Relevance of Implementing E-Democracy Conference

A conference on implementation of electronic democracy in Ukraine took place on May 28, 2016. The participants reviewed the most effective electronic democracy tools used in Ukraine and globally, and outlined current problems and needs. The event was organized by the EGAP Dnipro team.

The conference speakers included leading experts: Jordanka Tomkova (INNOVABRIDGE Foundation representative), Olena Saienko (project manager, Eastern Europe Foundation), Yevhen Sarantsov (organizer of Zakupki.prom.ua, member of the ProZorro movement), Nataliia Kravchenko (organizer of 007.org.ua), Oleksii Vyskub (Deputy Head of the State Agency for Electronic Governance).

The attendees stated that Ukraine currently possesses a favorable climate for change in the area of electronic democracy. “24% of the population are willing to take part in the creation and use of electronic democracy tools in one way or another”, said Oleksii Vyskyb, representative of the State Agency for Electronic Governance. “At the moment, we focus on two important tasks: developing new e-democracy projects and creating an ecosystem of electronic governance in Ukraine”.

 

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Oleksii Vyskyb, Deputy Head of the State Agency for Electronic Governance

In turn Olena Saienko stated that there are numerous electronic democracy projects already in active operation and development. The projects that were mentioned included the Unified Local Petitions System (e-dem.in.ua), Social Inspector (civilinspect.com.ua), Open City (opencity.in.ua), Cost of the State (cost.ua), and  others.

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Olena Saienko, Programs Manager, Eastern Europe Foundation

Jordanka Tomkova, representative of the Swiss INNOVABRIDGE Foundation, spoke about the global experience of development and implementation of electronic democracy tools, and made a brief review of the most successful and effective projects. “Electronic democracy is a cyclic process, which makes it extremely important to ensure strong communication between the government agencies and the citizens. This communication must work in both directions, from citizens to government agencies and backwards”, she said.

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Jordanka Tomkova, representative of the Swiss INNOVABRIDGE Foundation

“In addition to social effectiveness, electronic democracy tools must have a business model of their own”, said Yevhen Sarantsov, organizer of the Zakupki.prom.ua project. “A social project may be commercial, and it is not something to be ashamed of. Moreover, such a project may only become truly effective after it learns to earn”.

An announcement made at the conference revealed the time and place of the first EGAP Challenge, a contest of IT projects in electronic democracy. Some ideas about hackathon participants in future were announced.

The first hackathon will take place on June 18-19 in the Spacehub innovative space. We invite everyone who has ideas or finished electronic democracy projects to join the hackathon. The winners will receive two incubation slots, consultation from experts in various areas to help develop the project, as well as financial support for the project. At the moment, the prize fund of the challenge stands at UAH 4.5 million, as well as contributions from challenge partners, which are leading companies such as Intel, Cisco, De Novo, etc.

EGAP is a program intended to improve cooperation between government agencies and Ukrainian citizens using modern technologies. The program is being implemented by the Eastern Europe Foundation and State Agency for Electronic Governance with support from the Swiss Confederation. In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the EGAP project combines the efforts of SPACEHUB innovations center, FeelGoodLabs business accelerator, and InnovationBOX regional business incubator.

 

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