News, pieces of advice and successful stories from the All-Ukrainian initiative «Active Community» for the period 31.09.2019 – 15.09.19
АI “Active Community” started the autumn season creatively and richly. We have worked hard in the summer and rested a little. So we are full of strength and want to make autumn active. We have traditionally held information hours and trainings, exchanged experiences with international partners. And we worked within the framework of the Active Community Club, established cooperation in new cities for us, and joined creative festivals.
Information hours have already become “native” for us. In early September, we talked to Rivne residents about public consultations. What do they know about such a tool as public consultation? In addition, they were told about the “Your Thought” resource through which public consultations were conducted. They also talked about the features of this tool and its benefits. We shared our experience of conducting public consultations in different cities of Ukraine.
After talking to the residents of Rivne we can say that people do not know what public consultations are and what their benefits are. Accordingly, they are not interested in using them. This is evidenced by the comments of the participants.
– Unfortunately, I have not heard about public consultations. It is an interesting tool because dialogue between the authorities and the community is very important and it is also an element of trust. It is cool that there is a positive experience of conducting public consultations in different cities. And, probably, with the help of such a resource it is possible to involve in consultations different age categories of citizens, – said the participant of information hour Andriy.
– It is good that this is a tool where the authorities ask the citizens about a particular issue and are interested in their opinion. I haven’t heard of such a resource, but I think it’s interesting. Positive examples from different cities in Ukraine testify to this. It would be interesting to take part in such a consultation, – Oksana, a participant of the information hour, shared her impressions.
However, these same comments indicate that people find them useful and want to get involved in public consultation, but do not know how to do it. During the information hour we talked, in particular, with Dmitry Shevchuk, Vice-Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Work of the National University of Ostroh Academy.
– I am sad to understand that many people in Ukraine and Rivne have not even heard of public consultations and their use by the community. However, it convinces me that I am doing a really useful and necessary job and it is even more motivating to communicate with citizens on the subject. The modern world is so advanced that it gives us the opportunity to express our opinions via phone and computer, simply by choosing the best option. And so we influence the decisions of the authorities, get involved in solving the problems of our city. However, we must be interested in these processes, – said Hatalia Malynovska the regional coordinator of AI “Active Community”.
Public consultations have already shown their relevance in many cities of Ukraine. They help to establish a dialogue between the authorities and the community of the city. Also, they help to make the best solution to the problems of the city, which is supported by the majority of citizens. We hope that public consultations will become a habit for Ukrainians in the near future.
On September 13, a meeting of the “Active Community Club” was held where the topic was discussed: “The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the 9th convocation: follow, control, influence. On-line tools. ” The topic is relevant, because modern technologies allow us to find the necessary information about anything.
During the event we considered the following issues:
- have the participants ever monitored information about deputies?
- do the members of their majority deputies know?
- is it interesting for the participants to find out if the deputies fulfill their promises?
- do they know how to check it?
– This training showed that not all participants are familiar with the tools of control over the deputies, even those seemingly popular, such as “Slovo and Dilo”. Therefore, it was necessary to tell the participants not only how to use these resources, but also to tell when they were created and for what. It is encouraging that participants are interested in learning about online tools and using them. During the meeting of the Club we tried to find information about the activities of the deputies. I am sure that in the future, participants will use these sites on their own.
After the presentation, discussions were held in groups of such online tools as the official website of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, “polit.hub”, “rada for you”, “word and deed” and “database of electronic declarations”. As the results of the meeting, the participants adopted the instruments of control over the activity of the deputies and expressed their readiness to use them in practice!
Novooleksandrivska village UTC
On September 11th, Regional Coordinator of the AI “Active Community” of Dnepr Dmytro Chernyshov met with Alexander Vizir, chairman of the Oleksandrivka village UTC of the Dnieper district. Also, the meeting was attended by the Deputy Mayor Valentina Bohan. The conversation concerned the introduction of public consultation in the community. Dmytro explained the peculiarity of public consultations and described what is already a positive experience in other communities from their use.
According to the village mayor, Olexander Vizier, it is very difficult to implement such an instrument in the community. Because there are no employees in the village council who would develop the instruments of participation. However, it is a good tool and it is worth working on using it in the community.
– We have assigned this issue to the social department, but it is not their job. Slobozhanska UTC organized a public relations department, and we cannot afford it yet. As for electronic public consultations, we were going to use a different platform for another project. We are now discussing topics for discussion. Perhaps, we will use the tool “Your Thought”, – said the village chairman Olexander Vizir.
The local authorities of Novooleksandrivska UTC will be able to contact us at any time for public consultations. This meeting helped them learn more about the process of using public consultation and its benefits.
Storozhynets (Chernivtsi region)
The Chernivtsi team of AI “Active Community” visited Storozhynets with a study visit, conducting training for representatives of local government. The training “Public Consultations – a Tool for Establishing a Dialogue between the Authorities and the Community” was active and intense. Participants learned about the following participation tools:
- public hearings;
- electronic petitions;
- budget initiatives;
- public consultation.
They also discussed in detail the benefits citizens and authorities receive from using these tools. Namely, community residents can easily and quickly express their opinions on important issues and provide suggestions for their solution. The authorities can use the results of public consultation to make the best decisions based on community opinion. It enhances dialogue and trust between the authorities and the community.
– Interesting format, I am sure that we will not lose the opportunity and use this tool, because this project is fully ready for implementation. It is good that there are examples of using public consultation in other cities. It immediately shows the possible result and provides an algorithm for applying them to others, – says Iryna Pavlyuk, a specialist in the department of economic development of Storozhynetska UTC.
The training participants immediately put their knowledge into practice. They tried to create their own questions and information campaigns for public consultation. In particular, the following topics were raised during the problem solving. It is the arrangement of beach areas along the river Seret, the issues of development of sports infrastructure, tourist attractiveness and identification of the region. We hope this meeting is not the last. Such trainings are the first step towards fruitful cooperation and implementation of joint projects in the future.
Novomykolaivka (Kherson region)
“Wheat’s Pereveslo” is a district festival of folk art that took place on September 7th in the village of Novomykolaivka, Skadovsky district, Kherson region. The festival was attended by creative groups and public organizations from different parts of Kherson region.
The master classes were conducted by masters from Skadovsk, Kherson, neighboring UTC, as an example of cohesion and exchange of experience and talents. Local groups showed Ukrainian clothes, cuisine, of course, sang favorite Ukrainian songs. Non-governmental organizations have prepared a place called “Open Space”. Here participants of the event were able to receive informational booklets from different NGOs.
– We are used to communicating with the residents of Kherson region during information hours, conducting trainings and actions. However, we also join creative festivals. It is easy to activate citizens during cultural events and creative projects, because culture is a part of each of us. This festival showed us what wonderful people and traditions we have. Also, it showed that we do not have indifferent people. Just everyone is differently active, – says regional coordinator of AI “Active Community” Valentina Ponomarenko.
Representatives of AI “Active Community” have considerable experience of holding actions, they decided to ask the guests and participants about their wishes for the community of Novomykolaivka or Kherson region. The participants spoke not only wishes for Kherson region, but also wishes for whole people of Ukraine. In general, they wanted prosperity and success, God’s grace and love for one another.
They also wanted hard-working neighbors, community cohesion, interesting circles, and the kids wished for less lessons. One of the wishes is a working airport in Skadovsk, so that you can travel more comfortably in Ukraine.
On the verge of summer and autumn, namely, on August 31st and September 1st, the mighty Khortytsia Freedom Festival was opened in Zaporizhzhia. This year, the participants of the festival were also waiting for the Public Organizations Avenue (GROWMADA). There are stands and tents of about 20 NGOs. Each of them in a creative and interactive form offered the guests of the festival to get acquainted with their activities.
Our team had many interesting ideas. Initially, our activists invited guests to solve an “active crossword” with the code message “indifference kills” – this task was a part of a large common quest.
– More than 100 people visited our tent. People were happy to draw, solve crossword puzzles and mark cities they visited on the map of Ukraine. We were approached by residents of Zaporozhye and guests from other areas. Many participants emphasized the importance of such initiatives. And they wanted to know more about our activities, – says the regional coordinator of AI “Active Community” Anna Eremenko.
In addition, the team offered visitors a space for creativity. On the first day of the festival guests could mark the cities they visited on the map of Ukraine and connect them with a red thread. After all, the whole country was covered with lace of paths and human love. The purpose of this experiment was to show how closely connected Ukrainians are, and Ukraine is inseparable, from East to West. During the second day, the participants were able to join in creating another map of Ukraine. Namely, write wishes to your country and think about how you can make them a reality.
Our team was very pleased with the fruitful work in the circle of friends, and also passed the quest from other organizations. You can say that the Alley has become a good playground for networking.
The Institute “Republica” collects data and analyzes the reports of local deputies each year. During April – July 2019 our team analyzed the reports of regional deputies from 22 local councils. Among them there are 13 regional centers and 9 cities of regional and district importance.
On September 3, in the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, our team presented the results of the analysis of reports of local council deputies for 2018.
Reporting is a duty for deputies to perform annually. The local government is obliged to assist the deputies in the organization of meetings. According to the Law of Ukraine “About Status of Deputies of Local Councils” (Article 16), the deputy must inform in 7 days, where the meeting with voters will take place. At this meeting there is a direct “informing” of voters about the work.
– From the poll conducted by the National Democratic Institute in December 2018, we know that people very much expect political parties to report on their promises. 95% of the 11,000 respondents have chosen this answer. But only 12 parties out of 33 report on their election promises. And only 7 reported about their failed, – said Olexandra Glizhynska, executive director of the Institute “Republic “.
Of the 1009 deputies only 565 published their reports on local councils’ sites, which is 56% of the total. The source of information for the research was the official city councils websites.
100% of the deputies of the council reported in only 2 cities: Zinkov (Poltava region) and Kramatorsk (Donetsk region). It should be noted that all deputies of these two cities reported to voters last year too. There are 4 other cities where the results are close to ideal. Skadovsk – 96.15%, Yuzhne – 96.15%, Lviv – 95.31% and Uzhgorod – 94.44%.
It is important for deputies to understand foremost that reporting is an opportunity to continue to be elected to the local council and represent the community there.
You can read more about the analysis of reports of local councilors for 2018 on our site.
Prague (Czech Republic)
In cooperation with the ADRA (Czech Republic) project “Strengthening Civil Society in Governance, Communications, Fundraising and PR in Ukraine”, an educational visit representatives of the Institute “Republicа” to Prague took place.
The purpose of the stay of Ukrainians in the Czech Republic was to exchange best practices and experiences. The participants got acquainted with the activities of almost all ADRA structural departments in the Czech Republic. They received information about project and crisis management, learned how the fundraising and financing process, who is involved in PR, how ADRA collaborates with other NGOs.
– Such trips, which aim to share international experiences, bring many benefits and inspiration. We were able to see ADRA best practices in project management, PR, fundraising, volunteering. Despite the fact that civil society in the Czech Republic is much more developed, we are dealing with similar problems in Ukraine. I sincerely admire the important and necessary work that ADRA is doing in different corners of the world, ”said exchange participant Victoria Orysyuk.
One of the differences with ADRA is that it implements projects both domestically and internationally. For example, providing assistance and support to children from African countries. In Ukraine, it provides assistance to residents in eastern Ukraine.
The program also included meeting with representatives of other nonprofit organizations, visiting a nursing home and a charity shop. Volunteering in the Czech Republic is widespread not only among civic organizations, but also among ordinary citizens. It is customary for them to visit homes for the elderly, orphanages. If they do not help these institutions financially, they spend a lot of time just talking to the people who are in them.
The training will be remembered not only by visitors, but also by all ADRA staff, for whom this meeting gave an opportunity to enrich the experience.
We thanks Czech colleagues for their invitation and hospitality!