Our work in Ukraine
Local self-government is one of the main areas of our activities in Ukraine.
Our key partner is the Center for Civic Initiatives (CeHrIn), with which we have been cooperating since its founding. The most important project within this collaboration is the Network for Free Local Politicians, founded in 2014.
Manfred Richter, Member of the Board of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom suggested an idea of creating the Network as a platform for communication for local actors who hold liberal views but may be members of different parties (not just liberal ones) or not belong to any parties. These include local politicians, local councillors, local government officials, journalists, community activists, and more. Representatives from all regions of Ukraine take part in the Network's activities, and we carry out events throughout the country. The most relevant, pressing issues of local self-government become topics of the Network’s Forums.
Another form of our collaboration with CeHrIn is the annual workshop "Practical Aspects of Local Self-Government" for mayors, members of local councils and heads of local state administrations. Its focus is on practice rather than theory and it includes visits to various municipal facilities. We also hold 2-3 Summer Local Self-Government Schools annually to share experiences and enhance the skills of the participants. In recent years, during the summer schools we have also been conducting visiting trips to the communities of the Republic of Poland.
We also support political parties that share a liberal worldview. Together, we help to build and strengthen their structure, develop proposals and policies, and learn about international experience. We work to promote the strengthening of genuine European-style democratic political parties in Ukraine.
In 2018, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine launched the reform of secondary education "New Ukrainian School". This is one of the key reforms in Ukraine, which could become a significant lever for launching a number of changes at the public level. We support the education reform in Ukraine and in cooperation with NGO “Smart Osvita” (“Smart Education”) we train educational managers and teachers with communication skills to implement the educational reform:
How to communicate about success? How to plan communication and events? How to be able to manage yourself in crises? How to communicate effectively with journalists?
As part of our cooperation, experts of the NGO “Smart Osvita” have also developed a research on the needs (skills and knowledge) of school principals for the successful implementation of the reform. In 2019 experts held facilitated meetings of school communities (students, parents and teachers/administrations), which aimed to build dialogue and understanding among all participants in the educational process, to identify weaknesses and promising directions, ideas for improving school life.
The same goal stands behind our cooperation with NGO "Institute for the Development of Education" and experts from NGO "PARENTS SOS". The series of workshops aimed at improving communication between the parents of school pupils and the staff of educational institutions in 2019 culminated in a panel discussion "Parents - School: Speak, Listen and Hear" with a presentation of a poster set devoted to particularly acute communication issues.
We have started working with the Crimean Tatar Resource Center (CTRC) in 2010 and since then we have been annually conducting educational events to increase the level of political and social activity of Crimean Tatars and bolster the protection of rights and freedoms of the Crimean Tatar people.
The annual International Summer Camp of Freedom, the Crimean Tatar Academy of Public Diplomacy, lectures and seminars for human rights and civil activists: these are our primary activities through which we provide a systematic learning process for Crimean Tatars from the occupied territories and internally displaced persons.
In 2018 together with the Ukrainian Institute for Human Rights we have started the project “Preventing torture and ill-treatment in places of detention in Ukraine”. During 2018 and 2019 human rights defenders have conducted 99 monitoring visits to Ukrainian penitentiary institutions, the results of which have been used to prepare analytical reports and develop recommendations for improving human rights in penitentiary institutions and detention centers.
With our support in 2019, the Ukrainian Institute for Human Rights has realized the project “Monitoring of the penitentiary reform in Ukraine in 2016-2019”, which had seen experts conduct a complex analysis and quality evaluation of the penitentiary reform for the first time in Ukraine.
For 10 years, we have been working together with the experts of the Academy of Ukrainian Press (AUP) to improve the qualifications of Ukrainian journalists and journalism students in the spheres of media pluralism and journalist ethics, methods of covering events and reforms. We support independent coverage of events in different regions of Ukraine and adherence to international standards of journalism in times of crisis and war.
These are some of the topics we have covered in 2019: “World standards of journalism (under the circumstances of armed conflicts)”, “How to cover the reform of education in an understandable way”, “Video blogging: between populism and journalism standards. How to create unique content”, “How to cover the medical reform in an understandable way, “World standards of journalism (under the circumstances of ongoing elections)”. More about our upcoming seminars on the AUP website and on the FNF page on Facebook.
In 2019 we have started working on a three year long project to support the development and implementation of innovative and climate-friendly solutions in the fields of infrastructure, mobility and energy efficiency in the cities of Ukraine.
Together with our partner NGO "Structura" we have been working with four cities in different parts of Ukraine to make the more effective, modern and convenient for their citizens. These cities are Bila Tserkva, Ivano-Frankivsk, Melitopol and Poltava.
We want the development and implementation of innovative smart solutions in the cities to be carried out with the interest of the community at heart and with the maximum possible involvement of the civil society and local businesses.
In Bila Tserkva with our support an interactive green spaces map has been developed aimed at making the local landscaping policy more transparent and to involve the local citizens in the decision-making process. Find out more here.
In Melitopol we have supported the development and implementation of an e-cabinet of the citizen designed to make local city services and relevant information more accessible for the residents. Find out more here.
In Poltava our work has been aimed at the development of an online air pollution map, which the citizens then could use to check the quality of the air they are breathing. Find out more here.
In Ivano-Frankivsk we have been working to introduce a single e-ticket for the public transportation and the corresponding mobile app.
Starting in 2017, together with the NGO "Youth of the East of Ukraine" we have been organizing educational events concerning the means and methods of youth civic activism. In order to promote socially responsible thinking among the youth of Ukraine’s eastern region we have been conducting regional forums on various topics, including instruments of communication with the government, educational and civil opportunities for the youth. We have also been organizing meeting and discussions with members of parliament, representatives of regional and local authorities and European youth organisations.
In 2019 we have conducted three regional events:
Forum «Development of the Donetsk Region with the participation of the youth»
Forum «Youth and public associations»
Economics in 31 Hours is an educational project of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, which was started in 2012 to prepare and publish a new generation textbook for Lithuanian schoolchildren and to develop interactive methodological materials for school teachers of economics.
In 2018, Bendukidze Free Market Center with the support of the Foundation has translated the textbook into Ukrainian and adapted it for Ukrainian pupils. In 2019, they have held the first workshop to familiarize teachers with all advantages of a modern and interactive economics textbook and its supporting materials and to help them prepare for teaching based on these materials.
More details here: http://site-845461-41-6196.mystrikingly.com/