Community Based Approach to Local Development
Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Steering Committee First Meeting in Sumska Oblast

On 6 March the first meeting of the CBA Oblast Steering Committee was held. Deputy head of Sumska Oblast State Administration Oleksandr Zupro, head of Oblast State Administration Economy Department Oleksandr Sitak, head of Oblast State Administration Finance Department Valentyna Zvyntarna, deputy heads re economy problems of Okhtyrska, Velykopysarivska, Trostyanetska, Yampilska, Seredynobudska, Krasnopilska, Lypovodolynska, and Burynska Rayon State Adminstrations, representatives of Rayon Councils , heads of Village Councils, where the Project is being implemented, and CBA Community Development Assistants in Sumska oblast participated in the meeting.

The assistants reported on the state of the Project realization in Sumska oblast. During the period of February 2008 – March 2009 four out of eight attracted by the Project rayons started real implementation of community initiatives, namely Trostyanetsky, Okhtyrsky, Lypovodolynsky, and Krasnopilsky rayons. At present these communities have elaborated micro-project proposals for their initiatives realization, are preparing to approve these proposals at Local Development Forums in rayons, and to assess them by the CBA Project management in Kyiv. Organized COs from Burynsky and Velykopysarivsky rayons are being registered in state administrations. The next stage envisages trainings of community members and elaboration of micro-project proposals. The rest 2 (Yampilsky and Seredynobudsky) rayons only begin to cooperate with the Project. Unfortunately, 5 previously selected village councils have been substituted due to the community passive attitude to the possibility of changes and their own initiatives realization for the community weal. That caused delay in work of some rayons.

Nevertheless, despite some step back in the Project implementation, at present the question of communities’ micro-projects funding is not solved, and it became the main topic of the meeting. According to the Project concept, 50% of micro-project cost (but no more than $ 10,000) is funded by the CBA, no less than 5% is paid by the community, and no less than 45% is given from rayon and oblast budgets. Due to the lack of money in village budgets, these villages’ heads applied to the corresponding rayon authorities, who, in their turn, applied to oblast administrations.

During January-February 2009 the Chief Finance Department, Chief Economy Department of Oblast State Administration, and the CBA Project coordinators ascertained the possibility and the sum, necessary for community micro-projects funding from oblast budget. In her speech head of OSA Finance Department Valentyna Zvyntarna emphasized that ‘according to preliminary estimate micro-projects funding from oblast budget amounts no less than 2,5 mln. grn. But it’s only oblast budget. It is also necessary to review the possibility of allocating funds from rayon and village budgets.’

Representatives of each attracted by the Project rayon reported about the state of the Project realization and problems that arise in the process of work. The deputy heads of Rayon State Administrations laid emphasis on financial difficulties as the main problem they face.

Summarizing the results of the work completed in the oblast and taking into account proposals of rayons-participants, deputy head of Oblast State Administration Oleksandr Zupro secified the necessity of accelerating the Project implementation in Burynsky, Velykopysarivsky, Seredynobudsky, and Yampilsky rayons. He emphasized the necessity of detailed estimate of repair works cost at proposed objects, preparing technical drawings and cost estimation with the final aim to coordinate funding from budgets of all levels. He also suggested that starting from 17 March 2009 representatives from rayons, Village Councils, Chief Economy Department, Chief Financial Department and the Project coordinators organize consultation meetings to solve these problems.