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Jönköping University Spearheads Democratic Revival in Ukrainian Municipality with Innovative Project

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Researchers from Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) at Jönköping University, in a significant collaboration with Jönköping Municipality, are embarking on a crucial project to aid the democratization and modernization of Konotop Municipality in Ukraine. This initiative is particularly timely, given the challenges following the Russian invasion, which have left democratic institutions in the area weakened and in urgent need of rebuilding and strengthening.

The project, funded by a one million SEK grant from the Swedish Institute, aims to develop tools for democratically elected representatives and municipal leaders in Konotop. These tools are designed to enhance interaction, functionality, and efficiency within the municipality's governance structures. Timur Uman, Professor of Business Administration at JIBS and project leader, underscores the necessity of creating robust accountability systems and clear governance structures. This involves delineating the roles and responsibilities of legislative and executive branches and establishing strategies for accountability to citizens and stakeholders.

An essential aspect of the project is to increase transparency and democratization, thereby addressing corruption – a significant barrier to Ukraine's integration into the European Union. The project aligns with the EU's concerns and aims to combat corruption at the municipal level by developing effective governance tools.

The project comprises three modules, each designed to provide comprehensive training and practical experiences. The first module, conducted online, focuses on educating participants about Swedish history and administration. The second module in Sweden includes lectures, site visits, and interactions with civil society representatives. Participants will derive action points for accountability improvements in Konotop, inspired by their Swedish experiences. The final module will follow up on these action points.

Key members of the project group include Timur Uman and Yuliya Khvatsik from JIBS, Chantal Coté and Vanessa Persson from Jönköping Municipality, and Vitaly Boiko, advisor to the mayor of Konotop.

This project by Jönköping University and its partners represents a significant step in aiding the democratic restoration of a war-torn Ukrainian municipality. By focusing on governance, accountability, and combating corruption, it not only seeks to rebuild but to set a precedent for democratic revitalization in other affected regions. It's a shining example of international cooperation in pursuit of democratic integrity and societal rebuilding.

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