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Preserving Gains Against Corruption in Ukraine During Wartime

Supporting the Ukrainian government and civil society to preserve hard-won gains combatting corruption and ensuring reconstruction and recovery integrity

We are working in Ukraine, through the USAID-funded Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCI) program, to sustain anti-corruption reform and support reconstruction efforts.

Since 2017, MSI, A Tetra Tech Company, has implemented an important anti-corruption project in Ukraine, the USAID-funded project, Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCI), which builds upon its previous anti-corruption work for nearly two decades.

The SACCI team has played a critical role advancing anti-corruption reforms that empower the Government and people of Ukraine to reject and combat corruption, including helping to reboot the National Agency of Corruption Prevention (NACP) and supporting NACP institution building under the new leadership team. During COVID, the SACCI project also enabled uninterrupted operations of the NACP and supported development of a civil servant recruitment system adapted to COVID-19 restrictions.

The February 2022 invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation immediately sidelined many anti-corruption activities and shifted the priorities of stakeholders, necessitating USAID to take bold action, which included approving a cost and time extension to accommodate wartime and post-war priorities. Similarly, SACCI rapidly shift to meet the new challenges in Ukraine.

After the invasion, SACCI consulted extensively with its partner government organizations and civil society partners and shifted activities towards a nimble and flexible model geared towards preserving the hard-won gains and significant U.S. government investment combatting corruption in Ukraine over the past decade. This included securing critical state data and enabling agencies to carry out their functions. SACCI also refocused its activities to ensure transparency and accountability in billions in humanitarian aid.

On the government side, to support Ukraine’s development of a comprehensive reconstruction plan, SACCI is drawing upon international experience to advise Ukraine on best practices to present corruption in major reconstruction efforts. SACCI is now supporting the nascent coalition of Ukrainian civil society organizations – RISE Ukraine, which promotes integrity, sustainability, and efficiency of the country’s recovery.

The nature of continued assistance in Ukraine’s volatile environment means supporting the full spectrum of stakeholders, from specialized anti-corruption bodies and champion institutions at national and local levels, as well as civil society watchdog organizations. These stakeholders each play an essential role of maintaining transparency during wartime and will ensure the integrity of reconstruction efforts in the future.

Prior to the war, SACCI also focused on:

  • building the capacity of the NACP enabling it to effectively perform wide spectrum if its functions, including drafting and implementing anti-corruption policy and legislation, enhancing corruption risk assessment and developing corruption prevention programs in governmental agencies, managing conflict of interested in public institutions, developing and implementing corruption prevention training programs, and other functions;
  • developing whistleblower legislation and implementing the Government of Ukraine’s unified whistleblower reporting portal;
  • supporting multi-donor efforts to equip Ukraine with state-of-the-art electronic asset declaration and political party finance reporting systems;
  • supporting several national line ministries and regional and municipal governments in developing and implementing corruption plans;
  • establishing Ukraine’s and Eastern Europe’s first anti-corruption master’s degree program;
  • advancing numerous education system-based initiatives to reduce youth tolerance of corruption and increase their participation in citizen-based anti-corruption efforts; and
  • supporting crucial anti-corruption watchdog and advocacy organizations to expose corruption and build public will for necessary reforms.

MSI has been a partner to the Government of Ukraine and USAID through a series of activities and programs for more than 25 years. During that time, we have promoted greater transparency and accountability in government and supported enhancements to the rule of law and access to justice for citizens. Our work has also focused on regulatory reforms, streamlining public financial agencies, promoting the use and helping to roll out Ukraine’s e-procurement system countrywide, and engaging civil society in anti-corruption and social accountability activities.