“While some hromadas are thinking over reasonability of amalgamation... AHs are reaping benefits of the reform,” Vyacheslav Nehoda comments on decentralisation monitoring

MinRegion has published new data of the Monitoring of the Decentralisation Process and Local Self-Government Reform (DOWNLOAD). As of 10 August 2019, 936 amalgamated hromadas (AHs) have been formed in Ukraine, 55 of which await the CEC's decision to appoint the first local elections on their territories. The total number of AHs includes those formed with centres in cities of oblast significance – 75 territorial hromadas joined 34 cities ofoblast significance. Another 6 such cities have begun the process of adjoining nearby hromadas.

Dynamics of AH formation ( * - in comparison with the previous month)

(by number of AHs, population in AHs (mln people), area of AHs (thousand sq km)

The Ministry named the top five regions in the rating of capable hromadas’ formation, namely the Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts. The Zakarpattia, Kirovohrad, Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Lviv Oblasts occupy the last places of the rating.

 

Oblasts' rating in terms of capable AH formation 

20 rayons in Ukraine are by 100% covered with amalgamated hromadas. The territories of 158 rayons are covered by AHs at the level of more than 50%. Another 199 rayons are covered by 1-49%. The number of rayons with no AHs established so far has slightly decreased. There are 88 of them. Most of such rayons – 14 – are in the Kharkiv Oblast; 11 – in the Odesa Oblast; 10 – in the Kirovohrad Oblast; 9 – in the Kyiv Oblast; 7 – in the Zakarpattia Oblast; and 6 – in the Vinnytsia, Donetsk and Kherson Oblasts each.

Hromadas' amalgamation within the rayon boundaries

However, amalgamation of hromadas, as MinRegion emphasises, is only one of many stages of the local self-government reform.

“While some hromadas are thinking over making changes, amalgamated hromadas are reaping the benefits of the reform and their work. For example, there are 168 Administrative Service Centres operating on their territories, including those with centres in the cities of oblast significance, many of which have remote workplaces in remote rural areas. This means that people do not need to overcome tens of kilometres to go to rayon or oblast centres to get certain services. Moreover, if necessary, the administrator can provide the service to the person at home. This story is not even about the number of ASCs or services, this story is about the quality and approach of services to people. Anyone who is still forced to receive such services in the rayon centre should ask a person who gets them in hromada about the difference,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services.

Decentralisation in the field of administrative service delivery (ASC established, ASC already operating, ASCs' distribution in terms of bodies that established them)

In addition, hub schools are being actively established in AHs. Today, there are 351 of them and 568 of their branches, with more than 157,000 pupils. About a thousand school buses have been purchased to bring children to hub institutions.

Decentralisation in education (hub schools' establishment in oblasts, including in AHs)

The number of hromadas that use another important development tool of hromadas’ cooperation has increased. Monitoring data indicates that 1,100 AHs have concluded 451 agreements on inter-municipal cooperation. This effective tool is most actively used in the Poltava and Vinnytsia Oblasts, and shows passivity in the Mykolayiv and Odesa Oblasts.

 

Cooperation of territorial hromadas (inter-municipal cooperation agreements concluded)

"We are not saying it is a lot or little. But again and again, we are drawing attention of all hromadas to the fact that they have a great opportunity to work with their neighbours to implement mutually beneficial projects that they will not introduce on their own. We must take advantage of the opportunities offered by the reform,” the First Deputy Minister said.

The Monitoring of the Decentralisation Process and Local Self-Government Reform also reflects the results of financial decentralisation, state support for regional and local development, implementation of the rural healthcare development programme and other data.

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V.Nehoda monitoring

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