Ukraine needs enormous funds to rebuild the country due to Russia’s full-scale invasion. In February 2023, the World Bank estimated Ukraine’s need for recovery financing at $411 billion.
According to the Kyiv School of Economics, as of February 2023, the total amount of infrastructure damage is $143.8 billion; about 1,900 cities and villages in Ukraine need to be rebuilt. Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the “restoration of Ukraine would be the largest economic project in Europe during the lifetime of several generations.”
Ukraine’s government has already created multiple projects to help international businesses and bilateral and multilateral donors invest in Ukraine’s rebuilding.
However, investors and partners question the transparency of the financial aid that they provide. Lawmakers in the United States Senate are facing uncertainty over a call for increased oversight of the financial aid sent to Ukraine as they begin deliberations on a bill to fund the US military for the next 2024 year.
“The American people, the taxpayers of this country, deserve to know where their money is going and how it is being spent,” Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said in November 2022.
This is a task that DREAM claims to solve, and with good reason: it was developed by the creators of Prozorro, an acclaimed anti-corruption system developed in 2016, after Ukraine’s post-Euromaidan anti-corruption push.
According to the creators, Viktor Nestulia, head of the Project Office, Pavlo Borodai, chief developer of the platform, and Maxym Nefyodov, creator of Prozorro, an anticorruption system and platform for state public procurement, DREAM will allow anyone, anywhere, to monitor projects’ performance and efficiency and use this information to mitigate risks, create accurate reporting and improve the quality of projects overall.
As per the official DREAM portal, it is an ecosystem for regional recovery, where communities can create projects, present them to international partners to attract financial resources and manage the construction process.
“This system ensures the publication of Ukraine restoration’s projects in the format of open data. Thus anyone would be able to control every stage of the project’s life cycle: registration of damage, financing, procurement, construction works, etc,” they say.
According to the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Oleksandra Azarkhina, the ecosystem is built on the principle that “everyone sees everything.” Investors will be able to:
- choose projects for financing through a common “project showcase”;
- control the disposition of their funds;
- have access to all procurement information;
- see regular reports on work performance, and audits.
“The open DREAM data will allow us to see the progress in the reconstruction of every house, road, village and region in real time. Construction participants (customers, contractors, control bodies) will upload documents to the system and record their every action there. We will know what projects are being implemented, at what stage they are, how pricing is carried out, from which source the works are financed, at what stage of implementation. Prozorro [an open electronic platform for public procurement – ed.] has a similar working principle,” Azarkhina said.
The system was initiated by the RISE Ukraine Coalition of NGOs in the summer of 2022 and is supported and funded by the British Government. It will work in accordance with the government (Ministry of Infrastructure) and civil society, Viktor Nestulia said in the interview.
The co-creator, Maxym Nefyodov, explains that the principle of “everyone sees everything” will work due to the built module of the Big Recovery Portal (BRP) project.
“DREAM will provide data on each reconstruction project through an open API (Application Programming Interface), and BRP will take data from DREAM,” he added.
The developers claim that DREAM will allow them to beat corruption. “The ecosystem will become a tool for the control of corruption. The automated risk management system will send suspicious projects for monitoring,” they say.
According to them, the ecosystem makes Ukraine’s reconstruction accountable not only to Ukrainians but to everyone in the world.
“An American or a Polish citizen will click on the flag of their country and see which reconstruction projects their government is funding and where their taxes are going. We have to build the trust of citizens from other countries,” says Viktor.
If you go to any DREAM card now, you can, for example, see a paragraph that contains information about what the public thinks about the project.
In the section Pipeline on the official portal, you may find detailed information on each registered project, including information about the budget, a description of the object, the deadline of each project, assessments of the project, etc.
“The same is true for foreign users whose money is used for reconstruction. They should also have easy access to the data to make sure that the reconstruction is really going on,” Max Nefyodov explains, “For experts or civil society organizations, they want to make more advanced functionality where they can see who and how monitors the facilities, the process of filing complaints, the reaction of customers, etc.”
DREAM is currently working in demo mode. As of June 2022, there have been 2261 projects and ideas on the DREAM public interface. There were about 6000 in the database.
The government, together with the Coalition of Public Organizations RISE Ukraine, created the DREAM in the summer of 2022 and presented it on 5 May 2023 by the Ministry of Infrastructure.
On 22 June 2023, Ukraine presented DREAM at a conference on Ukraine’s restoration in London.
According to the creators, at the beginning of 2024, all the key ecosystem modules are expected to be ready.
- Ukraine launches “We Build Ukraine” initiative to mobilize global support for reconstruction
- Netherlands commits €118 million in economic and humanitarian aid for Ukraine’s rebuilding efforts
- Ukraine starts rebuilding first village razed to the ground by Russia
- Canada moves to seize Abramovich’s assets worth $26 million for rebuilding Ukraine