Russia’s war against Ukraine continues, so the destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure by the Russian military will increase. At the same time, international assistance for the reconstruction of Ukraine is already coming from our partners and donors, and its volumes will also increase. However, any recovery program has corruption risks that need to be managed.
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.
To date, financial assistance to Ukraine has come from 21 countries and 16 international organisations, and humanitarian aid from 103 countries, 22 international organisations and numerous foreign companies.
“We are already developing approaches to transparency and accountability in the process of recovery of Ukraine. Today we are already working on the creation of the State Register of Destroyed Property – we recently presented its concept. It will be based on loss assessment methods that will be conducted and published in the register. All our partners and donors will have access to the register, so that our work is transparent and accountable to all citizens,” said Vasyl Shkurakov, First Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine.
The State Register of Destroyed Property is designed as the only place to collect data on all real estate lost or damaged during the Russian military aggression. It will be a prerequisite for the application of mechanisms for the restoration of violated property rights and a tool for management decisions on planning for the restoration of territories.
The world experience of post-war recovery and the use of international aid differs, but there are two common features in the management of corruption risks. Extra-budgetary assistance and its use should be monitored by donors. If anti-corruption measures are implemented at the design stage of a program, as well as regular audits and interactions with other donor organisations, the risks can be significantly reduced.
“In the process of rebuilding Ukraine, there is, among other things, a great risk of the influence of Russia and its agents – because even if there is no systemic corruption in the process, these agents will do everything to show that corruption exists. Accordingly, Ukraine must ensure an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability, so that any actions of Russian agents do not affect the international support of our country. The Ukrainian government itself must become a leader in transparency and accountability, because the efficiency and the amount of assistance that will be provided to us will depend on it,” said Oleksii Dorogan, Executive Director of the Better Regulation Delivery Office.
According to him, control over the implementation of budget assistance programs should be exercised by the government of the recipient country. In this case, it is important to transform the state financial management system to ensure the traceability of all funds aimed at recovery, the possibility of control by auditors and parliament, the availability of information to citizens.
“The main thing is that no single instruments will replace reforms on anti-corruption and the rule of law. However, digital tools such as an electronic recovery management system and open data will help transparent recovery. Ukraine has the opportunity to create IT mechanisms that will continue to be used in other countries,” said Ihor Samokhodskyi, Head of “IT&Telecom” sector of BRDO.
Since the beginning of the war, Ukraine has maintained its institutional capacity. Thus, information about Ukraine’s losses from the war is properly recorded and processed both by state bodies and with the help of public activists. The National Council for the Recovery of Ukraine from the Consequences of the War has been established, with the taks to prepare a plan of measures for the post-war reconstruction and development of Ukraine and proposals for the necessary reforms. A number of instruments for financing the reconstruction have already been created by the Government of Ukraine together with our international partners. The next step is to build a comprehensive recovery system based on transparency and accountability.
“Transparency and accountability in the process of Ukraine’s recovery are crucial to ensuring long-term aid to Ukraine. At the same time, the continuation of systemic reforms is a key task, as they give confidence in the overall system, especially for investors. And transparency and, in particular, open data are the key to the confidence of donors and investors in the recovery process. Successful local experience in implementing digital tools needs to be scaled up across the country, as the challenges facing Ukraine are unprecedented,” said Eka Tkeshelashvili, COP of the USAID Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions program in Ukraine (SACCI).