Ukraine: Supporting Civil Society Oversight

Resources will enable public activists, journalists and ordinary citizens to monitor state expenditures and investigate corruption.

Ukraine: Supporting Civil Society Oversight

Resources will enable public activists, journalists and ordinary citizens to monitor state expenditures and investigate corruption.

Monday, 20 November, 2023


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Groundbreaking tools to allow civil society to monitor Ukraine’s reconstruction were presented at a conference organised by IWPR in Kyiv attended by more than 120 participants. 

Corruption has long plagued public life in Ukraine, and strenuous efforts have been made to tackle the issue, especially in the light of the country’s potential EU accession. The ongoing war, accompanied by sanctions against Russian business interests, and the future reconstruction of the country have all added impetus to such efforts.

The November 3-4 event, entitled Government Accountability: Effective Tools for Regional Activists and Journalists, was sponsored by the Norwegian foreign ministry and the EU delegation.

The resources presented at the meeting were intended to enable public activists, journalists and ordinary citizens to more efficiently monitor state budget expenditures and investigate corruption cases.

Agia Zagrebelska, of the National Corruption Prevention Agency (NCPA), presented the War and Sanctions portal. Developed by the National Security Agency, this details Western companies that circumvent sanctions and continue to do business with the Russian military-industrial complex. 

The resource also provides an opportunity to find information about persons who support Russia's war against Ukraine, about their assets, which in the future can be seized for the reconstruction of our state.

Zagrebelska explained that the portal made it possible to “deliver data on sanctioned Russians, assets, circumvention schemes to any point in the world with one click. 

“Today, our portal is used by all the world's key sanctioning bodies, the largest consulting agencies. That is, all those who influence the sanctions market today are users of our portal”.

Martyna Bohuslavets, the founder of the Institute of Legislative Ideas, noted that it was key to control reconstruction at the local level to ensure transparency. She laid out a series of effective tools to do so including budget analysis, public procurement monitoring, the verification of declarations and public participation in working groups on compensation for damaged housing.

"If you want to understand what is happening with the reconstruction in your city, open the local budgets, open the purchases of your local self-government bodies, which are responsible for the reconstruction,” Bohuslavets said. “Start monitoring the prices according to the estimates and see which objects are going to be restored.”

Anastasia Renkas, of the Whistleblowing Institute of NCPA presented the Unified Whistleblower Notification Portal. A secure system that allowed corruption reports to be quickly and conveniently submitted, the portal also made it possible to monitor the status and results of the report and the whistleblower's status. The portal guarantees anonymity and confidentiality, with personal data protected.

Iryna Glagola, a representative of the Agency for Search and Management of Assets (ARMA), presented the newly created register of seized assets. This allows the tracking of, for example, the seized property of Russian businessmen in Ukraine and the revenue it brings the state budget. 

The register currently contains about 140,000 records and is being actively enlarged.

Glagola said that both anti-corruption bodies and the public had shown interest in the register.

“We have plans to connect other databases to receive information, so that the database of seized assets is complete and available to those who view the register,” she continued. “The next steps will be cooperation with the ministry of justice regarding the register of executive proceedings.”

Roman Steblivskyi, an analyst with the Trap Aggressor project, presented a register of assets of Russian oligarchs who are in some way involved in financing military actions on the territory of Ukraine. The resource makes it possible to research assets on the territory of Ukraine that have not yet been charged to state income.

Serhiy Mytkalyk, head of the Anti-Corruption Headquarters NGO, presented an interactive map of destruction and reconstruction with information on all civil infrastructure objects impacted as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It also contains information on restoration efforts. 

Its purpose is to ensure transparent restoration of damaged or destroyed objects and to promote the effective reconstruction of Ukraine.

Mytkalyk explained that this map was the only one to integrate all this this information, adding that it was also being used “to raise funds for the reconstruction of the country. And we have already collected more than 20 million dollars through joint efforts”.

Viktor Nestulya, head of the DREAM project office, presented the DREAM reconstruction management ecosystem. This resource collects, organises and publishes open data on all stages of reconstruction projects in real time. 

More than 1,700 projects have already been uploaded to the system. Performance can be publicly monitored which in turn reduces risk, generates accurate reporting, and improves overall project performance. 

During the presentation, Viktor Nestulya also emphasized that the key users of DREAM should be local self-government bodies. The system will provide all the key tools for communities that will stimulate, including their industrial, infrastructural, economic and social development.

This publication was prepared under the "Amplify, Verify, Engage (AVE) Project" implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.

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