U-Inn: the youth innovation factory for democracy and human rights

Can a young person with an idea really create social change for democracy and human rights in Ukraine?

U-report poll estimates that 64% of young men and 50% of young women have ideas about community development, and 62% are ready to put their ideas into action. The U-Inn initiative targets these young innovators from all regions of Ukraine and helps them develop their ideas to improve human rights, and strengthen democracy at local level.

To unpack the concept of innovation and move from concept to action, U-Inn gathered almost 100 young people with an interest in social change at the U-Inn Camp in Irpin, in northern Ukraine. They brainstormed their ideas for apps, advocacy campaigns or social enterprises to address hard-felt issues such as increasing government transparency, influencing local authorities, protecting human rights, and achieving gender equality. As the youth worked through their projects, they received feedback and support from mentors and field experts. With their new skills, they are now well placed to apply for the next component of U-Inn: U-Inn  Challenge, currently open for applications until November 11, 2017.

The U-Inn Challenge invites innovative approaches to address local issues through the active participation of young people in the life of their community. For their projects be selected, applicants need to address topics such as promoting and protecting human rights, influencing authorities, tolerance and non-discrimination, ensuring freedom of expression and media, providing access to public information and open data, and adherence to gender equality principles. Projects may focus on designing mechanisms to improve youth participation in decision-making processes at the local level, on the openness and transparency of state bodies, on the protection of IDPs rights, or on people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

U-Inn winners will share a total prize of 15,000 USD, divided in three parts (5,000 USD) for each of the categories social entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and social script projects that promote democracy and human rights. The prize will allow awarded projects to be implemented in the target communities.

U-Inn is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine within the framework of the “Civil Society for Enhanced Democracy and Human Rights in Ukraine” project, financially supported by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.