Enhancing public sector accountability through Institutional Strengthening in Anti-Corruption and Decentralization

Project background

While Timor-Leste has taken steps to establish a legal and institutional framework for a transparent, accountable and democratic state, the country has been slow in adopting the legal framework for anti-corruption, with the Law on Anti-Corruption pending in Parliament since 2011 and the country yet to adopt a National Anti-Corruption Strategy. Timor-Leste’s performance on different global indices continues to be poor, with a ranking of 101 out of 176 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2016. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

The Government has established a National Implementation Technical Working Group chaired by the Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC) to develop a strategy on anti-corruption however with this assistance concluding at the end of 2017, there is enthusiasm at the highest level of CAC to continue cooperation with the UN through UNDP.

The capacity and quality of public service delivery provided by local governments is a related area of growing concern. The Government has proposed to allocate $132 million in 2018 for all municipalities, as compared to $20-42 million in 2017, to be used for various decentralization programmes.  Without a ‘checks and balances’ mechanism in place, the devolution of previously centralized powers to the regions could trigger and worsen the perception of corruption and mist-management at the local level and ultimately undermine development efforts.

Project activities

  • Strengthen anti-corruption efforts in Timor-Leste by mainstreaming transparency and accountability at the municipal level by socializing relevant laws and regulations, strengthening the capacity of CAC and supporting its collaboration with other oversight institutions and raising awareness among citizens.
  • Support effective service delivery and decentralized public administration through adopting UNDP’s Articulation of Territorial Networks for Sustainable Human Development (ART) initiative to support decentralized public administration focused on the capacity development of civil servants.
  • Strengthen democratic participation and citizenship at the municipality level through an integrated approach that aims to both support credible, peaceful, and fair municipal elections and to enhance the capacity of newly elected municipal presidents and municipal assemblies’ members to strengthen citizen participation in municipality governance.

Project results

Short-term outputs will include publication of corruption prevention manuals and local level results such as the smooth running of municipal elections. Mid-term impacts are expected to include institutionalizing more accountable and strong state institutions and effective capacity built based on a learning by doing approach. In the long term, government and elected officials are expected to be held accountable based on improved capacities, tools, and a culture of transparency and accountability, with long-lasting peace and prosperity at the grassroots level.


Main Partners

  • Government of Timor-Leste
  • Anti-Corruption Commission

Contact Information

Contact Persons

Bernardino Da Costa Pereira

Project Manajer








Project start date:

January 2018

Estimated end date:

December 2021

Focus area:

  • eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions
  • accelerate structural transformations
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Timor-Leste

    Implementing partner:

    United Nations Development Programme

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • Korea Intern. Cooperation Agency (koica)
  • United Nations Development Pro
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2021 $2,924

    2020 $538,398

    2019 $588,091

    2018 $192,299

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