More analytical materials from Associationâ€™s experts:
ANALYTICAL DIGEST MECHANISM OF GOVERNMENT PUBLIC RELATIONS IN THE ATC: SUCCESSFUL EXPERIENCE ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF THE NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT STATE AND CONDITIONS OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL Digest presents brief overviews of analytical notes and articles prepared by Association on the topical problems during implementation of local selfgovernment reform, self-organizartion development and forms of participatory democracy at the local level in Ukraine. Analytical surveys consist of problems analysis and recommendations to local, regional and central government.
MECHANISM OF GOVERNMENT PUBLIC RELATIONS IN THE ATC: SUCCESSFUL EXPERIENCE Alongside with additional powers and budget revenues in the ATCs, new government public interaction models should appear that are to be built on democratic and legal foundations. Therefore, the local self-government authorities should create favourable conditions for the population participating in solving local problems. In fact, it is referred to the institution of clear and conceivable â€œrules of playâ€? both for the government authorities and for population. One can set these rules of play by means of the democratic procedures for the population participating in the process of making decisions, implementing which is purposed to turn the unstructured and inefficient interaction of people and government authorities into a constructive and stable dialogue. Analysing the experience of the locals` involvement with the process of making and approving decisions in the ATCs shows that many communities attempt to develop the inclusive democracy by means of various instruments. In doing so, the interaction process starts and goes differently. In some communities, the initiative to collaborate comes from the local government; in others, conversely, active locals initiate a dialogue themselves. There are also examples when the government and population collaboration grows due to the mutual initiative from both the sides. Regulatory Environment of the Government Public Relations Development The regulatory environment of the government public relations in Ukraine is a point of discussion. For years, experts have been discussing the reasonableness to regulate the procedures of the indirect civic participation in the local case management in terms of legislation. Now, most of local democracy instruments are regulated at the local level â€“ in the territorial community charters and relevant regulations. The quality of these regulations is predominantly low, and the local councils often complicate relevant procedures on purpose. So, the problem of required legislative control of certain local democracy forms is again put into the agenda. However, the regulatory environment quality is not a single problem in the area of local democracy development. Even in those communities, where competent democratic charters are adopted, the growing activeness of locals and their involvement with the local self-government are often not observed at all. Moreover, the successful experience of the government public relations in the ATCs presented below clearly proves it. It does not contest the necessity to adopt the charter at all as it itself determines the general rules of play in the community, including the government public interaction models, central and peripheral communities relation models, etc. The question likely lies in the practical implementation of such standards entrenched in charters and regulations.
Successful Practices of Government-Public Relations in the ATCs of Ukraine Further, we will consider certain examples of the government public relations in the united territorial communities of Ukraine. The data of these practices were taken from the open sources and received from the network of resource centres for local democracy development, which are partner organisations of the Association for Community Self-Organization Assistance, and which have been collaborating with the ATCs of their regions in the inclusive democracy development area since the beginning of the local self-government reform. Village Committees in the Balta ATC of Odessa Region The Balta Municipal Community unites 17 former councils and 27 localities. The ATC population is circa 33 thousand of people. While understanding the complexity of the management process in such a big community and a great number of accumulated problems, the administration of Balta decided to attract local activists to their solving. For instance, for a better interaction with peripheral localities and more impactful representation of their interests, excluding the office of chief in the villages of the united community, there were community self-organisation bodies founded, which are village and neighbourhood committees (17 community self-organisation bodies in total). In addition, the local council actively promoted this process. Chief + community self-organisation bodies = efficient administration of the ATC villages. The Balta Community tries to build a new model of social interaction, by means of which the community self-organisation bodies and local council try to hear one another and take a common decision. This interaction is built on the basis of a systematic and continuous dialogue. The community management regularly holds meetings and conferences with the chiefs and heads of the village and neighbourhood committees; obligatorily participates in public discussions and meetings in the villages as a part of the ATC. The village and neighbourhood committees, in their turn, actively participate in designing the social economic development strategy and program, local budget, providing amenities, public discussions, trainings and classes, etc. Nevertheless, without promoting the locals` initiatives, the public activity may wane. Therefore, during 2016-2017, the tenders for the best private sector redevelopment and city council mini-grants winning were conducted in the Balta ATC. In addition, the best neighbourhood head competition was started.
Participatory Budgeting in the Biloziria ATC of Cherkasy Region as a Community Activation Mechanism The Biloziria Village Community consists of 3 localities – Biloziria Village and Irdyn, Basy Settlements, with the total population of circa 9 thousand of people. Most people reside in Biloziria – more than 8 thousand of people; and up to 1 thousand of people reside in Irdyn. Since 2017, the community has started implementing participatory budgeting, which is targeted at building a relationship of the local self-government authorities, community self-organisation bodies and public, attracting them to solve social problems and to the decision making process. The participatory budgeting implementation started with teaching the local selfgovernment officials and local activists the participatory budgeting implementation stages, overseas experience in implementing such initiatives and budget process special aspects. Then the community and experts designed the Participatory Budgeting Regulation and Target Program “Participatory Budgeting in the Territorial Community for 2017-2020”. The specially formed Coordination Council deals with matters on arranging the public projects selection process, project assessment, preparation and run of project polls. The overall volume of participatory budgeting to implement public projects composes 1 % of the income in the general budget fund of the ATC, excluding inter-budgetary transfers, but not less than 150,00 thousand UAH. The tender is announced every year before the local council`s voting for the community budget. The first bid was in 2017. Based on the tender results, 3 projects were selected. At this, the first place was taken by the project prepared by the activists of the peripheral settlement Irdyn, locality joined to Biloziria. The number of population in Irdyn is by far lower than in the administrative centres, but the project itself got the majority of votes thanks to the population activity, and became a winner. Public Counselling via the Centre for Administrative Services Provision of the Kipti ATC of Chernihiv Region The Kipti ATC consists of 11 villages and 1 settlement with the total number of population of circa 5.5 thousand of people (earlier they were united into six communities). Furthermore, the localities of the community are more or less equidistant from the administrative centre and from one another, and the infrastructure is dispersed among them. At the same time, the community implements some new forms of involvement of population. So, in late 2017, as part of opening of a renovated centre for administrative services provision in the Kipti ATC, a pilot project of public counselling via the Centre for Administrative Services Provision was launched.
The mechanism of counselling via the Centre for Administrative Services Provision looks so: 1. There is a big poster designed, where one shortly presents the substance of the matter brought up for counselling. Concurrently, one designs a voting form with some questions and options of answers to them, which make it possible for citizens to express their thoughts about this matter. 2. The transparent voting boxes, said posters and forms are placed in the room of the Centre for Administrative Services Provision and at remote workplaces of the administrators. In doing so, the administrators of the Centre for Administrative Services Provision draw attention of visitors to the opportunity to participate in the public counselling. 3. During a certain period of time (for instance, a month), citizens are able to participate in the counselling by means of the voting form. After expiration of the voting term, the counselling results are summed up, which are taken into account in the decision making process. Currently, the procedure for conducting this counselling is not regulated in any way. However, the first experience showed that it was a simple and cheap manner of interaction of the government and citizens as the locals anyway came to the Centre for Administrative Services Provision to get services. So, it was not really difficult for them to answer some questions in the form at the same time. The carried out analysis of the government public relations in eight ATC let us make the following conclusions: 1) The communities choose, as a rule, one main collaboration tool, which is accentuated: development of community self-organisation bodies, participatory budgeting, and call for public initiatives, e-counselling, public counselling via the Centre for Administrative Services Provision. Correspondingly, the local government authorities put the most efforts to implement this tool: they adopt regulations, target programs, hold trainings, consultations, and information campaigns. Then the communities start complementing these relations with other forms. Thus, the collaboration gets a new matter and covers a wider group of entities. 2) It is notable that such practices of involvement, which do not require the charter guidance, have primarily become widely used: there are just 4 communities with the charters among 8 ones analysed above. It significantly narrows the instruments of inclusive democracy and does not allow the locals to use the mechanisms of public sessions, local initiatives, and general meetings so to directly participate in the local self-government. 3) Usually, the forms of interaction chosen by the government are properly regulated. The regulations of participatory budgeting, neighbourhood and village committees, call for local initiatives are clearly legislated and create favourable conditions for developing these instruments.
4) Focusing only on one form of involvement of citizens does not cause the improvement of systematic relations and participation of the locals. The optimal one is a model, by applying which citizens are involved with both designing draft decisions and their approving and implementing. However, the activity of the locals in the communities is low, and the local councils are badly aware of all the mechanisms of inclusive democracy. So, the practice of building of a dialogue, starting with one of the forms of participation, may become totally successful and appropriate. However, it is reasonable to look for new tools and forms of interaction. 5) A successful collaborating experience assists in increasing the level of mutual trust between the government and citizens, and creates grounds for the government public partnership in the future. Therefore, the successful implementation of participatory budgeting or call for initiatives may become â€œthe growth areaâ€? or further cooperation of the government and locals. 6) An important role in the development of inclusive democracy in the ATCs was played by the international technical assistance projects, non-governmental organisations, groups of experts, resource centres for local democracy development that assist the communities in designing the procedures of participation, hold training workshops, and provide methodical and financial assistance. Recommendations to the Amalgamated Territorial Communities: 1) To design and adopt charters of the territorial communities and regulations about the local democracy mechanisms, where the issues of the government public relations and the locals` participation in managing local affairs should be regulated as clearly as possible. The said enactments are a foundation, without which it is difficult to build a stable communication of the government and locals on a democratic basis. 2) To attract the community locals not sporadically, but as the moment rises, and to use the instruments of local democracy therefor at every stage of designing important decisions. 3) Local democracy will not work automatically after adopting the charter and regulations. For its growth, it is requisite constantly to communicate with the population: meetings, trainings, counselling. 4) The community website can significantly simplify the communication and assist in counselling. Therefore, it is reasonable to envisage the creation of a section with ecounselling, petitions, etc. at the website of the ATCs. 5) The united territorial communities, where the Centre for Administrative Services Provision is, should pay their attention to the experience of using this institution for public counselling, voting for participatory budgeting, etc. Visitors of the Centre for Administrative Services Provision, who come to get administrative services, may concurrently participate in voting for the project of participatory budgeting or express their opinion via the e-mail for counselling. This approach let us surmount the traditional problem of inactivity of citizens of Ukraine in matters of the society.
ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF THE NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT To assess the implementation status of the National Strategy for Civil Society Development at the regional level, the NGO “Association for Community SelfOrganization Assistance” with the regional activists carried out the analysis of 25 Regional Programs and Draft Programs (in Odessa and Mykolaiv Regions). The analysis of their presentation of the main tasks of the National Strategy with the implementation mechanisms for these programs and mechanisms of their monitoring shows that the said programs presents just 53 % of all the tasks of the National Strategy more or less. As a result of assessing the studied regional programs and their projects, there is a rating formed on the basis of their presentation of the National Strategy tasks – from a region and National Strategy tasks perspective.
Financing of the Civil Society Development Program The overall volume of financing of the regional programs of the civil society development assistance in Ukraine as on 01.01.2018 (with the planned in the draft programs of Odessa and Mykolaiv Regions) is 321 million 825,0 thousand UAH, which only 230 million 052,2 thousand UAH or 71.5 % of is designated for actions directly related to the National Strategy tasks implementation. At this, 78,115.8 thousand UAH or 24.3 % of the total amount of financing of the regional programs relates just to the information policy and does not indirectly relate to the National Strategy tasks, and 657,0 thousand UAH or 4.2 % does not directly relate to the National Strategy implementation and should be related to other target programs. It particularly concerns the program of Vinnytsia Region, where just one – the third – of five sections of the Program is dedicated to the subject of civil society development assistance. Others promote the book industry development, contain celebration and remarkable date events, including measures for ensuring the implementation in terms of the Law of Ukraine “On Reforming of State and Municipal Print Media”. Financing is stipulated in all 25 analysed current regional Programs of the civil society development as on 01.12.2017. The biggest amounts of financing are specified in the Kyiv city program – 85,514,4 UAH, and in the Kharkiv regional program – 68,910,0 UAH. The least volumes of financing are in the Ternopil (612,0 thousand UAH) and Kirovograd (594,4 thousand UAH) regional programs. On average, 12,713,8 UAH is accounted for by every regional program. The total amount of funding allocated for implementing all the analysed programs as on 01.01.2018 is 321 million 825,0, which is recalculated to the prices of 2013 (considering the total inflation index for the period 2013-2017 that is equal to 223.1 %), is equivalent to 144,251,0 UAH or 64 % of the total volume of financing of similar programs for implementing the tasks of the Civil Society Development Strategy adopted by Decree of the President of Ukraine No 212/2012 of 24.03.2012. This volume composes 224 152,6 UAH. General Conclusions of the Regional Programs and Plans Analysis The performed study of the Regional Programs and Plans of Measures of the National Strategy Implementation in 2017 showed the existence of many successful examples of the creative and efficient attitude of the public government authorities to the their functions fulfilment in the civil society development area in close cooperation with the ICS. Therewith, the carried out study showed a number of disadvantages in this area:
1. Not all the regional government authorities properly dealt with implementing Decree of the President of Ukraine No 68/2016 of 26.02.2016 â€œOn Assistance for Civil Society Development in Ukraineâ€?, which is confirmed by the absence of programs and plans of the National Strategy implementation in some regions and by a low level of the National Strategy tasks presentation in these programs and plans. 2. A great deal of tasks of the regional programs and plans are purely declarative, do not include any certain actions, terms of completion and clearly determined responsible parties, are not backed by the resource and information support. There are no indicated aspects of sociological studies, topics of seminars, contents of events planned and other important things, without which it is impossible to arrange the due implementation of programs and plans and to ensure the monitoring of their implementation. 3. The financial component of the programs is generally detached from their content part and not detailed in the light of neighbourhoods, measures and even program sections. Non-budgetary sources, the part of which is to be used for implementing the programs, are not specified, which does not make it possible to trace and provide their receipts. 4. Most programs and plans of measures are internally not interrelated either in a methodical or organisational way and look like separate self-standing documents, though they are organic components of a single mechanism of implementation of the National Strategy at the regional level. This situation, except the lack of proper communication of regional councils and regional administrations, reveals the absence of a certain procedural framework to design regional plans of measures for the National Strategy implementation. As a matter of fact, the Governmental Action Plan adopted by Decree No 296-p of the Committee of Ministers of Ukraine as of 11.05.2017, which was followed by the Regional Public Administrations, Kyiv City State Administration, Regional Civil Military Administrations, while designing their plans, contains only some specific tasks for regional authorities. 5. By breaching the tasks of the National Strategy and other legislative instruments, while designing programs and plans of measures, some regional public authorities ignored a great deal of important matters (see above), settling which the civil society development depends on in relevant regions. 6. In disregard of the state policy targeted at increasing the publicity and information availability of the public authorities activity, particular regional councils and regional executive authorities do not post any draft plans and programs, documents enacted already on their websites when due. Or they do it in such a manner when the access to these important public records has already been complicated.
7. It is impossible to find some information about the course of implementation of the regional Programs and Plans of Measures almost on every website. It is not clear who precisely (except standing committees and deputy heads of administrations recorded in resolutions of regional councils) performs the monitoring of the programs, plans of measures implementation, or whether and what form assessments provided by civil institutions are considered in). General Conclusion: The existing level of implementation of the tasks of the National Strategy for Civil Society Development Assistance in 2016-2020 in Ukraine by means of the regional programs and plans of measures partially complies with the state policy priorities and demands of the civil society, and need be further improved both at the regional and national level. Recommendations Considering the analysis results, we deem it expedient to offer the Ukrainian public authorities such measures: 1. To the Presidential Coordination Council for Civil Society Development Assistance of Ukraine: to involve representatives of the government authorities and regional UTCs with the common designing of a unified system of control by collaborating with the state agency and community. It will help to collect proposals about potential opportunities. 2.
To the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and relevant steering committees:
- to accelerate the process of passing the draft Law of Ukraine “On Public Counselling” designed by the project work team of the Coordinator of the OSCE projects in Ukraine and Office of the Committee of Ministers of Ukraine with entrenching the standards for obligatory public counselling, attraction of the community leaders to the activities of regional, district and local councils, and by the efficient designed mechanisms of prevention of violations by the government authorities of the requirements to the public counselling in the cases determined by the laws; - to make amendments in the Law of Ukraine “On Local Self-Government in Ukraine” and Draft Law of Ukraine “On Public Counselling” about a legal status, formation procedure, arrangement of the advisory bodies` activity for the purpose of extending their powers in the matter of settlement of state and local matters, particularly, entrenchment of the obligatoriness to take into consideration resolutions of public advisory bodies; - to formalise the monitoring assessment mechanisms for state and regional target programs in terms of targeted and efficient use of funds by making relevant
amendments in the Law of Ukraine “On Foundations of State Regional Policy” and Law of Ukraine “On Prevention of Corruption”; - to make amendments in the Budget Code of Ukraine, where to specify the definition of the term “state financial support of communities”, and to enlarge the list of communities entitled to get the state financial support, and to specify the priority of state financing of the UTCs on a competitive basis by setting clear criteria and a procedure of partial financing of the UTC institutional development in the legislation. 3.
To the Committee of Ministers of Ukraine:
to design and adopt the procedure of monitoring of the implementation of civil society development assistance policy, by means of which to set the obligation for executive authorities to report in the open about its implementation, to involve the public with discussing such reports; to design and make amendments in the Procedure of Tender of Programs (Projects, Measures) designed by civil society organisations, which is supported financially for their implementation in compliance with Decree No 1049 of the Committee of Ministers of Ukraine as of 12.10.2011 on adoption of document forms standardised for all the central and local executive authorities to arrange and hold the tender; to design a model agreement between the tender organisers and UTCs for the program (project, measure) implementation, which is supported financially out of public funds; to design a standard procedure of verification of accurate information given in the bid, what assists in avoiding any conflict situations and improving the tender procedure; to establish priorities and single criteria for providing financial support out of public funds to implement programs (implementation of projects, measures) designed by the community institutes and targeted at implementing the state, regional policy tasks, determining the average- and long-term volume indexes of this financial support; to design and implement the mandatory monitoring and assessment by holders of budget of the programs and projects implemented by the civil society organisations out of public funds; to adjust the reporting practices of the UTCs about the projects implementation out of public funds, and to acknowledge posting the information about the projects results by making it public as mandatory; to set a single reporting form about the advisory structures activity and its results and obligatorily disclose this information on the websites of relevant government authorities.
4. To the Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine: to arrange and hold information campaigns on revealing achievements in the activity of the civil organisations, which are financially supported, by emphasising the attraction of other government authorities to their support. 5 To the Regional Public Administrations and Kyiv City State Administration: when due, to ensure the designing, public discussions and promulgation of annual regional Plans of Measures for Implementation of the National Strategy for Civil Society Development Assistance in Ukraine for 2016-2020 till February 2018; to form subdivisions responsible for supporting the interaction with the public at institutions of the Local State Administration; to set a person in charge of this area of activity at departments, offices and divisions of the Local State Administration; to mix the e-counselling with public events while determining forms of public community discussions, and to avoid measures that are not meant to get the public feedback; to regularly monitor the social tension of the region, estimate the public opinion so to detect the social and political development trends and changes of the quality of living of the population in the regions, to specify relevant funds in budget requests; to promote the so called “minimum” set of legal mechanisms of local democracy entrenched at the level of territorial communities: a territorial community Charter, Regulation “On Local Initiative”, “On Public Sessions”, “On General Meetings of Citizens at the Place of Residence”, public counselling procedure, procedure of public expertise of activities of the local self-government authorities, procedure for delegating particular powers, finance and property of the relevant local council to the community self-organisation bodies; - to hold a number of seminars and trainings for the ATC representatives so to uplevel their awareness and stimulate their activity in discussing and making state decisions.
STATE AND CONDITIONS OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL To assess the state and conditions of the civil society development at the regional level, the NGO “Association for Community Self-Organization Assistance” with the regional activists carried out a research. In the course of the research with the local experts, there were 150 interviews in 17 regions of Ukraine. 46 % representatives of the government authorities and 54 % public representatives took part in these interviews, in particular, 28 – representatives of the regional councils, 41 – representatives of the regional public administrations, 49 – representatives of ICS, 32 – members of the regional Coordination Councils from the ICS. In the course of enquiry, the researches tried to keep the tender balance among the respondents: there were 40 % of women and 60 % of men among the interviewed. Role of the Coordination Councils in the Civil Society Development Assistance Assessment of the role of the Coordination Councils in the matter of the civil society development assistance in the region is different due to the groups of respondents. The representatives of the Regional Public Administration are quite well aware of its functions and inclined to highlight its positive role and importance in establishing the constructive cooperation of the public and government. The representatives of the civil society organisations (CSO) have never heard of the existence of the Coordination Councils at all or point to their insignificant role. The majority of the interviewed members of the Coordination Councils state that they are of no importance. Some of them are just formal members and do not participate in meetings. The situation is also different in dependence to a region: in some cases it is newly formed, or a new team is chosen. But it is possible to specify the following problems, which are accentuated by the respondents: -
formal functioning of the Coordination Councils;
weak activity and interest of the Coordination Council members;
slight impact of the Coordination Councils on processes in the region.
In general, a limited circle of public representatives, who are members of the Coordination and Community Councils, participated in designing the regional Program and regional Plan of Measures for the National Strategy implementation. Environment for operations of the CSOs The respondents noted such changes in 2016-2017:
1. NGO registration procedures were simplified: there occurred an opportunity to register non-governmental organisations at Centres for Administrative Services Provision; 2. State and city programs, tenders of projects, participatory budgeting appeared; 3. ICS has more impact on the regional procedures due to the participation in the advisory bodies and work teams. 4. There is more information appearing for the NGOs: there was an advocacy work carried out for the departments of justice in terms of forming non-governmental organisations; open sources of information and data processing technologies come out. 5. The respondents equivocally value the reregistration of the NGO nonprofitability status due to the expiration of the Transitional Provisions of the Law of Ukraine “On Non-Governmental Organisations”. From one side, it forces the nongovernmental organisations to renew and modernise the constituent documents – ineffective organisations are “deselected”. From another side, there was no appropriate information campaign held, which caused the cessation of activity of some NGOs. 6. The introduced e-petition system for members of the communities and nongovernmental anticorruption organisations is valued negatively as limitation and government pressure tool. Regarding the conditions for the community self-organisation bodies to be formed and to operate, most respondents note a positive effect of the reform of decentralization and formation of united territorial communities, which boosted the population activation. At the same time, the local self-organisation does not always cause the institutionalization in a form of community self-organisaion bodies. Housing cooperatives became more common. Traditionally, improvements of public utility services, territorial amenities remain the main field of concern. Conditions for the activity of charitable organisations and charity funds, in opinion of the respondents, are the same as for other UTCs. There is discrediting of their activity due to the available funds working in an election period for headquarters of particular candidates and pseudo-charity funds formed for the purpose of emoluments. Conditions for the volunteer movement growth. One of the most active aspects of the development and Ukrainian society phenomena is still volunteering, i.e. aid to the ATO participants and veterans, bereaved families and internally displaced persons. This activity is highly valued by the respondents, though certain recession has been noted for the last two years due to the reduced degree of military actions in the East, increased assistance of the government and western partners, and also the
volunteers` psychological burnout. Now, the volunteer movement is being formalized, turned to NGOs or funds. There are other aspects of the volunteering as well, i.e. assistance to socially disadvantaged population groups, ecology movements, arrangement of cultural events, music festivals. As the respondents think, the volunteer movement appeared not because of the favourable conditions, but vice versa, as a challenge from the society. The government supports the CSO activity in the following forms: -financial: project tenders, participatory budgeting; -counselling and public awareness campaigns: expert support, trainings and classes for the NGO representatives; -rent of premises on a preferential basis; -provision of informational platforms for round tables, seminars; -information and media support to announce the NGO events and promulgate their activity results; -formation of advisory bodies. The concerned and active locals, representatives of the CSOs lack the professionalism evident in the absent knowledge about the opportunities giving us the local democracy instruments, knowledge of laws, human rights, system of government, awareness of powers of the authorities, institutions and organisations that may solve their problems. There is a lacking awareness of the public information access, financial capability, project management skills, advocacy knowledge, knowledge about the government control, about the opportunities giving us the local democracy instruments, work systematicity, knowledge of successful examples, communication skills and network abilities, skills to clearly open questions and give suggestions in solving a problem instead of radicalism and protests, fund raising skills. At the same time, the respondents point it out that the government officials do not lack knowledge and skills as much as tolerance and desire to hear the public, understand the role and functions of the civil society, capability to consider the public as an equal partner, knowledge of opportunities and motivation to cooperate with them, communication skills, readiness to interact in order to successfully cooperate with the public. Tenders of public projects. In general, the respondents highly value the role of public project tenders that are now introduced in all the regions of Ukraine. Such projects assist in forming the public responsibility and consciousness. The non-governmental organisations can better feel needs of the community as they work with particular
task forces and social categories. Besides, the competitive basis promotes the cost efficiency. Meanwhile, the respondents specified the following problems: 1. Tenders of public projects are low budget, so they do not solve social problems, but help to settle local, domestic matters (for instance, construction of playgrounds or stations). 2.
Sometimes a tender can be shadowed. It is not clear how winners are chosen.
3. Most ICSs do not want to participate in holding tenders because of a small size of financing and complexity to prepare the financial reports of the budget funds used. 4. Authors of projects are not always competent to fill project applications, so good ideas are brushed aside. The mechanism of general meetings at the place of residence is used by the public. It is used in uniting the communities. Moreover, it is used to settle local matters â€“ domestic problems, matters of public utility services, redevelopment, amenities, struggle against shocking buildings, environmental non-compliance, raising of tariff rates of transport. However, these meetings are not regular and not backed with minutes and resolutions. Sometimes the general meeting at the place of residence is held technically so to â€œlegaliseâ€? an already passed resolution. The public expertise as an impact tool is very powerful, but it is still not a common practice as it can be done only by experts and professional NGOs. There are some examples of the public expertise in the education, ecology realms, anticorruption analysis. For instance, expertise in the public project tender, analysis of the inclusive education program, expert examination of the harmful HPP cascade construction by the Dniester. The tool for collecting signatures of citizens to support petitions became digital and is actively used. Matters are quite varied: territorial redevelopment, amenities, tariff rates of public transport and public utilities, recall of deputies, installation of monuments, adjustment of recreation areas, streets renaming, against illegal buildings in public territories. But there are certain problems as well: - even if a petition gets a requisite number of signatures, it is not always considered and used in practice; - it is still debatable for people whether a petition belongs to the competence of that body, where it is addressed to; -
an unreal quantitative support requirement is used in some communities.
The mechanism of social services commissioning is considered by the respondents as a perspective tool, especially for working with social disadvantaged groups, which makes it possible to reduce the budget load and solve problems topical for the community. At present, social services commissioning is just in specific places. For the mechanism to work, it is necessary to set legal grounds for the performers of social services commissioning and to increase the level of competency of the most potential performers from the NGOs. Social entrepreneurship is also deemed as a perspective trend that just begins developing in Ukraine. The obstacle to progress is imperfection of laws in this area. The majority of this business fails because there is no single Law “On Entrepreneurship”, no advantages for small enterprises over a regular business. There are cases of social entrepreneurship in Ukraine in a form of providing the disabled or IDPs with workplaces. A glaring example of it is the Ivano-Frankivsk Public Restaurant “Urban Space 100” founded equally by 100 patrons from various places, each of whom contributed $1 000 to this restaurant. All profits are given to the urban development projects. Support of the business activity has a form of forums, classes, trainings in business foundation and development initiated by the NGOs and with the assistance of the western partners and beneficiaries. There are operating concessional loan programs for the ATO participants for establishing a private business. One of good-working mechanisms in Ukraine is a free legal aid system. The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine launched legal aid centres in all the regions, operating mobile teams that go to districts. Furthermore, it is possible to get legal aid at law enforcement NGOs and legal clinics at universities. There are legal aid projects for IDPs and ATO participants. Some ICSs, as part of international projects, hold seminars, trainings. The main disadvantage of this system is low awareness of target groups about this opportunity, especially in villages. Moreover, the working efficiency depends on the qualification of specialists in their localities. Special training courses of the civil society development are mostly not included to curriculums of schools, technical vocational schools, higher educational institutions. Some aspects and issues are likely studied at school as part of such subjects as Laws, Social Studies and at higher educational institutions as part of Political Studies, Sociology, Theory of Government and Law. For particular occupations, there are such courses as Academic Integrity, Intellectual Property Right, Social Communications, Civil Society and Civil Movements, Social Entrepreneurship, Community SelfOrganisation and Local Self-Government, Civil Society and Government, etc.
To assist in the civil society development and cross-sector collaboration, the interviewed respondents suggest: 1. To carry out researches on the following matters: level of activity, demands, resources, potential capacity, fields of concern and NGO infrastructure; how those that trends of communities are related to the available programs; how the public sector affects the Ukrainian citizens; to find a problem in the activity of the NGOs; content of social networks and media; audit of legislation in terms of discrepancies. 2. To hold social events: forums, business schools, clubs of discussion, round tables with the participation of representatives of the NGOs, business and government; to hold trainings, educational events where it is possible to demonstrate and propagate successful practices of this collaboration; experience sharing among the regions of Ukraine and abroad; to strengthen regions in the matter of the civil society development; events to teach people to control the government, advocacy and lobby work, efficient fundraising and other financing sources for the nongovernmental organisations. 3. To teach public activists modern e-democracy techniques, social entrepreneurship, writing grant programs and cooperating with beneficiary organisations; to insert training of NGO management specialists into the higher and post-graduation education systems; to give methodical, consulting and organizational assistance to the executive authorities and local self-government authorities in the matter of relations with the CSOs and civil society development; to conduct advocacy works concerning the matters worked out by the government, matters being settled, advantages of reforms.
АНАЛІТИКИ POLICY ANALYSTS АСОЦІАЦІЇ: OF ASSOCIATION:
АндрійKrupnyk Andrii Крупник expert експерт on public з питань administration державногоand управління local та місцевого governmentсамоврядування
ОлександраKalashnikova Oleksandra Калашнікова експерт expert on зcommunity питань розвитку development, громад, localреформи місцевого governmentсамоврядування, reform, participatory демократії democracy участі
Марія Дзюпин Mariya Dzupyn аналітик, analyst, lawyer, юрист, expert експерт on local з питань democracy місцевої and демократії local governance та місцевого самоврядування
ОлексійKolesnikov Oleksii Колесников експерт expert on зelection питаньlaw, виборчого local democracy, права, місцевої regional демократії, and global policies регіональної та локальної політики
acsa.com.ua This analytical paper has been prepared under the Think tank support initiative performed by the International Fund "Renaissance" (IRF) in collaboration with the Open Society Foundations, which receives support from the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine The opinions and views expressed in this research represent the position of the author and do not necessarily reďŹ‚ect the position of the Swedish government.
Đ?SSOCIATION FOR COMMUNITY SELF-ORGANIZATION ASSISTANCE All-Ukrainian NGO that promotes the development of civil society in Ukraine through the self-organization and the creation of an effective system of public participation in the local governance.
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