Kyiv, May 7, 2018 – The Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and UNDP teamed up on May 7 at an event aimed at reaching out to civil society and reformers from inside the government. The event was intended to foster an exchange of ideas and find ways to increase transparency in policy-making.
Attendees at the “Government is Open!” event, part of international Open Government Week, included change-makers, thinkers and doers from in and out of government.
The event was arranged in line with UNDP priorities to empower citizens across Ukraine to become drivers of reform in their communities. UNDP supports openness of decision-making processes and active involvement of the civil society into policymaking.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman, praised the initiative.
“Openness is equal to efficiency,” the prime minister told attendees. “Together we can solve problems, avoid mistakes, and prevent the weakness of the country. Issues of dialogue and openness are crucial to the state authorities. If the government looks in one direction, while the civil society in the other, the gap will only deepen. So let's move on, pushing forward decentralization and increasing accountability and responsibility.”
Janthomas Hiemstra, Country Director of UNDP in Ukraine, noted that Open Government values – access to public information, civil society’s involvement, accountability and application of the available technologies and innovations to advance government-citizens cooperation – are deeply entrenched in all UNDP programmes and projects in Ukraine.
“So we need to take a smart approach to the Open Government Partnership, combining our quest to develop technologies and innovations with a human-rights-based approach,” Hiemstra said.
“We must always act in favour of the rights holders, allowing for honest feedback from the users of any Government services; be it public transport, procurement contracts or ethical standards and performance of civil servants” he said.
While the government has made some progress in opening up its activities to the public, many e-solutions and platforms are still not understood or widely used by the citizens, due to being non-user-friendly or accessible. UNDP’s recent Human Rights Baseline Study showed that only 3.2% of Ukrainians receive information on their rights and ways to protects them directly from the public officials, and only 4.1% get such information from the official websites of the authorities.
About Open Government Day
The “Government is Open!” event was organized by the Secretariat of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (CMU) in cooperation with the UNDP Ukraine as part of the Open Government Week on May 7, 2018.
The Open Government Week is part of the Open Government Partnership Initiative, which Ukraine joined in 2011. Currently, the 4th upcoming Open Government Action Plan 2018-2020 is being drawn up. For the first time key OGP commitments with be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.