In Kyiv it was held the presentation of activities of All-Ukrainian NGO “Association for community self-organization assistance”. The team told about the development of analytical component, net of Resource centers on the development of local democracy and strategic plans.
We started our work in 2006 in Odesa when the team of Association consisted of 5 people. 2016 was a landmark for us because it have passed 10 years for the development of self-organization, local democracy and citizen participation in the management of local affairs.
Having started our activities on development of community organizations, we, together with partner organizations created a sustainable network of Resource centers, which together with us expanded their activities for Self-organization bodies to all elements of local democracy.
The last two years the organization is developing as a regional think tank, our team joined 5 experts, including 3 analysts from different regions of Ukraine – Lviv, Chernivtsi, Donetsk region.
The main focus of our analytical materials is local government reform, which has started in 2015. The theme of local democracy has become particularly relevant due to the decentralization from central authority to the field. Because we believe that only participation of citizens in the reform ensure its success.
We have developed 40 recommendations in analytic materials both to central and local governments. Some of them found their reflections in 78 local normative legal acts.
Since decentralization reform in Ukraine, our team of analysts is working on the identification of problematic aspects of reform and finding solutions.
The reform of local government is a complicated process. It affects the interests of many stakeholders and, as expected, resistance, and sometimes conflicts in communities. However, our research has shown that resistance and conflicts arise where there is a lack of communication between residents and authorities. In our opinion, this is one of the main problems.
In order to understand how decentralization is stepping Ukraine and which weaknesses does the reform have, we have conducted interregional analytical research in 46 communities from 5 regions of Ukraine. We interviewed representatives of government and civil society to get their vision of reform. The results of analytical research can be found on our new website acsa.com.ua.
Also, in the focus of our research there was a problem of protecting the interests amalgamated peripheral communities, litigation conflict resolution by combining local communities, the institute of “starosta” (village Mayor), regulation procedures, general meetings, development of self-organization bodies in amalgamated communities, the economic capacity of new amalgamated communities.
For whom we are preparing analytical materials? Analysis we prepare for both central and local authorities. Our analytics includes targeted recommendations to ministries and parliamentary commissions, and local governments.
Which data is basis for our analytics? Firstly, open data, information CEB, CBOs, Department of Statistics; Secondly, expert interviews, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions; Thirdly, the experiment (450 calls to the hotline CEB); data analysis.
What gave our analytics? What is its impact on the government’s decision? The recommendations of our analysts were reflected in 78 local legal acts, it usually changes to the charter in terms of the general meeting and public hearings, approval of the Regulations on Self-organization bodies, general meetings (m. Lutsk, m. Mykolaiv) in communities that plan about amalgamation in Tatarbunary and Ivanovo regions Odessa area will be developed statutes of local communities which will include mechanisms of protection of peripheral communities.
Rule-making activity. The Association has been involved in the development and advocacy of two draft laws “On self-organization bodies» (№2466), «On general meetings (conferences) of territorial community members» (№2467). The adoption of these laws is of particular relevance in the context of local government reform.
The Association has developed two model Charters – town and village settlements. Today, 20 communities developed their statutes based on a model statute produced by Association.
Network of Resource centers for the development of local democracy in 12 regions of Ukraine are actively working practices of the Association and the implementation of recommendations. Together with partner organizations and network, Association successfully held a number of analytical researches.
In 2013 the Association with partners established a network of Resource centers, which started its activities from support and development of community organizations, then began to work for the development of all elements of local democracy. Today it is a network of Resource centers for the development of local democracy in 12 regions of Ukraine.
Having started its activities as a think tank, the Association, supporting and coordinating the activities of the network of Resource centers increases also their analytical capabilities.
Coordinating Network, the Association advises professionals of these centers, conducting education and trainings, provides communication and exchange of experience, helps explore and promote changes in policy.
Resource centers develop and promote projects decisions to authorities in the field of local democracy, helping to implement reforms in the field, provide training for community activists, offer advices, resources and help citizens realize the initiative to participate in community development, established and work of self-organization bodies, control of housing services.