Since the Euromaidan revolution shook up Ukraine in late 2014, we at Sunlight have been closely following how the transition has changed citizen expectations of political accountability and the heightened demand to eradicate decades of entrenched corruption that has long disabled good governance in the country. Ever since the transition, Ukrainian civil society has been working hard to put pressure on the government to make significant structural and administrative reforms that demonstrate a transformation in government openness and accountability. Over the last few years, Sunlight has worked with many of the country’s NGO reformers, advising them on key policies and tools for transparency and accountability.
Now, we are excited to announce that we’re embarking on a new project to have more sustained engagement in Ukraine. With support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, we will be working even more closely with Ukraine’s transparency activists, providing these groups the opportunity to collaborate with each other through a capacity-building project.
As a first step, we conducted a series of meetings in Kiev with seven local partner groups to determine the type of assistance and knowledge they need to increase their capacities in a way that is unique to their Ukrainian context.
As a part of these efforts, we will also host several leaders of Ukrainian civil society next month in Washington, D.C. Over the course of a week we will work with them in an individual, customized way on a specific challenge or project they’ve identified. We’ll provide this support through one-on-one meetings with Sunlight staff and D.C. partner organizations, group discussions and technical assistance. These leaders will also participate in Sunlight’s annual unconference, TransparencyCamp, where they will learn about the challenges and improvements of the global open government agenda and develop relationships with other relevant stakeholders from around the world. TCamp will provide a way for our colleagues to absorb multidisciplinary learning and creative solutions from peers working as journalists, developers, technologists, policymakers, government officials, academics and advocates.
Finally, we will follow up with all the civil society members who attended on the ground through a trip to Kiev, where we will discuss the progress of their projects and discover if there are any areas where we can provide further support and assistance.
We could not be more excited to embark on this new initiative, and we’re looking forward to sharing more about our work in Ukraine as it progresses.