Community Based Approach to Local Development
Tuesday, 09 June 2009

UNDP supports exchange of best practices in local self-governance between Eastern and Western Ukraine

Kirovske, Artemivsk (Donetsk Region) 4-5 June: Around 20 local councillors from Western Ukraine cities have visited Kirovske and Artemivsk municipalities during the East-West exchange visit organised by UNDP-led "Municipal Governance and Sustainable Development Programme" with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The mayors and local councillors learned the experience of Kirovske in establishing Federation of Associations of Co-Owners of Multi-Apartment Buildings, local policies for establishing the effective owner of residential property and examples of corporate social responsibility at the local level

Kirovske municipality is one of the most active and successful partners of UNDP-led "Municipal Governance and Sustainable Development Programme" [UNDP/MGSDP] in Eastern Ukraine. Local communities established more then 40 Associations of Co-Owners of Multi-Apartment Buildings (ACMBs) - organisations created by dwellers to improve the overall operations and maintenance of common property.
Since 2006, Kirovske local communities implemented 11 community-based projects aimed at repairing water supply, central heating and sewerage system, replacing old pipes in multi-apartment buildings.
In total, these projects benefited over 3,000 local citizens. Total cost of these projects reached UAH 387,000, including UAH 140,000  contributed by UNDP, UAH 181,000 contributed from Kirovske City Council and UAH 66,000 as communities` contribution.
This experience is valuable for those local governments which are willing to promote the housing reform at local level through motivating citizens for getting organised into associations of co-owners of multi-apartment houses in order to ensure better service delivery to dwellers. It became the focus of the latest exchange visit for local councillors from Western and Central Ukraine, including Kagarlyk, Ukrayinka (Kyiv Region), Kalynivka (Vinnytsya Region),  Galych, Ivano-Frankivsk (Ivano-Frankivsk Region),  Rivne, L`viv, Zakarpattya and Ternopil` Regions.
The visit is organised to share innovative practices gained within different municipalities and introduce the peculiarities of Eastern Ukraine to the municipal leaders from Western Ukraine. All this also promotes east-west cohesion in Ukraine for the sake of adopting good governance principles at local level.
Vyacheslav Tolkovanov, Director of the Directorate of International Cooperation and Investment of the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction of Ukraine greeted the visit`s participants.
"Our experience exchange and sharing best practices in local governance is important for inter-regional cohesion, establishing effective local governance according to the European Charter of Local Self-Governance. This exchange reflects both European and domestic experience,"  he said.
In 2008, four ACMBs in the "Molodizhniy" district in Kirovske municipality implemented community-based projects. As a result, they reconstructed basement pipes with support from UNDP/MGSDP and the Norwegian Embassy. Owing to the training sessions provided by the Project and the successful completion of their initiative, local ACMBs established a Federation of ACMBs.
The visit participants learned the experience and benefits of the Federation of ACMBs in interaction with management of the Federation. At present, the Federation "Molodizhniy" includes 13 ACMBs (out of them 10 are nine-storied buildings) with over 6,000 dwellers. The Federation represents common interests of ACMBs, employs personnel in order to reduce expenses on salaries and provides communal services of better quality. The tasks of the Federation are professional operation and maintenance of the property of all buildings and adjacent territories and delivering communal services of proper quality at a reasonable cost. The Federation managed to employ professional full-time personnel who would not be cost-effective if they worked for separate ACMBs. The personnel consists of 30 people including two accountants, a dispatcher, two engineers, an electrician, three painters, street cleaners and cleaners of stairs.
Sergiy Polysiuk, Kirovske Deputy Mayorand Municipal Coordinator says: "The Federation managed to improve the conditions of common property and quality of services delivered to the dwellers The ACMBs which participated in UNDP/MGSDP became the cornerstone of the Federation. The success of Federation was disseminated among other parts of the municipality and a new district started a process of creating their Federation".

Kirovse municipality provides an example where community mobilization has an avalanche effect, as more and more ACMBs are being established and new district starts establishing a Federation of ACMBs. In 2009, Kirovske became one of the leading partner municipalities of MGSDP by submitting 15 community-based projects for MGSDP support.
A similar visit to Western Ukraine will be organised in July this year. Local government representatives from Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine willing to attend the planned visit are welcome to send their applications to Galyna Gulenko, UNDP/MGSDP Monitoring and Communications Expert.