Voting advice application and public procurement platforms create digital transparency
Ukraine’s upcoming parliamentary elections will see the country using a digital voting advice application for the first time. In addition, a modern public procurement system is providing transparency.
Ukraine’s new voting advice application is called PROvybir (‘for the election’). The Committee of Voters of Ukraine, a non-governmental organisation, developed the tool to make information more accessible, in particular to young voters. Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and other international organisations were among those supporting the initiative.
There was very little time: the decision to bring the election forward from late October to 21 July was taken only in May. Nonetheless, the platform went live in early July. It enables voters to compare political parties’ policies on 30 different issues with their own views. 54,000 voters accessed the platform within the first 10 days alone.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is also making greater use of digital solutions to improve transparency in public administration. In 2014, the country signed an association agreement with the European Union, which highlighted the need for reforms. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is supporting Ukraine in developing an efficient and transparent public finance system – and helping to prevent corruption. The cooperation is already proving successful: more than 14 million Ukrainians benefited from access to improved state services between 2015 and 2017 thanks to the work of GIZ and its partners. One component in the initiative is ProZorro, an online platform that all organisations awarding public contracts have had to use since August 2016.
The aim of the platform is to ensure maximum transparency when state contracts are awarded. Now, when the Ukrainian Government issues an invitation to tender, citizens can see which companies are bidding. The auctions are livestreamed on the internet, and the public can download the results. There is now fair competition between potential bidders: since the platform was introduced, the number of bidders has increased by 50 per cent, while corruption and misappropriation of resources have been reduced. It is estimated that in the two years since ProZorro’s launch, Ukraine has saved over EUR 1.6 billion.