Community development by using information and communication technologies: media report

December 8, 2016

On November 30, 2016, in Kharkiv a public discussion «Technologies for development: the efficient capacity of сapable communities in Ukraine» took place. The event, which was initiated by Microsoft in cooperation with GURT Resource Centre, brought together directors and managers of the international and Ukrainian NGOs and the representatives of state authorities. All of them joined the event for the purpose of the collaborative search for new effective cooperation models for the development of every resident of communities in Ukraine.

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Nadiia Vasylieva, General Manager at Microsoft Ukraine, addressed to the participants with opening speech: «Technologies influence our life. The communication flows of the people of different age are not always in contact. The fourth industrial revolution determines a guideline and the development trend of society – accessibility and net connection. The more access to information you have, the more social privileges you receive. Today, there is no use of welfare and contacts. There is great importance of the information that you have an access to, and the things that you can influence because of it. Any person in Ukraine regardless of domicile can obtain the appropriate social benefits, if he or she knows how to use technologies, and finds accessibility to any world recourse».

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«From July, 2016, GURT implements Technology Assistance Program for Ukrainian non-profit organizations (TechSoup Ukraine). For Ukraine it is a big step forward, as currently Ukrainian NGOs afford to receive software on special terms. The research, which we were conducting in October-November of this year, and it involved 776 managers of NGOs, showed that the level of ICT usage in the field of non-profit organizations was relatively low: less than 10% have ICT fully meeting their current needs. However, in spite of it, there is a positive trend: more and more NGOs move towards the usage of cloud services. We believe that during the next year the Program will essentially strengthen digital competency of the sector and increase the effectiveness of initiatives of Ukrainian NGOs», the deputy director at GURT Recourse Centre Tetiana Danyliv remarked.

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Iryna Fomenko, the chairman of the board of NGO «Professional Development of Kharkiv» Foundation, defined the demand of community organization in ICT: «In my opinion, for the conducting of organization it is necessary to use modern technologies of a project-oriented management. Different workers are engaged in different projects at the same time, so there is no time to clarify the way of problem solving, using the latest technologies. I have high hopes that in the frame of the program of the engineering support of non-profit organizations there also will be an educative part that not only give the information about ICT opportunities, but also teach how to use them».

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Technologies are significant tools for the implementation of decentralizing reform and community development. Perspectives of ICT usage in the growth of their capacity were described by Andrii Nahornyi, the regional coordinator at the project USAID DOBRE: «It is obvious that communities should develop the strategy for realization of 10-15 projects with the assistance of public and all the individuals concerned. In that case, software, which will help to manage projects, is simply irreplaceable».

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The point of the importance of the latest technologies for community development was confirmed by Oleh Zahvozdin, the chief executive officer of the All-Ukrainian Association of Village and Settlement Councils in Kharkiv oblast: «The problem of communities is often the absence of the Internet, and inefficiency to use the latest technologies. Nowadays, ICT help us to improve our life, so it is necessary to get out this message to communities. Such approach allows us to better the rural life».

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During the panel discussion, the participants had an opportunity to express their own ideas toward ICT requirements for the effective development of prospective communities, learn more about better practices of social transformation owing to the latest technologies, and technological support facility, share professional background of the strengthening of civil society potential, and enter into cooperation.

Translated by Valeriia Gura