According to the Agreement, the Parties will cooperate in order to work out effective mechanisms for joint decision making and mobilise resources to finance community-based projects aimed at social integration, recovery and sustainable development across the whole region. The Agreement also sets out the Parties' obligations regarding co-financing of at least 40 community-based projects, generated within the Region's eight districts.
In total, about USD 400,000 is expected to be contributed by the EU-UNDP Project on Community-Based Approach to Local Development (CBA Project) with approximately USD 360,000 to be allocated from the Government's local budgets.
Signing the today's Partnership Agreement in Donetsk Region, CBA Project has completed reaching its territorial target that covers 25 regions, 200 districts and 1,000 village/town councils.
The Agreement was signed by Volodymyr Logvinenko, Head of Donetsk Regional State Administration, Anatoliy Blyzniuk, Head of Donetsk Regional Council, and Ercan Murat, Officer-in-Charge of UNDP in Ukraine. Ambassador Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira, Head of the Delegation of European Commission to Ukraine, also attended the event. He underlined the importance of EU's support to this UNDP-led Community-Based Approach to Local Development Project in the context of strengthening local governance and promoting further decentralization. "I look forward to meeting with communities who have empowered themselves thanks to this project and are working together to improve their living standards," Ambassador Teixeira added.
Ercan Murat thanked the leadership of Donetsk region and representatives of districts for their commitment to enhancing the quality of communal infrastructure and public services through involvement of local communities and local governments. He expressed the hope that the joint efforts by international partners, local authorities and communities would make a significant difference. "In the current global financial crisis, joint effort of all of us has a greater value than ever in the past," Murat said.
UN Development Programme, the world's largest international development organisation, has been involved in community-based development in Ukraine for many years. What important about this community-based approach to local participatory development is that it tries to build up the skills and competencies of local communities and their local leadership in order to promote a sense of self-empowerment. And this is extremely important in the historical context of Ukraine because after a legacy of decades of centralised Communist rule it is important that people can overcome their prolonged and their very deep-rooted sense of dependency on authorities. And that instead they realize the extent to which they can actually achieve their own fulfillment through self-empowerment, through self-organisation, through self-mobilisation.
UNDP's role in this process is really only catalytic. We are not here to be an external support so much as a catalyst to a process where local communities take charge of their own development, use their local resources and pursue a particular plan of action towards their development and their prosperity.
Moreover, in the context of Ukraine's political development, community-based approach to local development also promotes democratic accountability. Through UNDP's experience we see that local leaders are being held accountable for delivering on the promises that they make to their people. And citizens also understand better the challenges of leadership and appreciate better the qualities of good leadership, which helps them eventually in democratic election process.
The selection for participation in the CBA Project means that a district, a village or a town, as well as local communities will get a chance to jointly define priorities in improving their living conditions and apply for financing of one of their initiatives. Approved community projects will be co-financed by the Project (50% from total cost of the project, but not more than USD 10,000), local budgets (at least 45%) and community (at least 5%). In total, 40 communities will benefit from the Project.
Priority areas for financing of community-based initiatives include healthcare (it could be initiatives aimed at repairing local health posts or purchasing new medical equipment, etc), energy and environment (introduction of energy saving technologies, replacement of windows and doors, repair of roofs, etc), communal transport development (purchase of school buses) and water supply (repair/installation of local water supply systems).
During the official signing ceremony, a list of rayons (districts) selected for their participation in the joint EU-UNDP CBA Project was announced. These are Artemivs'kiy, Dobropil'skiy, Kostyantynivs'kiy, Krasnoarmiys'kiy, Novoazovs'kiy, Slov'yanskiy, Starobeshivs'kiy and Tel'manivskiy districts. To enable the implementation of CBA-related activities in all of these districts, individual Partnership Agreements have been signed with respective districts' leaders during the event.
The CBA project launched its activities in Donetsk Region on 18 December 2008 by holding a Regional Seminar with participation of Regional and districts' authorities. During the seminar, they were presented with the UNDP's community-based approach strategy and action plan, while a call for rayons' participation in the Project was announced. Applicants were ranked, decision about selected rayons were made jointly with representatives from the Regional State Administration. 40 village/city councils from 8 partner rayons are selected for participation in CBA-led initiatives.
The EU-funded CBA Project is co-financed and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in every region of Ukraine. Its overall objective is to create an enabling environment for long-term self-sustaining social and economic development at local level by promoting local self-governance and community-based initiatives throughout Ukraine. The Project uses social mobilisation technique to empower local communities, elected bodies, state authorities, NGOs and private sector to make joint decisions and share their resources to promote the principles of sustainable development at local level.
For further information, please call Community Development Officers on Donetsk Region Implementation Unit and Community Resource Centre Volodymyr Sheyhus or Lyudmyla Shinkarenko at tel. 8050-472-8989; 8050-417-7360 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
For media enquiries in CBA Project Central Office: Ganna Yatsyuk, Communications/Monitoring Specialist at tel: (+380 44) 208-3618, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.