The transition from open data to open government can often be a slow process in countries without a history of healthy civic engagement. As a response to this challenge, Internews and the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine joined their efforts in helping local municipalities present budgets in a user-friendly format.
The pilot attempts to address the gap created by the lack of access to municipal budgeting data in Ukraine. The project brings civil servants, civil society workers, ICT experts, and journalists together to create ways in which municipal budget information can be better shared with the public. This will serve the goal of empowering leaders in communities to prioritize the quality of information ecosystems in their decision making and activities, and to make their voices heard.
The "Open Budget Initiative” aims to find a way to inform local communities about municipal budgets, and tell citizens how they can influence authorities’ decisions about the allocation of public funds.
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 goal of this pilot is to support at least three municipal communities in Ukraine in designing effective digital tools for budget visualization and analysis, sustaining them over time and ensuring effective collaboration between the municipality, local journalists, and civil society to ultimately make municipal budgets, as well as the decision-making process, more transparent and participatory.