СIJ «Garnet» – journalistic project in Kiev region, Ukraine. Objective of project – public control over public finance, privatization, and economic sphere in Kiev region. We hope to achieve level of professional mass-media. In our state we have negative situation, the local media do not cover the most important issues in many regions. We published articles about tenders, concessions, privatization and shared it in social networks for residents of Kiev region since February 2014. That's why residents of Kiev region always know the latest news about the actions of local authorities.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Bila Tserkva, Kiev region
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
A lot of Ukrainian media are investigating the use of public finance at the national level. However, in regions we don't have professional journalists, who write about tenders, concessions and privatization of community propetry. Thus, the residents cannot receive information about these issues on the local level.
All members of the ‘Garnet’-team were published in the most popular media. For instance, we have a lot of articles in “Forbes”, “Ukrainian Pravda” and “Nashi Groshi”.
But in parallel, as volunteers, we are conducting investigative journalism in Kiev region. Our team is carrying out this work as we live in the Kiev region. From this point of view, the community of Kiev region has the full and accurate information about the use of public finances, concessions etc..
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
1) Inna Grischenko – www.facebook.com/inna.miniailo?fref=ts
She was published at epravda.com.ua.
2) Hlib Kanevsky – https://www.facebook.com/original.kanevsky
He has an account in Ukrainian “Forbes” – http://forbes.ua/author/32747.
He was published at epravda.com.ua, nashigroshi.org, forbes.ua.
3) Oleksandr Liemienov – www.facebook.com/o.lemenov
He was published at epravda.com.ua, life.pravda.com.ua, rln.fm, espreso.tv, local newspapers in Kiev region.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Today “Garnet” exists in social networks:
Every day we published three news. Two exclusive articles concerning tenders at the local level and third article is a republishing the press release of the authorities of Kiev region. This activity exists for establishing for communication between local government and relevant communities.
“Rising Voices” could help “Garnet” through funding, because we want to create a website to spread our materials out of social networking. In addition, the article of the “Garnet” contains information about customers of tenders, tender winners etc.. Therefore, its generalization in one place will be a useful database for investigative journalists from other regions.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
Today we established the partnership with several administrators of groups in such social networks, like vk.com, facebook.com. Each of these groups has nearly 3-5 thousands of users. The administrators said, that they will repost all materials of the “Garnet” regarding local issues of Kiev region.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
Currently three members of the “Garnet”-team will be involved in the process of creating product, exactly these people will create an information product. But tens of thousands citizens of Kiev region is a customers of this project.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
I will add experience in project management, because in 2012 I managed 10 analysts in the “Chesno” (www.chesno.org) campaign for the parliamentary elections in Ukraine. I also have a university degree in law, it will help us to solve all the current legal problem of business. Hlib Kanevsky will add enormous experience in the field of public finance, he is one of the best young experts in Ukraine. Inna Gryschenko will give us experience in advocacy campaigns and she will organize internal management and communication of our team.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We have not decided about the format of seminars, because all our activities focus specifically on news that coverage only Internet. But for future seminars we have a laptops, internet connection (speed 20-40 MB/s). The only thing we can buy this year is a projector for slide show as part of lectures, seminars and press-conferences.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
As we said, members of “Garnet” were published in the most popular Ukrainian mass media – “Forbes”, “Ukrainian Pravda”, and “Nashi groshi”.
But in parallel, as volunteers, we are conducting investigative journalism in Kiev region. Our team is carrying out this work as we live in the Kiev region. From this point of view, the community of Kiev region has the full and accurate information about the use of public finances, concessions etc.
Among the members of the team “Garnet” is the lawyers, who have experience of appealing the illegal use of public finance to law enforcement agencies. These lawyers are Hlib Kanevsky and Oleksandr Liemienov. Thus, all the facts of abuse will be passed to the police and to office of local prosecutor.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
We do not expect significant problems for our project. There is one obstacle. It can be a lack of funds to set up a website “Garnet”. We hope for your financing, because it will be difficult to find a several thousand dollars to build excellent website.
Regarding security issues in our country. We recently had a revolution, where we fought against Yanukovych's authoritarian regime. Each member of our team took an active part in the revolutionary events and nobody should worry about personal safety, we already have experience in such critical situations.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Indicators of success:
1) The number of articles about the use of public finances written for the project.
2) The number of complaints submitted to police and prosecutor office about the use of public finance.
3) The number of users, who like and share our page “Garnet” in the social networks (facebook.com and vk.com) during the project.
4) The number of readers, who have visited the site “Garnet” created due of the grant “Rising Voices”.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
Each week we plan to publish 13-15 articles about government procurement at the local level. One time in two weeks – great article-investigation. Once a month we plan to organize a direct action in any city of the Kiev region.
We have been working for almost 2 months as mentioned above, so we will continue to do it in the future.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
All allocated funds we are going spend for creating site “Garnet”, in order to ensure uninterrupted access to latest news in the field of public finance, processes of concessions and privatizations of municipal property of Kiev region. If the website will cost less than $ 2,500, then the balance of the funds we will be spend for seminars, for travels (flights are too expensive), and for internet access bills.
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
We think your financial help provide a future of this project and we ought to try our best in media sphere.
Our project was named “Garnet”, but it is not officially registered organization.