Empowered local governments key to local development

03 Apr 2014

image

March 27, 2014—The second national Local Self-Government Forum in Lviv discussed the need for a local self-governance reform with a view to place the community in the centre of local policy and provide greater powers to local authorities in the areas of local development, local public finance, and urban development policies.  Particular attention was paid to the role of e-governance in improving the quality and efficiency of services delivery to people in Ukraine.

Supported by UNDP and other partners, the two-day event brought together over 120 participants representing the Government of Ukraine, local, regional and municipal authorities, international organizations and diplomatic missions as well as national and international experts on self-governance.

During the forum, UNDP shared its successful experience in promoting participatory local governance and decentralized management mechanisms in rural areas as part of its development projects, in particular ongoing EU-funded Community-based approach to Local Development and Smart Practices for Oversight by Non-State Actors on Administrative Service Provision Projects.

“People are at the centre of our local development work “, said Oksana Remiga, Senior Programme Manager at UNDP Ukraine. “We help make the voice of people, including of the most vulnerable, heard by engaging them in the development of their communities”.

Sergey Tcibitovskiy, Head of Legal Department of Secretariat Ukrainian Association of Regional and District Councils (UARDA), presented a web-based Knowledge Hub Portal (KHP), an online platform developed by UNDP and UARDA which fosters professional networking in the local government and development sector by helping people connect, share and learn from each other. In addition, practitioners, professionals, policy makers and academia in the field of e-governance connect and exchange best practices through the E-governance Portal.

Vitaly Zagainov, Deputy Chairman of the Lviv regional branch of the Association of Ukrainian Cities, highlighted the support provided by UNDP and EU in piloting a public monitoring of administrative services initiative in Lviv. He expressed hope that the similar initiatives started by 15 public organizations in 2014 in their cities can help ensure an effective dialogue between citizens and local governments on improving the quality of administrative services.

Participants of the forum developed a roadmap for the Government outlining a series of amendments to the legislation which are key to ensure efficient self-governance. They also highlighted the importance of engaging people and civil society organizations in discussing efficient mechanisms for a sustainable local development.