Location: Kyiv, Chernihiv
Project value : 637 220 PLN
Donor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
Local partners :
Ministry of Social Policy
Association of Amalgamated Territorial Hromadas
Amalgamated Hromadas of Chernihiv Oblast
Within the framework of the decentralisation reform that is taking place in Ukraine since 2014 new self-government bodies are created, i.e. the amalgamated territorial hromadas (ATH*), which take over some of the powers from oblast and raion authorities. One of the priority issues in these processes is the extension of competences of hromadas in regards to the provision of social services.
To reach this objective, Ukraine must overcome two fundamental challenges. Firstly, it is the underdeveloped legal environment, in which the territorial hromadas assume their new competences. The current Ukrainian legislation* regulates the competencies of hromadas in regards to the provision of social services only in a generalised manner. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Social Policy, in order to clarify the matter, it is necessary to draft and approve over 30 implementing acts. Secondly, there is a need to properly organise the process of provision of social services on the lowest level, and in particular, the question of analysing hormadas’ actual capacity to effectively provide social services.
Solidarity Fund PL actions aim to offer assistance in overcoming these challenge — both on the central and the local level.
Actions within the framework of the “Social services in hromadas: support for social policy reforms in Ukraine” were carried out on two levels:
• centrally, i.e. with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine (expert consultations, Ministry representatives’ study visit to Poland, a conference concluding project activities); and
• locally, i.e. with the representatives of the ATHs (seminars, hromadas representatives’ study visit to Poland, financial support for selected ATH initiatives).
The study visit of the representatives of the Ministry of Social Policy to Poland (Łódź voivodeship) took place in June 2019. The delegates included the heads of departments and directorates of the Ministry of Social Policy and the Deputy Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine. The visit focused on Polish experiences in regards to institutional development of a social services provision system.
The long term objective of expert consultations for the Ministry of Social Policy was to enable the Ukrainian side to draft the necessary implementing regulations to the Law “On Social Services” that will cover monitoring and assessing the needs of ATHs in regards to the provision of social services. In September 2019 Ukrainian experts from the Ministry of Social Policy met with Polish specialists in Kyiv for a consultation on social services. The second round of consultations, which followed quickly in October, held in Chernihiv was practice-oriented and consisted of committing hromadas from Chernihiv oblast to methodically identify their needs and subsequently discuss the results of the assessment and propose solutions.
The final project conference took place in December 2019 in Kiev. Its purpose was to summarise the project and present the outcomes. Guests included project participants, representatives of the Ukrainian Ministry of Social Policy, Polish experts, and persons interested in the matters addressed by the project. Specially for the conference a film was created to present projects funded by Solidarity Fund PL that were carried out in three different hromadas. Presentation of a handbook titled “ATH Social Services Organisation”—based on the training workshops for hromadas representatives from the Chernihiv oblast—authored by Polish experts M. Olczak and K. Rostek was another highlight of the conference.
Together with the Association of Amalgamated Hromadas of Ukraine, three two-day seminar cycles for 30 persons from 15 Chernihiv oblast ATHs were organised. Their objective was to prepare social services managers to work in hromadas.
Project participants, i.e. social services managers from Chernihiv oblast ATHs participated in two study visits to Poland (Podlaskie and Lubelskie voivodeships). Its goal was to present the organisation of social assistance system in Poland and share good practices.
The Fund supported financially the implementation of 3 own ATH projects aimed at improving social assistance:
• Renovation of a centre for temporary stay for the elderly, purchasing of equipment, and training social workers from the Losynivka ATH.
• Renovation and purchasing of equipment for a gym for the elderly in Menska ATH.
• Purchasing of a car to facilitate organisation of the work of an interdisciplinary team in the Sosnytsia ATH.
The Project is co-financed by the Polish development cooperation programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
*ATH – Amalgamated Territorial Hromada (Community)