How do OGP participant countries interpret the 'fight against corruption' and 'citizen engagement'?

When governments' efforts of promoting transparency and accountability in the governmental sector are accompanied by engaging civil society in the decision-making and monitoring processes, the achievable results extend beyond the material benefits. Ultimately, people's trust in the public administration and public institutions increases, likewise the legitimacy of governments. Transparency International Ukraine has recently published its comparative research paper aiming to reveal how OGP participant countries understand the fight against corruption and citizen engagement. The paper also includes some good examples of commitments drawn by participants in their action plans, along with TI Ukraine's recommendations regarding the elaboration and implementation of commitments.

According to TI Ukraine's research, the level of understanding the importance of corruption and society engagement widely varies among the OGP participant countries. While, for instance the action plans drawn by Armenia, Macedonia or Estonia are fairly coherent and include the most essential aspects of fighting corruption, the majority of countries apparently disregarded one or another of the areas indispensable to eliminate the main factors that contribute to the abuse of political and economic power. This is even more concerning in the case of those countries, such as Guatemala or Honduras, where the corruption perception level is rather high. In this regard, among the most omitted areas the fields of party financing, the judiciary, the private sector or the use of foreign financial aid can be mentioned.

On the other hand the majority of countries recognized the importance of tackling corrupt practices in areas of public procurement and budgeting. Concerning the issue of community engagement countries like Bulgaria, Montenegro, the Philippines or the United Kingdom could seemingly grasp the significance of engaging the different segments of civil society with the functions of public administration, in most cases participants did not formulate commitments in order to promote either citizen participation, either operation of non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, in some cases, the governments did not feel the need to enhance the involvement of civil society both on the fields of decision-making and monitoring of state activities or simply failed to embrace the appropriate tools and methods to do so.

Therefore, Transparency International Ukraine believes, that OGP governments could achieve significant enhancements in strengthening good governance by examining peer countries solutions on the field of fighting corruption and enhancing collaboration between government and civil society. Moreover, after a thorough planning stage, governments should invest efforts to facilitate the process of realization of actions plans including laying down deadlines for the fulfillment of projects, defining which governmental agencies hold responsibility and accountability for the implementation of projects and ensuring adequate financial resources. You can find full results of the research and the results of each participating country at  http://ti-ukraine.org/en/what-we-do/research/2286.html

OGP Action Plans General Research- Created by TI Ukraine

Authors: Oleksii Khmara
Filed Under: Research