Cities with ambitious heads, who care about reputation, develop faster, - expert
Decentralisation continues in Ukraine, and there appear many resources on the ground. The conversation with Taras Sluchyk, expert of the Institute of Political Education and specialist on the prevention of corruption at the local level, concerns the place of transparency, accountability and activism in this process.
- Is the decentralisation process successful in Ukraine, in your opinion?
- Decentralisation is one of the most successful reforms initiated in Ukraine! It really changes the lives of citizens "here and now", especially in the rural areas. The residents of amalgamated hromadas across the country have already experienced and seen positive effects in a few months after amalgamation. And cities of oblast significance, for the first time, have the budget for the implementation of hromada development projects, and not just funds for "consumption".
- What challenges do you see in this process?
- Now, for development projects to be effective, high-quality perspective planning and control over their implementation are required. Another challenge for local self-government and hromada members is an effective control over the use of hromada funds.
- The transparency ranking (Transparency International Ukraine, within which the transparency of the 100 largest cities of Ukraine is assessed) describes 13 domains – is there any regularity in the indicators?
- I think there are 3 regularities. Cities are moving faster and have higher scores, if:
Firstly: the mayor and his/her team have political ambitions at the national level and take care of the city’s and his/her reputation;
Secondly: there is an active hromada that constantly suggests solutions to the mayor’s office and deputies, and controls them;
Thirdly: there is a political competitiveness.
- How can an average citizen make changes? Where to go and where to start from?
- It is necessary to unite neighbours and raise important issues, which will be used by many residents – reconstruction of the park, publication of a list of buildings that can be leased, fair procedures for examining land issues, etc.
- What are the three best practices of transparency that you tend to talk about at each workshop and put them as an example?
- First of all, this is a new Lviv geoportal, which allows to apply layers with different information. There is also an online map on status of citizens’ appeals on the problems in houses of the Communal Enterprise "MIUK" in Ivano-Frankivsk. And thirdly, it is an open data portal of the Drohobych Town Council.
Author: Alina Kobenko
The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE
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