News, pieces of advice and success stories from the All-Ukrainian Initiative «Active Community» for the period 27.11.2018 – 21.01.2019
Olga Danilova, a сommunications Coordinator of the «Active Community», held a regular information hour in the capital of Bukovina.
Within the framework of the “Roadmap for Government” campaign, she communicated with citizens about access to public information, namely: do residents pay attention to the activities of the city council? After all, according to the legislation of Ukraine, local government bodies (LGB) are required to disclose information about:
The use of budget funds;
- Possession and exploitation of communal and state property;
- Information that is of public interest, etc.
In order to receive data, citizens should:
- Send a written request to acquire information;
- Find it on the official web site of their local government bodies;
- To come to the authority and ask personally with them;
- To attend sessions at the city council.
The activist explained that each of the listed instruments has its own characteristics. Therefore, the request for information may be oral or written, individual or collective. It has been noted that it would be more appropriate to send an e-mail, a letter that describes the content of the attachment, with a clearly specified topic. Normally, the response should arrive within 5 business days but can be extended to 20, if the authority needs to process a large amount of data.
“From time to time I go to the official website of the city council, but I personally did not ask to acquire any information. If you have such a need, I will use your advice”, – Denys said.
In the framework of the “Right to choice” campaign, activists also raised the topic of the election. On December 31, a presidential race has been officially launched, which will cost us the taxpayers 2.5 billion UAH, and on October 27, 2019, parliamentary elections will be held with an estimated budget of over 2 billion UAH.
“People often ask others, who will they vote for. But we believe that everyone should be personally responsible for their choices, so we do not recommend names, but the site https://rada4you.org/ which is intriguing. After all, this website provides an easy way on how to check on people’s elected representatives, and see for themselves the frequency of the representative’s visiting the parliament, the cases of voting against their fraction, and to form a general picture, having analyzed what laws the parliamentarians vote for, ranging from frequently to never, “- said the activist.
“It’s interesting to know about such opportunities. It is a piece of extremely relevant information, and we must give it a go “, – summed up the teacher Anna.
On the evening of the New Year, activists of Dnipro held a training on the topic: “Election reform in Ukraine.” During the event, the communication coordinator of the «Active Community», Dmitry Tverdokhlib, spoke about the peculiarities of the electoral reform and the system as a whole, both in Ukraine and abroad. A discussion on quotas for women in party lists, as well as the electoral code, were other topics that the participants talked through.
As a result of the training, the participants together with the activist developed a concept of the electoral code: “The Election Code I want to vote for.” In addition, they did not ignore the current reform code either.
“This was an interesting experience, never before looked at the electoral reform from this point of view. Now I can share my knowledge and skills with friends, explaining what kind of electoral reform there is, and why it is so important “, – a public activist Yegor.
“We are particularly interested in quotas for women. I did not even know that this can be foreseen in the electoral code. Now they even give more funding to the parties if they have women deputies. It is striking that progress, albeit small, already exists, “is the English teacher Vladнslav.
Zinkiv, Poltava region
At one of the last meetings of the «Active Community» Club, activists decided to launch an action to support low-income pensioners. The initiative was called: “You can – put it! You need – take it! “.
The action is to equip a grocery store with a corner which will be marked with the above-shown sign and will have a basket for the goods. Those who have the opportunity and desire, they may leave in a basket different products, and those who are in need may take it.
On the evening of the Christmas holidays, activists appealed to the owners of food shops in the city. In the stores called “Products”, they willingly supported the initiative and the owners became the first basket fillers. The activists of the city were joyful of such small accomplishment and involved others to the action: if there is a will to help, put it in the basket, and if you are experiencing difficulties, take something from a basket!
Skladovsk, Kherson region
Social modeling game with representatives of the «Active Community».
Due to a lack of relevant knowledge, lack of skills in conflict management, human passivity, there is no dialogue “local authority – community”, thus, problems are not solved. There are many conflict management tools, technologies and techniques, and one of the key criteria is the establishment of dialogue, communication, and consensus-building.
One of the tools and skills to solve the problem is a simulation game. Such activity is based on real-life circumstances, situations, our behavior in real life. Gradual correction of errors, as well as decision-making, leads to a qualitative result and allows to increase the positive effect of group interaction.
Following are names of those representatives of coaches and their secrets of successful implementation of social modeling games for the multi-age category of representatives of various social groups of the population: Natalia Zikova (representative of the Ukrainian Peacekeeping School), Valentina Ponomarenko (a coordinator of the «Active Community» from the Institute Respublica), Vira Shulgina (leader of the Skadovsk Office of the Legal Development Network). International experts Igor Semyvolos, Sergey Danilov, Dmytro Zvonok and local experts Oleg Lykhovid, Alexander Yakovlev and Artyom Kostyuchenko were present at the training and presented an expert assessment by the representatives of the NGO “Center for Middle-Eastern Studies”.
Yuzhne city, Odesa region
The weekly informational hour was held in Yuzhne. Traditionally, the coordinators of the «Active Community» have introduced citizens to their activities both in the city and beyond. Being informed about the tool of public participation – public consultations, peculiarities of its use, along with talking about the experience of using them in the city of Southern and other Ukrainian cities, were among the top discussion in Yuzhne.
The interlocutors, mostly, endorsed the implementation of such an instrument, expressing a rather loyal attitude, considering it as an additional opportunity for citizens to express their views. It was noted that the main concern for the authorities, is to listen to these thoughts and to implement the wishes of the lives of the majority.
Regarding the Mayor’s report on the TV, people almost unanimously talked about the urgency for the above-mentioned tools, having differing opinions only in the desires for periodicity (from two to four times a year). One woman said that she would ask the city mayor about the need to regulate the price of medicines in local pharmacies. The fact is that people at the retirement age, find it difficult to get around all the drugstores in the city to search for more favorable prices. According to the interlocutors, the cost of pills varies significantly depending on the pharmacy.
And yet, during the info-hours, people paid attention to this problematic matter: it is necessary that local authorities pay attention to the low level of providing physiotherapeutic procedures in the city polyclinic (complained about old equipment, and sometimes its absence).
In addition, during the information hour, activists continued to collect signatures in an appeal to Deputy of Verkhovna Rada Of Ukraine in support of the Electoral Code. the coordinators provided additional information on the following items of the Petition: features of a proportional electoral system with open lists and election financing mechanisms for the interested person.
Activists conducted an info-hour session on the subject of: “What city problems can be resolved through public consultations?” The purpose of the session was to tell the residents of Zhytomyr about the successful experiences of the year of 2018 regarding public consultation and to find out the questions for consultation in 2019.
Activists asked the residents what questions they want to solve in the city in this new year.
Options for questions from Zhytomyr people:
- “To clean the city from snow and ice; the question of improving the quality of public utilities!” – Oksana Mykhailivna, a pensioner.
- “Construction of the hydro park. Workers started to repair this, but somehow it has not worked out. The new toilet does not work, the sand has got dirty! “- Myroslava, a student.
- “Feeding children in schools. I do not understand whether it is paid or free of charge. We are constantly solving something there, we are paying extra somewhere. It would be desirable that everything was clear and lawful! “- Victor, an engineer.
- “Education at children’s music schools is already paid. I want to solve this problem so that as many children as possible can learn there because it is the development of the child’s abilities! “- Elena, a teacher.
During the information hours, a team of the «Active Community» of Rivne communicated with the city residents about electronic declarations. Questions were asked on whether they know about this tool? Did you get acquainted with the declarations of deputies or civil servants? In turn, they provided information on the features of this tool, e-declarations, namely, that with the help of them it is possible to learn about the income and property of a deputy.
They emphasized: this is one of the instruments of controlling local deputies.
From the conversations with the citizens one can distinguish the following:
– Yes, I heard about the declarations, but I myself did not read them. I believe that this is a good tool for the control of deputies, and the main thing is that everything in there is noted fairly.
– Yes, I know about such a tool, I myself became acquainted with the declarations of some deputies, from my own curiosity. I think this is a good control tool.
For reference. An electronic declaration has been launched in Ukraine since 2016. It is intended to simplify the submission by public officials of statements on property status, access to them, and verification. The electronic declaration tool allows you to track the incomes of officials and deputies and understand what are their real incomes are and how they relate to what the official or deputy really owns.
The team of «Active Community» in Kramatorsk conducted an Info-hour on the renovated central square of the city. The coordinators asked the residents whether they supported the changes to the electoral legislation and what point they exactly supported. They also learned about citizen’s attitude to the city mayor’s report on the results of his work.
During the survey, only one in 16 respondents answered, that he was aware of the existence of a draft of the new Electoral Code. More than half of the respondents (9) said that they would easily get acquainted with a brief analysis of the results of the city mayor. However, they would hardly have come to the west personally, or reread or review all reporting. Six respondents reported that they were not interested in reporting to the head at all, because they personally did not see the results of his work or did not want to spend on this issue their own time. Therefore, the coordinators explained to citizens why it is important to go to the report and take part in it.
Oleg Kucherov, a Regional Coordinator of the «Active Community» of Kramatorsk, has examined how the mechanism of temporary change of place for voting of migrants, and migrant-workers function without changing the electoral address. In other words, what needs to be done for an internally displaced person or a migrant worker, so that he could vote in the presidential elections on March 31. The Kramatorsk procedure for obtaining a certificate for the right to vote at the polling station of the city is quite simple and does not take much time.
– For this, you need to come personally with a passport to the office № 217 (second floor) of the Kramatorsk City Council. You will still have to tell the temporary registration address in Kramatorsk, wait for 8-10 minutes, and after your signature in a registration book and a letter which will be prepared for you by the employees of the State Voter Register maintenance department, you will receive a Certificate on the right to vote with the change of place of voting. Everything was VERY fast and easy. We thank the employees of the department of conducting the State Register of Voters of Kramatorsk City Council, – shared the impressions of Oleg Kucherov.