DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE FOR ADVOCATING LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN UKRAINE PROJECT (DIALOGUE)
The goal of the DIALOGUE is to advance decentralisation in Ukraine. The project will create and widen the environment for local government reforms and will ensure a broad-based support for decentralization from Ukrainian public servants, civil society organizations, and the public at large.
DIALOGUE is expected to achieve the following objectives:
- Improved legal framework for effective and transparent local self-governance.
- Effective policy dialogue between local governments and their partners at the national and regional levels.
- Increased public support of local government reforms.
- Improved legal culture and effectiveness of local government bodies.
At the local level, DIALOGUE will work with the 600 AUC member cities, towns, villages. At the regional level, the Project will cooperate with oblast state administrations and oblast councils. At the national level, DIALOGUE will cooperate with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the State Executive paying special attention to the two key line ministries, namely: the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities and the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. The Project will also build and foster partner relations with national and regional media. It will cooperate with other USAID-funded activities and with other donors in the field of local self-governance in Ukraine.
To achieve its purpose and objectives the Project will be implemented under the four Components:
· Legal Framework: DIALOGUE will draft and lobby for legislation to secure sectoral reforms and decentralization. These activities will be based on local governments needs and will be implemented with direct participation of local government officials. The Project will perform expert evaluation of the draft legislation with regard to its conformity to the European Charter of Local Self-Governance.
· Policy Dialogue: DIALOGUE will create and implement tools for effective policy dialogue between local and central governments in order to secure the common vision of needed reforms. At the national level, the Project will provide local government officials with regular access to the top management of key line ministries, Verkhovna Rada standing committees and other central government authorities and will ensure their participation in advisory and consultative bodies set up by government entities. At the regional level, the Project has created regional advisory boards in all 25 oblasts of Ukraine to become a forum for discussions of AUC members, oblast state administrations and oblast council representatives on issues of local importance.
· Fostering public support for reforms: DIALOGUE will substantially expand AUC outreach and communications activities and will produce and disseminate expert materials and messages to the target audiences – local and central governments, local government support organisations, mass media and the general public. Through an expanded, more targeted, and more integrated AUC outreach and communications program, DIALOGUE will increase both top-down and bottom-up support for its positions, and ensure that the political will for reforms that are currently lacking is summoned.
· Legal assistance and protection: DIALOGUE will provide local governments officials with professional consultations and tools for professional development. The Project will track and make public cases of harassment of local government officials and provide high quality legal defence and counselling.
Project purpose and objectives
The overall purpose of the DIALOGUE project is to advance decentralization in Ukraine.
Specifically, it will help to:
- formulate, comment on and advocate for the passage and implementation of decentralization legislation;
- promote an effective dialogue between local governments and rayon and oblast administrations;
- educate policymakers, civil society and the general public on the importance of decentralization in improving governance, quality municipal service delivery and economic development;
- provide more legal aid to local governments and local government officials.
The Project will have four components - Legal Framework, Policy Dialogue, Public Support for Reforms, and Legal Assistance and Protection- that correspond to specific problems identified above.