Oleksandra SMILIANETS, Ukraine
PROJECT: Citizen Engagement for Transparent Land Management in Rural United Territorial Communities of Ukraine

Skilled in civic engagement and digital literacy, Oleksandra is working towards building strong local communities in Ukraine. 

In her capacity as a researcher of land management and participatory decision making at OpenUp Ukraine , she is contributing to actualize the public discussion on the importance of digital development in communities and the value of openness in Ukraine: data, code, research, and formats. Oleksandra is a participant of the Civil Tech Sisters, a program assisting young female leaders from Ukraine and Germany and implemented by Betterplace Lab, Goethe Institute and 1991 Civil Tech Center.  Also, she is co-founder of the online course: E-Democracy in Ukraine: Online Participation at the Country and Community Levels. Oleksanda has actively promoted the development of e-democracy and e-governance in Ukraine through data hackathons and various anti-corruption research projects.

Oleksandra holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Archeology and Ukrainian Philology (Minor in English Language and Literature) from the Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University.

“I am proud to be part of the EaP Fellowship community allowing me to dedicate my project to people residing in small villages of Ukraine. Unfortunately, most of the project beneficiaries have contagious pessimism about their future. Thanks to the program, I ignited the people’s hearts and minds with enthusiasm to change their communities. Also, the project helped me increase my performance in project management, team management, and strategic communications. I will continue to research the problems of community participation, work in the field of Civic Tech, develop IT solutions to increase the transparency of the land sector in Ukraine, will unite representatives of various Ukrainian and international non-governmental organizations. I also want to be a mentor to other young researchers. I am sure that in the future I will implement many of my ideas that will help my country become better!” – Oleksandra SMILIANETS

Citizen Engagement for Transparent Land Management in Rural United Territorial Communities of Ukraine

The project aimed to foster citizens’ engagement in the rural United Territorial Communities (Hromadas) and promote transparent land management in Ukraine. To achieve the above objectives, Oleksandra applied high-quality and user-center IT solutions & GIS technologies to the research and visibility campaigns. First and foremost, she created the opinion polls for Hromadas and researched the problems of AHs, data mining to explore the land management practices on the local level. Then, she mobilized the field experts and organized the online ideation to exchange expertise with the rural community. Finally, to increase the land management transparency, Olaksanda disseminated the results of the research and online webinars/ideathon with the local people and the decision-makers. 

The action raised awareness of the local authorities and civil activists from more than 150 rural areas of Ukraine. Also, the project delivered a research document and opinion poll summary to enhance citizens’ access to information about the effective management of land resources. Within the frame of the fellowship, Oleksandra created a Facebook network of the Project Ambassadors unifying the community representatives and experts in one group. To disseminate the project deliverables and reach  a larger audience, she developed an online course comprising 8 educational webinars and engaging more than 900 participants. On top of that, the project created a map of good practices for better engagement and facilitated the dialogue between the local community and the authorities via sharing the recommendations based on the results of the online ideathon, research & opinion poll summary, webinars and joint action plan.

Project website: Transparent Lands with the Map of good practices for the better engagement and educational video lectures. 

Research Paper (in Ukrainian):

Project in media:

Залучення громадян для управління земельними ресурсами у громадах – результати дослідження


Fellowship Programs 2020
Country Ukraine
Areas of Interest Awareness raising
Topics Democratic participation
Transparency & accountability
Project duration May 2020 - November 2020