People First Foundation is going to assess the state of democracy in Ukraine
On November 28-29, 2012, the Ukrainian Foundation for Democracy «People First» (Kyiv), with support of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (London), organised a workshop with foreign experts and representatives of partner organizations from Kyiv and other regions of Ukraine, dedicated to the methodology to be used in the national scale research project «State of democracy assessment in Ukraine». The research will be conducted using the framework of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA, Stockholm).
Keboitse Machangana, Head of the State of Democracy Programme, and Nana Kalandadze, Programme Officer for Democracy and Gender at the International IDEA explained guiding principles and specific features of the assessment framework to the workshop participants. Dr. Andrew Blick from King’s College London, co-author of the 2012 Democratic Audit of the UK, who has vast experience of conducting the assessments in the UK, and the co-author of the methodology, Professor Todd Landman, Director of the Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution, University of Essex, shared with the Ukrainian assessment team the historical retrospective of the methodology, experience of conducting assessments in different parts of the world, addressed various issues of importance for the project implementation and answered questions from the Ukrainian team.
The Ukrainian project team presented their vision of the implementation stages, principles of sharing roles and responsibility in the research, as well as mechanisms of carrying out certain project functions. Researchers from the regions were able to offer their own approach to specific aspects of the assessment, get clarification on the complex nuances, discuss the conceptual basis of the project and take into consideration the national peculiarities in Ukraine.
Based on the feedback from discussions, a general agreement on the importance and promising outlook of assessment was reached, the guidelines to be followed by researchers were defined, and foreign partners promised to provide comprehensive assistance and share their expertise during the assessment process.
On the first day of the workshop “People First” Foundation team presented to foreign guests, Ukrainian partner organizations (in particular, Center for Political and Legal Reforms, Charity Fund CCC Creative Center) and friends of the Foundation its achievements and projects. It was reported that the project «State of democracy assessment in Ukraine» should be the first in a range of related actions with the primary goal of strengthening and consolidation of democracy in Ukraine. CEO of "People First" Foundation Viktor Tkachuk announced of the intention to implement based on the integration of results of state of democracy assessment, other research and know-how the Foundation its key project – “People’s Charter”. The latter may yield the following results:
- create a methodology of conducting a national public consultations with the use of e-democracy tools;
- organize a substantial discussion and voting online on the state of democracy assessment and choosing a way of reforming it;
- get a document – "People's Charter" where an authentic and legitimate position of people on democracy development in the country will be consolidated in.
Also it was noted during the presentation that all projects planned by Foundation require involvement of public representatives, including civil society organizations and active citizens. The “People First” Foundation team expressed their commitment to do everything possible to promote the engagement of Ukrainian citizens in public life, and, in particular, in the framework of projects of the Foundation. The participants of the discussion, for their part, welcomed the initiatives of the “People First” Foundation as useful and well-timed.
About “People First” Foundation
The Ukrainian Foundation for Democracy “People First” is a Ukrainian public non-governmental non-profitable organization which activities are directed at the democracy development in Ukraine. The mission of the “People First” Foundation is to restore dignity of the people and democracy in the interests of people without the intermediation of political parties. The Foundation aspires to help citizens of Ukraine to develop and implement the model of democracy which will display the unique history, traditions, mentality of the population, morals of society and culture of the country. More information at www.peoplefirst.org.ua.
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Ukrainian Foundation for Democracy “People First”
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