+38 (068) 024 5169   +38 (044) 279 0096    Open Policy Foundation

About Foundation

Open Policy Foundation (OPF) - Ukrainian NGO established in 2008.
Certificate of state registration № 36304445 dated 30.12.2008.

The main purpose of the OPF is to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine, foreign citizens, and stateless persons, who are legally in Ukraine, promote European integration, form the values of sustainable development, and strengthen the country's scientific and innovative potential.

The highest governing body of the OPF is the General Meeting, and between the General Meeting - the Foundation's Management Board and the Executive Directorate.

MISSION

OPF is called to cherish both traditional European values and values of sustainable development in local communities, expand access to quality education for children and youth as well as develop the scientific and innovative potential of Ukraine.

OPF is a relevant national stakeholder and a partner of the Government, Parliament, local authorities, NGOs, and international organisations. The OPF contributes to public policy in the fields of education, science, youth policy, green education, ecology and environmental safety, sustainable development, education in emergencies, support to children and youth affected by the arms conflict and internally displaced persons (IDPs), and so on.

The initiators and founders of the OPF were politologist Igor Zhdanov, historian Iryna Zhdanova, artist Oksana Denisevich, ecologist Oksana Patselyuk, folk artist Olga Shinkarenko.

Since 2014 OPF has been actively cooperating with the government: the Ministry of Education and Science, Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs, Ministry of Information Policy, Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry of Culture. In March 2016, the Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the NGO Open Policy Foundation.

OPF is an active participant in the Educational Cluster of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), OCHA UN. We are cooperating with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHR), Save the Children, and other international organizations. OPF constantly collaborates with local governments and communities, especially in Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts. Our information partners are National Agency UKRINFORM, radio Golos Donbas, Ukrainian Radio, Donetsk region TV DoTeBe, and so on.

The OPF main programs are Eastern Ukraine and Crimea/ Accessible Education and The International Green School. Donbas and Crimea is a program for children and youth affected by the conflict (jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science and UNICEF). Educational Internet platform was created by OPF for ensuring equal access to education for citizens affected by the conflict.

The International Green School was founded in 2012 with the goal to provide education in STrEАM career fields (S – science, T – technology, r – robotics, E – engineering, A – art, M – mathematics) and promote union in conservation and environmental values through constructive conversations and debates in local communities.

The OPF team consists of 7 persons. All OPF projects are implemented in accordance with the policy of equal opportunities, non-discrimination, and competition rules. We adhere to the principle of equal opportunities for men and women, as referred to Council Directive 2000/78. In October 2017, the Foundation passed the IASC Gender & Age Marker (GAM) test successfullyby gaining 4 out of 4 possible points (a test for UN partners). We also passed the UNICEF audit successfully in 2017. The office is working on environmental standards.

MAIN TASKS:

  • to facilitate access to education and ensure equal opportunities for quality education including for citizens from Non-Governmental Controlled Area (NGCA) and occupied territories, IDPs, and people from rural areas and mountainous regions with their special needs;
  • to promote development and implementation of STrEAM (S – science, T – technology, R - robotics, E – engineering, A – art, M – mathematics) education in Ukraine with priority of the formation of “green values”;
  • to help young scientists and architects in designing and implementing innovative green projects;
  • to support young scholars, architects, and scientists;
  • to facilitate the development and implementation of distance education;
  • to ensure the sustainability of the International Green School;
  • to support artistic education;
  • to promote the development of children's and youth media (including the provision of activity of the Children's Media Studio "Birds");
  • to facilitate the development of scientific journalism in Ukraine;
  • to facilitate the involvement of scientists and politicians in the implementation of measures in local communities to adapt to climate changes;
  • to provide institutional support for local communities and project management training;
  • to influence on the formation of state policy in the directions mentioned above;
  • to popularize the Foundation's positive experience.

PARTNERS

  • UNICEF
  • Ministry of Education and Science
  • Ministry of Culture
  • Ministry of Information Policy
  • Ministry for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons
  • Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Ministry of Social Policy
  • Verkhovna Rada Committee for Science and Education
  • Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Poltava Regional State Administrations
  • Associated territorial communities of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zaporizhia, Poltava, Kyiv region and other regions
  • Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment
  • Displaced higher educational institutions, Educational Centers "Crimea-Ukraine", "Donbas-Ukraine"
  • State school educational institution "Children's Engineering Academy" (Kyiv)
  • Ivan Honchar Museum
  • Council of young scientists at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC);
  • Creative Educational Scientific Laboratory of the International Project "Mountain School of the Ukrainian Carpathians"

INFORMATION PARTNERS

1. The National News Agency of Ukraine "Ukrinform"
2. Newspaper "Government Courier"
3. Educational portal "Pedagogical Press"
4. Ukrainian radio
5. Radio “Voice of Donbas”
6. Hromadske Radio
7. Black Sea TV and Radio Company


BENEFICIARIES STEAKHOLDERS
Children 6-18 years old Parliamentary committees on science and education and on environmental policy, nature management and liquidation of consequences of the Chernobyl disaster
Children and youth from Donbas and Crimea, including from IDP MoES, Ministry of culture, MIP, MinTOT, Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment (UCEQA), Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
Families with children Local communities
Educators, in particular teachers Educational institutions, including scientific lyceums, art schools and displaced higher educational institutions
Young scientists Media including the Pedagogical Press, Donbas Voice, and so on
Students and teachers of displaced higher educational institutions NGOs, expert organizations
Students of Vocational schools Regional Institutes of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education
Representatives of the governing bodies of the associated territorial communities Business
Workers of Regional Institutes of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education Ukrainian diaspora
Older adults Vocational schools



SWOT Analysis


Strengths
  • Excellent communication with authorities and partners
  • teamwork: we generate ideas together
  • personal interest of team members in self-improvement and achievement of the organization purpose, common vision of mission
  • permanent training, participation in trainings, motivation to study
  • knowledge of horizontal policies and gender equality (successful passing of the gender test: IASC Gender&AgeMarker, 4 out of 4 possible points)
  • communication with international organizations
  • Improving regional and local levels of communication
  • Excellent communication with press secretaries of the Regional State Administrations in Lugansk, Donetsk, and Kherson oblasts
  • establishing cooperation with new media partners
  • productive projects
  • a good grant history
  • perennial experience of work with children and young people
  • experience in conducting information campaigns (leaflets, posters, banners, booklets, logo, and calendars);
  • attraction of additional financing of MIP, UNHCR, and so on.
  • working for a specific target audience
  • attraction of highly qualified experts
  • skill of organizing large international events
  • a combination of analytical, advocacy, and work with children and youth in local communities
  • positive assessment of accounting documentation (UNICEF audit)
  • updating the technique
  • availability of premises in the Carpathians for conducting trainings and the International Green School
Weaknesses
  • lack of information about the organization's activities among NGOs and donors
  • insufficient experience in obtaining grants from international donors
  • lack of sustainable continuous financial support for 1-3 years
  • high workload on the staff
  • weak management, including time management
  • costs of renting an office in Kyiv
  • lack of equipment and good Internet
  • irregular posting of English language information on the Foundation's website
  • moderate level of English language skills of employees
  • lack of communication with NGOs working in the East of Ukraine
  • moderate level of skills in using Excel, Google Drive, clouds, social media management
  • low level of knowledge in international standards of administration, official correspondence, project work
  • absence of a licensed accounting program and a separate computer for financial work
Opportunities
  • request and demand of society for the activities carried out by the Foundation
  • reforms in the system of education and science, changing educational programs, decentralization
  • growing support by international organizations of NGO that carry out activities in these areas
  • world trends in education development (distance learning, dissemination of STrEAM education ideas, gameplay,and so on)
  • the ability to form the United Nations style in the implementation of the Humanitarian Response Plan
  • participation in clusters: OCHA, UNICEF – Education Cluster
  • opportunities to participate in trainings of UN, UNICEF and EC (please, decipher the abbreviation)
  • participation in programs of Erasmus + and Horizon 2020
  • demand for STrEAM education and eco-tourism in the Carpathians
  • personal contacts with many politicians, media and representatives of international organizations
  • potential for holding selector meetings in the regions
Threats
  • military actions and information warfare
  • educational policy of the Russian Federation concerning children from the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimea and the NGCA (again, should be the full name of the abbreviation) of the Donbas
  • resistance of the government authority
  • frequent changes in the personnel of the authorities, lack of continuity in the actions and decisions
  • low level of cooperation among NGOs (should be indicated which NGOs concretely: Ukrainian or from other countries)
  • a decrease in the social and financial status of families that are potential participants of International Green School
  • unhealthy competition
  • exhaustion and burnout of the team



STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS 2017-2021

Equal Education:

Promoting equal access for children and youth to quality education regardless of their place of residence including young people affected by the conflict and youth living in mountainous terrain

Motto: Science for peace – education for everyone!

1. To expand access to quality education and obtaining documents on secondary, vocational, higher education of the state sample by children and young people from non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (NGCA), collision lines (CL), the occupied Crimea, and also by IDPs by introducing innovative distance education and increasing the capacity of stakeholders in local communities.
2. To support the institutional capacity of the Educational Centers “Donbas-Ukraine” and “Crimea-Ukraine” in providing educational services for children and youth affected by the conflict.
3. To increase the level of awareness of education through the network of counseling centers, including hotlines, and conducting a systematic informational campaign.
4. To create equal conditions for access to vocation and high-quality education for schoolchildren from mountain schools, small towns, and villages of different Ukrainian regions in the conditions of education decentralization, with taking into account gender and age needs, especially older adults.
5. To advocate necessary regulation to the national legal framework in the area of ensuring equal access to quality education, regardless of place of residence, through the work of the Civil Society Platform for the Reform of the Scientific Sphere in Parliament Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Information Policy, Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons, and Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • By 2021, in Ukraine, the number of persons from non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (NGCA), contact lines (CL), occupied Crimea, who have documents of state-level education, will increase by 20%.
  • Annual growth of 30% of students from NGCA, CL, occupied Crimea, who study at the Educational Centers.
  • A network of hotlines will be expanded and by 2021 counseling centers on education issues for citizens affected by the conflict and annexation of the Crimea in Kramatorsk, Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odesa, and Kyiv will be created.
  • The level of awareness among the population about the possibilities of education will be raised.

Qualitative GREEN STrEAM education:


Development and implementation of STrEAM education model in formal, informal, and non-formal education system

Motto: From the ecology of the soul - to the ecology of the universe!

S – science, T – technology, r - robotics, E – engineering, A – art, M –mathematics.


1. To create a model GREEN STrEAM center with quality innovative content (video, audio, animation lessons, platform with distance learning function, and so on), which is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), while taking into account gender characteristics, the EU's educational strategy (Education 2030) and the concept of the New Ukrainian School, and aimed at forming the youth competencies required in the labor market in 2020-2030.
2. To promote increased professional competence of teachers and to teach innovative STrEAM methodologies for students of pedagogical universities by studying and implementing the experience of the International Green School.
3. To promote science and traditional art among children and youth by implementing and adapting the GREEN STrEAM Center model in local communities and conducting youth exchanges with the involvement of young scientists, artists, craftsmen, architects, engineers, and IT professionals.
4. To implemente of environmental behavior models, social dialogue on climate change adaptation at the community level.
5. To advocate STrEAM education, lifelong education at the national, regional, and local levels.
6. To promote and advocate the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the state and local level with the involvement of policymakers and academics.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Improved access to innovative STrEAM education, a GREEN STrEAM Center with a platform for distance learning will be created as well as recorded video / animation / audio content of basic STrEAM courses for students and students of Vocational schools.
  • By 2021, the STrEAM methodology will have trained 550 specialists (50 employees of regional institutes of postgraduate pedagogical education, 70 representatives of methodological centers of the associated territorial communities, 150 teachers and 250 students of pedagogical universities, colleges).
  • Increased motivation among children and young people in the study of natural sciences, mathematics, robotics, IT, and traditional art.
  • Increased interest of organizations and institutions which provide educational services
  • Devepoped scientific education, traditional art and environmental responsibility by the associated territorial communities.
  • Adoption of a separate article on specialized education (scientific and artistic) in the Law "On Education" and the adoption of the Regulations on the Scientific Lyceum / boarding school, art secondary school, etc. normative legal acts regulating their work.
Synergy – into action:


Increase of institutional capacity (capacity building) of educational institutions and local communities

Motto: Dream. Act. Rejoice!


1. To prepare project management teams, including EU 2017-2020 (Erasmus +, Horizon 2020, COSMO, etc.) in educational institutions, local communities.
2. To create of GREEN STrEAM Mentor Regional Centers for advisory support and training of regional teams for project preparation and management, information and advocacy campaigns.
3. To improve of the institutional capacity of local communities in order to implement innovative STrEAM education and gender-sensitive education, both consistent with international Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), through training, project management webinars, the exchange of experience, and the involvement of young scientists.
4. To provide support to regional teams in developing and implementing local strategies for access to quality education.
5. To promote volunteering and non-government in local communities.
6. To advocate for the needs of the associated territorial communities in removing barriers to equal access to quality innovative education and minimization of other risks, including financial during decentralization.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • By 2021 a network of GREEN STrEAM Mentor Regional Centers in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Ivano-Frankivsk regions will be created.
  • 15 project teams will be prepared (in educational institutions, associated territorial communities).
  • Communication of educational institutions, local communities with volunteers and networking is established.
  • Amendments to existing law to improve the effectiveness of the OTGs in removing barriers to equally accessible quality innovative education, and improvement of the financing system for schools.