CoST Ukraine has continued making strides towards greater transparency and accountability in public infrastructure by presenting new, interactive dashboards to enhance the pre-existing Transparent Infrastructure Open Data Portal. The portal was developed with support from the Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services (TAPAS) project, which is jointly funded by both the UK and US governments. The project aims to increase transparency and accountability during the construction of infrastructure whilst also reducing inefficient governance and corruption in this sphere. The new analytics dashboards will play a pivotal role alongside the portal in supporting efforts to reform highway development in Ukraine, simplifying key data for the public and enhancing anti-corruption efforts.
Around 90 people attended the launch of the platform, which was presented by CoST Ukraine alongside the Ministry of Infrastructure and the State Agency for Electronic Governance. The audience, which was drawn from government, the media, non-governmental organisations, civil society and the private sector, heard what they could expect from the dashboards. This includes key analytical features such as the distribution of road works throughout the country, the experience of contractors and the relative cost of projects on different road categories. By providing an analytics feature, the accessibility of the data portal increases, thus fulfilling a key aspect of the CoST approach: providing the public with the tools to hold decision makers to account and demand better public infrastructure.
The dashboards hold analytics on over 2000 highway projects since 2017 with a combined contract value of UAH 83 billion / GBP 2.7 billion. Data is updated daily, with 40% downloaded automatically from Ukraine’s Prozorro procurement portal and the remainder input manually. All analytics align with the Open Contracting for Infrastructure Data Standard, a unique and comprehensive standard created by CoST and the Open Contracting Partnership. As such, the portal allows the public, media and civil society to monitor infrastructure projects throughout the entirety of their life cycle, from implementation to execution.
Volodymyr Omelyan, the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, was at the event. He said:
“Since 2016, CoST has been a reliable partner to the Ministry of Infrastructure in the sphere of road monitoring. We have created the Road Fund, decentralised Ukravtodor, and transferred considerable financial resources towards road repairs: independence and oversight is of the highest importance for constructing road networks in Ukraine. CoST analysis helps to improve procurement, the implementation of road projects and the efficient management of the transport sector’’
Currently, the analytics dashboards hold data provided only by the Roads Agency, but seven local governments have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with CoST Ukraine, and will soon provide data too. From there on-wards, CoST Ukraine will begin a series of training sessions with government, the media, civil society and wider public in order to highlight the importance of project monitoring and their role within this.