On 2 December 2020, the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) hosted a joint workshop with the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) of the Republic of Korea (RoK) at the 19th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), the biggest annual global forum on anti-corruption; this year virtually hosted by RoK and with UNDP stepping in as a forum partner.
Knowledge exchange constitutes a critical dimension for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and it is a key aspect of development cooperation in the anti-corruption area. At the same time, while exchanges of information and experiences take place everywhere, it is not always automatic that knowledge sharing in development cooperation leads to concrete and sustainable results. “This is a pity because a tested-and-proven policy solution in one country holds the potential to serve as a catalyst for innovation and breakthrough in another country,” noted Dr. Stephan Klingebiel, Director of USPC, in his opening statement.
Based on the partnership and collaborative work by USPC and ACRC for the past five years, the workshop convened a discussion on how one country’s anti-corruption policies can be effectively shared, applied and institutionalized in partner countries, going beyond one-off study tours and training. The workshop showcased how Kosovo and Viet Nam, in partnership with ACRC and UNDP, have successfully adapted and institutionalized ACRC’s anti-corruption assessment tools in their national contexts. Their presentations demonstrated the need to design international cooperation and development project activities in flexible ways and with a combination of necessary ideas, resources, partners, and time so that partners can re-engineer, refine, and apply the new approaches and “how-to” insights according to their national timelines and through their own governance systems. In the case of Vietnam and Kosovo, the types of support provided and the timeline of UNDP-ACRC activities was indeed formulated and revised multiple times on the go, so as to meet the shifting political and institutional contexts and challenges along the way.
During the workshop, Mr. Park Gae-ok, the Assistant Chairman to ACRC, presented the achievements and future plans of the ACRC-UNDP Partnership on Anti-Corruption Knowledge Exchange. He emphasized that “the successful model of anti-corruption knowledge-sharing was established through joint cooperation among the three parties: Korea’s effective anti-corruption tool and contents, UNDP’s professionalism in development projects and its global network, and the developing countries’ active will and effort.” While showcasing the Vietnamese experience of building the Provincial Anti-Corruption Assessment (PACA) Index inspired by AIA, Mr. Phi Ngoc Tuyen, Deputy Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Government Inspectorate of Vietnam (GIV), said “we suggest that other interested countriescan refer to the evaluation methodology of AIA or PACA. It is an evidence-based assessment methodology, which, in our opinion, is scientific and reliable.” Mr. Mentor Borovci, Director of the Legal Office of the Prime Minister’s Office of Kosovo, advised all public officials to understand that “this is a very valuable tool in anti-corruption” and that he urges all partners to “examine the Korean model and find ways to introduce this into their own national context”. Last but not least, Mr. Mato Meyer of UNDP Kosovo proudly presented the amendment to the “Laws on Anti-Corruption Assessment of Legal Acts” which will provide a legal basis for Kosovo’s mechanism, perfected with ACRC’s guidance facilitated by USPC.
Overall, the workshop emphasized that governments and development partners need to work together to enhance the “knowledge sharing” aspects of our cooperation in the field of anti-corruption so that ideas can be translated into actions, and knowledge turned into power for change.
* UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) shares Korea’s tested-and-proven policy tools with other countries through SDG Partnerships. SDG Partnerships provide a combination of support, including partnership development with Korean institutions, seed funding, technical assistance, and policy advisory services. It utilizes UNDP’s global policy network of country offices and the policy expertise and know-how of partner organizations such as ACRC.
* The Opening Ceremony of the 19th IACC on 2 December featured President Moon Jae-in of RoK and Chairperson Jeon Hyun-Heui of ACRC and distinguished participants such as Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Mr. Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of OECD.