Reform of municipal services in Eastern Ukraine
Title: Administrative Reform in Eastern Ukraine II
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine
Overall term: 2017 to 2020
A number of basic laws for decentralising public administration were adopted after the new government took office at the beginning of 2014. The aim is to increase the quality of communal services. The laws relate to the activities of municipal offices, inter-municipal cooperation, the improvement of the budget situation and the tax system, and the voluntary merger of municipalities. Despite the progress already made, there is still a large gap between the new laws and their implementation at local level. A lack of measures and procedures for innovative and practice-oriented provision of communal services is delaying decentralisation reform at local level. This also affects the increase in effectiveness and cost savings at administrative level.
Local governments and state institutions apply innovative instruments and procedures for the more efficient and sustainable provision of communal services.
The project work is based on the results of the previous project stage ‘Administrative Reform in Eastern Ukraine’. It is mainly being implemented in the Luhansk, Dnipro and Poltava regions.
The project helps to strengthen the institutional capacities of communal self-governing bodies and increases the transparency and responsibility of the authorities. This comprises three areas:
- System for providing support to municipal offices. This relates to the exchange of experiences between municipal offices and the development of a system for the further training of their staff.
- Innovative instruments for electronic administration: This area relates to a critical review of the procedures for citizens’ services and their IT support. Objective: reducing time, costs and corruption risks.
- Comprehensive projects for inter-municipal cooperation: This third area of work is aimed at supporting citizens’ services through inter-municipal cooperation by involving local businesses, administration unions or joint administrative units in this process.
In addition to advisory support on technical issues, new methodological approaches are being applied for the development of demand-orientated services. These include operational project management, design thinking and social media analysis. The objective is to implement the reforms with the help of digital strategies. The project focuses on the development of innovative approaches that are being tested together with partners at local and regional level. The experiences gained are evaluated and integrated into the work instructions and state policy at the central level.
Around 600,000 citizens in Eastern Ukraine will receive higher quality administrative services through advisory services and new equipment for 15 municipal offices. Another ten municipal offices have been set up in merged municipalities and three electronic services have been introduced. Citizens’ satisfaction with the quality of administrative services in the regions where the project operated has risen to 85 per cent. The project supports the networking between municipal offices and the further training of their employees.
In the Poltava region, 14 inter-municipal cooperation projects were implemented, involving more than 70 municipalities. Modernising the waste disposal system enabled more than 60,000 inhabitants to receive appropriate waste disposal services. Six local fire and rescue units were established through the cooperation between the communities. This enables a faster reaction to fires and other emergencies. Another part of the project is the provision of high-speed internet in rural regions and the implementation of modern web services based on smart city technology.