Launch of a new program to support parliamentarism in Ukraine. One of its goals will be to promote digital innovation in the Verkhovna Rada

The interactive round table Parliament in action: Digital future and innovations in the work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine took place in the Ukrainian Parliament on 8 February. It marked the official launch of the RADA: new generation Program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which has supported parliamentarianism in Ukraine for 30 years.

The discussion had two parts. The first was devoted to plans for the digital transformation of MPs’ work and communication with their constituents.

Parliamentary reform is underway and much has already been done. My dream is to complete this work at least 70%. But there are further steps that we need to take as a parliament to give society more opportunities to be informed about the activities of the Rada. And thanks to our internal digital transformation, the parliament will be more dynamic, flexible, modern and innovative“, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Alexander Kornienko noted.

USAID aims to remain an important assistant in the implementation of Ukrainian reforms. We had excellent cooperation with the RADA program and hope that the updated RADA: Next Generation program will help establish the Ukrainian Parliament as an institution responsible for the democratic development of the state.,” noted Mark EllingstadDirector of the Office of Democracy and Governance at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Regional Mission in Ukraine and Belarus.

The participants also discussed the roadmap for the digital transformation of the Rada.

We must work on everything that will improve the work of our people inside and outside parliament. At the start of the pandemic, we reacted very quickly and moved towards a model allowing MPs to work remotely. Now we have to work on online tools, because it is the practice of world parliaments that have adapted to the current situation,” Head of the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Vyacheslav Shtuchny Explain.

Konstantin Kvurthead of the board of directors of Internews Ukraine, which implements the program, noted that the high level of panel participants and the open dialogue of the panel demonstrated everyone’s willingness to work on improving the image of the Rada and public confidence in it.

The second part of the round table was devoted to electronic tools for legislative work and communications between Rada deputies and their constituents. Participants paid particular attention to cybersecurity issues, which have become increasingly important in recent times. Rada deputies Oleksandr Fedienko and Pavlo Frolovas well as the head of the Office of Personnel Information Systems of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksiy Sydorenko, join the discussion.

USAID RADA: Next Generation Program Director Ihor Kohout defined the main objectives of the program and areas of cooperation with the Verkhovna Rada. In addition to the digital transformation of parliament, the program will help to involve the electorate in the legislative process and improve communication between citizens and Rada MPs. The program will also strengthen the legislative and analytical capacity of the Verkhovna Rada, in particular by contributing to the creation of a parliamentary research service and a legislative work office.

RADA: Next Generation Program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program is implemented by Internews Ukraine in collaboration with the following partners: Westminster Foundation for Democracy (Great Britain), International Republican Institute (United States), American Councils for International Education (United States) States), the Center for Political and Legal Reforms (Ukraine) and the Education Policy Development Agency (Ukraine).

Contact: Anastasia Chupis, [email protected], +380 99 295 44 23.

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