Innovate Democracy with U-INN!

Sep 18, 2017

Photo credit: ©Andriy Krepkikh / UNDP in Ukraine

What are the most innovative approaches to solving current problems in the field of democracy and human rights? And how can youth in Ukraine get engaged with their own ideas and contribute to social change?

These issues were at the center of this weekend’s Social Innovation Workshop, organized in Kyiv as part of the 2017 Social Good Summit.

Ukraine is in fact testing many innovative solutions in the field of democracy and human rights. Participatory budgets are allowing citizens to decide on their own how to spend public finances. Open budgets are providing an opportunity to track how budget funds are spent. The Open Parliament initiative aims at the dissemination of best practices in the openness of parliamentary processes. The initiative “They vote for you” enables to check how members of parliament vote. The Opendatabot service monitors the registration data of Ukrainian companies and court registry to protect against raider attack and control of counterparties. E-petitions portal allows citizens to promote their own issues with policy maker. Electronic declarations registry have made available to the public and the media information about the assets of public servants. And the ground-breaking ProZorro online public procurement system is deeply transforming the way public procurement is conducted.

“A significant proportion of Ukrainian youth is ready to engage to make positive changes in their society: 37% of young people are interested in transforming their communities for better. Getting familiar with the social innovative initiatives is the first step for young people to actively participate in policy-making and to contribute to social change”, –  said Van Nguyen, Deputy Country Director of the UNDP Office in Ukraine.

“It’s a high time for us to engage young people into solving social problems of our communities. Creating and implementing social innovations will help young people self-organize, assist each other and feel responsibility for the present and future of their communities, and of our country,” –  stressed Olexander Yarema, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine.

Participants of the Social Innovation Workshop presented their ideas, played social games, and met with well-known civil society activists. Famous human rights defenders shared their knowledge on innovative approaches in the field of human rights.

The workshop also presented how to take part in the U-Inn youth innovation competition on democracy and human rights – a new initiative where the selected young innovators will win 5,000 USD to implement their idea.

The Social Innovation Workshop was organized by the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine within the framework of the project “Civil Society for Enhanced Democracy and Human Rights in Ukraine”, financially supported by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The event was held in the framework of the eighth annual Social Good Summit, which is a uniquely inclusive, global platform for exchanging ideas to find solutions for the greatest challenges of our time, creating partnerships, engaging with communities and building public support for the Sustainable Development Goals. The Social Good Summit is held every year during UN General Assembly Week.  Last year, it was held in 87 countries of the world. The theme of the 2017 Social Good Summit is the Future in Focus.

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