At the end of 2013, the East Europe Foundation began to implement in Ukraine a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Project entitled “RADA Program: Responsible Accountable Democratic Assembly.”
The main goal of the RADA Program is to promote an accountable, responsible and democratic representative body, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
This publication was made possible due to the support of the American people provided through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Program “RADA: Responsible Accountable Democratic Assembly.” The ideas and statements expressed herein may not coincide with the views of USAID or the US Government.
The electronic version of this publication is available on the website of the Program “RADA: Responsible Accountable Democratic Assembly” – www.radaprogram.org.
The USAID RADA Program is a consortium of Ukrainian organizations consisting of the East Europe Foundation, the NGOs Civil Network OPORA, Internews-Ukraine, Agency for Legal Initiatives, the Interns’ League, and the European Information and Research Center.
The USAID RADA Program ensures effective communication between voters and MPs, involves citizens in the legislative process, and informs them of the activities of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
- People’s Deputies of Ukraine (MPs) and their teams
- Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
- Civil society organizations (CSOs / NGOs)
- Educational establishments (general education schools and higher education institutes)
- Ordinary citizens
Through the training center of the USAID RADA Program, experts from the Civil Network OPORA, the NGO Internews Ukraine, and the European Information and Research Center developed and piloted a number of trainings.
- Training in MPs reporting (http://www.radaprogram.org/radanews/opora-provela-trening-dlya-treneriv-...).
- Training in the VRU Rules of Procedure for Ukrainian MPs, aides to MPs, employees of the Verkhovna Rada Secretariat, the secretariats of the Committees and factions, representatives of nongovernmental organizations cooperating with the Verkhovna Rada, and parliamentary journalists (http://radaprogram.org/radanews/programa-usaid-rada-navchaye-reglamentu-...)
- Training in communication and cyber security for MPs of Ukraine, their aides, press secretaries of MPs, as well as employees of the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (http://internews.ua/2015/10/training-online-communication/)
- Training in policy analysis for MPs of Ukraine and their aides, employees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the Secretariat, the secretariats of the Committees and factions, etc.), employees and consultants of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, representatives of CSOs and mass media (http://www.radaprogram.org/radanews/programa-usaid-rada-organizuvala-tre...)
- The training “MPs’ Inquiries and Appeals” for aides to MPs of Ukraine (http://www.radaprogram.org/radanews/programa-usaid-rada-organizuvala-tre...)
- The training course “Analysis of State Policy and Normative Legal Acts for Compliance with the Principle of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men” for employees of the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (http://www.rada.gov.ua/fsview/139889.html)
Within the framework of the USAID RADA Program, the NGO Internews Ukraine developed educational videos for various audiences, so as to show how the sole legislative body works, how laws are adopted and the budget is approved:
- Educational film for children “How the Parliament Works,” specifically for senior pupils to present the idea of parliamentarism on the basis of experience of Western European countries and Ukraine. The film can be used in jurisprudence lessons. (https://youtu.be/pmKn6XjXboI)
- “The Budget Process.” A four-part film providing a detailed description of the budget process in Ukraine. It can be used by MPs, their aides, and all interested audiences. (https://youtu.be/hmPcO_izfd4)
- “Game for Pupils Agora – Preparation and Rules” – the pupils have the opportunity to feel like the Chair of the Verkhovna Rada, an MP, the Head of the Secretariat, and also to discuss a draft law with their classmates and vote for it. Feel the work of the Verkhovna Rada and try to do it, learn about the necessary procedures and become a responsible voter. The educational package has been prepared on the basis of the methodology developed by the Agency for Legal Initiatives for conducting the role-playing game “Agora.” (https://youtu.be/nsu7pyqWqx8)
The USAID RADA Program involves citizens in the legislative process, provides them with information and helps them to understand the Verkhovna Rada’s complicated decision-making procedures, functions and powers through a series of video blogs and social videos:
- Series of video blogs “The Electronic Petition: From Idea to Result” from the League of Interns NGO.
- “How Is It Elsewhere? Button-Pushing and Non-Attendance of Parliamentary Meetings” – the video is about MPs voting in lieu of their colleagues in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world. Personal voting and attendance of meetings is a guarantee of the Parliament’s legitimate and effective work. Created by the Civil Network OPORA. (https://youtu.be/r5E39mBAZMs)
- “Electronic Petitions – It’s Simple.” Would you like to draw the authorities’ attention to an important issue? If so, then publish an electronic petition on the Verkhovna Rada website. This can be done in four steps. What are they? You will learn about it from the Internews-Ukraine video. (https://youtu.be/7p-fn65xKTc)
- “Understand Your Parliament and Control It.” What is Parliament and what does it exist for? We often demand a lot from the Verkhovna Rada, while not understanding its functions in all detail. Let us try to review them together in the video from Internews-Ukraine. (https://youtu.be/MkbHGNk4ssk)
- “Petition to an MP.” What is the correct way to draw up a petition, appeal, or complaint to an MP? You will see it in a convenient video instruction from the NGO Internews-Ukraine. (https://youtu.be/plqmhkQB1vc)
- “The Right Way to Work with the Deputies. Video Hints for Active Citizens” – each parliamentarian has a number of duties and possesses levers of influence that can be activated and used to have a material effect on the living conditions of his or her constituents. You are invited to watch this one-minute-and-a-half-long hint about an MP’s responsibilities to voters which is meant for those seeking interaction with an MO. From the Civil Network OPORA. (https://youtu.be/5mvzuV-YJxE)
- “Portal for Public Discussion of Draft Laws” – this video is about the Portal for Public Discussion of Draft Laws: what it is, how it can be used, and how it enables each citizen to influence the legislative process. The video was prepared by the NGO the Interns’ League. (https://youtu.be/yL0uJYBEb18)
- Series of video programs “Reform. Parliament” and “ReForma” from Civil Network OPORA. An overview of the main problems of and challenges to the Parliament’s functioning, as well as the key information on the progress of reforms. (https://youtu.be/-4q7vlFr5eo)
Under the USAID RADA Program, the NGOs Agency for Legal Initiatives, Internews Ukraine, and the Interns’ League developed webinars to inform representatives of nongovernmental organizations, media, civil activists, journalists, bloggers, and active citizens in general about their role in the legislative process:
- “Portal for Public Discussion of Draft Laws” – a webinar on one more cutting-edge instrument – Portal for Public Discussion of Draft Laws, an electronic tool of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine developed with support from the USAID RADA Program on the initiative of the Computerized Systems Department of the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. It enables citizens to get involved in the legislative process by means of familiarization with draft laws presented for online discussion, commenting on them, expressing criticisms and making proposals in their connection. (https://youtu.be/ikUrLz2BZ4w)
- "Everything about Electronic Petitions to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine" – from the NGO “League of Interns,” on work with the new electronic instruments for interaction with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. (https://youtu.be/X2_Ax7pO9nA)
- “How to Control the Government: Access to Government Information”. (http://etutorium.ru/webinaryService/info/15009)
- “Effective Involvement of Citizens in the Legislative Process”. (http://etutorium.ru/webinaryService/info/15009)
- “Youth in Governmental Programs”. (http://parlament.org.ua/2017/06/20/informatyvnyj-vebinar-na-temu-molod-v-uryadovyh-programah/)
- Video-recorded lecture “Culture of Lawfulness: Rule of Law” by Ukrainian ex-Minister of Justice Serhii Holovatyi, focusing on an urgent issue for our state: adherence to the principles of democracy, human rights, and rule of law. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWDpc3gHnys)
The USAID RADA Program helps to enhance the Parliament’s openness by way of preparing practical handbooks providing information on the reforms as well as presenting analytical materials on state policy formation and lawmaking:
- “Media Event. Guidelines on Organization and Conduct” These guidelines are intended for the MPs and their aides, press service employees, and experts in communicative activities. They describe the full cycle of media event creation, with a detailed step-by-step plan of action at each stage of preparing and holding the event: from idea and concept to completion, including post-communication. It was written on the basis of experience of Internews Ukraine conducting joint events with MPs involved in the Model District Project, with support and facilitation from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. (http://radaprogram.org/sites/default/files/publications/presstools_a5_issuu.pdf)
- “Methodological recommendations for general education school teachers on presenting the subjects (modules) “The Legislative Process,” “The Political System in Ukraine: Citizens’ Participation,” “Legislation for Youth,” and the printed manual “Youth in Governmental Programs” from the Agency for Legal Initiatives. Based on a study analyzing curricula and manuals approved by the Ministry of Education and Science from the perspective of highlighting civil society issues and Ukraine’s political system, four modules have been developed for the “Civil Education” course: “The Election Process,” “The Political System in Ukraine: Citizens’ Participation,” “Legislation for Youth,” and “Youth in Governmental Programs” and interactive training methods have been proposed for civil education such as brainstorming, discussion, role-playing games, debates, and the Aquarium Method. (http://parlament.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Method-Print-1.pdf)
- “Guiding Principles in Planning and Conducting Advocacy Campaigns.” An Agency of Legal Initiatives publication aimed at strengthening NGOs’ skills in planning and implementing advocacy campaigns. It explains what advocacy is and in what way it differs from lobbying; reviews advocacy support for public policy; presents techniques for coalition building and for interaction with partners in advocacy campaigns; analyzes the main strategies of information support for advocacy campaigns, work with the media, social networks, broad sections of the population, and organization of direct actions; focuses on the specifics of parliamentary advocacy and presents examples of successful advocacy campaigns. (http://parlament.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Advokasi.pdf)
- Educational five-lecture module “Parliament, Elections and Technologies. A practical course for students” from Civil Network OPORA. The module is aimed at providing students with high-quality practical information on the principles for election to the Verkhovna Rada as well as on the electoral systems, the parliamentarians’ functions, and the instruments for public monitoring of their activities. (http://radaprogram.org/publications/parlament-vybory-ta-tehnologiyi)
- “Methodological recommendations on tracking draft laws and public access to the legislative process” - a step-by-step instruction of Agency of Legal Initiatives on tracking the legislative process on the web portal of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. (http://parlament.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/%D0%9C%D0%B5%D1%82%D0...)
- “Parliamentary Rules of Procedure: An Elementary Applied Training Course” – the manual discusses the Rules of Procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine which directly regulate the parliamentary procedures and are of fundamental procedural significance from the viewpoint of organizing parliamentary activities. (http://radaprogram.org/publications/parlamentskyy-reglament-elementarnyy-navchalno-prykladnyy-kurs ).
- “How Is It Elsewhere? The Organizational Structure of the Parliament’s Secretariat” – The Civil Network OPORA has collected parliamentary practices from various parts of the planet. The manual makes it possible to track how MPs vote or report, how they are elected, how they communicate, and presents a lot of other interesting information. (http://radaprogram.org/publications/yak-u-nyh-svitovi-parlamentski-praktyky-0)
- “Communicating Reforms: Planning, Implementing, Evaluating” – a manual published by the NGO Internews Ukraine; it contains verified theoretical approaches to the practice of communication activity, to designing communication campaigns, identifying target audiences, speakers, communication channels, and evaluating communication campaign effectiveness. It will be of use to press services of state executive bodies, chief administrators of government agencies and heads of field-specific structural units, experts and researchers focusing on formation and evaluation of communication campaigns. (http://radaprogram.org/publications/komunikuvannya-reform-planuvannya-realizaciya-ocinka)
- “Informing on Reforms: Practical Recommendations and Ukrainian Practices” – a manual published by the NGO Internews Ukraine; it is intended for experts in communication activity and contains practical advice: how to approach reform communication, to select speakers for communication campaigns, to choose communication channels, to use network communications, what communication errors should be avoided, as well as examples of communicating certain reforms in Ukraine. (http://internews.ua/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Rekomendacii-%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BD%D1%96-%D0%B4%D0%BB%D1%8F-%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%B9%D1%82%D1%83.pdf)
- Analytical materials from Agency of Legal Initiatives (Policy Papers, Info Briefs, Parliamentary Diaries) prepared under the USAID RADA Program for the 2014-2018 period for the MPs, the VRU Secretariat, the general public, and education institutions. (http://parlament.org.ua/publication/)
- Analytical materials from the Civil Network OPORA intended for the MPs, the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, representatives of the public, and educational institutions. (http://parlament.org.ua/publication/)
- Analytical papers on state policy formation and lawmaking (Policy Paper, Info Brief) from the European Information and Research Center at the Verkhovna Rada. (http://euinfocenter.rada.gov.ua/ )
The USAID RADA Program ensures the Parliament’s accountability and involvement of citizens in the legislative process by means of creating e-resources:
- Interactive web portal. The resource contains analytical materials and tools needed for work with the Parliament. Developed by Civil Network OPORA: search by transcripts; all-Ukrainian map of contacts of reception offices of MPs and parliamentary parties. (https://rada.oporaua.org/)
- Web resource “They Vote on Your Behalf” from Civil Network OPORA. It contains the results of voting of all the MPs. (https://rada4you.org/divisions)
- Resource and programmatic supplement on conducting Town Hall Meetings from the Agency of Legal Initiatives. (http://alithmapp.com/)
- E-Petitions platform developed on the initiative of the Computerized Systems Department of the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. It allows users to publish a question or problem, get public support, and draw the attention of the Verkhovna Rada to the issue. (https://itd.rada.gov.ua/services/Petitions/)
- The platform “Portal of Public Discussions of Draft Laws” developed on the initiative of the Computerized Systems Department of the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. It enables ordinary citizens as well as experts to get involved in commenting draft laws pending before the Committees. (https://itd.rada.gov.ua/services/pubd/)