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The second DSC working meeting took place on December 3rd- 4th, 2016. Saturday started with the inspiring breakfast with Iryna Lytovchenko, a co-founder of the Tabletochki Foundation. It was established by volunteers in 2011 and since then the organisation was helping kids to treat cancer. Ms. Lytovchenko explained to fellows how they raised money throughout the years and made advertisement. “It was very important to always be positive, – said Iryna. All fellows were touched by her presentation.

Next speaker was Balázs Jarábik, a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Senior Fellow at the Democracy study Centre. Mr. Jarabik talked about democracy and its objectives from the academic point of view. He then opened a very interesting discussion on liberal democracy, democracy promotion and public diplomacy.

One of the fellows Yevgenii Popov (Ukraine) was the third speaker of the day. His presentation “How to get grant support for your project” was very helpful to the fellows, since they will need to apply for grants for their projects in the future. Yevgenii shared his insights on how to get the best results, what better to write in the form applications and how to apply if the organisation does not have a grant history.

The last but not least speaker of the day was Quentin Peel, an associate fellow with the Europe Programme at Chatham House and a commentator for the Financial Times. Mr. Peel started his speech by posing the question whether liberal democracy is under threat. After fellows agreed that it is indeed, Mr. Peel continued stating that nowadays liberal democracy is challenged across Western World. He talked about the rise of illiberal, anti-immigration, nationalistic movements in Hungary and Poland. He talked about liberal values and how populism produces black and white answers to very difficult questions. Mr. Peel touched upon many thought-provoking issues which led to a long and inspiring discussion between him and the fellows afterwards.

The next day began with Maksym Nefyodov, First Deputy Minister at Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. Maksym talked about public procurement and corruption. He mainly focused on the ProZorro e-public procurement system – the landmark reform in Ukraine. Maksym described how the system was built and how the project team was formed. It was extremely interesting to the fellows to listen about obstacles that ProZorro has faced and successes that it has achieved.

After a short coffee break, the fellows had another workshop. Balázs Jarábik shared his experience with project concept development in the beginning of the workshop and fellows were separated to work within their groups on their project proposals.

You can find the programme here.