The Ukrainian state and society have been greatly destabilised over the past 1.5 years, putting the human security of Ukrainian citizens at risk. Decentralization has the potential to become a valuable instrument out of the current crisis in Ukraine. As a response, a project has been designed to foster stability in Eastern Ukraine from the bottom up through legitimate and responsive governance and inclusive political and public participation processes at the local level.
The project interventions aim at providing a participatory, locally driven response to the reform efforts, focussing on the Eastern regions of Donetsk, Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk. The proposed interventions in these areas are linked to the high influx of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who need basic services such as education, health care, housing, jobs. Subsequently, municipal structures in these regions face challenges in providing these services to IDPs, while at the same time, these groups of citizens are especially vulnerable and traumatised, the trust in the government is weak, and resources and services are scarce and poorly administered
The project aims to support the development of transparent, accountable and responsive local government and inclusive local political processes in eastern Ukraine. More specifically, it aims to:
Support local authorities in shaping accurate, accountable responses to demands brought forward by (civil) society in six municipalities in up to 5 provinces in Eastern Ukraine.
Strengthen citizens participation practices in local policy by engaging civil society and facilitate inclusive processes providing tools for constructive collaboration among the population, civil society and authorities in the targeted municipalities.
Transfer lessons learnt and best practices from the project to other local governments in Ukraine and present these to the central government.
The expected results are:
Capacity of local government officials is strengthened to implement transparent and accountable local democratic processes.
Strengthened transparent and accountable local democratic processes.
Capacity of local government officials and civil society is strengthened to engage citizens of different (conflicting) groups into constructive discussion on needs-based issues.
Capacity of civil society to monitor the actions of their local authorities, and to mobilise when these run counter to lawful and inclusive practice has strengthened.
Civil society and citizens are able to formulate realistic demands reflecting the interests of different groups to their local authorities, and interact with them in a constructive way to generate results of common interest.
Improved cooperation mechanisms between local authorities and civil society to designed and implement initiatives with involvement of civil society.
Project results and experiences disseminated to other local authorities in targeted provinces.