Between March and August 2023, PTF Europe – together with CVU Odesa (our Ukrainian partner) and the Balkan Investigative Journalism Network (BIRN) – implemented our second project in Ukraine. The project had two components: (1) to train humanitarian volunteer organisations in integrity and compliance standards and (2) to conduct a study on the feasibility of civil society monitoring of reconstruction at the municipal level. The project budget was 80,000 Euro and was co-funded by PTF Europe and the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 led to a great influx of humanitarian aid into the country as well as the emergence of many volunteer groups. However, many of these were unable to receive international funding due to complex integrity and compliance requirements. In response to this issue, CVU Odesa, BIRN, and PTF Europe assisted small- and medium-sized humanitarian volunteer organizations in improving their basic integrity and compliance standards. They conducted three training courses:
- Integrity and compliance in fundraising and proposal writing
- Effective communication in compliance with donors’ integrity and compliance standards
- Integrity and compliance in the own organisation
53 persons from 19 humanitarian volunteer organisations took part. Following the training, CVU Odesa provided mentoring in fundraising/proposal writing and effective communications to local CSOs.
PTF Europe, CVU Odesa, and BIRN conducted a “Study on the feasibility of CSO monitoring of reconstruction at the municipal level”. The study provided an overview of the legal and institutional framework in which reconstruction takes place and analysed the opportunities and limitations for civil society to engage in reconstruction monitoring at municipal level. The key conclusion: Civil society should contribute to transparency, inclusivity and accountability in reconstruction by:
- monitoring individual reconstruction projects,
- innovating, improving and standardising municipalities’ processes for transparency and inclusivity,
- taking over responsibilities in reconstruction (e.g. organising the consultation process).
Odesa and Mykolaiv, Ukraine
Our Implementing Partners
The Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU) Odesa implemented the project. The organization has since the late 1990s engaged in election training and monitoring, gradually expanding into broader democratization support. Over the past 15 years, it has joined and created national NGO networks on its own account, independent of the national CVU organization. CVU Odesa coordinates the national monitoring projects “For the Transparency of Local Budgets” (USAID-funded) and “Performance Review of Local Council Deputies” (NED-funded).
BIRN (established 2005) promotes freedom of speech, human rights and democratic values in Southern and Eastern Europe, with offices in seven Balkan countries. It also trains investigative journalists, and has developed a platform in Kosovo promoting the Engaged Citizen Reporting of Corruption (KALLXO) which has netted over 12,000 credible reports since its inception in 2012 and led to many arrests and prosecutions over the last decade.