SUPPORT TO ANTI-CORRUPTION CHAMPION INSTITUTIONS (SACCI) PROGRAM
After the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 Ukraine made important steps towards transparency of governance. Anticorruption legislation has been considerably improved in the country, the work to establish new anticorruption institutions is in the final stage. The post-revolution government achieved an unprecedented level of openness including the introduction of the open data system, access to registries and data bases, and set new rules of public procurement with Prozorro e-system. Yet corruption still exists in Ukraine, and public authorities keep facing the difficulties in implementation of the anticorruption reform.
The USAID Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCI) Program in Ukraine is a five-year corruption prevention initiative, implemented by Management Systems International, a Tetra Tech Company. The program supports Government of Ukraine’s efforts to systematically decrease corruption, particularly in priority sectors, and aims to bolster the endeavors of key government institutions in preventing corruption, and spread information on available anticorruption initiatives. Important aspects of SACCI include raising public awareness of government work and reducing citizen tolerance to corruption.
GOVERNMENT CHAMPION INSTITUTIONS
In 2018 the SACCI project assisted a number of public authorities at national and regional level to develop programs and activities to combat corruption.
The project helped build institutional capacity of the newly established unit of compliance with anticorruption legislation at the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and design the annual anticorruption program. Consultations on topics related to corruption prevention were also held.
Detailed analysis of respective corruption prevention departments within the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and the Healthcare Ministry of Ukraine was conducted, recommendations were provided to improve the work of the departments. The SACCI project also helped the Ministry of Infrastructure assess corruption risks and draft the action plan for the next year to remove the risks. Project experts worked with the staff of the Ministry of Infrastructure and of the Healthcare Ministry, assisted the ministries in communicating the following reform achievements: Road Fund of the Ministry of Infrastructure, medicine procurement and designing an e-registry of sick leaves for the Healthcare Ministry. At the level of regional authorities and local self-government the SACCI project was strengthening capacities of the executive committee of the Drohobych City Council (Lviv region) and of the Sumy regional state administration to plan and analyze the measures, rules and legal base that will fill in the gaps in corruption prevention activities.
The SACCI project will be expanding its scope of work by engaging new local self-government bodies and, possibly, partners at national level. The project will be offering a comprehensive approach to integrity. It includes an exhaustive set of activities targeting: prevention of conflict of interest, reinforcement of intra-agency control and audit, claim processing, work with whistleblowers inside organizations, ensuring openness, transparency and accountability.
Ensuring efficient anticorruption communications
The SACCI project cooperates with the government to ensure that anticorruption communications are held in a well-grounded measurable way and deliver a planned result. The project has developed recommendations to assess efficiency of public awareness campaigns, they are being tested by the Ministry of Information Policy. The project is holding a joint campaign with the State Agency for e-Governance to increase and optimize the use of public e-services, decrease corruption. The campaign will be subject to the above efficiency assessment. Jointly with a working group headed by the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers the SACCI project continues assisting the development of the Government anticorruption communication strategy until 2020.
SUPPORT IN POLICY-MAKING AND IMPLEMENTATION
Throughout 2019 the project will be cooperating with partners that represent civil society, and with interested state authorities to achieve a consensus on legislation on lobbying and protection of whistleblowers. The project is currently holding a coordinating role and is the initiator aiming to ensure that comprehensive analysis is applied to legal gaps against a tense political backdrop.
MEDIA, COMMUNICATIONS AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
In addition to direct work with public authorities on their communication capacities and strategy, the SACCI project will be also cooperating with Ukrainian media to distribute anticorruption awareness programs and campaigns. Last year over 200 journalists of national and regional media were engaged in a discussion on well-balanced coverage of corruption. The project also pioneered anticorruption journalism school for students of the Ukrainian Catholic University. The successful experiment is planned to be extended.
Within the SACCI project in 2018 over 1.000 young people from across Ukraine were trained not to put up with corruption acts. The project has started a dialogue among the young on integrity, active civic position and succeeding without corruption.
In 2019 young people remain SACCI’s main audience, their involvement in public life is to reinforced. At the same time the project supports other campaigns that are raising awareness of the wider audience. Campaigns and activities supported by the SACCI project are based on results of thorough opinion polls and quality research held jointly with other USAID projects, for example with the “ENGAGE” project.
In 2019 the SACCI project will continue its cooperation with partner civil society organizations: Transparency International Ukraine, Ukraine Crisis Media Center and “Eidos” Center for Political Studies and Analysis.