DESPRO continues teaching Strategic Planning to communities: the topical issues are monitoring and institutional support for implementation of Strategies
February 23, representatives of the amalgamatedterritorial communities from four regions of Ukraine gathered in Kyiv to take part in the final training module on strategic planning in amalgamated communities:“Monitoring and Institutional Support for Strategy Implementation”.
Previously, as a part of the DESPRO Project’s pilot initiative, heads of amalgamated communities and representatives of strategic planning committees from Zhytomyr, Kirovohrad, Ternopil and Khmelnytsky oblasts were provided with training and advisory support for their joint development of strategic planning methodsin amalgamated territorial communities. Based on the results of the conducted training, the communities have developed their preliminary strategies, and in January 2017 they launched public debates and consultations.
This time, the participants came together in order to discuss the obstacles that arose during the public hearings on the strategic development and to share their achievements.
Oksana Garnets, Head of the Swiss-Ukrainian project DESPRO, who addressedthe training participants with words of welcome, noted that the community development strategy is a document that requires continuous improvement and adaptation to the actual needs of the community residents.
“It is important to involve community members in the process of preparingthe Strategies and in their implementation, because only in such circumstances the community can feel its influence on the events taking place and be responsible for their course,” - said Oksana Garnets.
Representatives of the amalgamated communities were almost unanimousin their opinion that educators and active youth are the most active players in the development of a communitystrategy.
In particular, Oleksandr Korinnyy, head of Novoukrainka community, stated that early in the process he had to face the passivity of the community. Subsequently, the issue of mobilization and active participation of the community in the discussion of strategic issues has begun to occupy a prominent place, so todaythe Centrefor developing youth initiatives is created in Novoukrainka community, in the framework of which the participants have already started implementing their own micro-projects.
Nadiya Slyusarchyk, deputy head of Dunayivtsi town community, mentioned that as a result of discussion of the Strategy with the community residents, the focus of people's attention has shifted from the problems of infrastructure and economic development to more global issues related to the processes of human capital development and improved standard of living in the community.
In the courses of the training, the trainees had the opportunity to get practical advice on how to ensure the successful launch of Strategy implementation and took park in interactive mini-lectures (conducted by DESPROexperts)on the development of performance criteria and monitoring of the Strategies implementation. While working in groups, the community representatives were able to help each other and suggest work plans to implement the Strategies during the first year after their approval. Each participant has chosen his or her priority in the implementation of the Strategic objectives: development of investment projects, social mobilization, infrastructure, centresof extracurricular education for children.
“A good start is half the work. But not only place greater focus onlyon solving infrastructure issues – focuson developmental projects! And most importantly, involve residents of your community in these processes!” – pointed out Maryna Bryl and Ayder Seitosmanov, DESPRO Experts.