Lviv serves as a platform for national dialogue on urban development, UN official says

10 Jul 2013

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UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Alessandra Tisot visited Lviv and met Bogdan Matolych, First Deputy Governor of Lviv Oblast State Administration,Vasyl Pisnyi, First Deputy Head of Lviv Oblast Council, Valeriy Pyatak, Deputy Head of Lviv Oblast Council and Mayor of Lviv Mr. Andriy Sadovyi.

Two large UNDP projects have been implemented in the Lviv region: the Municipal Governance and Sustainable Development Programme (MGSDP), financed jointly with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, which helps residents of cities and towns join their efforts in implementing micro-projects that solve local problems; and the Community Based Approach to Local Development Project (CBA), financed by the European Union, which operates in a similar way in rural areas. These projects have improved the lives of more than one hundred thousand of people in Lviv region.

Typically, the first priority in rural areas is ensuring that the local school, kindergarten or health clinic is more energy efficient. The second priority is water supply. Other initiatives include purchasing a school bus or equipment for local health clinics, or ensuring proper waste disposal. In urban settings, UNDP promotes the creation of associations of co-owners of apartment buildings and supports energy efficiency, water supply and sanitation projects.

Lviv municipality became a partner of MGSDP in November 2006. At the request of Lviv City Council, the project conducted a number of seminars for representatives of Apartment Building Co-owners Association (ACMHs). In 2010-2012 Lviv City Council, under support of UNDP/MGSDP, introduced the municipal services quality management system ISO 9001:2008, which made the City Council’s work more effective, efficient and transparent.

In 2012 UNDP, in partnership with the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA, Sweden), introduced the project Measuring the Rule of Law in Public Administration in Lviv. Within the project, city council administration assessed its own procedures and services in one of the most problematic spheres in Ukrainian cities – the housing sector – in light of the six commonly accepted principles derived from international and human rights law: legality, accessibility, the right to be heard, the right to appeal, transparency and accountability.

Community Based Approach to Local Development Project (CBA) has been working in Lviv Oblast since March 2008. To date 62 micro-projects that improved the lives of 74,000 local residents have been implemented in the region. Most of them solved local problems and improved energy efficiency, water supply and health care.

Oblast authorities have provided significant support during the second phase of CBA Project implementation. In Lviv region 12 out of 20 districts (rayons) have participated in CBA. The region has been selected as one of the six advance regions to pilot the energy efficiency component. In addition, it has received UNDP support in updating its regional energy strategy and training community members, local councils and rayon authorities officials. During floods that hit the Lviv Oblast in 2008 the project offered additional micro-project quota to the region. The Oblast is expected to receive support of approximately US $550,000 during the second stage of CBA Project implementation.

Meeting with Bogdan Matolych, First Deputy Governor of Lviv Oblast State Administration and Vasyl Pisnyi, First Deputy Head of Lviv Oblast Council, Alessandra Tissot commended Lviv Administration for the progress achieved by the Oblast in applying innovative approaches to local development.

Representatives of Lviv Oblast State Administration confirmed that civil society development and fostering leadership at the local level remain of key importance to the region. They highlighted the priorities for future cooperation with UNDP, in particular improving energy-efficiency and introduction of e-governance at the Oblast Council and State Administration.

Ms. Tisot thanked the Mayor and Lviv municipality for their commitment to promoting sustainable local development through engaging local communities and local authorities in partnership and participatory decision making.

“UNDP strongly promotes the involvement of citizens, civil society organisations and the private sector in development processes as their participation in the decision-making has been recognized as a key success factor in local development and the well-being of any country. In this regard, the Lviv experience is especially valuable for UNDP and other regions of Ukraine,”- underlined the UN official. “Lviv serves as a platform for national dialogue on urban development and establishing partnerships among the cities and towns of Ukraine”, she added.

The Mayor of Lviv pointed out the city’s priorities in cooperation with UNDP, in particular the introduction of e-governance, engaging citizens in local development through punlic debates and referenda, and addressing problem of drinking among young people.

“Life in Soviet times have taught many people to sit and wait until authorities will do something for them. However, the citizens themselves have to be the agents of collective change, and politicians have to understand their responsibility”- Mr.Sadovyi underlined.