Current projects

Financial transparency of united communities

The problem to be addressed

The issue of sustainable development at the local level is crucial given the need to stabilize the socioeconomic situation in the regions during the economic crisis and decentralization reform.

Ensuring financial viability of local communities as well as control over the efficient use of available resources in order to prevent corruption is of profound importance in the process of local government transformation.

Today, the financial incapacity of local communities in Ukraine is caused by the peculiarities of the national fiscal system, namely the limited capacity control over the use of budgetary funds, as well as endemic corruption and bureaucracy at the local level.

Project goal

The project aims to increase the economic capacity of united communities, which will assist the local development, enhance local communities’ competitiveness, combat corruption at the local level and promote the welfare of the local population.

 Project target groups, numbers, geographical locations

Project target groups are:

  • Representatives of local governments who take decisions on raising and allocating financial resources in 24 regions of Ukraine
  • Representatives of regional businesses in 24 regions of Ukraine
  • Representatives of regional NGOs interested in improving communities’ economic viability in 24 regions of Ukraine.

 Concrete outputs

The outputs of the project include:

  • The study on the current state of communities’ capacity and control over local finances
  • The analytical report on the study of international experience in ensuring the capacity of local communities
  • Guidelines for authorities and civil society activists
  • A series of seminars (25) for representatives of local communities and civil society activists in all regions of Ukraine
  • The regions’ competitiveness ranking published as a report on the website
  • The online content platform to foster the capacity of local communities
  • Two public consultations
  • Final press conference

                                                       

 

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Pechenihy: a stolen coast

The Pechenihy reservoir is a well-known recreation area in the Kharkiv region, located almost on the border with Russia. The nearness to Russia, affects the attitudes of the local population. Most residents work in the recreational infrastructure, which has been actively and illegally privatized for the last ten years by senior officials of Kharkiv. The land plots located on the coastline were sold underpriced, pine forest were cut and access to the beaches - blocked. Residents of Kharkiv and region, who used to spend vacations and weekends on the reservoir coast for decades, currently have no access to these areas. Thus, seeing constant examples of corruption, fueled by Russian propaganda, residents feel skeptical about the democratic values and reforms that Ukraine is trying to implement after the Revolution of Dignity. It is necessary to show the residents that positive changes are already taking place on a regional level.
 
The project goal is to draw attention to corruption in privatization of recreational objects and allocation of land plots on the coastline of the Pechenihy reservoir (Kharkiv region).
Objectives:
  • Identify the beneficiaries and investigate the legality of purchase of recreation objects and luxury houses, located on the shoreline of the Pechenihy reservoir;
  • Visualize the results of the investigations in the form of interactive long-read page;
  • In the minimum of three cases, the lawsuits will be initiated to seek the restitution of land plots/recreation objects to the ownership of the state/local communities. 

                                                                  

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Inside Ukraine

The aim of the publication is to provide objective information on current political events in Ukraine and thorough analysis of major tendencies in domestic politics. Such analysis will assist in setting priorities in the process of implementing reforms in Ukraine and in evaluating quality of state decisions from the viewpoint of their impact and sustainability. Special attention is paid to evaluation of political competition in Ukraine and ability of key political players to address challenges.

  Periodicals: http://icps.com.ua/en/our-projects/periodicals/

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Transparent, financially sound and competitive municipalities in Ukraine (September 2015 - December 2017)

 
 

Transparency, fiscal sustainability and shaping of regional competitive advantages are the very basic fundamentals for effective performance of municipalities in the long term horizon. The project will propose solutions and tools:

  1.  - To increase the level of transparency in municipalities.
  2.  - To keep indebtedness of municipalities at manageable levels,
  3.  - To assess the overall competitiveness of districts and regions in Ukraine

 

Since the level of corruption in Ukraine is relatively high as measured by the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, and municipalities are (according to EBRD’s strategy for Ukraine) expected to invest more extensively to service and infrastructure modernization, it is inevitable to increase the transparency level and public monitoring of local public authorities. Although Slovakia has not won its fight against corruption yet, in the recent past it implemented rather significant anti-corruption measures (e.i. publishing of public contract on the Internet). The idea of the project is to develop best anti-corruption practices applicable at municipality level leading to increased transparency of municipalities.

In the recent past, Slovak municipalities were often tempted to get across the sound budget balance if not controlled properly by the state or public. In 2012 we started the regular monitoring of indebtedness of municipalities in Slovakia through our online portal. We have a fresh experience that publishing information about financial health of municipalities significantly reduced their debts. The online portal uses public data and transforms them to understandable information about local budget deficit, overall local debt, liquidity and overdue liabilities.

Identification and assessment of competitive advantages and disadvantages can help government and municipality leaders to improve their regional development strategies. This kind of analysis of regional business environment quality will also provide unique data for investors searching for information on regional conditions for doing business. Better utilization of competitiveness advantages and systematic minimization of disadvantages will prepare appropriate conditions for better economic performance in the regions.

Project is supported by INEKO - a non-governmental non-profit organization established in 1999 in support of economic and social reforms which aim to remove barriers to the long-term positive development of the Slovak economy and society. The Institute’s mission is to support a rational and efficient economic and social reform process in the Slovak Republic (SR), through research, information development and dissemination, advice to senior government, political and self-governing officials, and promotion of the public discourse. It also focuses on those areas of social policy on the regional as well as the European level critical to the economic transformation of the SR. It draws on the best experience available from other transition countries and members of the European Union (EU) and the OECD. 

Project is financed by SlovakAid - Official Development Assistance of the Slovak Republic

Project results by March 2017:

Events:

Conference 
Date: 03.03.2017  
Date: Transparency, financial health and competitive municipalities: presentation of online platforms

Press conference 
Date: December 19, 2016
Presenting update of the portal on budget transparency of regions and their capital cities in Ukraine

Online platform “Local budgets transparency”
Venue: 8/16 B. Khmelnytskoho str., Kyiv, the “Ukrinform” office
Date: June 30, 2016

Kick Off Seminar in Kyiv
Venue: ІА “Ukrinform”, 8/16 Bohdan Khmelnytsky Str., Kyiv
Date: November 12th, 2015

Outputs:

Internet portals:

Project documents:

Presentations:

2017. Сonference "Transparency, financial health and competitive municipalities: presentation of online platforms"

 

Media coverage: /assets/uploads/images/images/eu/media_coverage.pdf 

2017:

2015-2016:

2017: Transparent, Financially Healthy and Competitive Self-governments in Ukraine

Project is financed by the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv

The project supports regional development in Ukraine through know-how transfer of successful projects implemented in Slovakia aimed at fight against corruption, increasing financial transparency and improving competitiveness of local governments.

The project addresses three specific problems of decentralization:

  1. Risk of growing corruption: The project aims to reduce corruption on local level by formulating the anti-corruption measures reflecting anti-corruption priorities of Ukrainian self-government bodies and the best anti-corruption practices from Slovakia. The degree of fulfilment of proposed measures will be monitored among 50 biggest towns in Ukraine and 24 regions (oblasts). The project will involve at least 10 local governments in implementing anti-corruption measures.
  2. Risk of inefficient spending and fiscal instability: The project aims to intensify public demand for transparent and efficient collection and spending of public resources by local governments. An online portal on financial management of the biggest Ukrainian local governments will be created, and later updated and improved. The project will involve local experts and analysts in disclosing the cases of inefficiency and/or corruption practices of local governments.
  3. Regional differences and low attractiveness for investors: The project aims at calculating and informing general public about rating and ranking of competitiveness of Ukrainian regions.
  4.  

1. Newsletter. June Вісник регіональної прозорості. Червень 

  1.  
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Implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU

 

Today European integration is the single vector of Ukraine's foreign policy. At the same time, one of the main tasks for the state is to ensure an effective and successful implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

The experience of the Orange Revolution, which became the biggest disappointment for Ukrainian people, makes us pay special attention to the ability of Ukrainian government and society to fulfil their political obligations, that is to implement reforms to facilitate the economic growth, secure political stability, foretell and prevent inevitable social risks.   

As of today the unreformed state mechanism is facing major challenges: the war, the economic recession, the need to implement reforms in compliance with the signed Association Agreement with the EU. Civil society in Ukraine demonstrates an ability to take up tasks which earlier had been carried out only by state institutions. In many cases, civil society creates parallel institutions that perform functions of the state apparatus. Efforts of Ukrainian state and that of civil society should be joined to ensure the effective implementation of much-needed reforms in the country.  

ICPS is currently working on the project aimed at facilitating European integration of Ukraine and implementation of the Association Agreement in all spheres.

Project activities include:

  • International conference on «Free Trade Area between Ukraine and the EU: Challenges and Opportunities», 26 September 2013.

  • International conference «EU-Ukraine Free Trade AreaStill Existing Chance for Modernization», 12 December 2013.

  • Expert round table on «A year after Vilniuswhat has been achieved and what comes next?», 27 November 2014.

  • International conference on «Implementation of the Association Agreement: Where to Start?» (The elaboration of state policies in specific spheres in the context of the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement), 12 June 2014.

  • International conference «The Association Agreement: economic triggers», 12 March 2015.

 

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