Online platform for government grants
e-Grants helps organise and handle state grants for public organisations and nonprofits
Kitsoft developed an online platform for organising government grant programs for the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine with the support of a global non-profit organisation EGAP. From now on, it is possible to award or announce grants online. It also triggers more applicants and will help to implement important social initiatives across the country.
Central and regional authorities hold competitions for state grants in accordance with the decree № 1049 issued by the Cabinet of Ministers on 12th October 2011. As those competitions used to be held in a paper form, applicants and authorities faced multiple problems such as:
Applicants spent hours searching for information on multiple websites that belonged to different government departments and lacked general information about state grants for the general public;
The use of different formats for awarding grants, including different forms of documents submission and accounting records;
- Documents were brought in person or mailed, Applying for each grant program required up to five copies totaling 5 pages, Issues, and delays with applications, and receipts were common;
- The physical presence was an obligation if you wanted to submit a draft. Certain organizations did not have the resources to meet the demands and consequently, they missed valuable opportunities;
- Authorities had limited human resources to document and arrange grants;
- Absence of public trust in state grants, due to the lack of transparency in the process.
Efficacy is goal
The e-Grants platform is designed to increase the efficacy and transparency of the grant funds organisation, to streamline the process for submitting documents, accounting records, and public involvement in the selection of the winning applicants.
The state spends approximately 100 million UAH per year to fund state grants, which is important to social initiatives, this involves more than 500 organizations from 22 regions. The online system’s goal is to help catch the interest of more applicants and increase the public initiative in general.
How does e-Grants work?
The e-Grants platform is based on the modern technologies of DIIA. This people-focused and user-friendly app was also created and developed by our Kitsoft team. Due to BPMN technologies for process description and flexible configuration, we automated all the stages for handling grants, starting with the submitting of applications to the reporting. At the same time, it reduced the officials’ influence on the process and increased transparency of public funds distribution.
The online system contains the following parts:
- The public portal is accessible to everyone. This is the only place that has all the information regarding state grants. It’s easy to access, as it can be filtered by topics, regions, or spheres. The portal shows general statistics: number of submitted applications, participants, the geography of grants, etc. Moreover, users can access their personal accounts here.
- User account. Here the organisers can determine conditions, while applicants can submit their applications reports, etc.
- Administrator account. To make sure grants are secured, it’s possible to configure the different levels of access to the system moderators here.
Advantages of a digital platform use
- Authorization for account access through QES (Qualified Electronic Signature): It reliably identifies a person, and records all their actions in the system. At the same time, this guarantees the transparency of both the application submission and the conduct of the competition.
- The government has approved unified forms of documents. It is especially convenient for managers and accountants of public organizations, who previously had to meet different requirements. Now all processes are set up and automated, so both organizers and participants must follow the rules, otherwise the system simply will not let them through.
- The applicants’ identity is automatically verified during submission, To achieve this we integrated the API of the Unified State Registrar. You don’t need to print the charter or decree of non-profitability from the registry of nonprofit organisations. Organisations can enter their unique code, and get access to all the necessary information in the application. This reduces the extra workload on the authorities since manual verification is no longer necessary.
- Opportunity to present your project and watch commission meetings online, The section of the grants has all the details on the number of applicants, project annotations, commissions’ decision protocols, list of awards, and details of the winners. This could benefit not only the applicants but also journalists, civil activists, and monitoring organisations.
- Automated awarding system for the winners. Members of the commission evaluate and sign propositions with their digital signatures. After voting, the system counts the votes and rates the winners. This eliminates the human factor and prevents mistakes and fraudulence.
- All communication happens in the account. Participants don’t need to search for contacts, they can easily get in touch with organisers and receive all notifications relevant to the project through their personal accounts.
- Citizens can take part in project evaluations. This is guaranteed by law. The organiser can choose to involve the public to vote, and set up the contest accordingly.
The platform was presented on the 13th September 2021 and consequently, the first grants were launched: Contest for child and youth projects by public organizations from the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine as well as Contest to identify projects of national-patriotic education from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
"It’s not the first time, here, in Ukraine, when the government uses automated systems to distribute funds. We’ve launched an online State-Funded Contests for Regional Growth before, that distributed billions of UAH to support projects across the regions. The system was developed by us to help contests manage the Funds quickly using automated processes, which lowered the risks of fraudulence, and increased trust in the organization". — Oleksandr Iefremov, СEO Kitsoft
Online grants were created in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, The Ministry of Veteran Affairs, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, the Social Security Fund for People with Disabilities (ISPF), EGAP Program implemented by the Eastern European Fund with Switzerland’s support, and the Ukrainian Center of Independent Political Research.