RPR Forum to kick off reforms in regions

Kyiv, 16-18 July 2015 – The Reanimation Package of Reforms civic initiative (RPR) and UNDP jointly held a large-scale all-Ukrainian Forum "Reforms at the regional level: planning, implementing, cooperating" with 80 participants from all over Ukraine. The Forum was a wrap-up event of the Reforms en Route all-Ukrainian RPR tour.

Civic activists, journalists, entrepreneurs, mayors, their deputies, and advisors along with RPR experts gathered for a 3-day forum to elaborate a joint action plan for the implementation of reforms on the ground in four major areas:
- Decentralization and administrative-territorial structure reform;
- Anti-corruption and local budgets;
- Energy and utilities;
- Local elections.
IMG 0088What is crucial to push reforms forward on the regional level? Strong networks of regional activists and local partners is a key in this process.
Speaking at the Forum, Ms. Inita Paulovica, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, emphasized that it's a joint challenge of civil society and authorities to link local needs and new laws. It can be done through close cooperation between Kyiv-based and local activists.
"In fact, the key task now is to understand 'why?'. The one who knows 'why?' can face almost any 'how?' The main objective of the Forum for me was to hear our citizens from different cities, understand what they expect from local elections, and why they need reforms. I saw people understand that it determines the future and development, makes us better than today and yesterday. We will select tools together. No one can give us a task except us. And most importantly, no one can do the job except us. So, we will walk ahead together," said Mr. Andriy Kruglashov, a coach and CHESNO movement coordinator.
IMG 0115To understand the obstacles in promoting reforms in regions and effective forecasting, the Forum's key sections were "Past," "Present," "Future," and "Action Plan" repleted with leading RPR experts' speeches, brainstorming sessions, and work in groups. This enabled a holistic look at the situation to find the best specific tasks and tools to address them.
"This is the first forum of this kind, but we definitely can make it a tradition. RPR has become a platform where the most outstanding regional leaders share their successful experiences, discuss barriers and pitfalls, and analyse the most effective tools. RPR has become a platform where governmental officials and civic activists communicate equally. RPR has become a platform where the most active groups do not pull apart the blanket, but try to negotiate and find a common solution. This regional Forum was a unique experience, good example, and the beginning of even closer cooperation with regions," says Ms. Natalia Vatamanyuk, RPR regional initiatives coordinator.