implement an energy sector anti-corruption action plan.

USAID is helping Government to develop a “Citizens’ Budget”that will provide budget information in a format understandable to the general public, will enhance community active engagement in the budget process, and will strengthen an independent citizen control over spending of public money.

USAID targets municipal level corruption by helping municipalities develop transparent budget processes. USAID also promotes public private partnerships at the municipal level through a process that ensures private partners are selected through fair and transparent procurement processes.

In addition, USAID has launched activities to support the concept of open participatory public budgeting to ensure better public access to information about state and local budgets’ revenues and expenditures. USAID will also help the GOU strengthen internal budget controls to track the effectiveness of public fund use.

To support civil sector participation in Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) USAID provides legislative reform assistance and will build the capacity of local NGOs and hold a small grants program to help the civil society sector interact productively with businesses and government organizations to ensure proper information disclosure and reporting under EITI.

USAID provides legislative and regulatory reform assistance that harmonizes Ukrainian legislation with European standards to promote transparent business practices, including the legal framework for transparent corporate governance, shareholder access to information, investors’ protection from unfair competition, and capacity building for judges to ensure the consistent application of judicial procedures and the execution of commercial law decisions.

PROMOTING EQUAL ACCESS TO UNIVERSITY

In 2007, USAID helped to establish the Ukrainian Standardized External Testing Initiative (USETI). The main goal of USETI is to target corrupt practices associated with admissions to Higher Education Institution (HEIs) by introducing standardized external testing as a mandatory criterion for university admissions.

By the end of 2015 an estimated 1.6 million students have been accepted to university programs based on their preparation and knowledge as reflected in their standardized external testing performance rather than family contacts or their ability to pay.

In 2015, USAID, in partnership with Microsoft Ukraine,  American Councils for International Education, and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MOES), and Inforesurs  started the Ukrainian Transparent Education Management Alliance (UTEMA) to establish the institutional framework for transparent e-governance at MOES, develop an electronic document processing system for MOES, and develop and pilot an electronic system for financial business reporting by Ukrainian’s higher education institutions (HEI) to MOES. 

DEVELOPING TRANSPARENT HEALTHCARE PROCUREMENT PRACTICES

Rampant corruption in public health procurement has led to high out-of-pocket costs for healthcare, and insufficient availability of medicines and medical supplies. To address this, USAID partners with civil society and the Ministry of Health to introduce tools and legislation that support transparent and efficient procurement practices.  Through the development of an Essential Medicines List, framework contracting, and web-based tools in the public domain to monitor health products procurements, USAID has developed regulatory frameworks for transparent public procurement. USAID supported civil society partners to successfully advocate for adoption of legislation to transfer Ministry of Health’s medical procurement to specialized international procurement organizations, removing corruption schemes, which has already shown a savings of up to 60%.

Last updated: July 14, 2016

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