Officials Got on a Platform

In this year, the bidding for projects on local development "Public Budget" was introduced in Kryvyi Rih. Now, any organisation - an association of part owners of multiple-occupancy buildings, creative association, charitable organisation, housing construction co-operative, body of self-organisation of individuals in our city - will be able to take part in the allocation of budgetary funds and receive them for the implementation of their own initiatives.

The bidding became possible due to the shared experience between the officials of local self-government on the online platform udl.despro.org.ua within the framework of the DESPRO Swiss-Ukrainian Project. It was emphasised by Inna Storozhuk, representative of the non-governmental organisation "Association of Consumers of Kryvbas" and Deputy Chairwoman of Dovhyntsivska Rayon Council in the city of Kryvyi Rih, during the round table discussion "On-Line Community of Local Self-Government Practices: Catalyst of Communities Development in Ukraine" held in Kyiv.

That online platform for e-learning and sharing experience between representatives of local self-government bodies and governmental authorities, territorial communities, non-governmental organisations is one of the initiatives of the DESPRO Project. Now it unites more than 3 thousand users. The web resource offers online training courses, in particular, on activities of a member of the local council, headman, planning of an inter-municipal system of solid waste management, local and regional development projects management, strategic planning for the amalgamated communities, supply of drinking water to the population.

"In 2014, I got familiar with the training course "Projects Management-4". I visited the platform each day, studied the materials, passed tests, and performed tasks. Later, I mastered other areas. I suggested to my colleagues from the Rayon Council to study on the platform", tells Inna Storozhuk.

Currently, 26.5% of the officials from Dovhyntsivska Rayon Council have completed their studies. The anti-corruption training course appeared to be the most popular, it was mastered by 34 officials who acquired skills of team work. Now, within the Rayon Council, each department has a specialist skilled in project management. It allowed preparing the project on free legal aid last year, which project received a grant from the International Renaissance Foundation". In the course of the first five months of this year, 13 projects have been prepared for the Metinvest's award "City Made by Your Hands" and the bidding for projects on local development "Public Budget".

There has been created a special web resource on the web-site of the City Executive Committee where the information regarding the bidding procedure and projects evaluation is posted, also it provides for the possibility of voting online. At the premises of the Kryvyi Rih Development Institute (an official partner of the DESPRO Project), two training courses were held for those interested in developing own projects. According to Inna Storozhuk, as of 20 May, more than 100 bids were submitted. For the implementation of the projects, UAH 10 million have been allocated in the city budget, however, the required amount totals UAH 25 million. Therefore, everyone is looking forward to the results of the contest and voting.

"It is because of the online platform udl.despro.org.ua that I got acquainted with the experience of participatory budgeting of Chernihiv (when inhabitants take part in the allocation of budgetary funds) and informed the local authorities about it. They supported me", Inna Storozhuk added.

The facilitators, that is the persons arranging the content and facilitating the communication between the groups, help to disseminate the ideas of that platform. "They love the place where they live and are public-spirited", emphasises Associate Professor in Public Administration from the National Academy of Public Administration Ms. Natalia Aliushyna.

Experts believe that the profession of reader will become outdated and people will get knowledge from the Internet. To be exact, the future is in the e-learning. But to become a good expert in self-government it is not enough to know the legislation, you need to be humane.

"Uriadovyi Kurier" newspaper