RUSI’s Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies (CFCS) and RUSI Europe launch the Supervising and Monitoring Ukraine’s Reconstruction Funds (SMURF) project to support Ukrainian civil society in the efficient oversight of international aid allocation.
The SMURF project aims to empower Ukraine’s ‘second line of defence’ - civil society and investigative journalists - to gather the expertise and tools that will enable it to monitor the proper allocation of funds and discourage kleptocracy and corruption.
The project is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), RUSI’s long-standing partner in empowering civil society and journalists to combat corruption.
For the project implementation, CFCS and RUSI Europe will partner with the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), a leading Ukrainian think tank closely engaged in dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities on building accountability mechanisms for reconstruction aid.
The Russian aggression against Ukraine has devastated the country and upended the lives of millions of Ukrainians. The country is already receiving significant international aid to address immediate recovery needs. The inflow of funds for reconstruction will grow further once the hostilities cease. It will require proper mechanisms and expertise to ensure that these funds are not being mismanaged or pilfered. Traditional control systems, also known as the ‘first line of defence’, have proven ineffective in the past, particularly because those responsible for applying the controls could also profit from this activity.
As part of the SMURF project, RUSI CFCS and RUSI Europe will organise a two-week study tour in Brussels and London on 12 – 26 March 2023. The study tour will connect Ukrainian anticorruption experts, civil society activists and journalists to policy makers and research communities in the EU and the UK and enhance the skills in financial crimes investigation. The study tour will foster European cooperation and support the reconstruction efforts by introducing selected participants to relevant policymakers and experts in Brussels and London.
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SMURF aims to empower Ukraine’s civil society as the ‘second line of defence’ by providing the necessary expertise and tools to enhance the financial monitoring capabilities of Ukraine’s reconstruction funds.