Decentralisation Reforms in Ukraine
Decentralization means transfer of considerable authority and budgets from the state bodies to the local self-governments, so that as many competences as possible will be given to the grass-roots bodies, where they can realize them most successfully.
17 questions concerning the reform or How the power system in the country will be restructured
The essence of the transformations suggested by the decentralization reform consists in the following: the local self-governance bodies and executive bodies finally will start perform the functions pertinent to them, while people will have the opportunity to form local self-governance bodies (through elections) in the community, raion and oblast’.
The local self-governance bodies of various levels (community, raion and oblast’), in their turn will obtain the authority vested in them and the resources necessary to meet their competences. The local self-governance bodies will be held accountable to their voters for the efficiency of their operation, and to the sate – for its legality.
More answers can be found on site of Governmental initiative “Decentralization of power” created with DESPRO support on the order of Ministry of regional development and housing and communal economy of Ukraine.
DECENTRALIZATION REFORMS SUPPORT
DESPRO project helps in enhancing local self-governance executives’ readiness to the reform
DESPRO experts constantly analyze conceptual and strategic principles of the local self-governance development. On the basis of this analysis the educational and training programs are developed for the local self-governance executives, who will become the main link in the reforms implementation.
Within the framework of these activities the first school of local self-governance started its operation, offering two stages of day studies and long distance on-line course. The heads of village and settlement councils, small town mayors and heads of raion councils from several areas participated in the training. Active collaboration with all-Ukrainian associations, i.e. raion and oblast’ councils association, rural and settlement association and small towns association contributes to the process.
The scale of transformations in the country calls for the new approach to governance. DESPRO opens to its partners from the associations of the local self-governments new opportunities to avail themselves of the innovative methods of training and functioning. In particular, the project provides extensive support in creating on-line platform for exchange of knowledge and experience in various areas. Due to DESPRO a number of on-line courses was developed for the local self-governments’ executives and post-graduates in the specialties “Public administration” and “public service”. For four years the on-line platform "Communities of practice: innovations and best practices in the local self-governance" linking over 3 thousand participants from entire Ukraine has been operating due to DESPRO support.
Public discussion helps to engage different walks of society into reform implementation. DESPRO carried out a number of events of educational and discussion nature in various regions of the country – Ivano-Frankivsk, Zhytomir, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk oblast’s. Proactive and interested stakeholders participated in them – businessmen, the local self-governance practitioners, NGO experts, and mass media. The results of these trainings and discussions will be formulated as recommendations to the draft laws on the local self-governance reform.
DESPRO project contributes to the reform promotion among community members, improving the infrastructure in the villages,settlements and small towns
DESPRO project has accumulated experience in decentralization at the local levels. The issue of the level of readiness in the villages, settlements and small towns is a most topical. Implementation of the projects dealing with decentralized service in water supply, sanitation, domestic waste treatment contributes to the social mobilization of the residents, getting them ready for decisions making, for bettering the quality of their life, molds their active public stand. Since 2007 DESPRO has supported 104 projects in the area of water supply in the villages in the partner regions. The total cost of co-funded projects amounted to 56.6 million UAH, 23.3 million UAH was provided by the residents, 15.5 million UAH – by local budgets and – 17.8 million UAH – by DESPRO. Higher quality utility services were supplied to over 94 thousand community residents.
The main advantage of communities’ cooperation with DESPRO consisted not only in co-funding of the projects, but to a larger extent, in educational, legal and information support. Due to project support village activists could set up community-based organizations, thus enabling the implementation of different projects, both within the framework of cooperation with DESPRO and beyond it.
DESPRO also supports two pilot projects or solid domestic waste treatment in Vinnitsa and Sumy oblast’. The projects dealing with sanitation for villages and small towns are being launched. Therefore, the project prepares the ground for the reforms at the community level, as the population becomes better aware of decentralization advantages.
DESPRO project contributes in building up awareness among broad walks of society
DESPRO participates actively in educational and information work on reform promotion under the Governmental initiative “Decentralization of power”. A task force uniting best media-experts from the state power bodies, business sector, donor organizations and research institutions is working within the project. Proceeding from the results of public opinion polls, this work group operation in close collaboration with together the Ministry of regional construction and communal and housing economy implements national information and educational campaign. The goal of the campaign is public support of the reform. Specifically, DESPRO has undertaken the obligation of creating the information content, publishing of various training materials and materials on decentralization, dissemination of information in the social networks, setting up Internet platforms for discussion.