The first project we will showcase is led by The Institute of Innovative Governance from Ukraine.
The Institute of Innovative Governance is Bisturi Partner.
Inclusive E-Democracy aimes to include people with disabilities to e-governance: websites aren’t indeed always necessary accesible to those people. Inclusive e-democracy monitors and controls that government websites comply with the WCAG 2.0 standards (web accessibility guidelines).
The Institute of Innovative Governance fights every day for leaving no one behind.
The story of the Institute starts with Ania Mysyshyn, 24-year old youth leader.
Fresh graduate from Tartu University in Estoniam she decides to come back to Lviv and make positive changes happen in her region.
“Now there is a healthy competition among Ukrainian cities. It is trendy for local authorities to do something for inclusiveness. So, it’s high time for us to use the momentum! “I have never set a goal to emigrate. Experience of studying and living in the EU inspired me to create positive changes here, in my country.”- says Ania.
The Beginning of the Institute of Innovative Governance in Ania’s Mind
Last year, while pursuing a Master’s degree in International Law at the Tartu University, Ania decided to learn more about e-governance and e-democracy.
She enrolled in a specialized study course developed by Oxford University.
Later on, craving knowledge, she attended training courses on e-democracy in Sweden and the Czech Republic. She learned first-hand from Estonian, Swedish and Czech developers about innovative e-solutions. Not only that: she observed from the inside how inclusiveness has transformed societies.
“Once in Stockholm, I saw a strange situation when traveling in a city bus. The bus suddenly stopped, and slanted onto its right side. I thought: ‘Well, it must have broken down.’ But no! The driver had made a special stop allow a person with disabilities to board.”
In Lviv she found like-minded enthusiasts and set up The Institute of Innovative Governance. Ania already had in mind the idea of engaging people more with visual impairments in policy- and decision-making.
The Story of Inclusive e-democracy project of The IIG
Using the expertise of Dmytro Popov, a sightless IT developer, the Institute of Innovative Governance’s team polished up the idea and entered the highly-competitive Youth Innovations Contest, held by UNDP.
In October 2017, their proposal of creating a web-checker to help state authorities adapt their websites for citizens with visual impairments was chosen as the winner of the Technological Innovations Category, coming first out of 66 submitted applications.
“We believe that we will finally succeed in persuading the state authorities and government to adapt websites to meet the needs of people with visual impairments.”
The Institute of Innovative Governance has already signed memorandums with the six city councils in Lviv region (Drohobych, Lviv, Chervonohrad, Boryslav, Yavoriv and Truskavets).
The cities’ mayors have committed to using the web-checker and adapting the city councils’ websites so that people with visual impairments can access them.
“We have started with six regional city councils, but we’re striving to involve more small towns and big cities across Ukraine.”
A Web-checker is a tool that helps state authorities understand how to meet the needs of people with visual impairments.