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 PUBLICATIONS -- Our partners

“LOCOMOTIVE”- a pilot project for improved local communication and transparency in Ukraine

    Proposal submitted by FORUM SYD and SALA IDA AB to Sida, Region Europe
    March 2007
    Application for inception phase funding
    In its capacity as lead partner Forum Syd hereby applies for a Sida funding intended to cover the inception phase of the “LOCOMOTIVE” project.
    The project, which shall be seen as a complement to Forum Syd’s ongoing Advocacy Program, will run as a pilot, addressing two different geographical areas of Ukraine. While the Advocacy Program has been successful in stimulating cooperation between NGOs and in improving their lobby work towards authorities this project is expected to also improve the cooperation between Local Authorities (LA) and NGOs. If proven effective the intention of the two Swedish project partners - Forum Syd and SALA IDA - is to apply the same approach in other areas of Ukraine. The timeframe of the pilot project is calculated at 18 months, out of which 5 months is intended to cover the inception phase.
    The project will include assessments of vital areas within the responsibility of local authorities (LAs) and proposals for improvement of public information and communication in chosen target areas. Assessments will be made from the perspectives of LAs and citizens, the latter part represented by nongovernmental organisations (NGOs).
    More specifically, the pilot project will include research, identification and subsequent launch of exchange of transparent, systematic and effective communication methods. The main local stakeholders of the project are NGOs and LAs in the Dneprovsky region of Kiev city and Donetsk city. Final beneficiaries are the citizens of the respective two localities and primarily those being affected by improvements in public information and communication, and as a consequence certain elements of service delivery. Other beneficiaries include Belarusian representatives of NGOs and LAs, who are going to be invited to participate on observer basis.
    In order to bring in other perspectives during the implementation phase there also will be involvement of relevant participants from a newly adopted EU member country. The pilot project will be further enforced by the involvement of twinning programmes, managed by the two Swedish project partners.
    Table of content
    1. Introduction 4
    2. Project initiation and development 6
    3. Pilot project outline 8
    4. Sustainability 13
    5. Project partners and roles 15
    6. Budget for inception phase 17
    Appendix 1. Letter of Intent
    Appendix 2. Budget
    Appendix 3. List of participants at seminars and meetings in Kiev and Donetsk
    1. Introduction
    The concluding chapter of the UN study “Voices of the poor” points towards communication mechanisms between civic society and governments as an important way to battle poverty.
    “Many countries are introducing radical decentralization in attempts to create accountable and responsive governments. Community-driven development is increasingly being adopted by governments and international development agencies. Neither will work effectively unless local social relations are understood and methods are found to co-opt the rich to support the poor – or at least to minimize their negative impact on poor communities. Developing local organizational capacity requires facilitators who work with poor men and women to inform them about programs, rules, and assets. Poor people need to be organized to demand local-level transparency and accountability. This process may also require protection from punitive actions taken by the local elite. So far, governments and most development assistance have focused on the rules, resources and capacity of the formal systems of governance, and not on mechanisms to build the capacity of poor women and men to participate in local governance and to demand local level transparency and accountability. There are promising examples of projects that invest in local organizers and organizations by the poor, unlock information about budgets and wages and put them in the public domain, and develop government procedures that deliver timely assistance without distorting local priorities.”
    “In Ukraine, the unemployed said that the humiliation experienced at the unemployment office was ‘designed to chase the unemployed away.’”
    From the project partners’ perspective effective governance is based on democratic and efficient institutions and processes that determine how power is exercised, how citizens can make themselves heard (and listened to) and how decisions are made on issues of public concern. Furthermore, the development of a democratic society rests to a large extent on the ability to involve the citizen in a dialogue with political decision-makers.
    Contradictory to the above “ideal” situation of public participation, Ukraine shows substantial gaps in how public opinion and participation is mirrored in local governance. In order to initiate a process of strengthening public participation, there is a need to facilitate and enable the access to basic information - information of utmost importance concerning citizens´ rights, main legislative acts and possibilities for citizens to execute their rights properly.
    Furthermore, there is a lack of basic and comprehensive communication and information regarding issues that concern the Ukrainian citizens on a daily basis. Some examples of this can be taken from “Context Analysis Ukraine”, carried out for Forum Syd 2006 by domestic experts. In chapter 2, Democracy and Human Rights, part 2.3 Opportunities given to citizens for participation, following findings are given in the recent survey.
    “Transparency and access to public information is a very important tool in order to enable citizen participation. In spite of the fact that the mechanism of public hearings on different issues is very popular and used in almost 70% of local self-governments, as well as there are possibilities for CSOs to participate in Parliament Hearings that are organised several times every year on different topics, the access to public information is in general still very limited. Results of research of how local government, especially on local level, distribute information conducted by Ukrainian Centre for Political Research held in February 2006, shows that only 58% of necessary information was placed on web-sites of oblast councils and administrations. Futhermore, this information usually concerns the structure, people in charge, days and hours of meetings, list of laws and by-laws, which regulates their activities, seldom information really necessary for citizens - in 76% of the cases the web-sites lacked information on how citizens could appeal, the order and procedures for complaints. In 32% of the web-sites it was difficult to find any list of social institutions and/or services they provide to citizens as well as a list of taxes and duties. In 34,7% of the web-sites there was no information on the process of registration and licensing of entrepreneurial activities. This means that in order to get this information citizens need to make a lot of efforts, which also decreases the level of trust and confidence in government and officials.”
    Another area of interest is the budgeting process. In a lot of cases state and regional budgets are terra incognita to NGOs and citizens. Mechanisms for civil society participation and monitoring of the budgeting process need to be developed.
    Several initiatives to support the development of local democracy have been taken but results so far seem to be meagre. This might be due to concepts and approaches of different initiatives. As this initiative is based on equal influence by authorities and NGOs, on needs assessment and subsequent joint development of measures to be taken we believe that it in itself carries a democratic approach that will strengthen the qualifications needed for a successful result.
    2. Project initiation and development
    The Orange Revolution was an important step towards a stronger democracy. However, many more steps need to be taken in order to create an open Ukrainian society characterized by public awareness, transparency and government accountability. Today only a few examples of coherent work on these issues seem to be ongoing on the local level in Ukraine. Out of these the World Bank project “People’s Voice” has some similarities to the ”Locomotive” project when it comes to involving both LAs and NGOs. However, “People’s Voice” in its initial phase had to give much attention to building NGO coalitions and capacity training in the four cities of its activities. According to project reports this has affected the progress and the intended work plan of the project. Compared to this, the “Locomotive” project has a favourable starting position in being able to work with existing NGO coalitions being involved in advocacy program work since 2004. The “Locomotive” project will initiate contacts with ”People’s Voice” as well as other relevant projects for sharing experiences.
    Based on the findings about existing needs and projects through discussions with Ukrainian partner organizations, the following activities for launch in Ukraine evolved:
    1) Facilitation and management of a system of mechanisms for analysing needs and rights to be met, involving both LAs and civil society actors, in order to improve governance and service delivery of LAs. In this the project wants to stimulate a close cooperation between the LAs and local NGOs as layman experts and representatives for the citizens.
    2) Facilitation and management of exchange of experience and methods between Swedish, Lithuanian/Latvian and Ukrainian LAs and local NGOs in order to adopt and launch durable solutions for improved local communication and transparency.
    Through the above activities the project partners aim to make LAs better understand the rights and needs of the citizens and how measures can be taken that are in line with both citizens´ rights and possibilities of access to information and support. Special emphasis will be put on involving NGOs representing marginalized groups. Forum Syd’s assessment concludes that youth and women often are underrepresented in decision-making processes and thus efforts will be made to ensure their equal participation.
    Existing network
    Within the framework of Forum Syd Advocacy Program a good basis of cooperation between authorities and NGOs has been established in Kiev and Donetsk. The project partners’ ambition is to strengthen this cooperation and stimulate it by active local partnership in the pilot project. In Kiev the work will be done on rayon level and in Donetsk on city level. This will probably raise somewhat different perspectives of the issues to be put on the agenda of the project. As the cooperation so far has been fortunate we believe it will give some added advantages to the program work to also focus on the LAs and thus enforce LAs’ ownership and the development of sustainable mechanisms. During the project period of 18 months it should be possible to judge whether similar concepts in other areas of Ukraine could be set up. If so, it should imply a chance to build a network of LAs and NGOs which might initiate some lobby activities for a more coherent development attempt on the issues in focus.
    Target group
    As discussed during the development of this project proposal the target groups of the pilot project will be:
    1) Local politicians, women and men, in positions where they can strongly influence and decide on subject area policies as well as on communication policies.
    2) Local public servants, women and men, in positions where they put subject area policies into practise and decide on communication methods.
    3) NGO representatives, women and men, active in organisations with special know how and experience in subject areas focused in the pilot project.
    Recent visit
    In February 2007, Forum Syd and SALA IDA visited LAs and NGOs in Kiev and Donetsk for discussing the project concept and for final assessment of interest in participating in the pilot. The visits were carried out in the form of 2 seminars and 2 meetings in the Kyiv and Donetsk areas. The participants at these seminars and meetings presented their organisations and shared some thoughts on current problems and challenges from their respective perspectives. The meetings ended with commitments to the project through the signing of a letter of intent (see appendix 1) which states the dedication of the 4 Ukrainian project partners.
    3. Pilot project outline
    Overall objective and specific objectives
    The overall objective is:
    • To support the development of mechanisms working with issues of public participation in local decision-making processes in Ukraine.
    The overall objective will be attained through achieving the following specific objectives:
    • Well functioning methods for delivering and raising public awareness of the right to official information have been identified and implemented.
    • Well functioning methods for official information on legislation and local decision-making have been identified and implemented.
    • Relevant and sustainable areas of cooperation between LAs and NGOs have been identified and cooperation has been implemented.
    • Identification of a number of local governance areas that will form the basis for twinning and exchange of best practice between Ukrainian, Swedish municipalities and NGOs.
    • Well functioning methods for cooperation between LAs and NGOs in identified areas have been identified and established.
    Project phases, activities and outputs
    The pilot project is preliminary planned to have three phases. The phases are briefly described below, with emphasis on the inception phase. This application only applies to the 1st phase, the inception.
    1st phase (inception)
    Activities Outputs
    First seminar: Project launch. o Joint understanding of objectives, methods, activities, milestones, expectations by all partners in the project
    o Minutes from seminar and meetings
    Needs assessment of LAs and NGOs to be done in Kiev and Donetsk through problem analysis. o Survey methodology and survey format
    o Collection of surveys and qualitative summaries of interviews with NGOs and LAs in target areas
    o “Problem tree”
    Identification of potential cooperation methods between LAs and NGOs on local governance areas of special relevance and interest through SWOT analysis. o Inventory of challenges as perceived by NGOs and LAs in Dneprovsky rayon of Kiev city and Donetsk city
    o Identification of pertinent twinning themes of NGO’s and municipalities
    o “Objectives Tree”
    o SWOT analysis
    Identification of experts and planning of second seminar for exchange of experience on local governance methods. In order to provide input to the analysis in the second seminar, Swedish mechanisms and policies for civic-public cooperation will be exemplified.
     o List of experts and topics for second seminar
    o Agenda for the 2nd seminar
    Second seminar: Presentations of problem and objectives trees, discussion around SWOTs, prioritisations, joint planning, best practice experience, training and exchange of experience, documentation, assessment of results, conclusions. o Inception report: LFA, project plan and budget for the implementation of the pilot project.
    o Prioritized subject areas to address in phases 2 and 3
    2nd phase (preliminary)
    Activities Outputs
    o Identification of experts and planning of third seminar for exchange of experience. To be specified in inception report
    o Third seminar: Presentations, training and exchange of experience, documentation, assessment of result, conclusions. To be specified in inception report
    3rd phase (preliminary):
    Activities Outputs
    o Study visits to Sweden and/or other participating country for study of best practices in public awareness raising and public dialogue (and other areas of interest). To be specified in inception report
    o Fourth seminar: Assessment of results, conclusions, documentation. To be specified in inception report
    o Preliminary report: Round table meeting for joint conclusions. To be specified in inception report
    o Final report and recommendations for rollout of project methods and activities. To be specified in inception report
    Further comments on the inception phase activities:
    o The first seminar is intended to give all participants information about the other partners, an overview of possible ways of carrying out the pilot project and the result should be a joint understanding of objectives to be reached and methods and activities to be applied in order to reach the objectives. Above all the seminar will focus on identification of the most important subject areas to deal with in the project work. This will, as in all the project work, be seen from both the perspective of the local authorities and from the perspective of NGOs, representing the local citizens. A list will be compiled, agreed to by both NGOs and authorities, and representatives from both sides will be appointed spokesmen in the needs assessment to be done.
    o Needs assessment will be done through in-depth interviews with representatives of LAs (politicians and public servants) and NGOs (see above). The interviews will mirror the important parts both right protectors and right bearers will see in a specific area, for instance the area of social service, identify existing problems in service delivery as well as existing information on the rights of citizens within the specific subject area and accessible information about ways of service delivery in the subject area. Approximately 20 persons will be interviewed in each project locality, out of which 10 will be representing LAs (politicians and public servants) and 10 representing NGOs.
    o Identification of potential cooperation methods between LAs and NGOs: this will be conducted in accordance with the jointly formulated priority given to the most important areas to deal with in the project work. The priority given will give the answer to which NGOs should be more closely involved in the cooperation with LAs. A direct discussion between those NGOs and the LAs (politicians and public servants with special responsibility in respective areas) would be recommended.
    o In conjunction with the identification of cooperation methods there will be identification of relevant central organisations that can be made responsible for the dissemination of results on a national level. This will mean preparations in the form of interviews with associations of local authorities as well as other organisations that have a keen interest and dedication to disseminating the project methods and results. Also, other donor-funded organisations will be visited in order to understand how experiences and/or methods can be drawn to benefit the work of the pilot project. The inception report will include a communication and marketing strategy based on meetings on research during the inception.
    o Identification of experts and planning of second seminar: in order to provide input to the analysis in the second seminar, Swedish mechanisms and policies for civic-public cooperation will be exemplified. This will mean identifying Swedish and perhaps other LA and NGO representatives with good skills and experience in the topics that will be on the agenda. It is estimated that 1-2 topics could be on the agenda of each seminar.
    Based on previous experiences we find it important to activate the learning points and methods exchange points in between meetings. Therefore the project partners will identify methods for stimulating activities during periods leading up to meetings and seminars. This will be brought up for discussion during the first two seminars and in needs assessments.
    The seminars will be based on interaction between participants with input from exchange of experience, working in different set ups of groups according to the subject or issue in focus. Various methods such as participatory LFA planning and SWOT will be used.
    The needs assessments will be conducted as in-depth interviews according to a specified agenda, leaving room for personal comments and suggestions. Needs assessment will be done in 2 weeks time plus time for reporting.
    The timeframe of the inception phase is estimated to be 5 months .
    The first seminar is planned for May and the second for October, 2007.
    Documentation will be conducted throughout the projects, meaning careful documentation and evaluation of seminars, needs assessment and methods from the inception phase. Monitoring and commenting on methods, achievements and results will be transparent and dissemination of marketing project information will be sought also outside the project partner organisations. The inception report will embrace the aforementioned and make recommendations on the implementation phase.
    We believe that the concept of an inception phase will facilitate the cooperation at large as well as the identification of needs. This process will also help the project partners to deliver effective results and reaching project objectives.
    4. Sustainability
    Double-pronged approach to institution-building
    This pilot project suggests an approach that involves both representatives of the civil society and of decision-making power in the Ukraine. Bringing NGOs and LAs together, followed by formulation of challenges of respective side, and subsequent joint prioritisation of target challenges, could create effective forms of cooperation. Such cooperation will be based on local challenges and ways to battle these, for improvement of the society at the local level. The pilot project will also support development of policies and methods for transparency and communication in general, and methods for cooperation within prioritized sector-related topics in particular. The involvement of a central Ukrainian organisation would help increase the dissemination effects of project results and methods, thereby strengthening the impact and sustainability of the project. The inception period will clarify which organisation(s) that best meet(s) the criteria for dissemination; an association of local authorities, and/or an association of NGOs, or other.
    Municipal partnership programme
    The pilot project is a project involving only a few municipalities in order to test the concept and its methods among a limited number of participants before a roll-out is initiated among a greater number of organisations and to a greater geographical area. In order to successfully reinforce the municipalities two twinning programmes will be offered for the participants. The Municipal partnership programme, and the Forum Syd Advocacy programme, both serve as important complementary programmes in order to effectively reinforce the international influences and ideas for method development for Ukrainian NGOs and LAs .
    Extension of existing Advocacy Program
    The pilot project is an extension of Forum Syd´s Advocacy program that has been running for two years already in Ukraine (and Belarus). During these years cooperation has been initiated between about 20 local and national NGOs, forming coalitions in Kiev and in Donetsk (as well as in Minsk and Lida in Belarus). Cooperation between NGOs and LAs has also been initiated and LAs look upon the progress of each coalition with respect and appreciation. The Kiev coalition has for example been successful in initiating new legislation for homeless people.
    The program gives large space for initiatives to the coalitions and their members as long as ambitions and plans are in line with the overall aim for the program. Local program officers coordinate the work and give support, no other structures are in place for the work which is characterized by much flexibility and local ownership. Through the program Forum Syd also tries to stimulate more partnership projects between Swedish and Ukrainian NGOs (as well between Sweden and Belarus respectively Belarus and Ukraine).
    For the pilot project Forum Syd has the ambition to involve partners from a new EU member state (Lithuania/Latvia) with whom we had a long and successful cooperation during the 90s´.
    5. Project participants and roles
    Forum Syd
    Forum Syd is the lead partner of the project and will take the overall responsibility of reporting on project progress and budget to Sida. Forum Syd’s role will focus on the NGO role in the project embracing also contacts with third-party partners (Lithuania or Latvia). Responsibilities for parts of the project will be shared with SALA IDA according to respective natural competence of the partner organisations. Forum Syd’s local program consultants in Donetsk and Kyiv will take care of the practical arrangements.
    SALA IDA is the Swedish partner organization, and will in its capacity as representing Swedish local authorities and regions in international development cooperation be assisting Forum Syd in the management of the project, especially with regard to the planning and implementation of LA-activities. SALA IDA will be actively involved from the start, during the research and interviews in the inception phase, as well as throughout the planning and implementation of seminars and exchange activities. SALA IDA manages the “Municipal partnership” programme, which will be used in order to further strengthen the project’s learning points and skills development.
    The Ukrainian partners consist of NGOs and LAs, see further in Letter of Intent, signed by the local partners. The NGOs taking part in the Advocacy program formed two local coalitions in 2004 and have been working together since then. Cooperation with LAs has also been going on for considerable time.
    New EU member organisations
    The Lithuanian/Latvian partner is to be involved following the inception phase. The role of the organisation is to share experience and methods of cooperation between local authorities and the civil sector. The experience from the newly adopted EU-member is important in order to fill in the road-map for Ukrainian efforts in making transparency part of the work towards better conditions for the citizens.
    Representatives of the NGO coalitions of Minsk and Lida will participate as monitoring organisations. The intension is to share the experience from the pilot project and, if possible, initiate the same type of cooperation with LAs in Belarus. According to Forum Syd representatives in Belarus this seems possible to achieve.
    Appendix 3
    Meetings in Ukraine, 5 – 7 February 2007
    Participants at meeting with the Dneprovsky administration in the city of Kyiv, 6 February 2007
    Name Title
    1. Olexandr Sotnykov Head of the Dneprovsky administration
    2. Oleg Spornykov Head of the committee on local self-government and cooperation with civil society, member of the council
    3. Lybomyr Chorniy Deputy head
    4. Yurijy Say Advisor on the development of the cooperation with business
    5. Kseniya Prokonova Specialist of the investment department
    6. Lidya Gusina First deputy head
    7. Olexey Zinovyev Head of the information department
    Participants at meeting with NGO Coalition of Kiev
    Name Organisation
    1. Kseniya Prokonova Association of civil initiatives support „Kovcheg”
    2. Oleg Spornykov- Member of Dneprovsky district Council Rule of Law Foundation
    3. Lyubomir Chorniy Centre of civil expertise
    4. Tatyana Bojko Civil network
    5. Oksana Mysnyk Charitable Foundation Counterpart Creative Center
    6. Lyubov Palyvoda Management System International
    7. Yuriy Say NGO Civil Chamber of Kyiv City
    8. Lyudmila Akhidzhanyan ARD «European Partnership”
    9. Volodymyr Kozak Association of ex-prisoners
    10. Elena Vinigradova Coalition of HIV-service NGOs
    11. Sergey Botvin Harm Reduction Association
    12. Viktor Taran – member of Darnitsky District Council
     “Center of Political Studies and Analytics”
    13. Olexandr Kovalenko – Member of Desnyansky District Council
    Elena Medvedeva “Center of Political Studies and Analytics”
    14. Alexandr Shevchenko Civil Initiative Group
    Meeting with Maksim Rovinskij, Head of Donetsk city administration of public relations, advisor of the Mayor of Donetsk. Unfortunately the Mayor was in hospital but had authorized Mr Rovinskij to sign the Letter of Intent.
    Participants at meeting with NGO Coalition in Donetsk city, 6 February 2007
    Name Organisation
    1. Dmitrij Koval Centre of social partnerships (Tsentr’ Sotsialnogo Partnerstva)
    2. Tverezaja Natalja APP “Donbass”
    3. Levtjenko Ekaterina APP “Donbass”
    4. Grishin Oleg DOO BGO KBY
    5. Bukalov Aleksandr “Donetskij Memorial’”
    6. Strjok Tatjana VVF “Nash dom Ukraina”
    7. Trudenko Dmitrij VVF “Nash dom Ukraina”
    8. Torovaja M
    9. Stroj Tatjana Donetskij Press-Klub
    10. Shejgus Vladimir Vostochno-Ukrainskij Resursinvest Tsentr ”Sotsijalnoe partnerstva”
    11. Rogalin Jakov Fond ”Dobrata”
    12. Pladosjeva Tatjana Associatsija ”Sotsijalna-ekonomicheskaya strategija i partnerstva”

Publication of 05 11, 2007.

Supported by Eurasia Foundation Supported by Eurasia Foundation