USAID’s RADA Program organized a conference on cooperation between civil society organizations and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on May 18.
Opening the event, Deputy Mission Director at USAID Ukraine John Pennel said that the RADA Program plays a key role in strengthening the important relationship between Ukraine’s parliament and civil society, "Now, citizens better understand how the Verkhovna Rada works due to our collective efforts to increase openness and transparency. USAID has collaborated with the Verkhovna Rada to introduce e-petitions, the Citizens Rada Legislative Platform and the e-committee. Another important achievement is the monitoring system developed by the Civil Network OPORA within the framework of the USAID RADA Program, which provides voters with objective information, allows them to search through transcripts and compare the voting on the portal ”They vote for you”.
The conference summarized the experience, lessons learned and e-tools of interaction between the Parliament and civil society in the legislative process and impact of public monitoring on the work of Parliament.
“One of the key tasks is the removal of tension in society and the negative perception of power, and openness should solve this issue,” First Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Petro Bodnar said, “the measures we are taking are extremely important in this process”.
The day was divided between the four expert workshops and panel discussions. Around 100 participants took part including MPs and their aides, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine staff, representatives of civil society organizations and technical assistance projects.
During the event, RADA Program distributed a structured list of educational tools and publications, developed within the framework of the program for the effective communication and information provision of citizens with the Parliament. The event also highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of cooperation and outlined the prospects for developing effective cooperation.