Anti-corruption strategies are a country’s comprehensive anti-corruption policy document to coordinate national anti-corruption action.
They can be useful tools to articulate a long-term vision against corruption when developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.
In the Asia-Pacific region, most countries have drafted an anti-corruption strategy, an effort often driven by the commitments taken to implement the preventive measures prescribed by the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
However, the lack of implementation and monitoring of anti-corruption strategies has raised questions on their effectiveness in practice. Recognising this caveat, the United Nations Development Programme Bangkok Regional Hub (UNDP), with the support of the Global Anti-corruption Initiative, as well as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have partnered in helping countries in the region in developing and monitoring strategies.
The report Anti-Corruption Strategies: Understanding What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why? (Lessons Learned from the Asia-Pacific Region) reviews the experiences of 14 countries in the region–Afghanistan, Australia, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, and Vietnam–in designing, implementing, and monitoring anti-corruption strategies as well as the drivers for developing these strategies.
UNDP believes that engaging a wide range of stakeholders, beyond government–private sector, civil society as well as local communities, including traditionally marginalized people–is essential to increase the possibilities of successful development and implementation of the strategy.
In June 2015, a UNDP-UNODC team from Bangkok Regional Hub supported the Office of the Ombudsman of the Philippines in organizing a workshop as a follow up to a November 2014 “Capacity Assessment of Anti-Corruption Infrastructure”. The findings and recommendations of the capacity assessment were presented to and validated by key stakeholders, including the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the President, the UNCAC Technical Committee, and representatives of civil society and academia.
The follow-up workshop provided an opportunity to initiate discussions to develop a “Philippine National Action Plan Against Corruption”, which was a key recommendation of the capacity assessment. The UNDP-UNODC mission team highlighted lessons learnt from other countries in developing and implementing national anti-corruption strategies/action plans. Particular attention was given to the process and investment in time required to develop action plans, the importance of introducing indicators and measurement tools to evaluate achievements over time, and the opportunity offered by UNCAC as the overarching framework.