Despite the developed IT-sector and tech expertise, the Internet reach in Ukraine amounts to 67% of the population. According to surveys, only 25% are ready to use electronic media to influence and control the public authorities.

Though nowadays in Ukraine the successful examples of such tools are implemented on national level were developed by volunteers. For example, ProZorro procurement system this year received World Procurement Award and in 14 months of its operation allowed saving UAH 1.5 billion for the state.

The new program EGAP (E-Governance For Accountability and Participation) conducted in cooperation with Swiss Cooperation Fund started in 4 regions of Ukraine and implemented by local partners Impact Hub Odessa, Space Hub in Dniepr, iHub in Vinytsia and Fund of Regional Development in Lutsk. The EGAP seeks to strengthen good governance and modern public service delivery and social innovation in Ukraine by using the new information communication technologies

EGAP Challenge is a competition of startups which will help to improve the cooperation between government and citizens, strengthen community participation in decision-making process and increase transparency. After the application process and creative weekends where teams will present their projects and receive feedback from mentors and experts from partner companies such as IBM, Cisco Systems, De Novo, Intel, they will be accepted for 2-months incubation program. The topics of the challenge include:

– uniting to resolve social problem issues and urban beautification issues;

– monitor spending of budget funds;

– join the work on planning budget expenditures;

– control activities of government authorities, etc.

The competition includes several stages, through which the winners will receive grants to develop their ideas and their embodiment in life.

“Now in Ukraine there is a huge potential to create something new and different, especially among youth. We see that changes could only be created by our own. Currently, only technology can provide a platform for these changes “, – says Valery Fishchuk, Regional Manager Cisco in Ukraine.

“We hope that the EGAP challenge can bring these actors together to prove that state, civil society and IT specialists can work together to come up with interesting social innovation solutions and contribute to change in their communities While there are many exciting, commercially oriented hackathons in Ukraine, which are equally needed and important, EGAP Challenge seeks to specifically provide opportunities to Ukrainian social entrepreneurs. These actors don’t always ‘naturally’ cooperate together in the context of ‘innovation’.”  –   the Swiss Funded eGovernance Advisor in Ukraine and Partner of EGAP Program, Jordanka Tomkova, pointed out.