Civic Side of TECHnocracy: Personal Democracy Forum came back to Ukraine

What are risks and benefits of technological advancement? How to use technology for human-oriented solutions without creating new insecurities? 

T20170926he UNDP-supported e-declaration system launched last year to boost greater transparency and accountability of public officials, universal design to meet the needs of all people and increase their inclusion, youth innovations to promote democracy and human rights were among these solutions featured at PDF Ukraine.

In the wake of last year’s success of the Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) in Ukraine, the country hosts the event for a second consecutive year. Organised by OPORA, TechSoup, Transparencee, and Fundacja ePanstwo in partnership with UNDP and other stakeholders, PDF Ukraine gathered over 200 top technologists, campaigners, opinion-makers, government officials, journalists, and academics for two days of game-changing talks, workshops, and networking opportunities.

As part of the 2030 Agenda, UNDP is committed to promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country. The SDGs work in the spirit of partnership to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations.

Van Nguyen, Deputy Country Director a.i. at UNDP in Ukraine, underlined, "We support Ukraine and its people in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals that lay the foundations for sustainable development of society were supported by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. The main principle is that nobody is left behind, we must do everything we can to cover all categories of people, including vulnerable groups. Machines are important, but they cannot replace people. We will not be different from machines if we do things without love."

After just one year, Ukraine has made important strides towards better openness, transparency, and integrity through the use of technology with the support of UNDP and other development partners.

The UNDP-supported launch of a new electronic system of asset and income declarations for public officials, which now celebrates its one-year anniversary, was among the main achievements. With over 1 million e-declarations currently on file (and counting), this tool, if carried out well, has the potential to become the most revolutionary transformation in the area of transparency and integrity in the country.

To support young people as advocates for democratic reforms and positive changes in their communities, UNDP has also launched the U-Inn Youth Innovation Challenge to boost innovative initiatives, focused on improving the situation of human rights and strengthening democracy in Ukraine. To take part in the competition, young activists can submit their innovation proposal on the website from 17 September to 11 November 2017.

Another significant area of progress with UNDP contribution is the promotion of the universal design principles and inclusive design thinking into the development of products, spaces, and services that would be user-friendly for all people regardless of their physical abilities, and ensuring in this way their full participation in their communities.

Thus, promoting democracy requires a multifaceted effort by a number of stakeholders, from government and international organisations to civic leaders and various experts. A set of interdependent and mutually amplifying initiatives are key for the success.

PDF Ukraine is a great chance to learn from each other and from outstanding professionals sharing their experience and knowledge on the opportunities that have an impact on communities.