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Ukraine Transitional Results Report 2018-2020

The Open Government Partnership is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. Action plan commitments may build on existing efforts, identify new steps to complete ongoing reforms, or initiate an entirely new area. OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Civil society and government leaders use the evaluations to reflect on their progress and determine if efforts have impacted people’s lives.

The IRM has partnered with independent researcher Dmytro Khutkyy to carry out this evaluation. The IRM aims to inform ongoing dialogue around the development and implementation of future commitments. For a full description of the IRM’s methodology, please visit https://www.opengovpartnership.org/about/independent-reporting-mechanism.

This report covers the implementation of Ukraine’s fourth action plan for 2018–2020. In 2021, the IRM will implement a new approach to its research process and the scope of its reporting on action plans, approved by the IRM Refresh.[1] The IRM adjusted its Implementation Reports for 2018–2020 action plans to fit the transition process to the new IRM products and enable the IRM to adjust its workflow in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on OGP country processes.

Action Plan Implementation

The IRM Transitional Results Report assesses the status of the action plan’s commitments and the results from their implementation at the end of the action plan cycle. This report does not re-visit the assessments for “Verifiability,” “Relevance” or “Potential Impact.” The IRM assesses those three indicators in IRM Design Reports. For more details on each indicator, please see Annex I in this report.

General Highlights and Results

Ukraine’s 2018–2020 action plan included 17 commitments. By the end of the implementation period, five commitments (30 percent) were fully completed, six (35 percent) were substantially completed, and six (35 percent) had limited completion. This action plan contained a lower percentage of fully completed commitments than did the previous action plan.[2]

The election of a new president and parliament in 2019 affected implementation of commitments in both positive and negative ways. The election of President Volodymyr Zelensky in April 2019, and parliamentary elections in July 2019 that brought his Servant of the People political party to power, resulted in changes in the leadership of ministries and agencies in charge of commitments.

One of these changes included the newly formed Ministry of Digital Transformation,[3] established in September 2019, to build on the foundation laid by its predecessor, the State Agency for E-Governance. The ministry provided new momentum for the digitalization of public services. This resulted in the completion of Commitment 12, which focused on developing priority digital services on the Diia platform. By the end of the implementation period, the platform offered an online one-stop shop to access over 40 public services (from registering births to applying for specific business licenses).[4]

The lack of clear direction from new ministerial leaders after these elections, and the dissolution or merging of ministries, caused delays and limited implementation of Commitments 9 (on environmental information), 10 (on natural resource registers), 13 (on a civil society organization–government online platform), and 14 (on an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative platform). Commitments 2 (on the system for selling arrested assets) and 15 (on electronic education resources) did not proceed as originally formulated because of problems with tender processes.

Notable achievements of this action plan include greater transparency regarding public budgets, the sale and lease of public property and assets, and public procurement. Commitment 5 saw the publication of detailed budget plans at all levels of government in Ukraine, and these were presented in user-friendly visualizations. As they did during previous action plans,[5] the Prozorro team progressed on its commitments. The team enhanced oversight of public procurement by publishing procurement payments and enabling electronic reporting of suspected public procurement violations (Commitment 4). The Prozorro.Sale platform has increased competition and public revenue by making transparent the sale and lease of public property and assets at all levels of government (Commitment 3). In addition, while the achievement is not relevant to open government values, it is notable that Commitment 12, on introducing priority public services online, has seen over 1 million downloads of the Diia e-services app and over 300,000 downloads of digital driver’s licenses.[6]

Yet, Commitment 7, on launching a mechanism to verify beneficial ownership information, is the only noteworthy commitment identified in Ukraine’s Design Report that did not demonstrate change in government practice by the end of the implementation period. It only had limited completion and is therefore not assessed in Section 2.3.

COVID 19 Pandemic impact on implementation

Ukraine took early lockdown measures in March 2020 and again in January 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[7] According to interviews with civil society,[8] government officials,[9] and international organizations,[10] this did not significantly impact the implementation of commitments. However, the lockdown and prohibition of mass in-person meetings led to the cancellation of some of the usual deliberation formats and traditional in-person advocacy meetings. A nongovernment representative felt that the transfer of such engagements online negatively affected the quality of communication between the government and civil society.[11]

Outside the scope of the action plan, the government used some open government approaches to tackle the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ukraine, along with many other countries at the start of the pandemic, scrambled for personal protective equipment. Thus, there are examples of questionable procurement that resulted in high prices, low-quality goods, and undelivered items.[12] The country still faces shortages of medical supplies for acute care, such as masks, protective suits, and ventilators.[13] Early in the pandemic, emergency procurements for responding to COVID-19 were excluded from general procurement rules. The government later required all such emergency contracts to be structurally reported and published in full on the Prozorro online procurement platform, including terms of payment and delivery, and value.[14]

The government has used social media for disseminating information,[15] and the Ministry of Health published a dedicated COVID-19 website. The website featured data visualizations; downloadable information about the disease, protection measures, and lockdown restrictions; up-to-date statistics; and links to other reliable sources of information.[16] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs encouraged Ukrainians living abroad to register online to facilitate assistance for them during the pandemic.[17]

In addition, the Ministry of Digital Transformation conducted a hackathon (#HackCorona),[18] through which it found initiatives to tackle the spread of the pandemic. The event resulted in 899 proposals, and the ministry selected 21 winners.[19] One of these projects was an online educational series for people with disabilities, which the ministry integrated into the Diia platform. Other than the notice about the hackathon winners, no other public information was found about the implementation of the winning proposals.[20]

[1] For more information, see https://www.opengovpartnership.org/process/accountability/about-the-irm/irm-refresh/.

[2] More details about the level of completion in the third action plan: six (46 percent) commitments with completed implementation, four (31 percent) commitments with substantial implementation, three (23 percent) commitments with limited implementation, and zero commitments not started.

[3] The Ministry and the Committee of the Digital Transformation of Ukraine homepage, accessed November 2020, https://thedigital.gov.ua/.

[4] This increased to 50 services available on platform as of April 2021, Government comment, received 15 April 2021

[5] Open Government Partnership, Ukraine End-of-Term Report 2016–2018, 2019,

https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Ukraine_End-of-Term_Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf.

[6] According to the Ministry of Digital Transformation, as of 7 April 2021, the number of users of the Diia mobile application version 2.x (available from October 5, 2020) is 4,554,512 users.

[7] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, The Covid-19 Crisis in Ukraine, 11 December 2020, https://www.oecd.org/eurasia/competitiveness-programme/eastern-partners/COVID-19-CRISIS-IN-UKRAINE.pdf.

[8] Olesya Arkhypska (member of the multistakeholder forum), interview by IRM researcher, 27 October 2020.

[9] Natalia Oksha (SCMU), email exchange with IRM researcher, 2 November 2020.

[10] Oksana Kosenko (United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine), interview by IRM researcher, 29 October 2020.

[11] Serhii Karelin (EGAP), interview by IRM researcher, 3 November 2020.

[12] “COVID-19 Procurements: Approaches Need to Be Changed,” Transparency International Ukraine, 1 September 2020, https://ti-ukraine.org/en/blogs/covid-19-procurements-approaches-need-to-be-changed/.

[13] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, The COVID-19 Crisis in Ukraine, accessed January 2021, https://www.oecd.org/eurasia/competitiveness-programme/eastern-partners/COVID-19-CRISIS-IN-UKRAINE.pdf.

[14]Open Contracting Approaches to Emergency Procurement: Open Data, Business Intelligence & Community Engagement,” Observatory of Public Sector Innovation, 23 March 2020, accessed January 2021, https://www.oecd-opsi.org/covid-response/open-contracting-approaches-to-emergency-procurement-open-data-business-intelligence-community-engagement/; and Open Contracting Partnership, Ukraine—COVID-19 Emergency Procurement Dashboard, accessed December 2020, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dBDIjDiCb_dOD80Nwz83YjZ7eY84uKL_ZiI-6KhbLNw/edit.

[15] Via Telegram channel @COVID19_Ukraine and bot @COVID19_Ukraine_Bot, YouTube channel: “COVID-19,” YouTube, 16 March 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Pk5TFoB8I; and “COVID-19,” YouTube, 17 March 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEcjwPTSOkE.

[16] “COVID-19 Pandemic in Ukraine,” Ministry of Health of Ukraine, accessed December 2020, https://covid19.gov.ua/en; and “Materials about the Prevention of Spreading Coronavirus Infection COVID-19,” Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 12 March 2020, https://moz.gov.ua/article/news/materiali-schodo-zapobigannja-poshirennja-koronavirusnoi-infekcii-covid-19.

[17] Using the “ДРУГ” system https://friend.mfa.gov.ua, Ukrainian MFA publishes border crossing & consular assistance rules vis-a-vis COVID-19 , Euromaidan Press, 15 March 2020 http://euromaidanpress.com/2020/03/15/ukrainian-mfa-publishes-border-crossing-consular-assistance-rules-due-to-covid-19/.

[18] “Ministry of Digital Transformation Announced the Start of the National Competition of IT Projects #HackCorona in Ukraine,” Government Portal, the Unified Web-portal of Executive Authorities of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Secretariat, 1 April 2020, https://www.kmu.gov.ua/news/mincifri-ogoloshuye-start-nacionalnogo-konkursu-it-proyektiv-hackcorona-ukraine?fbclid=IwAR0n-pblfYwqei5_YAiLofEzkp9a6VEGTrFwz8R6UcKfKwi5o7qB0xjlExs.

[19] “HackCorona in Ukraine – The Jury Has Selected the Best Projects,” Ministry and Committee of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, 11 April 2020, https://thedigital.gov.ua/news/hackcorona-in-ukraine-suddi-viznachili-naykrashchi-proekti.

[20] “Online Briefing. Digital Technologies for People with Disabilities,” Ministry and Committee of Digital Transformation, December 2020, accessed January 2021, https://thedigital.gov.ua/news/onlayn-brifing-tsifrovi-tekhnologii-dlya-lyudey-iz-invalidnistyu.

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