This question occupied minds of 15 Ivano-Frankivsk (Western Ukraine) activists, who took part in the 2-day workshop on April 3-4th. The training is part of the Initiative “Open Budget” implemented by UNDP and Internews in Ukraine. The participants were of different backgrounds, i.e. public activists, journalists, CSO workers and employees of state financial department.
The Ukrainian expert on budget law raised participants’ awareness on local budget’s structure, its classification, transfer policy, in-flows and common line-items. The participants also learned about budget cycle and terms of its adoption, and how and on what stages civil society can influence the budget process.
Experienced trainers on data visualization talked about data structure and principles of info-graphic creation. They presented best case practices of budget visualization around the world and shared free online tools for data visualization. Armed with knowledge and motivation the participants split into two groups and began prototyping digital solutions.
The first group based its idea on Open Knowledge Foundation tool OpenSpending presenting Ivano-Frankivsk budget expenditures. They also planned that data from the previous years can be added and compared, so citizens will see what changes happened in certain categories.
The other group decided to create a website that would present budget incomes and expenditures in a clear way. The user will chose a category that he is interested in and will find out what is included into it. For example, education category will present data for school, kinder gardens, etc., and also it will be seen from which budget money come from, i.e. city, region or state budget.
The other two Itch Workshops will be held on Zhytomyr, April 10-11th, and Ternopil, April 22-23rd. After conduction of 3 trainings UNDP and Internews will select three ideas for development of the full beta-versions.
The Initiative “Open Budget” is supported by Internews Center for Innovation and Learning and implemented by UNDP and Internews in Ukraine.
[Guest Blog post written by Mariya Kozubskaya, project manager for the Open Budget Pilot project in Ukraine]