The Kremenchuk Administrative Services Center (“ASC”) is arguably one of the best in Ukraine. Its practices have been considered the yardstick for its peers in other cities and regions to compare themselves to. As of October 2020, it provided 372 administrative services, and the ASC team are not stopping there. They are consistently improving and expanding the available functionality. This resulted in a fourfold increase in the annual customer traffic in the space of five years with 76,000 applications of citizens processed in 2015 versus 318,000 in 2019.
The Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance (PLEDDG) project, which is implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municpalities with the generous support of the Government of Canada, helped establish the Kremenchuk ASC and has been facilitating its growth for years. For instance, the Avtozavodsky District Office of the Kremenchuk ASC set up an additional workstation to issue biometric international passports. It was then that employees of the institution received a training themed “Quality Service. Managing Difficult Clients and Effective Communications”.
In 2020, the Kremenchuk ASC took its development to a new level, establishing Ukraine’s first professional training center for ASC personnel under PLEDDG auspices. The training space was equipped for comfortable in-person and remote training activities. PLEDDG experts supported the initiative across every implementation stage. It aims to raise the bar for administrative services in Poltava Region.
“Our work experience indicates that only a person who constantly studies and develops can be an ASC administrator. It is impossible to provide quality services otherwise. The Kremenchuk ASC has been hosting training activities regularly for a long time: for instance, every Wednesday we hold an hour-long morning class to apprise personnel of the most recent legislative amendments and other relevant issues relating to various aspects of administrative services. This has become a customary thing for our team. Over time, an idea crystallized that we could share our experience beyond our Center, so in 2018 we signed a cooperation agreement with the Poltava Reskilling and Professional Development Center for national and local government officials, personnel of state enterprises, institutions, and organizations (“Poltava RPDC”). Throughout 2018–2019, Poltava RPDC representatives conducted workshops in our offices, while our employees reciprocated by sharing their own experience providing administrative services by delivering practical classes mostly via Skype,” says Tetiana Pecherytsia, Director of the Kremenchuk Administrative Services Center.
Technical resources for professional training of ASC personnel – microphones, web camera, projector, screen, and essential components – were procured with PLEDDG financial support. Improvements were also made to software used to register training participants. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the significance of online communications increased dramatically in all areas. The new equipment enabled ASC personnel to quickly adapt to the new reality without any adverse impact on their performance, as they are able to hold webinars, video conferences, and other training activities in a comfortable and safe setting.
“In addition to the main office, Kremenchuk has two more ASC offices – in Kryukivsky and Avtozavodsky districts. Their administrators can now easily join online training activities, both internal and those for the broader audience. The new equipment gives one the impression that all participants are in the same room. We plan to shortly begin announcing some of our trainings via our Facebook profile so representatives of any other ASCs could tune in and receive useful info,” - Tetiana Pecherytsia says.
Training programs with certification and short-term training programs have been devised with the help of the Poltava RPDC for professional development of ASC personnel. The first cycle of online trainings as part of the “Public Policy and Normative Regulation of Administrative Services” program was successfully held in June, drawing over 100 participants. The new equipment was also used to hold a series of online trainings for Kremenchuk ASC personnel on the theme of “Prevention of Emotional and Professional Burnout”.
PLEDDG support for the development of the administrative services system is comprehensive and, among other things, involves active sharing of expertise. In 2018, Kremenchuk hosted an extensive two-day workshop for ASC directors from partner cities. PLEDDG also sponsored study tours to Poland and Estonia with a focus on best practices of e-government implementation. In early August 2020, ASC representatives from Ivano-Frankivsk, Vinnytsia, Zaporizhia, and Poltava regions visited Kremenchuk on a two-day study tour. The guests learned about the activities of the newly-created Professional Training Center, saw the Kremenchuk team at work, discussed development trends and challenges as well as models for providing public services and digitizing them. Some 40 representatives of ASCs from all across Ukraine joined the online discussion.
“I visited Kremenchuk for the first time. We have been cooperating with the Kremenchuk ASC for many years, and Tetiana Pecherytsia repeatedly invited us to visit. It was great to finally meet the team and work together. Along with representatives of other cities, we studied local experience and learned about the technologies used in the workflows. We saw beautifully equipped premises. Discussions focused a great deal of attention on the operations of the call center, delivery of social services, issuance of international passports and internal passports of Ukrainian citizens in the form of ID cards,” - says Bohdan Pytel, Director of the Ivano-Frankivsk Administrative Services Center.
Comprehensive support for ASC activities and development of the competencies of their personnel contribute to an overall improvement in the performance of local government agencies as they implement open governance. Loyalty among residents toward public institutions is growing thanks to quality and transparent administrative services. The newly-created training center in Kremenchuk will not only help Poltava Region administrators to grown professionally but will also become the first building block of the modern model of professional training for ASC teams and facilitate the implementation of the mechanism of continuing education for public officials all over Ukraine.
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