New coalition RISE Ukraine will work for to ensure Ukraine’s reconstruction will be done with integrity, sustainability, and efficiency

Today, during a conference in Lugano a panel discussion “Efficient Reconstruction: Anti-corruption and Transparency Initiatives” dedicated to the role of civil society in ensuring transparency and accountability of the recovery process of Ukraine took place.

During the discussion it was announced that a new coalition of Ukrainian organizations and international partners — RISE Ukraine — has been launched at the Lugano Ukraine Recovery Conference to promote a vision of integrity, sustainability and efficiency for the country’s reconstruction. Better Regulation Delivery Office is among the members of the coalition.

The coalition, which unites more than 20 Ukrainian organizations working on open government and anticorruption reform, has unveiled 10 principles for Ukraine’s reconstruction and modernization. It is supported by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Economy, National Agency for Corruption Prevention, and other leading government institutions.

Oleksii Dorogan, Executive Director of Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) and advisor to the Ministry of Infrastructure: “Ukraine now has a capital that we need to treasure. It is international support, unprecedented up to this point. To ensure that it will stay this way we need accountability and transparency, because corruption remains the main risk in maintaining international support. To ensure accountability and transparency, in turn, we need digital tools. Ukraine has been the leader in digital governance for a while now. We need to use it in the recovery process and build new tools based on the successful experience. 

Ukraine should own and coordinate the reconstruction, prioritizing projects and documenting the full procurement process. But we also want to ensure that citizens and international donors are able to verify all of the resources dedicated to the reconstruction through open and efficient systems. We are already mapping out business processes for their development and will be ready to present them in approximately a month.”

According to the Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov, for fast, efficient and strategic reconstruction Ukraine has to increase its institutional capacity, especially in systemic approaches and different ministries’ and agencies’ efforts coordination.

“The most effective way to fight corruption is to build effective public institutions. At the same time, anti-corruption tools and methods should be applied all along the entire cycle of every infrastructure project. Therefore, with the support of international partners and civil society, we strive to build not only new infrastructure, but also a new infrastructure project management architecture”, added Kubrakov.

Citizens and businesses should be involved in the planning, monitoring and oversight of recovery spending, building on existing citizen feedback approaches, such as using the Dozorro network of civic monitors. One of the key aims is to create a full accountability chain through publishing complete, timely, and open data in line with international best practices and open data standards such as the Open Contracting Data Standard for public procurement and the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard for information on businesses winning contracts. 

“Sometimes I hear about the fatigue with the word “reforms”. There is no time now to be fatigued. It is important to put all our effort into transformation, because the time is condensed when you do recovery. It is necessary to find ways and develop digital tools to engage different stakeholders constantly. Information, openness of data, and coordination are key in this process,” said Eka Tkeshelashvili, COP of the USAID Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions program in Ukraine (SACCI).

To further prevent corruption and misuse of funds, we will advocate for effective mechanisms to prosecute corruption and violations in the process of reconstruction.

The organisers of the panel discussion are BRDO together with the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and USAID Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions program in Ukraine (SACCI).

Last month BRDO analysts, with the support of the USAID Ukraine Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions program in Ukraine, researched international experience and mistakes during the reconstruction, as well as analysed possible risks and developed recommendations for Ukraine to overcome them. These developments were presented and discussed during a round table with representatives of public authorities and a number of public organisations.