In light of the COVID-19 virus crisis, Ukraine, like so many other countries, spent significant time under general quarantine. Government ministries, academic institutions, businesses and media outlets all sought ways to continue to meet their mandates and conduct their daily affairs remotely using online spaces. With local elections on the horizon, commissioners for the Central Election Commission (CEC) newly appointed less than one year ago, new leadership of key government ministries such as the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP), the need for high-quality adult learning remained high.
To address this need, from May 5-7, 2020, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the joint IFES-CEC training center held an online pilot of the political financing module of Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE), a modular professional development program established by IFES, International IDEA, UNDP, the United Nations and the Australian Election Commission. This was the first time in the world a BRIDGE module was facilitated online. The training was held with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Affairs Canada and UK aid. Ukraine has had a long history with BRIDGE workshops, with highly skilled, experienced Ukrainian facilitators.
The workshop gathered 15 participants (seven men and eight women), including ten representatives from the National Agency for the Prevention for Corruption (NAPC) and five from the CEC. The workshop was designed to encourage greater coordination and cooperation between key stakeholders of political finance oversight in Ukraine in combatting political corruption. The module was facilitated by Mykhailo Gorkusha, Anastasia Matvienko, Aliona Sheshenia, and Evgeniy Krikopolo, with the support of the joint IFES-CEC Training Center and IFES program advisor and BRIDGE facilitator Meredith Applegate. The training took place over three days, with four hours of facilitated online learning per day. The workshop strengthened participants’ understanding of key aspects of political financing, including limits on donations and spending, reporting and effective sanctioning along with international standards and good practices in the sphere of political finance regulation.