Situation with the social capital in the communities of Ukraine: conditions of its formation and development

The Association for Community Self-Organization Assistance conducted a complex inter-regional study of the situation with the social capital in Ukrainian communities and conditions of its formation and development. The study was made in 25 regions of Ukraine (24 regions and Kyiv City) by way of diagnosing the social capital status in the region centres, in Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk cities and in 24 UTCs – one UTC in each region, which were randomly selected, and by way of analysing the conditions of formation and development of the social capital that have been created at all levels of the public authority – from the local to the all-state level.

Social capital is an integral and non-material notion that unites affiliation of persons to a certain community, mutual trust and their participation in common affairs that enhances individual resources of each member of the group due to resources of the entire group while, simultaneously, strengthens the group itself.

Social capital of the society shapes communications between various subjects which are based on certain moral principles and common values. In its turn, the condition of the social capital of the society influences the nature of communication between people.  .

When measuring the social capital, the World Bank experts recommends to apply qualitative and quantitative indices that characterize such social capital components as trust and social involvement which arise and develop through participation of people in collective actions, establishment of groups and networks, information and communication.

The social capital manifests itself in:

  • public activity of dwellers and their participation in public life – either directly or by their participation in associations, as well as in their readiness to take part in such activities;
  • attitude of the citizens, ICS and authorities to each other, nature of their interrelations: level of trust, solidarity, tolerance, readiness to cooperate, etc.;
  • understanding by the community members of their responsibility for the state of things in their community, in the region and country as a whole.
  • The information sources used for making the analysis:
  • interviews of 74 local experts – representatives of the local self-government bodies of the studied TC, ICS leaders and 5 leading experts of the national level;
  • data of the State Statistical Committee and the State Register of Public Forms of ICS that have been registered and function in the territory of Ukraine;
  • answers of the public authorities to the information requests and applications of the project performers;
    official websites of the local self-government bodies with a view of checking completeness of information contained in them and its accessibility to the public;
  • social networks (facebook) and online instruments for their analysis;
  • information made public on official websites of the public authorities and received by requests, information about composition and activity of the consultative and advisory bodies and regulatory documents that govern their activity and the conducted events;
  • results of sociological and other studies performed by the Institute, Association, partnership and other organizations during 2014-2017 that pertain to the topics of this study;
  • results of the studies performed in European countries and other countries of the world that concern various aspects of formation and development of social capital in the sphere of communication between people, between people and ICS that represent interests of certain social groups, as well as between the public and the authorities.

The study was conducted from July to September 2017.