Improving transparency and reducing corruption through e-governance in Ukraine


EGAP
EGAP © EGAP

The people of Ukraine are regularly confronted with the problems of corruption and difficulties in accessing information. With the 'E-Governance for Accountability and Participation' (EGAP) programme, the SDC is working to improve this situation and help strengthen citizens' trust in Ukraine's public administration.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Governance
Democratic participation and civil society
Public sector policy
01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023
CHF 5'400'000
Background Ukraine’s system and culture of public administration, despite some notable progress made in the past years, still needs more transparency, accountability and efficiency to respond to the high demand of citizens for high-quality and corruption-free public services. An effective public administration is required to steer and implement the ongoing comprehensive reforms in various fields. At the same time, in a country with a world-low 9% of citizens’ trust in their national government, it is essential to find new, unconventional ways of citizen-government interaction which can help to restore the trust of citizens in the authorities and to contribute to greater social cohesion. Since 2014, with the establishment of the State Agency for EGovernance and the rollout of important reforms, incl. decentralization and public administration reform, there has been a significant take-off in the development and introduction of e-governance and e-democracy tools in Ukraine. Key achievements in this area include the introduction of open budgeting, digitalized public services and e-petitions, the broader use of open data, and the launch of the public procurement system ProZorro. Furthermore, a comprehensive policy environment and a reform “eco system” uniting IT business, social start-ups, civil society organizations, international donors and public authorities was developed.
Objectives Citizens (including vulnerable groups and IDPs) and businesses get better access to and make more use of public services, become less exposed to corruption, and express more trust in the authorities.
Target groups

Local: citizens in target regions; local CSOs; representatives of local authorities; local media, private business;

Regional: oblast and rayon authorities; regional centers for training of civil servants; regional CSOs;

National: State Agency for E-Governance, Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, various line ministries and state agencies, national CSOs, local self-government associations, private business.

Medium-term outcomes

1.National, regional and local authorities provide public services in a more efficient and transparent way thanks to enhanced capacities and new e-governance policies/tools developed in an inclusive manner.

2.Citizen participation and policy influencing has increased due to better understanding and broader use of new e-democracy instruments at national and sub-national levels.

Results

Expected results:  

1. Citizens all over Ukraine, including in conflict-affected areas, enjoy access to fully digitalized, corruption-free and user-friendly public services.

2. Inclusive policy dialogue on e-governance is ensured at the national and sub-national levels.

3. Public authorities at regional and local levels are capacitated to deliver efficient and inclusive services by using e-governance solutions.

4. Citizen participation in decision-making is enabled through national, regional and local e-democracy platforms.

5. Inclusive dialogue on e-democracy policy and its practical implementation is ensured at the national and subnational levels.

6. Enhanced capacity of citizens, public administration and individual public servants (including female leaders) to use and promote e-democracy tools for participatory decisionmaking and policy development.


Results from previous phases:  

• More than 300,000 citizens used e-services, launched by EGAP in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Interior.

• 82% of users evaluate the quality of the introduced eservices as “good” or “very good”, whereas 76% think that e-service implementation helps to reduce corruption.

• E-DEM platform uniting major e-democracy tools (epetitions, participatory budgets, e-consultations, citizens reporting), is available for all municipalities, together with training and consulting support.

• E-petitions platform is used by 190 municipalities and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

• Two cycles of EGAP Challenge – the first national competition of e-democracy start-ups – contributed to the formation of e-democracy ecosystem. 25 winning projects supported by EGAP benefitted over 400,000 users.

• Expert contribution to the national policy and legal framework in the sector (Concept on E-democracy, Concept for E-governance Development, “Digital by Default” concept, National Informatization Programme).

• Launch of the modern Cabinet of Ministers portal (kmu.gov.ua), and portal for application to new public service vacancies (career.gov.ua) supporting the public administration reform.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation


Coordination with other projects and actors

• Support to Decentralization in Ukraine DESPRO (GIS for land and assets management in communities);

• Integrated Urban Development Project of GIZ and SECO (application of EGAP e-democracy tools for urban planning);

• DESPRO, UNDP Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme and Livelihood Assistance Programme by DRC (joint areabased programmatic support to two communities in Luhansk region);

• Other international donor funded projects, e.g.TAPAS, U-LEAD, EU4PAR supporting e-governance in Ukraine.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   5'400'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'625'542 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF  16'000'000
Project phases Phase 2 01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.06.2013 - 30.06.2019   (Completed)

Improving transparency and reducing corruption through e-governance in Ukraine

The citizens of Ukraine tend to be distrustful of their country's public agencies. This is largely because of a lack of accountability, difficulties in accessing information and the poor quality of public services. The SDC has been working in Ukraine for a number of years to remedy this situation and thereby support the democratic reform of public institutions. 

The first phase of the EGAP programme was launched on 1 April 2015 with the aim of increasing Ukrainian citizens' trust in state agencies through the use of e-governance. Specifically, EGAP aims to reduce corruption and improve access to public administration services for all citizens, especially the more vulnerable groups such as internally displaced persons, rural populations and older people. 

While there are different definitions of e-governance, they all basically refer to the use of digital and ICT tools for the delivery of public services. Thanks to e-governance, Ukrainian citizens can now fill in forms directly on the websites of public administrations and may even be able to vote online in the future.

 

Priorities 

The SDC has defined three objectives for the EGAP programme: launch of e-governance, use of e-governance, and an inclusive e-governance policy.

- Through e-governance tools, the SDC aims to improve government transparency, accountability and efficiency and to reduce corruption. Regional and local authorities will be able to offer citizens more efficient administrative services through the use of new e-governance tools.

- The use of e-democracy tools is intended to increase citizens' participation in decision-making processes and local development. This will increase citizens' engagement and in turn enhance their influence in these processes.

- The new national policies developed in the context of e-governance are more inclusive, decentralised and evidence-based.

 

By the end of the programme, citizens and businesses should have better access to public services, face less corruption and have more trust in public authorities.

 

Stimulating local democracy through innovative tools 

Initial attempts to introduce e-democracy at the local level in Ukraine have proved positive. To increase citizen participation in local democratic processes in Ukraine, a range of e-democracy tools were developed (e.g. e-petitions, online participatory budgeting, e-consultations and online grievance mechanisms) for the delivery of citizen services from 2015. Despite strong interest, the uptake of these tools was often delayed as a result of budgetary and technical constraints among local governments. To make the tools more accessible, they were subsequently integrated into a single e-democracy platform ('e-dem.tools') in 2018. As a one-stop shop for public services throughout Ukraine, this platform is now actively used by 211 local governments and newly merged communities. As a result, 14,886 e-petitions were submitted (18.5% of which were officially accepted), 21,660 citizens' concerns were resolved, and 72 participatory budgeting projects were approved. The training of 718 local officials, civic stakeholders and citizens also contributed to the platform's successful adoption. 

At the same time, EGAP also promotes a culture of social innovation in Ukraine by supporting creative youth participants (women and men) and IT professionals. Two national hackathons on e-democracy (EGAP CHALLENGE) were launched, attracting more than 200 start-up companies. Almost half of the 30 winning teams came from the regions of eastern Dnipropetrovsk and southern Odessa. Five of the best solutions from these start-ups tackled anti-corruption measures in education, taxation and the private sector. The selected projects will receive support from the EGAP Accelerator programme until they are fully operational. 

The e-democracy initiatives in Ukraine have proven more popular than expected. The initial objective (in 2015) was to raise the number of users of e-democracy tools from zero to 40,000 by 2019. The fact that there are now 885,000 civic and governmental actors registered on the platform comes as an encouraging surprise. The Ukrainian government's adoption of the 2016–18 national concept and action plan for e-democracy was an important step towards securing the sustainability of the various initiatives