Kyiv, February 11, 2016. We originated from Maidan. Associations from different Universities gathered together and mobilized their efforts. Striving to help the country move forward, make changes and implement reforms, we united in Professional Government Initiative (PGI), said Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Head of the PGI and LSE Alumni Association, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. According to Myroshnychenko, internationally educated Ukrainians were helping graduates of Ukrainian universities engage in state formation. “We acted as a mechanism of professional toll-free recruiting agency. At present we have 28 associations of different universities and over 3 thousand members. These are people with proper knowledge, skills and experience they would like to implement doing government service. Owing to our activity, more than 60 people became public servants,” said the Head of the PGI and LSE Alumni Association.
Nevertheless, the interest waned recently, so the question of reformatting arose. Creating the most efficient government in Ukraine became our primary purpose, said Myroshnychenko. “We want to direct all these resource and talents pool properly, achieves some practical result. We don’t want to do something just for the sake of doing. We want to have influence,” he explained. Organization, as a civil community, creates a platform of influence on processes in the country, in order to have it moving in the right direction. The organization assumed Worldwide Governance Indicator to be their progress indicator. “It is an indicator drawn up jointly with the World Bank and the Brookings Institution[…], analyzing efficiency of countries in terms of six basic indicators in order to identify efficiency of governments,” said Myroshnychenko. “In the first year we aim at influencing on, say, 5% in this rating.” This means that the organization will try and create serious mechanisms of influence in processes taking place in the country.
Roman Rubchenko, board member, member of Harvard Club Ukraine, said that the organization’s strategy relies upon four main leverages to create the most efficient government. For instance, members of the organization will help politicians set their working agenda, motivate them, provide instruments for implementation of ideas and measure the results. “Any work in the corporate world, in private business is assessed by performance indicators. Unfortunately, working process dominates within the government machine functioning. We would like to shape the work in the way it is possible to measure it and assessing the effect possible,” said Roman Rubchenko. According to the member of Harvard Club Ukraine, activity of the Professional Government Initiative will be based on values such as competence, measurable results, unbending integrity, public good and meritocracy. “It means that idea management which is objectively better than others will prevail. There is no cronyism, undue familiarity or talks behind the closed doors. The idea which is the most useful for gaining the result will win,” explained the board member of the Professional Government.
The organization pays special attention to the international direction, said Alina Sviderska, board member, Head of the Cambridge Alumni Association. According to her, colleagues from other countries want to see more of what Ukrainian youth is doing in their attempts to change Ukraine. At presents Ukraine is perceived a bit different from what it is in reality, said Sviderska. Thus, reforms communication and promoting positive image of Ukraine abroad is one of the main aspects of work. “We set a task for this year to visit different countries – Germany, Poland, Italy, Great Britain – and communicate on behalf of the civic society […] the proceedings here, so that people can see that Ukraine is moving forward and we have the future,” elaborated Sviderska.
Moreover, the Professional Government Initiative will continue working at the government service reform. It will engage in development of the strategy program of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, defending market salaries for state Servants, said Sviderska. According to Iryna Ozymok, board member, member of the College of Europe Alumni Association, Europeans are apprehensive about the tendency of initiative state servants coming back to business. “For instance, German people get the impression that we are unable to create proper decent conditions today in Ukraine for these people to continue working here and fighting the old system,” said Ozymok. It is necessary to secure proper conditions to prevent outflow of qualified staff.
Moreover, the member of the College of Europe Alumni said that the situation in western media regarding Ukraine is quite ambiguous, and progress in the sphere of reforms is often neglected. First of all, it refers to the state procurement reform, progress in government service reform and deregulation disregarded by foreign journalists. “We understood that our mission, in particular, can lie in communicating these achievements, transferring positive, but objective messages about Ukraine abroad. We can do it using the network of our colleagues and schoolmates living in different countries of the world,” explained Ozymok. Communications strategy of Ukraine is especially important in the Netherlands now. A referendum on the EU-Ukraine Agreement of Association will take place on April 6 there, but the sentiment there is not optimistic enough. “We want to organize a number of events within this six week with participation of Ukrainian opinion leaders who were involved in reforms, so that they can provide Dutch people with objective information about Ukraine,” said Ozymok.