Working groups’ meeting in Kyiv

Activists updated each other on their work, discussed difficulties they face and evaluated the results

TransparenCEE cross-regional working groups have been working intensely for the last several months in order to produce tech tools, databases, platforms, research, and campaigns that will help to improve the democratic process across Europe and connect activists in their common effort for more transparency and accountability.

During working groups’ meetings in Kyiv activists updated each other on their work, discussed difficulties they face and evaluated the results they achieved so far.

Public Procurement working group discussed data publication in their countries and the difficulties they face in acquiring data sets. Participants highlighted the need for a regional public procurement platform that would provide fresh procurement data on a daily basis. OCDS and import APIs could allow partners to feed such a system with their data and tackle sustainability issues. Participants of the meeting in Kyiv also tested and gave feedback on the first tool developed within the working group: the Public Procurement Indicators Toolbox. This database of indicators will serve as a stepping stone for any organization developing public procurement monitoring tools in their countries. K-Monitor that led the work on the Toolbox will release the finalized version this November.

Participants pf the Decision-Making working group tested a freshly developed prototype of a Social Media Scraper. This tool will allow journalists and activists to easily acquire and analyze data from the social media accounts of politicians and other decision-makers. During the meeting the group analyzed travel routes and social media updates of Polish and Ukrainian presidents during their duty trips. It took only five minutes to get this data in a form of a spreadsheet using the Scraper, whereas manual collection could take up to two days. Journalists and activists who were testing the tool agreed that it can save a lot of time and eventually become very useful in a process of monitoring the activities of public officials.

The Decision-Making working group also gathered experts in matters of prevention of conflict of interests and asset declarations. This fraction worked for several months on another project: Assets Decelerations in CEE database. The platform is a collaborative project between 18 organizations in the region. It provides comparative and analytical data on the state of affairs in the assets declaration legislation and its implementation as well as recommendations for improvement. The platform is designed to serve as a visual evidence-based tool that can be used in advocacy for better assets declarations policies.

Finally, the group dedicated to Citizen Participation and Engagement discussed the process of replication of Javna Rasprava from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Albania that was based on the open call that was launched mid-summer. The group also continued exploring potential cooperation on the issue of misuse of parliamentary emergency decision-making procedures and brainstormed on the practical steps to bring this initiative to life. They also exchanged information, opinions, lessons learned, and wins related to their countries and work, which for many is one of the most important benefit of being a part of the working group.