All-Ukrainian tour of the Reanimation Package of Reforms: Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Kryvyi Rih

15-17 April - With the support of UNDP and other partners, the Reanimation Package of Reforms initiative (RPR) continues its "Reforms en Route" all-Ukrainian tour, presenting their findings on the adoption and implementation of urgent reforms for the country. This time, RPR experts visited Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, and Kryvyi Rih, having meetings with journalists, City Council and Regional State Administration officials, community activists, and students.

"Communities of these cities have to become an outpost of reforms in Ukraine that will promote European standards of living in Ukrainian east. Reforms require three things: expert knowledge, citizen support, and political will. This is what RPR is working on - to collect qualitative knowledge, consolidate public support, and force politicians demonstrate political will. We believe in change," emphasized Vadym Miskyi, coordinator of RPR expert groups.
"Such tours across Ukraine are extremely important," said Natalia Vatamanyuk, coordinator of RPR regional initiatives. "It's so we can: firstly, tell the community about RPR and key developments; secondly, activate local initiatives, "charge" with examples of successful campaigns, and emphasize that united community can really affect the government's decisions; thirdly, explain the fundamentals of reforms, how certain changes in legislation affect major stakeholders; fourthly, expand the range of RPR experts, establish a system of feedback from the regions, and develop a regional network of partners."
Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, and Kryvyi Rih expert discussions were mostly devoted to the topics of public broadcasting, changes to the law which the President recently signed, public funding of parties, decentralization, legislation in the field of civil, voluntary, and charitable organizations, and road sector reform.
Andriy Martens, RPR deregulation expert, underlined: "We need changes in the road sector of the country. First of all, decentralization of local roads management has to be held. In the first stage, management of local roads should be transferred to Regional State Administrations, and in the second stage, after the adoption of laws on decentralization; it should be transferred to local communities. Another step in changing the executive branch, in our opinion, would have to be reorganization, but not "reanimation" of Ukravtodor. A new central government body should replace it, which will serve as a customer. It should be optimal in size and have no more than 25-30 employees in a central government body and 250-300 in regions instead of 1,200 employees of Ukravtodor together with regional agencies. All procurement procedures must be absolutely transparent and business processes optimized. The function of control should be transferred to independent engineering companies, which will take the administrative and financial responsibility. Insurance companies should provide quality assurance of activities and services," continues Mr. Martens. "We must change the system of financing and transfer the function of collection and use of funds from the General Budget Fund to the State Road Fund with funds used only on roads. Finally, functions of operational maintenance of roads should be brought to a competitive market involving private and public companies. The Roads of Ukraine Company, which is actually a monopoly in this market, privatize to the level of District Avtodor and Daewoo."