Community Based Approach to Local Development
Tuesday, 10 June 2008

UNDP, Ministry of Housing and Municipal Economy to cooperate in strengthening the housing policy in Ukraine

This cooperation became possible due to preliminary dialogue held between high level representatives of the Ministry of Housing and Municipal Economy of Ukraine and UNDP in Ukraine over 2007 and 2008, where the parties recognised having the common basis for mutual cooperation in the area of democratic governance with wide community involvement.

The Memorandum’s ideas have been discussed during an official meeting at the Ministry. The meeting participants included: on behalf of UNDP - Francis O’Donnell - UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecka – UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Sergei Volkov– UNDP Senior Programme Manager, Jaysingh Sah – International Project Manager of the UNDP-led and EU-supported “Community Based Approach to Local Development” project, Olena Ursu – Officer-in-charge of the UNDP-led “Municipal Governance and Sustainable Development Programme”; on behalf of the Ministry – Oleksiy Kucherenko – the Minister of Housing and Municipal Economy of Ukraine, Oleksandr Savenko – Chief of Department of Coordination of International Technical Assistance and International Relations, and Igor Dyachenko – Advisor on Diplomatic Issues. 

During the meeting, Francis O’Donnell and Oleksiy Kucherenko  signed the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding to promote sustainable development principles and jointly support the reform of housing and municipal economy and improve the quality of public services delivered to residents.

Francis O’Donnell draw the attention of the meeting participants to UNDP projects incorporated into the Memorandum, in particular those related with sustainable development, good governance, public service delivery such as  “Local Development Programme”, “Municipal Governance and Sustainable Development Programme”, “Crimea Integration and Development Programme”, “Community Based Approach to Local Development”. These projects are aimed at strengthening local governance and improving living quality of the people in a decentralized environment, and are implemented in all regions of Ukraine. They are engaged in building capacity of their partners through technical and financial support to such activities as community initiatives, knowledge and skill enhancement, business promotion, policy development.

The work UNDP does in Ukraine by widely involving the local communities into decision-making process for solving their priority problems in housing, education, health protection, sanitation and other spheres of local development, is in line with the Ministry’s policy of forming the housing policy of Ukraine centered on the residents and their living environment. Reiterating that, Oleksiy Kucherenko said: “The most important task of the Ministry in forming the contemporary housing policy is, on one hand, to make revolution in people’s minds motivating them to feel themselves as a community capable of making decisions and solving their own problems, and, on the other hand, to create favourable environment for attracting investments into the housing sector of Ukraine. We are glad that in this effort we are supported by UNDP”.

According to the Memorandum, UNDP and the Ministry will cooperate for reformation and sustainable development of municipal and housing economy, elaborating the national benchmarks in the area, and collecting and promoting the best practices of public services delivery to residents (through policy and legislation reforms, scientific research, communication activities). Special attention will be paid to joint efforts in the area of environment and energy efficiency (e.g. introduction of the energy efficient mechanisms in communal services; realizing initiatives on improvement of the outdated drainage, sewage systems and solid waste management). The focus of the efforts will be made on promoting creation and support to the activities of condominium associations and creation of competitive market of communal services, for which the capacity of both communities and local authorities will be built to ensure the quality service delivery.