Geoinformation portals: an effective tool for infrastructure recovery

Public Union “Ukrainian Fund of Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving”

The magazine «Shipping» interviewed Yehor Stefanovych, the main coordinator of the ONOVA Ukraine Renewal League, the chairman of the board of the Public Union «Ukrainian Fund for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving». Where we learned more about the geoinformation portal ONOVA GIS HUB. It helps to record destruction and damage, analyze them and create a reconstruction plan. With the help of this portal, information about the destruction is collected and systematized, the extent of damage and losses are determined, the amount of financial investment required for recovery is determined, the needs of the community are assessed, and opportunities for modernization and the introduction of innovative technologies are determined.

Who does the ONOVA League cooperate with? And the support of which partners would you like to enlist?

The ONOVA Ukraine Renewal League is a united structure of representatives of various spheres of activity and influence for one goal: to rebuild and effectively renew Ukraine, to make it safer, energy efficient, with people-friendly spaces.

We conditionally divide the current and potential participants of the League into four groups according to the direction of influence on projects and relevant activities:
1) communities, state institutions and specialized ministries that need to restore infrastructure, balance-keepers. Memorandums and agreements on cooperation and free use of ONOVA GIS HUB GIS service were signed with them;
2) Ukrainian and foreign investors, international donors;
3) representatives of domestic and foreign businesses, contracting organizations: software developers and builders, service and material suppliers;
4) representatives of public organizations, independent expert associations, mass media, who will have access to the cooperation mechanism and transparent information for analysis and interaction.

What work and for what issues are you currently focusing on?

The main task is to unite like-minded people from the four groups I mentioned above and work together on the restoration of both individual objects and communities, cities, and the country as a whole — as part of a competitive world market.

After all, several parties are involved in each individual project. For example, in March we signed a memorandum with the Kyiv Regional Mental Health Center in Vorzel, Kyiv Region, and became the main coordinator of its reconstruction. The center was materially damaged during the occupation, but has an excellent team of professionals who work in difficult conditions. Currently, together with our partners — the Kyiv regional administration, construction companies, charitable foundations, we are working on its transformation into Ukraine’s leading military rehabilitation institution. In May, we will present the general concept of renewal and development, we will attract new partners and like-minded people to this important business.

How does the geoinformation portal ONOVA GIS HUB work?

I will go back a year. In April 2022, we became the exclusive operator of the geoinformation system from the ESRI company, which we received as part of the humanitarian support of the US company. Based on it, we created the ONOVA GIS HUB portal — a convenient tool for communities, cities, regions, and ministries to record destruction and damage, analyze it, and create a reconstruction plan. Members’ free access to the ONOVA GIS HUB will continue until the end of the war plus one more year.

I would like to point out that geo-information portals have been used all over the world for more than a decade in various sectors of the economy to collect information, analyze it and plan changes.

Now, in my opinion and the opinion of my colleagues, it is most expedient in Ukraine to use geo-information portals for recording destruction and damage, transparent investment attraction for damaged objects. But the main thing is to plan the next development.

So, with the help of ONOVA GIS HUB, we together with the participants:

  • we collect and systematize information about destruction;
  • determine the amount of damage and losses caused to individual objects, communities, industries and Ukraine as a whole;
  • determine the volume of financial investments necessary for recovery;
  • assess the needs of the community and identify opportunities for modernization, introduction of innovative technologies;
  • we monitor socio-economic and other indicators of state development;
  • we use the best global experience in planning.

Users enter data through a personal account with different levels of access. As a result, a visualized «live» map appears, dashboards with various layers and filters are formed, on which you can see a complete picture of destruction and damage. All data is protected on several levels, the possibility of hacking or leakage of confidential information is minimal. The program immediately makes it possible to assess the destruction and calculate the amount of funds needed for reconstruction, even the terms of restoration.

What are the main goals in the reconstruction of certain regions, taking into account their characteristics?

As you understand, the scope and nature of destruction and damage is heterogeneous. Somewhere there is a need for spot reconstruction or repair of residential buildings and infrastructure facilities. And somewhere you need to rebuild everything from scratch.

The main thing, according to the participants and partners of the ONOVA League, is to do things not as they were, but as it will be better and more convenient for the residents of the rebuilt community, taking into account their number and needs.

Our allies and like-minded people in this matter are the Ministry of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure, the Agency for Reconstruction, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and international donors.

What specialists will be needed in the recovery team?

The list is long, but first of all, I think architects, construction engineers and specialists in various important systems (water supply, heating), energy efficiency specialists, energy auditors, etc. Many will find work.

Which cities have already joined and can become the first successful example of recovery?

The ONOVA League actively works in the Kyiv region, with the most affected communities — Makarivska, Buchanska, Irpinska. Currently, cities and communities from other regions are joining: Chernihiv, Kharkiv region.

For example, in our project with Buchanska TG, we developed a special model for education. The community had the opportunity to analyze the current situation with educational institutions, to understand the city’s general need for schools in general and in individual microdistricts. Should we restore the damaged one or is it more logical to build a new school in another place, where there is definitely a need for it or will arise in the coming years? And all this — taking into account the city’s general development plan, the needs of new buildings, the pedestrian safety of schoolchildren, etc., along with an estimate of the financial costs of construction and restoration.

How will damages be assessed and transparency in the distribution of reconstruction funds ensured?

In my opinion, the logic and transparency of the justification in the case of each community that needs restoration should be based exclusively on the analysis of real data. What percentage of housing and infrastructure needs to be rebuilt; how many residents and of what age currently live in the community; whether there are internally displaced persons, are they going to return home or are planning to build a life in a new city; how many residents of the community or city take part in hostilities — most likely, they will need rehabilitation. And purely household issues — do communal communications, such as water pipes and sewers, need to be restored; what is the state of local roads; which companies are working, whether there is an opportunity to create new jobs, economic specifics of the region. And many more aspects.

Based on the analysis of these data, it is possible to talk about the really promising reconstruction and development of the regions of Ukraine, regardless of the degree of destruction. And we claim that all the necessary data for analysis at the level of each area can be collected in a relatively short period of time, which will make the update as logical, justified and transparent as possible — precisely with the help of the geoinformation system, which is referred to in the Order.

We are sure of this because for several months we have been accompanying the communities of Kyiv region, Kharkiv region, Zhytomyr region… that work with ONOVA GIS HUB — a convenient tool for recording destruction and damage, analysis and creating a plan for reconstruction and renewal.

How will the energy efficiency of the infrastructure be ensured?

Energy efficiency is a smart use of energy resources. The first role is played by technologies that make it possible to reduce the use of heating materials, maintain the optimal temperature indoors during the heating season. This is an assessment of a working heat network, insulation of buildings, replacement of windows, installation of meters and energy consumption control systems, modernization of heating, ventilation and lighting systems, etc.

In fact, this is a real and modern way to update almost all buildings in Ukraine and bring them to high standards not only of energy efficiency, but also of appearance, ease of use and safety standards.

We have a lot of experience in this — the UFEE Civil Union, the initiator of the creation of the ONOVA League, in four years with its partners implemented thermal modernization of more than 100 budget institutions together with foreign donors, and also held dozens of educational events for communities about its importance.

Please note that the selection of projects under the program «Energy efficiency of public buildings in Ukraine» with a budget of EUR300 million, which was announced by the Ministry of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine, is currently underway. It is about the comprehensive energy-efficient restoration of about 1,000 public buildings across the state in small and medium-sized communities.

What are the priorities in the UN’s joint recovery plans?

The restoration of Ukraine has already begun with the joint efforts of the state and foreign donors. Reconstruction of damaged critical infrastructure is ongoing, hospitals and educational institutions are being rebuilt. Residential buildings are being restored — GS UFEE takes an active part in one of the UNDP projects to replace windows and doors in 16 regions of Ukraine. At the beginning of May, more than 1,000 square meters were replaced. m of windows in five regions. And this is just the beginning.

I am sure that the priorities of the UN’s plans for recovery are the same as those of all other participants — ministries, communities, non-governmental and donor organizations — to rebuild qualitatively, transparently, using leading technologies and taking into account regional characteristics.

The war brought many sorrows and losses to Ukrainians. But, at the same time, we have the support of the whole world in our struggle, and we have the ability to build what has been destroyed and renew what is left using the best practices and technologies. So we call on communities to use all these opportunities to create a modern, energy-independent, modernized state, comfortable for life and work.

Interview conducted by Tetiana Sivkova


Читайте также