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The Electronic Governance for Government Accountability and Community Participation (EGAP) program is intended to apply modern information and communication technologies that will help improve the governance quality, improve interaction between the government and citizens, and promote social innovations in Ukraine. The EGAP Program is funded by the Swiss Confederation and implemented by the Eastern Europe Foundation and InnovaBridge Foundation. The program’s target regions are Vinnytsia, Volyn, Dnipropetrovsk, and Odesa Oblasts. The program’s implementation period is 2015-2019
The Electronic Governance for Government Accountability and Community Participation (EGAP) Program to be implemented in 2015-2019 is intended to apply modern information and communication technologies to help improve the quality of government, cooperation between government and citizens, and promote the development of social innovations in Ukraine.
The EGAP Program funded by the Swiss Confederation will be implemented by the Eastern Europe Foundation and InnovaBridge Foundation. The target oblasts of the Program are Vinnytsia, Volyn, Dnipropetrovsk, and Odesa Oblasts.
Receiving administrative services is almost a daily ritual for common Ukrainians. According to the recent study by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, the demand is the highest for social services: subsidies, targeted assistance, unemployment benefits, etc.
The program is intended to develop and implement new e-governance tools for significant improvement of efficiency and transparency of government agencies in pilot oblasts. Improving the quality and accessibility of e-services, as well as simplifying the process of e-service provision, will receive special emphasis. For this purpose, the experts together with all stakeholders will develop e-governance implementation plans. The established task groups involving all interested parties will develop programs for IT implementation in the pilot oblasts, as well programs for development of Administrative Service Centers. Besides, the program will help make this process effective and transparent, including public discussions using information and computer technologies, as well as by implementing mechanisms to monitor the implementation of local regulations on e-governance.
An important stage for implementation of this component is the assistance to oblast and district-level government agencies in switching administrative services provided to citizens to digital format. In particular, by developing the appropriate criteria, the Program team will help 40 selected pilot Administrative Service Centers do everything necessary to provide administrative services fully in line with national standards and using modern technologies. Therefore, the team will identify the needs of pilot Administrative Service Centers, determine the unified quality standards, and install the software. In order to enable all social groups, including vulnerable ones, to use the services, new e-services will be implemented, such as the unified subsidy appointment system, which has processed over 5,000 citizen applications over the first month of operation alone.
In the course of the program, regional administrative service portals interacting with national resources will be created or improved in pilot oblasts.
Although the implementation of e-governance is one of the priorities in Ukraine, statistics show that public awareness about what the e-governance sphere encompasses is relatively low. According to the KMIS survey requested by the EGAP program in pilot oblasts, only 26% of respondents said they understand what electronic governance is. This figure is certainly higher among civil servants as well as government and local self-governance officials, although the situation requires improvement. One of the tasks of the EGAP program is achieving improvement in this area by implementing new education programs for different target groups in order to implement e-governance into the education landscape and implement modern tools providing access to training on e-governance for civil servants, government and local self-governance officials, as well as for students, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders.
It is currently very important to implement training programs which would significantly improve the knowledge and skills level and systematize civil servants’ and citizens’ general knowledge of the essence of e-governance, its constituent elements, and related processes. Unfortunately, comprehensive training programs on this subject are practically non-existent in higher education institutions or civil service training institutions.
Therefore, one priority of the EGAP Program in this area is to create capabilities for online training of civil servants using the facilities of the Ukrainian Presidential National Academy of Public Administration and implement a course among the disciplines included in continuing training programs for civil servants.
A separate area is implementing a special optional course in Ukrainian universities.
In addition, the program team will work on developing training capabilities for the non-governmental sector, after studying the needs of non-governmental organizations and using the most advanced training formats such as webinars.
We plan to prepare a network of coaches among non-governmental organizations working in adjacent areas and promote this knowledge across the country by training interested organizations. Besides, the program will look for ways to conduct campaigns for promoting e-governance among the public.
Electronic democracy is the fundamental element of a modern developed society, as it enables each citizen to take part in the formation and implementation of government policy and influence the decision-making of government agencies by using information technologies for effective “Citizen to State” communication. E-democracy is also important to ensure the transparency and accountability of government agencies to citizens. The latest survey by Kyiv Sociology Institute conducted in late 2015 in the pilot oblasts of the Program shows that the level of awareness, not to say the use of e-democracy tools, remains very low. In particular, only 21% of respondents in 4 pilot regions believe they understand the term “e-democracy”. Sometimes, the citizens sending an application to the government via Internet or initiating an e-petition do not realize that these are e-democracy tools.
In particular, one of the most successful examples of e-democracy established in the course of EGAP Program is the local petitions system www.e-dem.in.ua, joined by over 50 Ukrainian communities within the first year of its operation. E-petitions are the most accessible, popular, and effective tool to draw the government’s attention to issues important for the community. Besides, this tool ensures active engagement of citizens in the decision-making and local policy making process.
In the course of the E-Democracy component, the EGAP Program has several important tasks. First, it is to increase community involvement and influence on the formation of policy due to the use of new e-governance mechanisms at national and regional levels. This will be achieved by creating and using e-democracy tools and platforms, engaging regional non-governmental organizations in monitoring the operation of government agencies, and mandatory discussion of regulations via e-platforms prior to their adoption.
The second task is to use the awareness campaign and the national platform to be established to implement the knowledge exchange system and increase public awareness of electronic governance and electronic democracy tools. Another important task is implementing pilot initiatives in e-democracy to increase the citizens’ involvement at local and regional levels. One of the ways to achieve this goal is to establish the first contest of e-democracy IT projects in Ukraine, the EGAP CHALLENGE, intended to produce new tools to help citizens receive new high-quality services, to interact with the government efficiently and influence it directly, and help the government achieve a new level of transparency and efficiency. In particular, this includes mobile applications and other technologies that will provide citizens with technical capabilities to use e-democracy tools.
В той час, як компоненти 1 (е-послуги), 2 (розбудова потенціалу), 3 (електронна демократія) програми EGAP сфокусовані на впровадженні електронного урядування та електронної демократії на регіональному рівні, четвертий компонент має за мету здійснювати моніторинг, впливати та підтримувати процеси реформування, що відносяться до сфери електронного урядування та електронної демократії, на національному рівні.
До форм підтримки цього компоненту належать: сприяння проведенню політичних діалогів та круглих столів у цільових регіонах; покращення співробітництва між регіональними та національними політичними ініціативами; проведення аналітичної роботи; надання технічної допомоги, а також узгодження діяльності донорів, з метою кращої координації процесів реформування та формування політики, в тому числі на основі фактичних даних.
У 2015 програма „Електронне врядування задля підзвітності влади та участі громади” (EGAP) в Україні започаткувала серію аналітичних досліджень з питань електронної демократії.
Загалом, у цьому дослідженні взяло активну участь понад 2400 українців та консорціум партнерів, що представляють громадянське суспільство.
Результати нового, проведеного у 2016 році, EGAP звіту „Електронна демократія в Україні з погляду громадян та ключових зацікавлених сторін” звіту будуть широко використовуватися для підвищення поінформованості громадськості про роль ІКТ у посиленні демократії в Україні, а також для розробки нової Дорожньої карти електронної демократії в рамках зобов’язань України у Партнерстві „Відкритий уряд” (2016-2018).
The purpose of EGAP Challenge is implementing new electronic democracy tools to help citizens receive new high quality services, interact with the government effectively and have a direct impact on it, as well as help the government reach a new level of transparency and efficiency.
EGAP Challenge is a joint initiative of the State Agency on Electronic Governance and the Eastern Europe Foundation (hereinafter – the organizers) under the EGAP Program (e-Government for Accountability and Participation) funded by the Swiss Confederation.
EGAP Challenge is intended for implementation over 3 years (2016-2018) and will take place in four pilot oblasts: Vinnytsia, Volyn, Dnipropetrovsk, and Odesa Oblasts.
The organizers and partners of EGAP Challenge will focus primarily on supporting the tools that will help improve interaction between the government and citizens.
The Challenge priorities are:
– creating new tools for interaction between the government and the community, especially as regards enabling citizens to have direct influence on the governance decision-making processes;
– making the activity of government agencies more transparent and open, especially as regards the formation of, and compliance with, budgets, issue of permits, etc.;
– creating new high-quality services for citizens and the business communities, especially as regards the provision of public services;
– development of projects based on open data;
– resolving social problems;
– bringing together the citizens’ efforts and organizing effective cooperation among them for resolution of shared problems;
– sector-specific projects intended to improve the efficiency of state governance and provide services to citizens and the business community (e-environment, e-medicine, e-education, etc.)
The initial budget for support of innovative e-democracy projects selected as winners of the EGAP Challenge is UAH 4.5 million.
The type and amount of support for the winning participant by national partners will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the subject matter of the project, technical and innovative value of the project, etc., as well as in accordance with the terms of the memoranda on cooperation between the Challenge organizers and participants.
The national partners of EGAP Challenge are leading international IT companies: IBM, Cisco Systems, De Novo, and Intel.
The national partners will provide organizational and methodological support for the EGAP Challenge activities, provide mentoring, methodological, and technical assistance to the teams taking part in the EGAP Challenge, as well as provide training, their own products and technologies, and financial support to the EGAP Challenge winners.
The regional partners of EGAP Challenge selected in each of the four regions on a competitive basis are local innovative platforms: iHub Vinnytsia, Space Hub Dnipropetrovsk, Impact Hub Odesa, and Lutsk Local Development Foundation.
The regional partners will organize and carry out the EGAP Challenge activities on their own platforms, including seminars, training sessions, workshops, and creative weekends, as well as incubating the teams taking part in the EGAP Challenge.
In future the number of national and regional partners may be increased.
It is expected that the EGAP Challenge will ensure sustainable development of at least 20 projects.
To shape and implement better e-governance standards and innovative practices to improve the quality of services and information access for citizens.
To improve the transparency and accountability of government agencies through the use of modern information and communication technologies.
To reinforce the role of civil society organizations in advocating, mobilizing, and promoting e-democracy to ensure more active citizen participation in the decision-making process at local and regional levels.
To promote an inclusive dialog on the formation of e-governance and e-democracy policy that takes into account the interests and needs of the regions.
New e-governance tools improve the efficiency and transparency of government agencies and administrative services.
E-democracy tools and e-platforms increase the involvement of citizens in the decision-making process.
New government policies on e-governance and e-democracy have been developed taking into account the needs of the regions.
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