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South and East Ukraine – Democratization of Public Affairs Management: Increasing Citizen and Media Participation in Decision-Making Processes


People in Need, 2007

Amount of financial assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: CZK 897,715

Implementation period:January 2007 – December 2007

People in Need have conducted trainings in south and east Ukraine in two fields essential to the functioning of a democratic society: independent journalism and public cooperation with decentralized local government.

Enhancing the quality of journalism – training in investigative journalism

PIN organized a series of seminars in Donetsk focused on investigative and civic internet journalism and the legal protections available for investigative journalists. Young Ukrainian journalists were given practical trainings on the writing of investigative articles.  The best authors met prominent Czech investigative journalists to learn more about the standards of independent journalism through a study visit to the Czech Republic. The Ukrainian press has already published a number of these reports. An anthology was published which included all of the reports, methodology of investigative journalism and analysis of its contemporary standing in east and southeast Ukraine.

Transformation towards democracy – local self-government

In Donetsk, Czech experts explained the basic changes that the Czech Republic has witnessed in the sphere of local self-government since 1989. Publications regarding the process were distributed to the professional public in Ukraine. In addition, representatives from Czech and Ukrainian local government and non-governmental sector shared their experience of cooperation between local government and NGOs. Through these activities, PIN has established contacts for the project’s next stages which will focus on disseminating information about the best examples and practices of local self-government and citizen participation in the Czech Republic.

The following experts and institutions took part in the project as instructors, presenters and/or organizers:

Jaroslav Formánek (Respekt magazine), Adam Junek (Aktuálně.cz), Jaromír Jech (Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic), Bohdan Kopčák (Ukrainski Žurnal; The Ukrainian Journal), Ladislav Kryštof (mayor of the town of Uhersky Brod), Ondřej Kundra (Respekt magazine), Pavel Mička (Agora Central Europe), Pavel Ondra (lawyer), Petr Pithart (Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Zdeněk Slepička (Kladno Municipal Office)

Oleg Jelcov (investigative journalist), Jaroslav Kolgushev (, Jelena Kolgusheva (, Press Club Donetsk, RDA Donbass

Special acknowledgements for support and cooperation should be given to the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Donetsk.