USAID Taps MSI for Anti-Corruption Program in Ukraine

USAID is working to reduce corruption in Ukraine, which damages prospects for economic growth, democratic governance, and national security.

It has awarded MSI a five-year contract, Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCI), to assist Ukraine in implementing legal and institutional reforms, strengthening communications campaigns to improve public trust, and engaging citizens effectively.

Corruption in Ukraine remains a staggering problem, despite some notable progress made since the Ukrainian parliament’s first foundational package of anti-corruption laws went into effect in 2015. “The pace of the change remains slow,” said SACCI’s Technical Director Svetlana Winbourne. “It is critical to support reforms that would touch every citizen.”

Although showing slight improvement in the last several years, the country score on the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International remains low—just 29 out of 100 points (zero being “highly corrupt” and 100 being “very clean”). It is well below both the average score for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (34) and the global average (43).

The SACCI program is expected to have impacts both internally and externally. It will give the government an increased ability to fight corruption, in part by empowering “champions” to drive the effort forward at the national, regional, and local levels. And citizens will gain greater access to information and be provided opportunities for participation. Youth, in particular, who represent the country’s future, will be targeted to lower their tolerance for corruption. Such efforts will help crystalize and sustain a true anti-corruption compact between the Ukrainian government and its people.

MSI has deep anti-corruption experience around the world, which will be brought to bear on the SACCI project. For over 20 years, MSI has specialized in implementing complex anti-corruption programs in more than 40 countries, including eight others in the Ukraine region: Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, and Serbia.