“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. These words of famous American activist and human rights advocate Martin Luther King are perhaps the best description of the essence of elections and the role that every citizen plays in it. As Ukraine is moving closer to local elections day, civil society is focusing its efforts on informing citizens to ensure balanced and conscious choice. In this issue of Highlights we will focus our attention on the efforts of our civil society partners who continue to inform citizens about the structure and powers of local authorities both at the national and regional levels; monitor the transparency of the newly elected candidates and create innovative tools to bust pre-election fakes and mobilize young people to actively participate in local elections.
USAID/ENGAGE Awarded Best Civic Teacher Prize
On October 3, Osvitoria conducted an award ceremony of the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine 2020 which this year brought a double victory for civic education. This year USAID/ENGAGE initiated a new nomination for the best teacher of civic education. Lesia Yurchysyn, a teacher from Kyiv won the nomination and got an educational trip abroad to learn best teaching practices in civic education. She will also become an ambassador and promoter of civic education during the next year and share her teaching secrets with other teachers of civic education. The main prize went to Vasyl Diakiv, a teacher of history and civic education from Ternopil oblast and an active member of Nova Doba, another USAID/ENGAGE partner working on civic education school curricula. The ceremony was aired live by 1+1 national TV channel and streamed on the Facebook page of the Global Teacher Prize Ukraine.
Our Weekly Chart
Will you vote in the local elections? If so, you are obviously among the 82% of Ukrainians who plan to vote on October 25. Such data were received by our partners from the Democratic Initiatives Foundation. At the same time, a survey conducted by Rating Group showed that more than half of Ukrainians have not yet decided who they would vote for in local elections. It is worth noting that in the vast majority of Ukraine the population trusts local election commissions, although about half of Ukrainians do not expect changes after the elections. See our weekly chart for more details.
USAID/ENGAGE Is Looking For Communication Officer to Join The Team
USAID/ENGAGE seeks candidates to fill the position of Communication Officer. If you have strong interpersonal and time management skills, relevant experience on similar position, and wish to contribute daily to the development of a strong civil society in Ukraine in a team of committed professionals, do not hesitate to apply. Follow the link for more details.
“If you do care”: the Music Manifesto Encourages Young People to Vote in Local Election
Global Office presented a music manifesto “Baiduzhe” created within VlipiZaSebe campaign. In the video young people of different appearance, profession and lifestyle declare their right to vote. With this video, the authors want to motivate young people not to be indifferent and to vote in the local elections. The manifesto emphasizes that no matter where you come from, what style, job or education you have, you are a citizen of your country and must take responsibility for the conditions in which you live. Watch the video and find your motivation to come and vote on October 25!
CSOs Call on Parties and Candidates to Support Eco-Checklist
The coalition of eighteen CSOs appealed to political parties and candidates running for local elections to support the Eco-checklist and include into their programs the goals of environmental protection. The Coalition representatives state that Ukrainians are striving for a clean and safe environment to preserve the health of the Ukrainian nation and its communities. It calls on those running for local elections to publicly support the following critical areas: air quality (monitoring and protection), water quality, waste management, greenery, environmental control, energy and sustainable development of territories.
Watch Election-related News From Ukraine and America With Toronto TV
On October 4, Toronto TV released its latest episode of the #@)₴?$0 show with Michael Schur. This episode is devoted to Ukrainian and American news: iconic political trolling and satire movie Borat-2 with Sacha Baron Cohen in the role of a journalist from Kazakhstan, the first chaotic Biden-Trump Presidential debate last week, plagiarized political advertisement videos of several Ukrainian local election candidates and other trending news. Watch the video and stay tuned!
Ballot Box From VoxUkraine: New Telegram Channel About the Local Elections 2020
In the period when there is less than a month left before the voting, it is very important to cover the election process professionally and objectively. Concerned with the problem of disseminating fake and biased information, VoxUkraine created Ballot Box – a new Telegram channel with news, explainers, polls and analytics about the upcoming local elections. The authors of the channel will be gathering the most useful, interesting and relevant election analysis here so that on October 25 you could vote consciously. Subscribe!
Kharkiv Activists Create Opportunities For Informed Choice During Local Elections
On September 28, Kharkiv CSO Election Council UA conducted the online public discussion aimed to help voters in making informed and conscious choice during the local elections, based on the electoral programs, views and arguments presented by the candidates for the Kharkiv city mayor post. The discussion was built around the questionnaire on the regional development agenda developed by the local civil society experts. During the event representatives of various political parties running for the Kharkiv city mayor post shared their views on local self-governance finances, housing services, local transport, educational and sports facilities.
Zaporizhzhya Activists Publish Investigation Materials About City Deputies
On October 1 -2, the Zaporizhzhia Investigations Centre released two publications regarding upcoming local elections. The first publication “Authorities’ Competence: How Do Deputies Report And Where We Can Find Their Reports?” focuses on deputies’ responsibilities for public reporting. After a detailed analysis of the reports, it was identified that only one deputy of the Zaporizhzhia City Council published reports on the website describing five years of his activity. The second publication “Buriak and Ednannia’s Deputies: What Did Current Buriak’s Supporters Do And Say” describes how deputies, who now support the Zaporizhzhia’s mayor Volodymyr Buriak, changed their opinion about him in five recent years and moved from opposition to coalition.
In Sumy, Active Citizens Discuss the Programs of Mayoral Candidates
On October 2, Center for Social Partnership conducted public meeting of changemakers titled “We Will Live Here the Next 5 Years.” At the open-air meeting, representatives of political parties, mayoral candidates and active citizens discussed the activities of candidates for city council deputies during the next term, considered the draft public plan of local deputies for the next 5 years, and collected proposals and wishes of participants.
Civil Society News
WOU Launches 2nd Wave of Support Initiative for Young Women’s Rights Organizations
On September 29, Women of Ukraine project launched a 2nd round of Superpower for women’s rights organizations Сontest. It aims to develop capacity of young women’s organizations at the local level that advocate for gender equality and women rights. The selected organizations will be provided a 4-year support from the network of five regional resource hubs based in Kherson, Lviv, Kyiv, Vinnytsya, and Kharkiv. The hubs will assess the potential development of each organization and their institutional development plans, hold trainings and other events on organizational and program issues, provide mentorship, and opportunities for networking and sharing experiences.
TI Ukraine Promotes the Transparency of Future Local Authorities in Ukraine
During the ongoing election campaign in the country, Transparency International Ukraine together with the Institute of Political Education in the framework of the program “Transparent Cities” with the financial support of the European Union developed the Code of Transparent Government – 11 provisions that promote the development of good governance and accountability of local authorities. TI Ukraine calls on candidates for mayors and deputies to support this document and commit to implement it after winning the local elections. The results of the newly elected representatives of local authorities, considering the provisions and the status of their implementation, will be available at the online platform or in the annual Transparency and Accountability Ratings.
CSOs Developed and Presented the Map of Legal Reforms of Ukrainian Civil Society
On September 30, Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM) together with the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) and ISAR Ednannia within the Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity presented the Map of Legal Reforms for Civil Society. This is an analytical, visionary and policy document containing the vision of the civil sector on the priorities of reforming and improving the legal environment for civil society organizations in Ukraine for 2021-2025. The Map will lay the foundation for the new National Strategy for Civil Society Development in Ukraine. This document was developed by more than 150 CSOs from all over Ukraine and 250 experts who have worked together on the development over the past six months.
Ukrainian Radio Launches Educational Series “Elections Again”
In October UA: Ukrainian Radio started broadcasting the educational radio series “Elections Again”. The series contains 40 episodes (each one lasts about 5 minutes) and demonstrates the rights and responsibilities of citizens during the election process with certain examples. The authors of the project prepared short and clear answers to complex questions about the election. The project aims to raise awareness of residents of villages, towns and cities with the peculiarities of electoral law, to encourage active citizenship, direct participation in community management, to remind every citizen about the right not only to vote but also to be elected.