ATI by local authorities in Ukraine during COVID-19

Access to reliable information related to COVID-19 is of critical importance to provide the opportunity for the public to make informed decisions about their health and security.
Last update: January 3, 2022
UNDP Ukraine survey on ATI
Key survey results

For this reason, the regional network of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights conducted a rapid monitoring on how local authorities were publishing information about protective measures against COVID-19, and how they address citizens’ freedom of information requests. Through this monitoring exercise, regional coordinators assessed the work of 74 subnational authorities through analysis of the local authorities’ responses to the freedom of information requests and evaluation of their official websites. 

The survey concluded that information holders mostly publish information about protective measures against COVID-19 systematically and on time. However, some local authorities need to take measures for the improvement of access to information, namely its comprehensiveness.

Based on the findings of the survey, UNDP experts provided recommendations on how local authorities can enhance the provision of access to public information and widely promoted them through the regional network of the Ombudsperson’s Office. 

The recommendations are as follows:

  1. Information holders, state authorities and local governments during the quarantine period must ensure requests for public information can be submitted at all times by email. Email addresses for making requests must be published on the official websites so that everyone can easily find them.
  2. It is necessary to organize the work of public officials and divisions responsible for access to public information in such way that they can process requests and provide access to information in a timely manner. Replies to the requests should be:
    - Submitted on an official form with the letterhead of the information holder, and with the registration number and signature of the responsible person;
    - Sent from an official email address for requests for access to public information, or from the official email of the information holder.
  3. Regulatory and normative acts on protective measures against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) must be immediately published on official websites. Information holders must publish full texts of these normative acts, mentioning the date when they were adopted, and their registration number. Plans of protective measures and details of where to request additional information must be published too. Easy navigation of the website is also important.

This case study is a contribution from UNDP Ukraine to the Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. To read other studies please see “Enabling the implementation of the 2030 Agenda through SDG16+: 2021 Epilogue”.

Infographics in English and the full report in Ukrainian are available here.