DIA Support Project announces a call for grant proposals for a pilot phase of the regional tour

DIA Support Project invites NGOs, their coalitions, and consortia to submit project proposals to participate in a grant competition for a pilot regional tour on digital transformation.

Photo: UNDP Ukraine

DIA Support Project, which is part of the UNDP Ukraine Democratic Governance Portfolio, seeks partners among qualified CSOs and their coalitions/consortia to conduct a pilot phase of the forthcoming regional tour in a sphere of digital transformation. The results of this experimental stage shall set the stage for a more extensive nationwide tour to happen in 2022.

This “test tour” has the following objectives:

  1. Give local communities in settlements that rarely (if at all) receive visits from top officials and development partners a channel of direct communications with the Kyiv-based decision-makers (MDT fully supports the idea and is ready to delegate its senior representatives to up to eight events outside of Kyiv);
  2. Hear out the pains, wants, fears, and wishes (dreams) of the local communities (it is essential to have very diverse groups participate) about electronic services and digital transformation in the state overall;
  3. Test for a variety of formats (presentation, future search, focus group, structured dialogue event, etc.) and agenda setups (having events weekends VS weekdays; having meetings after hours to enable participation of those who work; shifting around the presentation and co-creation blocks to achieve the best productivity, etc.) and venues (school, library, local culture centre, outdoors, etc.) – so that the main tour in 2022 runs the a) optimum formats and b) most convenient schedules;
  4. Using the opportunity, gather feedback on MDT / Diia communications materials and intended communications products to be produced by UNDP (“living lab” for citizens to co-create messages, engage in “A/B testing” of materials);
  5. If possible, test out the hypotheses about the re-engineering of services prior to changing the relevant regulations (please see the related point 2 above). This can be done by seeking out representatives of the communities that are most likely the target audience for a given service and asking them in-depth about their experience, concerns and frustrations and possible “ways out”. UNDP will provide detailed guidance on this item.

One of the examples that formed the basis for the development of this grant competition was, in particular, the Open Government Partnership regional roadshow and consultations supported by UNDP Ukraine that culminated in co-design of the OGP National Action Plan in 2014.

An even more pertinent case that served as a model for conceptualising this CfP, was undertaken in early 2017 and had to do with awareness-raising and feedback-gathering on the intended healthcare reform. In this case, the Ministry of Health partnered with CenterUA and, with the support of development partners (notably the ULead programme), conducted close to 70 consultations in all regions of Ukraine as part of the “ZminyTY tour”. Notably, the Ministry of Health took the proposals on board and reported publicly about the results of the consultations, thus boosting the credibility of the reform process and shortening the communications distance between “the government in Kyiv” and the real people it is supposed to serve.

In the case of the DIA Support Project, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions on travel and in-person contacts (which are easing up in Ukraine as of today), it is crucial to reach out to communities beyond Kyiv and outside of major metropolises (Kharkiv, Odesa, Lviv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia) and oblast centres. After all, the project’s philosophy is that truly inclusive, human-rights-based electronic services may be built only if broad stakeholder groups are duly consulted, versatile voices are heard, and barrier-free communication is in place between the policy-generating entities (the Ministry and Parliamentary Committee) and the citizen-clients in far-fledged regions.

Although a recent study “Electronic services: experiences, trust, accessibility” did take first steps in interviewing eight groups of electronic service users and UNDP Accelerator Lab piloted some of the outreach, UNDP and MDT believe that a more comprehensive, live tour is beneficial.

Thus, in light of the volatile situation with COVID-19 restrictions in 2021, and to test for an optimum model of a more extensive road-trip in 2022, the DIA Support Project welcomes applications from qualified CSOs and their coalitions/consortia that can propose a detailed vision of how a piloting stage of such a tour could work by implementing versatile activities and testing which ones work best.

The proposals shall include/respond to the following considerations:

  • The proposed approach should be tested outside of the major cities and cover at least two oblasts of Ukraine (the choice of oblasts to be approved by UNDP). These could be neighbouring ones or those that represent the geographic diversity of Ukraine – up to the proposing CSO/coalition/consortium;

  • The process should be built on the methodology of participatory discussions and be generally in line with the Human Rights Based Approach (principles of “accountability”, “participation and inclusion”, “equality and non-discrimination”) and be mindful and inclusive of gender equality and equity;

  • In light of the “test tour objectives” given above, the approach should combine elements of awareness-raising (MDT or external specialists on digital transformation will be part of this component), consultations, process co-design, and feedback gathering. The CSOs/coalitions/consortia are welcome to propose any methods or agenda that they see fit but are highly recommended to review the two examples of regional tours presented above for inspiration;

  • There is no minimum number of stakeholders or entities to be consulted through this first experimental stage of the tour. Yet, greater diversity and larger numbers are welcome. Applicants are encouraged to think about parallel, auxiliary means of reaching out to diverse audiences in advance of the main stage of the events/consultations, gathering issues and themes in advance and thinking beyond the conventional means of target group scoping. Thus, for instance, the applicants can propose to have pre-consultations with the target vulnerable groups before the MDT/ UNDP/CSO/Consultant team comes for the one-day event, thus making the core event even more effective. 

As a result of the proposed project implemented, the DIA Support Project, MDT and other relevant stakeholders in Kyiv should internalise the lessons learned from the pilot phase of the consultations, and the participating CSOs/coalitions/consortia will have built their outreach and capacity in the area of participatory and inclusive digital transformation.

UNDP will participate in the regional activities and will, most likely, delegate subject-matter experts on electronic services and digital transformation to accompany the tour team at all times. In addition, preliminary discussions with MDT have shown that the Ministry’s representatives (potentially, the top leadership of the Ministry or at least sectoral experts) would like to join the events under the auspices of the tour, going to the regions and establishing the ties with local communities. UNDP will also involve one or two dedicated digital transformation experts – at its own separate cost – to be involved in all the regional events and to answer questions from the diverse groups that will be consulted. As such, previous experience of an Applicant CSO in digital transformation will be considered an asset but will not be an essential criterion for awarding the grant.

All relevant events and activities will need to be completed by 15 December 2021, and the maximum co-funding from UNDP shall not exceed 45’000 USD.

All applications must be submitted no later than 18 July 2021 by 23:59.

Detailed information about the competition, requirements, and terms of reference can be found in the documents attached. 


UNDP Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine (DIA Support) Project is implemented with funding provided by the Government of Sweden and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (MDT). The three-year intervention builds on many years of UNDP Ukraine’s experience in two tracks: administrative service reform and re-engineering and digitalisation of processes in public administration – including through participatory methods of citizen and expert engagement.

Within the DIA Support Project, UNDP assists its government counterparts, first and foremost MDT, to select wrap-around services that representatives of vulnerable groups face in life situations to enable the delivery of digitalised or digitally-enhanced, mobile-based solutions.

Throughout the three years of cooperation, MDT, its system of Chief Digital Transformation Officers and sister agencies in the Government and Parliament will also gain an in-depth understanding of approaches to Human Rights Based Approach in crafting public services for citizen-clients. The Project will continue seeking out experiences of Ombudsperson Offices in Europe to bring and adapt them to the Ukrainian environment. Finally, the Project will also work proactively with citizen-clients to enhance their digital skills and buy in for solutions offered through new technology.

The DIA Support Project aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Government institutions have the knowledge and skills to design and implement policies to digitalise citizen-oriented services in line with principles of the Human Rights Based Approach and gender mainstreaming;

  • Client-centred digital service packages are built around life situations in a participatory and gender-responsive manner;

  • Ukrainian women and men know more about the digital and mobile-based services available to them and use these services more to meet their needs.

The DIA Support Project does not concentrate exclusively on the development of new, more convenient and citizen-centric electronic services. Recently UNDP has completed the research that suggests that while the emergence of new electronic instruments, services and platforms is a welcome development, truly inclusive digital transformation will emerge when there are closer ties between the duty-bearer (the Ministry of Digital Transformation and its namesake Parliamentary Committee as well as local government entities in the case of local services) and the rights-holders (individuals who use the services or interest groups that represent such citizens). Multiple actors – such as CSOs, businesses and development partners – are also involved in designing, advocating and promoting the use of electronic services for the citizens. As such, their stances, beliefs, qualifications and operational modalities impact relevant processes.


Call for proposals

Aplication form

Annexes to the application form