Transparency for Trust. How to Make Energy Available

08 November 2017

On 7 November, a conference “Transparency for trust. How to make energy available” was held in Kyiv in the framework of the USAID Transparent Energy Project. The event was attended by government officials, representatives of international organizations, businessmen, and experts.

The conference consisted of two panels. The first one was dedicated to the energy sector transparency and the improvement of a dialogue in the energy sector; the second one was focused on open data, online registries and on how they can support the government in attracting investors and developing the energy market.

The conference was opened by Deputy Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine on European Integration Natalia Boyko. “The Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry strives to be more open and transparent. These are key priorities in our work. Therefore, our institution offers all possible assistance to experts who are provided with all the necessary information by our specialists. It is openness that helped refute a great deal of unverified information appearing in the information space,” said the official. She also represented a new instrument for monitoring the accumulation of coal in the Ukrainian combined heat and power plants - http://coal.texty.org.ua/. In this way, according to her, the Ministry shares information aiming not only to improve the dialogue with the public but also to generate new instruments in the energy sector.

Meanwhile, Oleksandr Dombrovskyi, acting Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety, stressed that the issue of transparency is one of the key problems existing in any economy, in particular in Ukraine. “The world is getting open and more transparent. The more transparency, the more opportunities for development and competition on a global scale. EITI Ukraine/Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Ukraine is what the Ukrainian energy sector needs today,” noted the parliamentarian.

“More transparency will help develop new business relationships and engage strategic partners in important projects in the sector, such as modernization of Ukraine’s gas transport system and creation of the Ukrainian gas pipeline. Besides, transparency and openness in the energy sector will contribute to the emergence of information the consumers will be able to trust,” said Susan Fritz, USAID Mission Director to Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.

According to Olena Pavlenko, President of DiXi Group, establishing the effective dialogue with consumers remains one of the priority tasks for the full-fledged reform of the domestic energy sector: “The energy sector reform is a too complicated and painful process that requires constant and very close dialogue with consumers. Only when users understand the real state of affairs in the energy sector and believe the government that every hryvnia is going to improve the sector will we be able to talk about successful reforms in the sector.” To illustrate the requirements of such dialogue, Olena Pavlenko presented the results of a survey prepared at the request of DiXi Group by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation. For example, she informed that one of the survey results is that consumers of energy resources, even if dissatisfied with the quality of energy supply services, do not complain of this.

The USAID Transparent Energy Project, which is implemented by DiXi Group’s Think Tank, is designed to contribute to more transparency and to the emergence of more accessible information in the energy sector. One of the directions of this project is an online map of the energy sector. It was launched in summer of this year and has been regularly updated since then.

“On the one hand, the map is a very visual tool allowing anyone to understand how the energy sector operates, while being, on the other hand, a huge data storage: it contains brief descriptions of market segments, dozens of data sets in a processible format, and hundreds of thematic investigations. Several very illustrative infographics have already been created based on the data we process for the map, and we expect to realize other innovative ideas using these data,” said Roman Nitsovych,  DiXi Group Program Manager. He also informed that the map has recently been translated into English, which will come in handy for foreign investors who are interested in investing in the domestic energy sector. Besides, as was said, an interaction with data administrators is continuing further in the framework of the project to ensure further handling of their data.

The USAID Transparent Energy Project was launched in November 2016. It aims to fight corruption and improve financial transparency in Ukraine's energy sector. This is to be achieved by way of disclosure, analysis and publication of information about the energy sector, which is either protected, or public access to which is restricted.

The release of this material was made possible due to the support of the American people provided through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The opinions contained in this material are solely the responsibility of the DiXi Group and under no circumstances can they be considered as reflecting the position of the USAID or the US Government.

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