More than 100 teams from all over Ukraine offered innovative digital solutions to solve current problems of local development of communities of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Illustration: UNDP in Ukraine

Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, 15 December 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine has selected the winners of the EastCode national contest of IT-solutions for communities of eastern Ukraine.

The winning projects will receive financial and mentoring support for the implementation of innovative ideas in the communities of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

EastCode was held as part the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with the organizational support of the Happy Monday career development platform and the Center42 Innovation Agency, and with the financial support of the European Union and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

UNDP selected the winners together with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast State Administrations.

EastCode is a call for action to accelerate research, new developments and technology projects that will help transform these oblasts into prosperous digital communities. Today, the digital transformation of communities is a relevant issue, primarily because local governments located along the “contact line”, where physical movement is partially restricted, need special adaptive tools in the areas of e-democracy, services provision and environmental protection.

The contest lasted for two months and was held in several stages: out of 112 teams, 35 made it to the semi-finals and continued to improve their ideas with the support of mentors. Fifteen teams reached the final round. The teams’ innovative ideas included a wide range of solutions, from the creation of interactive monitoring maps, chatbots and applications, to services to provide communities with tools for public discussion.

Five teams in three thematic areas were selected as winners:

  • Effective governance and enhanced citizen engagement in decision-making.

NGO "Centre for Integrated Solutions" with the project "OSBB.LIFE"

The idea of the project is to create and maintain a comprehensive information solution aimed at improving the management and control of reporting for organizations that serve the housing stock. This will modernise the activities of apartment buildings, including residential services, save time, provide timely information to residents and involve more residents in decision-making and housing management.

Dream Team with the Ecosystem Engage 4.0 project

This project team decided to present a completely innovative solution for involving children in the development and implementation of community development programmes, using the technology of symbiosis of virtual environment, gamification and augmented reality, in particular using Minecraft as a tool for influence and decision making. Young community residents will be able to design their own cities, with plenty of opportunities to visualize and communicate their views to the authorities.

  • Environmental protection and sustainable local development.

Team "Fishermen's Club of Ukraine" with the project "EcoWater"

With a strong desire to save disappearing water resources in the oblasts, this team plans to develop a mobile application – an interactive map for public monitoring of water resources of Donetsk Oblast – which will facilitate access to information through visualization and analysis of government data. The team seeks to draw attention to the state of the oblast's water resources, involve the public in decision-making, and create environmental strategies in communities. The team has a wide network of partners and like-minded people who are ready to promote the maximum dissemination of the new solution, as well as to participate in public control over the environmental safety of water resources in the region.

Waste Ukraine Analytics team with Waste Ukraine Analytics project

The team proposes to implement the first B2B platform in Ukraine to create a marketplace in the field of solid waste management, introducing best practices that have already proven their effectiveness in the EU.

  • Modern tools for bringing public services closer to residents.

The ‘advancenet’ team and their innovative idea @AdvanceMentalHealthBot

A platform for the diagnosis and rehabilitation of people with post-traumatic stress disorder will promote the psychosocial rehabilitation of internally displaced persons and ex-combatants. The platform will include the creation of a chatbot and a neural network for recognizing diagnostic markers and predicting the patient's condition. The team hopes that the project will improve the quality of life of vulnerable groups, help them come to terms with their past experiences, become more resilient and continue to live their lives.

The team is to receive additional financial support from Social Cohesion and Community Security Component of the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme.

Congratulating the winners of the competition, the manager of the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, Victor Munteanu, noted that this year the UN team was striving to respond to modern challenges as quickly and effectively as possible. “We are pleased to support initiatives that build up communities in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The development of strong and prosperous communities and ensuring the resilient and sustainable development of territories in eastern Ukraine remains a priority of our programme," Munteanu said.

Director of the Department of International Technical Assistance, Innovative Development and External Relations of the Luhansk Oblast State Administration Denys Denyshchenko pointed to the participants’ active public position: “Creative people who are not indifferent to the development of their country gathered at this event, and their innovative solutions will produce qualitative changes in the lives of residents of the communities of eastern Ukraine and our Luhansk Oblast. Such events create the necessary platforms for innovations to be born, implemented and consolidated." Denyshchenko said.

Svitlana Pochebut, Head of the International Technical Assistance Project Coordination Unit of Donetsk Oblast State Administration's Investment and Innovation Development and External Relations Department, stressed the importance of UNDP's support for structural change in the oblast.

"The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has undoubtedly had a negative impact on the socio-economic potential of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and at the same time has provoked many challenges. Today, the standard ways to solve most problems in the oblast are irrelevant, so there is a need to implement innovative solutions that will be the foundation of new qualitative changes. Creating a safe environment for the residents of the communities, the system for providing quality public and administrative services is the main, firm priority of the development strategy of the Donetsk Oblast until 2027," said Pochebut.

Contest partners:

The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme expresses its sincere gratitude to all partners who helped provide organizational, informational and resource support of the EastCode project: IT-companies Eleks Nordics and Genesis, Techiia Holding, IT Association of Ukraine, LUN Misto, Centre for Development of Startup Ecosystems of Eastern Ukraine 1991 Mariupol, SocialBoost, IT BRO, BRDO Office for Effective Regulation, Association of United Territorial Communities, DOU Community of Developers, Kharkiv IT Cluster, Association of Youth Centres of Ukraine, Lviv Regional Youth Centre, Agency for Effective Solutions, media of useful solutions "Rubryka", online-media "Bukvy", Anti-Crisis Media Centre, Socio-Political Observer "Tribun", "Vostochnyi Variant" and Marketer.

The organizing committee of the competition expresses gratitude to all of the mentors who worked for several weeks with the 35 semifinal teams and 15 finalist teams, as well as the Honorary Jury of the national competition – Savelii Barashkov, Oksana Holovko, Vitalii Honcharuk, Viktor Hurskii, Maryna Denysiuk, Denys Denyshchenko, Serhii Karelin, Viacheslav Maiakin, Jaanika Merylo, Ivan Rohovchenko, Denys Sudilkovskyi, Anton Tyshkovskyi, Olena Ursu, Anastaiia Khalieeva and Olesia Tsybulko.

Background

The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Thirteen international partners support the Programme: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland & the UK.

Media enquiries

Maksym Kytsiuk, Communications Associate, UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, maksym.kytsiuk@undp.org, +380 63 576 1839

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