Ukrainian Civil Society Future Search: first results

Between 8 and 10th December 2014 a conference “Future of the Civil Society in Ukraine: search for ways to consolidate” was organized by GURT Resource Centre and the Ukrainian Catholic University using the future search formatMore than 60 representatives of local self-government and state government, community leaders and active citizens, national, regional and local civil society organizations.

During the conference the participants united in similar and mixed groups have identified the milestones of three key prospects — personal, global and a prospect for the civil society in Ukraine from 2004 to the present; interpreted the meaning of these key milestones for the future of our country; outlined in a lively discussion the current tendencies that would shape the future of the civil society in Ukraine till 2016; highlighted the aspects of life they were proud of and the things they are sorry for; presented the common ground in the vision of the future and finally identified the action plan for the defined goal in the short-term and long-term perspective.

After almost a year since the event has been conducted GURT found out what change the participants have managed to implement. Here is an overview of their first results.

Project “Civil society is the driving force of the social dialogue between government, business and community”

Short-term perspective: situation analysis, forming of the project initiative group, conducting “Government-business- community” round table discussion on the government level, creating the project working group, work plan development.

Long-term perspective: project plan development, carrying out a pilot study, pilot study monitoring and analysis, correcting the strategy and development of educational materials, forming a team to implement the strategy, implementing the strategy all over Ukraine.

Lidiia Seniuta, Health Department of Ivano-Frankivsk regional state administration, chief specialist:

— Together with the participants of the event we hold an interim work group meeting. We managed to analyze the problem and determine the institutions and organizations that might be interested in setting up a dialogue between the government, business and community. The meeting resulted in a draft document covering the outlined issues. We also specified a possible format of “The government-community-business” round table and the needs we can meet through developing contacts among all the interested parties. That is all for now though. Now within my competence I keep on contacting with many NGOs dealing with people affected by the armed conflict in the eastern Ukraine, and cooperate with the World Health Organization.

Project “Establishment of Active Social Responsibility School”

Short- term perspective: creating “Hromadsky Visnyk” internet page on the city web-site, establishing civic activism centers, organizing “Responsible passenger” action.

Long-term perspective: establishing Active social responsibility schools all over Ukraine

Olena Bikla, trainer and consultant, evaluation expert:

—  The ideas expressed at the event inspired me to develop my own project. I elaborated a concept of socially responsible business – Coaching center for the sports development among children of 8-14 years in the Kiev region. I produced a video, and soon plan to publish my own book on teambuilding called “My football team”. The book aimed at developing team building skills among children and demonstrating the value of teamwork on the example of football team principles. In the long term perspective I want to extend the activity of these coaching centers in Kyiv and later all over Ukraine.

Project “Fighting against corruption through enhancing the role of the community in the formation of the state attractive for investments”

Short- term perspective: adopting amendments to the lustration law, adopting projects of reforms concerning courts, public prosecutor’s office, Ministry of Internal Affairs, tax and adopting a new election law, monitoring the budget adoption, developing a program eliminating shadow economy, discussing widely the ways to consolidate in the fight against corruption and control over the reforms’ implementation with the participation of civil society organizations.

Long-term perspective:  Lustration law implementation, reforming the government institutions, holding unscheduled local elections under the new election law, the control over budgetary funds usage, enacting the program of eliminating shadow economy.

Vitaly Umanets, NGO “All-Ukrainian Union “Automaidan”, activist:

— As a participant of “Automaidan” NGO I was involved into the new election law adoption process. However together with the team I will demand amendments to prevent uncontrolled financing of political parties, while creating equal conditions for all participants of the election process. Now activists of “Automaidan” take an active part in forming the steering  committee which will deal with the selection of the candidates for the police. They are also involved in the meetings of competition committees which conduct interviews with the candidates for local prosecutors’ positions and detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. In addition, members of Automaidan facilitate the investigation of the crimes committed during Maidan, and are working closely with Ukraine High Qualification Commission of Judges in order to dismiss those judges who handed down unlawful decisions.

Project “Administrative and territorial reform with the participation of the civil society is the first and the most important step in building the state”

Stages: organization of public hearings in Verkhovna Rada, conducting round table discussions between NGOs, Verhovna Rada, administration of the President, Cabinet of Ministers and business representatives, formating working groups, setting up the legislative initiatives.

Valentyna Rudkovska, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Office for Relations with the Local Authorities and Self-Government, Deputy Head:

— 159 local communities have already implemented the provisions of the Law of Ukraine “On voluntary association of local territorial communities”. We regularly conduct public hearings and try to create communication platforms for local authorities, central government and foreign partners. In addition, together with our colleagues we plan to promote the participation of united regional communities in the work of associations and carry out some methodological work towards the implementation of the administrative and territorial reform in Ukraine.

Project “NGOs promote the consolidation of the society and the formation of a national idea based on the common values”

Strategy development: working group formation, broad social research of the national idea, values and consolidation at all levels of Ukraine, round table discussion, conferences and research presentation, organization of a discussion platform for public debate; conclusion and summing up, signing a social agreement between stakeholders.

Implementation: information campaign development,  adaptation of the program to the regional features, projects development and implementation at the local level (youth, children, all categories), monitoring changes within a society, correction of the project based on monitoring, additional training of the local communities, development of educational materials (photos, video, etc.), analysis and reporting.

Yury Yuzych, social activist, co-chairman of All — Ukrainian organization “Plast”:

— Within a year after the event I participated in the working groups to adopt such documents as the Decree of President of Ukraine “On measures to improve national and patriotic education of children and youth” and the Order of Ministry of Education and Science “On approval of the Concept of national and patriotic education of children and youth, Measures to implement the concept of national and patriotic education of children and youth and guidelines on national and patriotic upbringing at secondary school”.  I am still a member of the working group dealing with further implementation of national-patriotic education concept. Among my tasks I see any lobbing of national-patriotic education issues and joining up the efforts around this issue at all levels.

Translated by Iryna Hamaiun

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