Activists organized monitoring aimed to evaluate efficiency of NGOs projects that won funding from the Ministry of Youth and Sports last year, second goal was to collect suggestions how improving the competition procedure.
The majority of people who participated in events organized by non-governmental organsations (NGOs) on funds of the Ministry of Youth and Sports are satisfied with events quality, according to results of independent civil monitoring “Ensuring transparent system for support of NGO-organized events contributing to implementation of the governmental youth policy in Ukraine”. The project is supported by Renaissance International Foundation.
“The majority of participants made very positive comments. They rated the events with three or four points of four. Almost all people said it was easy to become a participant. Most of them, except for 200 respondents, participated for the first time,” said Oleg Slabospytskyi, co-coordinator of Euromaidan civil sector. 50 percent of the participants were 18-25 years old, 33 percent were 26-39 years old.
43 NGOs received funding from the Ministry of Youth and Sports last year through a competition. Among them, there are 29 projects for “responsible citizen” position and patriotic education, 5 projects to promote healthy lifestyle, three projects contributing to youth employment, four projects to support young people in the temporarily occupied areas and two projects for international youth cooperation. In total, these projects received UAH 7 million.
“Our aim was not only to monitor projects implementation but also trends and tendencies of the competition and suggest changes that would make the procedure more open for NGOs and for the youth, to ensure that project goals were in compliance with requirements of the competition,” explained Oleksandr Smirnov, activist of the NGO “Institute for Educational and Youth Policy”.
The monitoring was held in August-December 2016. Among the monitors there were members of a Competition Commission of the Ministry of Youth and Sport that selected projects to be funded by the Ministry. The monitors attended 59 events organized by 17 NGOs and made a survey among over one thousand participants. They also monitored project cost sheet, presence of information on it in the media and collected feedback from the NGOs with their suggestions how this cooperation with the Ministry could be improved.
The first recommendation is to launch an online application system for contest participants. The second suggestion is to simplify the procedure, excluding from the application package submitted by NGOs those certificates that the Ministry of Youth and Sport can request directly from the mandated authority. “This would improve access to the competition for NGOs. In addition, if there will be more transparency and understanding, funding is likely to be increased as well,” noted Oleksandr Smirnov.
“Of course, we monitor efficiency of projects implementation, but it was very useful for us to see results of an independent monitoring. […] This information is a useful basis for considerations how we should organize our future work,” said Irina Beliayeva, director of Youth Policy Department of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine. She added that the Ministry has agreed with the suggestion to launch an online application system for contestants.
Projects like this contribute to building cooperation and strengthening trust between the government and the civil society, noted Olga Zhmurko, director for Romani program initiative of International Renaissance Foundation. “Efficient models and practices should be adopted as permanent and institutionalized. I hope the Ministry will use monitoring results to enhance the policy of control on implementation of government-funded projects,” she emphasized. Olga Zhmurko added that International Renaissance Foundation will continue support of common projects of ministries and NGOs.