On January 28, the USAID RADA Program, together with the NGO “Internews Ukraine,” conducted a strategic session “Presentation and Discussion of the Concept of Information and Consultative Centers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the Regions (RICC VRU).” The experts analyzed the best practices for informing the population about the work of parliaments and presented the model and the possible formats of operation of the future information and consultative centers.
In his opening address, Ihor Kohut, USAID Program Director, said, “Today, there is a high demand for information about the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Importantly, there should be a place where people can get it – where it will be possible to directly contact representatives of the Verkhovna Rada and the parliament as an institution. In terms of development of democracy, openness and citizen involvement, the creation of such information and consultative centers is extremely important. After all, they could also become centers for reception of citizens’ appeals to MPs.”
Mykola Shevchuk, Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat, noted, “Information and consultative centers can become an effective format of communication with the population, which is important for establishing effective cooperation between parliamentarians and the public.”
Head of the Information Department of the VR Secretariat Taras Pastushenko added, “The main problem is the low awareness of the general population about the work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine – its mission, tasks and main functions. The level of understanding of the parliament as an institution is extremely low at present. Information and consultative centers can help us to take a step forward and change the public attitude towards the parliament.”