Published in the Financial Times on 14 April 2022.
Martin Sandu (10 April, “Ukraine needs an ambitious new Marshall Plan from Europe”) is spot on with his call for an ambitious reconstruction plan to help get our country to build back better from the devastation inflicted by Russia.
It is going to be vital for that support to reinforce good governance and economic opportunity in our country, and to avoid politically-connected cronyism.
The good news is that unlike the Marshall Plan of 1948, we can go digital, taking advantage of the many open source digital government initiatives in Ukraine to build a fully transparent and accountable process.
During the pandemic, Ukraine’s authorities were able to publish every PPE contract in under 24 hours: we need something similar for the reconstruction, especially if we want our government to spend in a cleaner, greener manner given all the other pressing priorities.
We already have damaged.in.ua, a project of the Kyiv School of Economics, that is recording and quantifying the damage done to our infrastructure, an open budget portal, a fully transparent digital procurement system with advanced analytics, and a huge and growing community of civic monitors checking public spending.
With a little imagination and joined-up thinking from our government and the international community, we could track every Euro, Dollar, Pound and Hryvnia given to our country and build a compelling example of smarter, more open government to inspire people as much in the reconstruction as our brave citizens have done during the conflict.
Viktor Nestulia and Volodymyr Tarnay, civic activists, Open Contracting Partnership, Ukraine