The state can report on decentralisation indicators, namely on the number of hromadas or areas covered by AHs, hundreds of hub schools or kindergartens, and kilometres of roads. Though assessment of Ukrainian citizens is more important for us as the reform is aimed at them, said Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, during the presentation of results of sociological studies carried out by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) and Social Indicators Centre at the request of the Council of Europe Programme “Decentralisation and Territorial Consolidation in Ukraine” in cooperation with the experts from the Council of Europe and MinRegion.
He emphasised two important indicators identified by the survey, that testify an increase in citizens' awareness of decentralisation and their perception of its results.
“The growing awareness and trust of citizens in decentralisation are the key indicators. 79% of Ukrainians already know that decentralisation takes place in the country. More than 50% of citizens feel positive changes, associated with this reform, in their lives. It is about both the AH residents and the whole Ukraine. These figures can be considered as a kind of public assessment of the actions of the state,” noted Hennadii Zubko.
Besides, the official called the growth of support for decentralisation by the residents of the east of the country as the principal outlook change. “The share of residents of the territories controlled by Ukraine in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, as well as in the Kharkiv Oblast, pointing out positive changes increased from 19 to 59% over two years. Decentralisation strengthens and sews the country together. This reform is a safeguard against separatism. We provide hromadas with powers and new management opportunities at the AH level, thus involving people in the process of making strategic decisions for the country,” the official said.
He also noted that these indicators are a public cross-section and a marker for the authorities in their further steps. “It allows us to understand the situation in development. Clarify and correct the course of reform. This is a way to attract public support and use its energy to make the necessary changes,” said Hennadii Zubko.
Within the framework of the all-Ukrainian study, the priority expectations of citizens include welfare increase – 51% and increase in the quality of service provision – 64%. Compared to 2016, the share of those pointing out improvements in the quality of service provision in their hromada increased from 25% to 28%.
The positive perception of changes by citizens in their settlement remains at a consistently high level. In 2015, 19% of respondents noticed the consequences of the reform, and already in 2017 this figure increased up to 43%. Another 18% have heard about planning of positive changes.
Surveys among residents of hromadas amalgamated in 2015 showed that, the share of those, who expect improvement of the situation in Ukraine as a result of the reform has grown from 42% to 51%. The share of those, who believe that reform will promote hromada development has increased from 50% to 54%,.
43% of AH residents noticed positive changes for the better in their settlements. Another 21% have heard about them. In general, as of the end of 2017, 64% of AH residents had either experienced improvement or were expecting it. The most positive expectations concern the repair and maintenance of roads, sidewalks (50% believe that the quality will improve) and landscaping (48%).
39% of the residents of AHs consider the pace of the decentralisation reform to be normal or rapid. For the hromadas amalgamated in 2015, this figure increased from 32 to 38% over the past year.
Positive expectations from the reform increased among the residents of AHs. Last year, 22% of respondents were expecting improvements in the administrative service provision. Currently, there are 40% of such respondents. 61% of AH residents support the process of hromadas’ amalgamation. The share of those, who generally support the process of AH establishment, increased from 55% to 63% among the residents who amalgamated in 2015.
Both surveys were prepared and implemented by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and Social Indicators Centre, at the request of the CoE Programme “Decentralisation and Territorial Consolidation in Ukraine” in cooperation and coordination with the Council of Europe experts, local self-government experts and MinRegion of Ukraine.
All-Ukrainian survey was conducted in three waves. Within each wave (2015, 2016 and 2017) over 2000 respondents were interviewed in all oblasts of Ukraine and in Kyiv (except for the Crimea and temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts). Taking into account the design effect of the sample, the statistical error is not more than 3.3%.
Within the framework of the survey of AH residents, two waves representing the adult population, permanently residing in the AH territory, were conducted. In 2017, the sample represented the population of AHs established during 2015-2016. 2000 interviews were conducted with respondents living in 200 AHs. The statistical error, taking into account the design effect of the sample, is not more than 3.3%.
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