Civil servants learn how to apply human rights-based approach to policy-making

November 18, 2021

UNDP training session “Human-centric Approach in Public Policy” has been designed as a follow-up for the online course on government policy.

Photo credits: Andrii Naumenko / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 18 November 2021 – A training session for civil servants on the use of a human-centric approach to public policy-making has finished in Kyiv. Over the course of two days, the participants learned how to apply the human rights-based approach, including the gender approach, in the development and implementation of government policies.

The purpose of the training was to introduce the basic principles and requirements of the human-centric approach and give examples of its use, along with explaining what problems may arise and how they can be solved. The session also aimed to dispel myths about the human-centric approach and gender strategies, and to help civil servants apply their new knowledge in their daily professional activities.

In addition, the training topics included how to make government policies and services inclusive, in particular how to make public online resources accessible.

At the opening of the training, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, Oleksandr Shelest, stressed that government policies should be aimed at protecting the interests of every Ukrainian.

“Not everyone has equal opportunities to receive services or communicate with the state to inform it of their own interests,” Shelest said. “That is why it is very important that the state focuses on the interests of everyone, the least protected, and the most vulnerable Ukrainians. This training will help the participants – civil servants – acquire the skills they need to pay attention to the rights and interests of each particular person, and to protect them.”

The training session was attended by more than 80 civil servants from various government agencies, including: the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the Ministry of Social Policy, the Ministry of Community and Territorial Development, the Ministry of the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Police of Ukraine, the State Emergency Service, the Main Service Centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Secretariat of the Ukrainian parliament’s Commissioner for Human Rights.

The trainers were Serhii Burov, Director of the Human Rights Education House in Chernihiv; Anna Mysyshyn, Doctor of Philosophy in Law and Head of the Institute for Innovative Governance, an NGO; Dmytro Popov, a digital accessibility specialist at the Barrier-Free Ukraine Resource Centre; Roman Kobets, a PhD holder in philosophy and an expert at the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO); Khrystyna Faichak, an expert at the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO); and Mykhailo Koryukalov, a PhD holder in political science and an expert on gender equality.

Oksana Grechko, a digitalisation policy specialist of the UNDP’s DIA Support Project, noted that in an era of rapid digitalisation, there is always a segment of users who face obstacles when they want to obtain a government service online, due to their visual impairments, cognitive impairments, lack of relevant digital skills, limited access to the Internet or electronic devices, or because they prefer to receive services offline. Therefore, the interests of these people should be taken into account when developing services.

“When we talk about the human rights-based approach, we immediately think that this is something that concerns only the human rights sphere,” Grechko said. “But the human-centric approach is something that should be at the heart of the development of every policy and service. We must understand that all people are different, so it is important to take into account the needs of all citizens who apply for the services they need.”

This is the second event in a series of training sessions organised by UNDP in Ukraine for civil servants, which are aimed at raising their awareness of public policy development. Earlier, UNDP in Ukraine, in cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) and the National Civil Service Agency, developed a new online educational series for civil servants called “What is public policy and how is it shaped?”, which has been available since August 2021 on the Diia.Digital education platform. In their feedback forms, course participants stated that they would like to explore in more depth the use of the human-centric approach and gender strategies in the formation and implementation of public policies. In addition, in October 2021, UNDP conducted a training session for civil servants on the basics of web accessibility.

The participants who attended the two days of training session classes received 0.2 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System).

The training was initiated by the Ministry of Digital Transformation in the framework of the “Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine Project” (DIA Support Project), which is implemented by UNDP in Ukraine with financial support from the government of Sweden.

Background information

Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine (DIA Support) Project, launched in 2021, aims to bridge the digital divide between generations and different social groups. Its main goal is to increase the accessibility of new digital solutions so that every man and woman in the country can use public electronic services and no one is left behind.

Media inquiries:

Yuliia Samus, Communications Team Leader, UNDP in Ukraine, or +38 097 139 1475