According to the results of the survey, local government reform and the introduction of e-government turned out to be the most successful. More than 400 experts from all regions of Ukraine answered the questions related to the assessment of reforms and their consequences.
Such results were presented during a briefing at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center by Andriy Yeremenko, founder of the Research Company «Active Group», and Oleksandra Skyba, Deputy Head, Project Manager Institute «Respublica».
«Active Group» together with NGO Institute «Respublica» conducted a large-scale expert survey. As a result of the survey, three ratings of reforms were built at once: according to the general assessment, an assessment of utility for Ukraine as a whole and for the regions of our state», – said Andriy Yeremenko.
According to all ratings, the most successful ones are the local government (decentralisation, popular) and e-government reforms.
Thus, according to 54.2% of respondents, decentralisation was the most effective in the country, and according to 49.1% – the most effective in the region (the highest results). And according to a five-point scale, the local government reform ranked second after e-government with a score of 3.14.
Despite the fact that decentralisation is the most successful reform, 59% of respondents consider it necessary to expand the powers of local governments and another 5% also believe that such expansion is necessary, but provided that they are transferred an even greater part of the taxes.
The introduction of e-government received the highest score based on a five-point scale – 3.4 points, and ranked second in the rating of utility.
The reform of the law enforcement system ranked third in all ratings, with an average score of 2.7 points based on a 5-point scale. It was this reform that caused the biggest gap in opinions. Thus, 30% of the respondents referred to it as the “most useful” for their region. And according to 19.1%, it was the “least useful”. The experts often referred to the general increase in transparency and the emergence of a new patrol police as positive changes in the law-enforcement system. The negative ones include the increase of the crime rate, the lack of actual staff rotation, except for the patrol police, and the unprofessionalism of new police officers.
Thus, according to 75.3% of respondents, among all changes in the law-enforcement system, the establishment of the patrol police was of the greatest use. Only 9.1% of respondents believe the re-certification to be useful. The fight against corruption has the most negative assessment in the reform of the law-enforcement system. Having reached the score of 36.1%, this item was recognised by the experts as less useful.
It is also worth noting that the idea of the municipal police is supported by the majority of respondents. So, 40% of respondents answered “Yes”, and 23% “Rather yes” to the question “Do you consider it necessary to create a municipal police?”. And in those cities where the municipal institutions are established that partly perform police functions, the feedback about them is mostly positive.
The energy independence program got a score of 2.69 based on a 5-point scale. It was assessed as “effective in the country” by more than 15% of respondents, and as “effective in the field” only by 11%. Moreover, the majority of comments on the assessments suggest that the energy efficiency improvement process continues. However, the state does not pay enough attention to this issue. Therefore, according to most experts, all positive moves include either the efforts of specific people, who save heat at their own enterprises and in their own dwellings, or the efforts of local authorities.
While answering the question “Do you believe that energy efficiency was increased in your city?”, the majority of respondents (39%) said that it was “increased somehow, but this is not enough”. At the same time, sufficient changes in this area were noted only by 7% of Ukrainian experts.
Deregulation and business development closes the list of reforms, in which the share of positive feedback is greater than that of negative. With an average score of 2.49 points, this reform was called effective in the region by 10.2% of respondents, and at the national level – only by 8.4%.
According to 7.9% of respondents, the reform is “the least effective” in the region, and according to 13.2% – in Ukraine as a whole. It should be noted that the statement “in general, much less is done in this direction in the country as a whole than in our region” sounded at least once in ALL regions without exception.
Assessing the anti-corruption reform, 8% of respondents believed that it was “the most effective”, and 23.7% – “the least effective”. Moreover, positive assessments of anti-corruption changes are primarily related to the growth of urban activity and the increased influence of anti-corruption organisations. The rest of the respondents simply do not believe in the effectiveness of the reforms.
In addition, for a large number of respondents, President Petro Poroshenko became a symbol of corruption, frustrating faith in the fight against this phenomenon.
According to the experts, the education, healthcare and judicial reforms ranked at the bottom. The share of those who considered these reforms successful did not reach 10%, and that of those who considered them failure made up 40%.
It is important to note here that the survey was held in August-September, that is, prior to the voting in these areas. However, one can clearly state the disbelief of most people in the positive changes resulting from the reforms.
As many as 79% of respondents believe that changes in electoral legislation are crucial to revive the reforms. Among the most popular proposals for changing legislation are the introduction of open lists for elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (288.9%) and the strengthening of the majority system (14.8%).
Both the respondents advocating for the need for a majority system and for open lists, try to bring deputies closer to the voters. Thus, 12.9% of respondents want to cancel the financing of political parties at the expense of the state.
The survey was conducted during August-September 2017. A total of 405 experts from all regions of Ukraine were surveyed.