The use of city council websites – August, 2017. The exact phrasing of the question: “Do you use the website of your city council?”
8.9% – yes, it’s easy to find all the information I need there.
7.2% – yes, but it’s hard to find the necessary information.
7.7% – yes, if Google leads me to the city council website when I search for something.
6.7% – no, it’s hard to understand and complicated.
9.3% – no, it does not have any information that is useful for me.
4.5% – no, the website doesn’t work well.
48.5% – no, I don’t need it.
7.1% – hard to say.
The absolute majority of people who live in big Ukrainian cities do not use city council websites because they are not user-friendly and do not contain necessary information. These are the results of the Active Group company research. Transparency and accountability of city authorities suffer from poorly informative websites, and the cities end up with low points in the Transparency Ranking of 100 Ukrainian Cities.
According to the research, only 8.9% of citizens from big Ukrainian cities use the website of their city council often and easily find all the necessary information on them. 7.7% use the website if led there by a search engine, another 7.2% use the websites but complain that it’s hard to find the information they need. The others don’t use the website at all. The research was done in August 2017 in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa and Dnipro. At least 1660 respondents were surveyed in each of the cities.
48.5% of the citizens do not use the website at all because they don’t see any need for it, 9.3% said they could not find any information of interest for them, 6.7% believe the websites to be complicated and hard to understand and 4.5% said the websites didn’t work well. 7.1% of the surveyed found it hard to answer the question.
“When we calculated the points for transparency for each of 100 biggest Ukrainian cities and compiled the ranking, only 6 cities crossed the 50-point threshold out of 100 maximum points. Compared to the ranking in Slovakia, it’s very low. Transparency leaders over there got over 70 points. Such results do not surprise us. After all, city councils of even the largest cities do not really pay a lot of attention to their own websites, do not actively post updates with relevant information for the society,” said the manager of Transparent Cities project at TI Ukraine Kateryna Tsybenko. She also said that about 80% of the ranking methodology is about open data one way or another, so these data have to be published on city council websites in time.
After TI Ukraine experts presented the ranking and started active cooperation with local authorities, city councils started to fix the situation with their websites – publish previously lacking information, or even setting up new, more user-friendly websites.
TI Ukraine continues to work on transparency in the regions of Ukraine and motivate city authorities to be accountable to the citizens.
The project Building Transparency in Ukrainian Cities is implemented with the support of the UN Democracy Fund.