How to give impetus to the development of capable communities as a joint effort were discussed in
Odessa at the XI International Conference on self-organization.
The conference brought together community leaders and experts from Ukraine, Italy, Georgia, Estonia,
Belarus, the United States and the authorities both local and state level.
The event was organized by Association for community self-organization assistance and the Odessa
Institute of Social Technologies in cooperation with the European Association for Local Democracy
(ALDA) supported by the International Fund "Renaissance".
All participants agree that the public should be actively involved in the reform and management of local
life, as the benefits of decentralization are clear for people.
"The process we are discussing must be clearly joint: power "from above", by inserting "Normative
acts" for its implementation at the " bottom " cannot do this without communicating with the
community. Any legal document could not go out without consultation with those who will implement
it, otherwise the document will not work ", – said Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Natalia
At the conference, there were presented results of interregional research on public participation in the
process of amalgamation and development of local communities. According to the results, 78.8% of
respondents said that their community has actively conducted public hearings on the merger of local
communities. The basic arguments "for" amalgamating became more powerful budget, improved
quality of social services and a more prosperous community.
"But a significant obstacle to reform is that the awareness of residents about its essence remains
insufficient. This prevents dialogue, " said research leader and the Organizing Committee of the
conference Andrii Krupnyk.
Foreign experts advise not to copy the experience of reforms in other countries and seek their own way
through dialogue with all stakeholders.
"Decentralization is defined as one of the five priorities of the Government in 2017. The approach to
reform would be comprehensive: all processes will be processed by different ministries at their level, "-
said the chief adviser of the Department of Local Government and Decentralization of the Presidential
Administration of Ukraine Mykola Myronenko.
Representatives of donor programs (DOBRE, PACT, the Fund "Eastern Europe," International Fund
"Renaissance ") presented opportunities for grant funding initiatives in local government.
Regional resource centers shared their experience in assistance of the communities in the process of
reform and development of local democracy.
At the conference it was also presented the film "Decentralization in Ukrainian," which tells how the
reform runs in communities with active residents.