Community Based Approach to Local Development
Tuesday, 15 October 2013

First Results of Agro-Servicing Cooperatives in Donetska Oblast

With population of 240 persons, Mnohopillya village has 146 households, and 110 of them belong to low income category, followed by 36 households under middle income category. Following their interest in improvement of economic situation, 54 housholds delegated members for establishing their commubnity organisation. On 21 May 2013, it was registered as an agro-service cooperative (ASC), with the main objective to implement economic activities in the area of the provision of services for processing (smoked) meat products, marketing organization of meat and dairy products, milk processing facilities, drying fruits and vegetables, transportation of products to the market places. It has just undertaken a micro-project to buy equipments that will support processing of meat, fruit and vegetable and sale of processed products. Total cost of the project is UAH 290,050 of which CBA support is UAH 203,035 (70%); community contribution is UAH 43,508 (15%) and private sponsors’ contribution is UAH 43,507 (15%).

‘For participation in today’s meeting, we have invited managers of all rayons of Donetska oblast, and now all of them are informed on the positive experience in community mobilisation and establishing cooperatives’, said Andriy Fedoruk, Head of Donetsk oblast council. ‘We repeatedly emphasised importance and relevance of the CBA-2 Project to the oblast. Within its framework, the system of efficient interaction between local councils and community organisations was successfully developed, for generating local community development plans and their efficient implementation’, added Mr Fedoruk.

During the meeting of Oblast Coordination Council, heads of rayons-partners to CBA-II reported on the results of micro-project implementation, and presented potential proposals for uprising cooperative initiatives to the regional level. Guests were able not only to see the new equipment, but also to test the quality of products, which can be produced in cooperatives and offered for local markets.

Ms. Tisot supported the idea of extending ASC piloting to a wider scale: “While implementing CBA-II Project, we have created a valuable platform on local level not only to support social initiatives but also to support small business. In case the regional authorities uphold the initiative, it may become a subject for further piloting within CBA-III”, summarised UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.

CBA in Donetska Oblast

The EU/UNDP Community Based Approach to Local Development Project works in Donetsk oblast since 2009. Since then, 87 rural communities have established community organizations. In co-operation with the project and local authorities, communities work together to improve their living conditions through complex renovations, effective operations and systemic management of basic infrastructure facilities. In Donetsk, local communities have implemented 108 community micro-projects. The total cost of all micro-projects is UAH 18.1 million: of which the CBA contribution is UAH 9.4 million, village / city councils – over UAH 5.4 million, rayon budget – UAH 2.2 million, private sector – UAH 0.2 million, and local communities – over UAH 0.9 million. Over 133,2 thousand rurals have benefited from microproject implementation, supported by CBA-1 and 2 in Donetska oblast.

So far, two villages in Amvrosiivsky and Kostiantynivsky rayon of Donetsk oblast participated in the piloting. Members of two cooperatives have undertaken activities (worth more than UAH 500,000) to improve economic wellbeing of low-income households. It comes in form of tillage; harvesting of fodder; growing vegetables, fruits and berries; agro-processing (of meat, milk, fruits, vegetables); and marketing and transportation services.

Oblast Coordination Council

CBA Project methodology requires institutional mechanism at each level to ensure functioning of participatory approach. At community level, it is community organisation; at rayon level it is local development forum (LDF) headed by head of rayon authority and at oblast level it is oblast coordination council (OCC). Oblast Coordination Council (OCC) is headed by Head/Deputy Head of oblast state administration or oblast council. Among the members of the OCC are: chairpersons of Local Development Forums in the oblast (head of rayon council/state administration); key departments of oblast state administration/oblast council; selected NGOs and businesses in the oblast; selected village council and city council heads (from CBA village/city councils); selected chairpersons from CBA community organisations, and CBA staff in the oblast

Among the main OCC functions are strategic advice on CBA project implementation in the oblast and overall coordination regarding micro-project implementation, co-financing and priorities of government programme in the oblast.