1. Introduction. – 2. Methods: How to Exit the Circle of Particularism with the Help of Communications. – 3. Communications in Preventing Government Vulnerabilities to Corrupt Practices (based on Robert Klitgaard’s anti- corruption methodology). – 4. The ‘Island of IntegrityTM’ Methodology: The Ukrainian Experience. – 5. Results and Conclusions.
What seems necessary to reduce corruption is not the imposition of anti-corruption policies, which has an influence, but the building of an anti-corruption culture to envisage rejection of corrupt practices both on the personal and at any level of state or local government. The public control of authorities, the request for which is formed by the anti-corruption culture, can be realised via well-running communications between the authorities and the public and their professional management. The authorities lacking transparency increases both the risks of corrupt practices and the faith in institutions being lost. The article describes the role communications have in implementing steps to get out of the loop of particularism and presents a plan for the implementation of the anti-corruption strategy in the field of public administration by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi. The role of communications in the implementation of Robert Klitgaard’s anti-corruption methodology based on the corruption formula is also presented: C = M + D-A /T, where M stands for monopoly, D is for discretion, and A/T is for accountability/transparency. The author presents the results of the ‘Islands of Integrity TM’ anti- corruption project, implemented by the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Program and funded by the EU. In 2020, the ‘Islands of Integrity TM’ anti-corruption methodology was implemented in six communities of the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts (East part of Ukraine). The author of the article was involved in sociological research conducted in six communities of the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts (April-July 2020), which revealed a lack of public interest and confidence in the official channels to inform the population about the activities of local authorities. Local residents prefer to receive information about the activities of local authorities from informal channels of communication (including from local government officials) than from official sources. This leads to the spreading of rumours and defamation, which enhances the decline in the level of public trust. The reason for this is the low professional level of communications management, the lack of research on the media preferences of local residents, and, as a consequence, the inefficient communication activities of local authorities. This state of things requires an immediate reform of the communication strategies local authorities are currently using. Moreover, mandatory practices of informing the population about all actions of the authorities should be introduced, especially regarding the activities that are vulnerable to corruption. This will reduce the corruption vulnerability of local authorities to ensure communication support for anti-corruption methodologies and foster public control. In this article, the author will turn to the matter of building effective communications between the government and the public in Ukraine and determining the necessary conditions to reduce the risk of state corruption practices by means of communications.