Goodbye, TI. It was well

Dear colleagues, partners, and friends,


With this letter I officially inform you that on July 1, 2016 I’m officially leaving the position of Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine and will not be engaged in the management of the organization anymore.


It was not an easy decision for me. In 2009 I watched as the Ukrainian chapter of Transparency International was introduced.  Since then, it has transformed from a small regional organization into the amazing team that exists today.  It has been my pleasure to serve as your director.  I have spent more than one third of my life pouring my heart and soul into our cause.  I leave Transparency international with my head held high knowing all of the good work that we have done.  Having consulted with the Board and those close to me, and with their full support, I know it is time for me to step away, and give another the chance to lead our organization.


I am very proud of Transparency International Ukraine – the organization, which all of you helped me build, and most of all, my team.


Here are some interesting facts from the history of Transparency International Ukraine.


– TI Ukraine is implementing 28 priority state anti-corruption policies out of a total of 44. It means that 70% of state decisions in the sphere of corruption prevention and counteraction in Ukraine are made with the advice or support of TI Ukraine experts.


–  Thanks to ТІ Ukraine there is now organized support for corruption whistleblowers, a proverbial army of a thousand well prepared corruption fighters at central and local levels, a number of practical tools for corruption prevention, and many other forms of assistance for anti-corruption officials.


– ТІ Ukraine, along with our partners, developed, implemented and trained the Government on one of the best e-procurement systems in the world – ProZorro. Thank to our efforts ProZorro has been globally recognized as one of the most positive developments in Ukraine, alongside Mriia planes, the Klychko brothers, and footballer Shevchenko.


– TI Ukraine’s level of brand awareness of among the citizens of Ukraine now stands at 12%.  This is more than many political parties represented in the Parliament. And public confidence to our organization exceeds the confidence in politicians many times over.


– ТІ Ukraine and its partners created some most of most important new coalitions and networks, such as the Reanimation Package of Reforms, New Citizen, Partnership for Fair Public Procurement, Open Government, Open Parliament etc. We are an active player in these coalitions and are members of their management bodies. Together we are changing our country for the better.


– The organization has a highly professional and active team consisting of 30 specialists, who write and promote anti-corruption laws, create and lead new anti-corruption bodies, implement and develop open governance standards, and so much more.


– The Board of ТІ Ukraine consists of five well-known anti-corruption experts selected through an open competition, independent from the management of the organization. These people are closely engaged in the life of the organization and often spend more time working than with their families. I am profoundly grateful for their work and support.


– ТІ Ukraine implemented 85% of its performance indicators in the 2015-2016 Action Plan. We also developed a well-structured Innovation Action Plan for 2016-2018.


– The organization is one of the first to publicly release its annual report outlining its work and financials. We constantly undergo independent financial audits, the results of which are openly published on our website.


– TI Ukraine is the only civil society organization to successfully work at the national level while maintaining its country headquarters outside the capital.  Our office in Kirovograd is more than 300 km from Kyiv.


– And the main thing. The organization has been able to work towards and achieve qualitative results both under the conditions of limited resources and limited operational management. In other words, we are a fully self-sufficient institution, which will make life both easy and difficult for any director.


I have a lot to be proud of after the years spent in the TI Ukraine family. But it is time for all of us to move forward.


For TI Ukraine, which aims at being the leading anti-corruption organization in Ukraine, to continue to grow and reach our goals we have changed the main office, strategy, and management.


Yaroslav Yurshychyn elected by the Board to serve as new Executive Director of ТІ Ukraine from among 170 candidates.  Yaroslav has considerable experience in advocacy and analytical work.  For a long time he was the director of one of the most popular scout organizations in Ukraine and is very familiar with the work being done on the anti-corruption front.


I support the choice of the Board in every possible way and am glad that someone like Yaroslav will lead TI Ukraine to new heights.


My confidence that the Board made the right choice in my replacement and all the good work we have accomplished gives me the opportunity to demobilize from the anti-corruption front. I have been fighting for more than 10 years for this cause, 3 of them ­­­— in a constant showdown.


There were different fights. Personally I managed to accomplish a lot. I am proud that since I joined TI Ukraine I have enjoyed a great deal of success. Together with TI Ukraine we implemented 4 new national reforms which produce results and serve the people. They are the following:


– More and more men in Ukraine are taking part childbirth. This began more than 10 years ago form a small network of Papa Schools and Schools of Responsible Fathering. We worked with the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Healthcare to break the Soviet Union’s perception of the roles of men in families. Actually, it was that reform which got me involved in the fight against corruption.


– One of our other major successes was in the education sphere.  Along with the Ministry of Education and other partners, we created and launched standardized external testing (SET) reform.  Specifically, we established civic control over testing and entrance into universities.  This was a major step in keeping students from bypassing requirements and simply paying for their diplomas.

– This year ProZorro was named the best in e-procurement system in the world. Every day hundreds of people support and develop the system. And I remember how it started 2 years ago, with likeminded dreamers sitting together on a sofa. I am especially proud that TI Ukraine was able to make it through an incredibly difficult first year after ProZorro’s launch.  TI Ukraine, the Ministry of Economy, and I worked closely together to make this program such a success.


– All the corrupt officials in the Government are afraid of the new Anti-Corruption Bureau. The National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption has slowly but surely grown and developed. I remember how we worked alongside the Ministry of Justice to write laws to govern these bodies, promote the laws, and then implement and launch the Bureau.


– The fifth reform has only just begun.  The main goal is for Ukrainian political parties to be financed and controlled by the citizens, but not oligarchs.  Once everything is fully up and running, we will eliminate corrupt officials from the Ukrainian Parliament in only a few electoral cycles.


I have a lot to be proud of.  I have accomplished a lot by the age of 35.


But it’s time to slow down and devote my time to my health and my family.


That is why I decided that in 2016 I will not take on any professional obligations and just be a citizen of Ukraine.


But I always available, through Facebook and my personal e-mail .


Other forms of communication will be less available.


Thank you to those who supported me for your faith and inspiration, – you made me better.


Thank you to those who did not trust in me and tried to hinder my progress, – you made me stronger.


Thank you to those who were beside me, – you gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted.


And finally, a special thank to the management and the Board of TI Ukraine – you are the team I am most proud of.


I’m glad we have met.


I am happy that it worked like a dream.


And my traditional wish for you: friends, life is colorful. And only we choose the colors!


Wishing you all the best and success in your future endeavors,


Oleksii Khmara

July 01, 2016

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