One of the core mandates of UNDP is to support governments in preventing corruption at the national as well as at the local level. Corruption and lack of transparency are two of the most significant impediments for development in Europe and Central Asia region.

How does UNDP assist countries to overcome these challenges? Firstly, it aims to combat corruption and increase transparency in order to reduce the opportunity for mismanagement of public resources on national and municipal levels and foster openness and effectiveness of institutions. Secondly, while supporting the delivery of quality services and improving accountability through technology and innovations, UNDP aims to build-up resilience to corruptive behaviour and strengthen accountability of the governments. Third, in order to empower local governments, UNDP facilitates decentralization of governments and encourages public engagement in local decision-making and service delivery processes.

With a tight collaboration with partners, UNDP intends to assure that these processes are effective and sustainable both for institutions and for citizens.

 Despite strong political and economic differences between countries, corruption seems to be a common feature for the whole region. Taking a look at the Corruption Perception Index, Georgia is the best performing nation in the region (50/100) and ranks 46th globally. Regardless regional improvements shown since 2010, with Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic and Montenegro making the largest enhancements, instability and lack of support both from political and economic fields make extremely difficult the reform implementation and transparency enhancement. Furthermore, UNDP and national partners have developed a series of initiatives in the Region aimed enhancing openness, transparency and accountability throughout public administration, in order to promote effective and responsive public institutions. These projects include:

  1. Supporting local governments to design, implement and monitor anti-corruption plans through corruption risk assessments, development of integrity plans and the improvement of integrity management systems;

  2. Utilising technologies to develop effective and impartial monitoring systems that provide frequent, timely and publicly accessible information to the citizens;

  3. Supporting civil society organizations and anti-corruption authorities to monitor and report corruption and hold public institutions accountable;

  4. Engaging with public and private sector, media and civil society organizations in taking part in dialogue and cooperation on anti-corruption projects.

The implementation of these measures at the national and local levels have produced meaningful improvements in the Region. Looking at specific outcomes from different countries and municipalities it is important to underline the following:

  1. In Albania, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, one-stop shops now allow citizens to receive many public services in one place and save money, time and energy when collecting various documents from multiple public institutions. The approach also helps to minimize corruption risks;

  2. In Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine civil servants at the local level are now more aware of the risks connected to lack of transparency. They are able to identify corruption risks in their cities and municipalities and they are able to address them. For these outcomes, an important process of trainings for local officials has been delivered in Moldova and Georgia. Kutaisi (Georgia) and Straseni (Moldova) have already adopted integrity plans in 2017-2018;

  3. In Albania, working with the Municipality of Tirana, UNDP has launched an Open Data Portal where citizens can receive information on all municipal services online;

  4. In Georgia UNDP Regional and Local Development project focuses at strengthening of local self-governance in Georgia, including capacity building of local civil servants and local public institutions. Training in Anti-Corruption methodology followed by participatory strategic planning at municipal level, supported by UNDP, contributed to the overall capacity building activities supported by UNDP RLD during 2013- 2017 with up to 5,000 trainees, as well as, to the establishment of core values of democracy and good governance principles at the local level.