Photo: UNDP Ukraine

Novopskov, Luhansk Oblast, September 9, 2019 – One of Ukraine’s new amalgamated local authorities aims to stamp out corruption in its area by applying internationally recognised anti-corruption methodology – and there are hopes this pilot project could spread to the rest of the country.

Novopskov Amalgamated Territorial Community (ATC), in Luhansk Oblast has become the first community in Ukraine to apply the "Islands of Integrity"™ anti-corruption methodology, planning to include it in its own Community Development Strategy until 2025.The“Islands of Integrity”™ methodology has been implemented in several countries of the region: Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with initial support from the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub and with funding from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The overall goal of the project is to assist municipalities in strengthening their integrity mechanisms through robust corruption risk-assessments and implementation of Anti-Corruption Strategies and Action-Plans.

Vadym Gaev, the head of Novopskov ATC, said he was very glad that the Novopskov community had been chosen as the pilot for the implementation of the anti-corruption methodology in Ukraine.

“The methodology empowers public leaders and managers to take a new approach to preventing the most dangerous forms of corruption, not by combating corrupt individuals, but by changing internal policies and organizational systems that could potentially generate corruption,” Gaev said.

“As a result of this project, we’ve gained not only new experience, but also got some results. Currently, under a decree of the settlement chairman, the plan of action of the Novopskov settlement council for the implementation of the anti-corruption strategy for 2019-2021 has already been approved.

The ATC’s council on Aug. 28 voted to include an anti-corruption strategy for Novopskov ATC, to run from 2019 to 2021, in the development strategy for the ATC until 2025.

Viktoriya Yegorova, Anti-Corruption Specialist at the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP), said she hoped the "Islands of Integrity”™ anti-corruption methodology, after having been implemented in more than 30 countries in Eastern and Central Europe, and Turkey, would now start to expand into Ukraine.

“For six months, Novopskov ATC has been working with a national consultant, Oleksii Soldatenko, who is a certified trainer on the “Islands of Integrity”™ methodology, and Ana Vasilache, an international consultant and the co-author of the methodology,” Yegorova said.

“As a result of fruitful work, the anti-corruption strategy was developed, along with the plan of action for Novopskov ATC. It is also important that this result has been made possible by the active involvement of the community itself – with the involvement of members of the public.”

Overall in Ukraine, efforts to fight corruption are seeing some progress: According to the Corruption Perception Index, a survey by Transparency International, between 2015 and 2018 Ukraine rose five points in the index, from 27 to 32.

However, Ukraine is still in the lower ranks of the index, which has a maximum score of 100, and is only 120th out of the 180 countries surveyed. The top countries are Denmark, New Zealand and Finland, with scores of 88, 87 and 85 respectively, while the bottom three are South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, with scores of 13, 13, and 10 respectively.

About the methodology

“Islands of Integrity”™ is an innovative anti-corruption methodology developed by Ana Vasilache and Ronald McLean-Abaroa, based on a successful anti-corruption campaign conducted by McLean-Abaroa when he was Mayor of La Paz in Bolivia. Over the last ten years, it has been implemented in over 30 countries in Eastern and Central Europe, and in Turkey.  It is a practical tool for community leaders and activists to help identify and change public practices and organizational systems vulnerable to corruption, using a strategic process with broad community involvement.

For media inquiries: Communications Unit, UNDP Ukraine, communications.ukraine@undp.org

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