The Need for an Innovative A-C Methodology
Indeed, we witness that there are public officials who win their mandates on anticorruption electoral platforms and public managers/civil servants who are concerned about corruption. But, their usual approaches to fight corruption by passing new laws, dictating codes of conduct, training public administrators and buying computers, are not producing good enough results. These steps are not so much wrong as incomplete.
Having state-of-the-art laws doesn’t guarantee their implementation. Codes of conduct are often only ornaments. Data about % of citizens who pay bribes doesn’t tell what corrective actions should be taken.
Our innovative A-C Methodology is based on the lessons learned from a real successful experience in reducing corruption. With the right leadership and the right assistance, this A-C Methodology can have a real impact in the fight against corruption.
The anticorruption global movement began with making development agencies and governments be no longer in denial and discuss about corruption in an open and systematic way, and further developed standards through international conventions such as the UN Convention against Corruption. But the phase that is following logically, the implementation and enforcement of these standards, is the most difficult and by far the most challenging: literally thousands of people and hundreds of organizations all around the globe, both in and out of government, should be reached and involved.
Our innovative A-C Methodology is providing tools and instruments for that to happen.
The national anticorruption strategies focus mainly on the centralized, top-down control of corruption, by creating or strengthening anticorruption legislation, empowering the institutions of law and order, enlarging the judicial and investigative systems, and encouraging the capacity of civil society to play “watch-dog” roles. The general aim of all these strategies is to intimidate by increasing the probability of discovering corruption, and enforcing severe penalties that will hopefully deter future corrupt activities. Even if more control, more laws and more pressure are necessary, they are not sufficient for making significant changes in the way public institutions perform. People, nor institutions, really change solely under outside pressure, as no illness can be cured without the patient’s active involvement; change needs the willing participation of those affected by it.
Our innovative A-C Methodology is providing the necessary tools and instruments for making change happen, with the active participation of those who are the problem, by allowing them to become the source of the solution.
A growing literature is centered around the idea of “pockets of effectiveness” in the public sector reforms: public organizations, which provide public goods and services relatively effectively in a hostile environment dominated by poor management and bad governance. The researchers tried to explain why these pockets of effectiveness happen and what are the conditions for them to prosper. They suggested that problem identification, engagement with multiple stakeholders, step-by-step experimentation, and political endorsement are the approaches that more likely lead to solutions.
In a similar way, our A-C Methodology strives to create, since more than 10 years, islands of effectiveness and integrity at local level, in the relatively corrupt and mismanaged public administration sea.
 About “Pockets of Effectiveness”:
- Michael Roll, The state that works: Pockets of effectiveness, as a perspective on stateness in developing countries: http://www.ifeas.uni-mainz.de/Dateien/AP128.pdf;
- David K. Leonard, Where Are ‘Pockets’ of Effective Agencies Likely in Weak Governance States and Why? A Propositional Inventory: http://www.ids.ac.uk/files/Wp306.pdf;
- Matt Andrews, Explaining positive deviance in public sector reforms in development: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/var/ezp_site/storage/fckeditor/file/pdfs/centers-programs/centers/cid/publications/faculty/wp/267_Andrews_Explaining%20positive%20deviance.pdf
The Anti-Corruption Program Activities
In order to create islands of integrity and effectiveness at local level, we enhance both the supply-side and the demand-side of the public sector reform, as the graph shows.
The outcomes are tangible:
- Islands of integrity and effectiveness, as role models: local governments with improved public works and services, greater citizen trust and satisfaction, better municipal balance sheets and more efficient management of public assets
- Local capacity able to replicate a methodology that shows how improvements can be made, sequenced and institutionalized
PAP*- Program for Anticorruption Practitioners
PAP* has two components: Knowledge Building and Skills Building
Awareness Raising of Public Leaders/Managers
High level local public officials (mayors/public managers) as well as other stakeholders from central administration level or from other interested multilaterals, international and national organizations, are invited to attend Conferences and Workshops, during which the A-C Program is launched. The aim is to raise awareness and interest of the demand side representatives for the strategic and participatory A-C Methodology.
Working Together to apply the A-C Methodology
Galvanizing Improvements in Local Governments
In order to match supply and demand sides, willing mayors/public managers and competent anticorruption practitioners, selection processes take place. The best A-c Practitioners are supported, professionally and financially, to work with one of the selected mayors/local governments.
ACT* Anti-Corruption Training
ACT (2015-2017) is a training that goes beyond training and strives to make positive changes at municipalities level in the Eastern Partnership Area: Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. Is financed by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented in partnership with UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub.