Interaction between government and civil society: democracy and good governance

On 1 November, Chasopys Creative Space hosted the final meeting of grantee organizations in the thematic area "Support of civil society as the engine of democracy and good governance," organized by CCC Creative Center in the framework of UNDP project "Democratization and human rights in Ukraine," funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The event gathered representatives of 18 organizations from 15 regions to present their success stories of interaction between CSOs and government in promoting good governance. The meeting was opened by Mr. Vasyl Romanyuk, coordinator of UNDP project "Democratization and human rights in Ukraine," who expressed the hope that "this partnership will grow into a longer and deeper relationship to achieve those objectives on which we all work, particularly the ultimate goal to build the sort of society we all want to live in."
The overall results of this grant programme were presented by Mr. Volodymyr Kupriy, executive director of CCC Creative Center. He noted that the projects were dedicated to a wide range of activities: ensuring budget and expenditure transparency in local communities, promoting the "Open Government" initiative, contributing to community monitoring and evaluation, promoting local democracy mechanisms, and introducing ICT into the management of community affairs.
The main presenters were Trostyanetsky mayor Y. Bova, project manager of the PO "Rozmariya" O. Kydora (Perechyn), head of the Kherson Regional Branch of the Sociological Association of Ukraine M. Homanyuk, project manager of the Community Development Centre A. Domikan (Ukrainka), head of the Luhansk Regional Human Rights Women's Organisation "Chayka" L. Zalyvna, and head of the PO "Small Business Laboratory" V. Darnopykh (Slavutych).
Special attention was paid to the initiative of the city Trostyanets to enhance citizen participation in local development through the creation of quarterly committees and efficient system of community monitoring of local authorities. The project has enabled the establishment and legalization of over 200 street and house committees. Their proposals were included into the socio-economic development programme and the budget of Trostyanets. Also, the city has launched the "Open City" electronic platform for public participation in solving local problems. By adopting this new tool, the authorities were able to complete 53% of 305 requests concerning the problems in the city. Moreover, there is the established practice when provided municipal services are paid only if the quality of work is approved by a head of a house or street committee.
In the framework of this project, other organizations have also achieved significant results in improving the situation in their local communities. For example, due to public pressure, local authorities of Transcarpathian region have changed the structure and content of their websites to improve electronic dialogue between government and citizens and create favourable conditions for the population to access public information; due to the rise of a new method of conducting public hearings in a theatrical format, cooperation between governmental, public, academic, and theatrical spheres improved in Kherson; due to community monitoring of government activity in Ukrainka, there were changes in local politics in the field of sports and culture, community services, including the introduction of the electronic module of an open registration to kindergartens; due to the active role of the public in the housing and utilities sector in Slavutych, authorities was involved in the creation of a system of transparency and accessibility to current information on the city budget for the maintenance of buildings and other objects; due to public initiatives in Luhansk region, a corruption scenario in the housing management service sector was exposed, etc.
During the second part of the event, there were a presentation of the Internet service designed to help activists to demand changes from the government (Center for Political Studies and Analysis), O. Ravchev's master class "Using social media to build networks of CSOs, working on the promotion of democracy and good governance," and presentation of a guide to endowment.
As final part of the meeting, there was a discussion of new challenges, perspectives, and priorities of CSOs in the future.