TI Ukraine, in collaboration with the Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, as part of the project Strengthening RPR Coalition, implemented with the support of the European Union, has completed the implementation of the project “Make the City Transparent, Take Part in Governance.”

The project aimed at mitigating corruption risks in local self-government through increasing the level of transparency and providing the citizens of Mariupol, Melitopol, Sievierodonetsk and Irpin with tools of participation and dissemination of positive experience.

The four cities have been selected based on 2 main criteria: 1) the lowest level of transparency in such areas as education, social services, housing, land use, construction (based on the Transparency Ranking of 100 Ukrainian Cities). Since regular citizens are engaged as new activists as part of the project, these areas were selected as those that are “closest” to the citizens. The cities were also chosen based on their position in the ranking – the middle or lower (Melitopol – 52nd place, Mariupol – 57th, Sievierodonetsk – 73rd, Irpin – 75th); 2) readiness of the local authorities to collaborate with the public (based on the previous collaboration experience).

During the 8 months of project implementation, the team of Transparent Cities, in close cooperation with activists and local authorities of the four cities, managed to achieve quite considerable results (find infographic below).

–              Mariupol has become the leader of the transparency ranking of 100 biggest Ukrainian cities. Before the start of the project, Mariupol was on the 57th place and had 28.05 points. Now, Mariupol is the winner with 65.82 points. Mariupol is the highest scorer, which managed to make its transparency score almost twice as high as before. They managed to improve the following accountability areas significantly: municipal property (by 6.2 points), municipal enterprises (by 3.77), procurement (by 3.2), budgeting and contracts (by 3). What made this success possible is regular and fruitful communication between the team of Transparency International Ukraine and the authorized person in the local authorities responsible for improvement of Mariupol’s score in the transparency ranking.

–              During the period of project implementation, Melitopol improved its transparency score and moved from place 52 to 18, raising the score by 12.5. Before the start of the project, the city had 29.2 points, now it has 41.73. The biggest growth dynamics can be observed in the areas of budgeting and contracts (almost twice as high as before), information on the work of local authorities (twice as high), social services (twice as high). The procurement area also showed positive dynamics. It is also noteworthy that the city now has a working group on raising the city’s transparency, meetings are held with structural units and entities.

–              Sievierodonetsk and Irpin have started implementing our recommendations as well. Sievierodonetsk managed to gain 6.47 points and move from the 73rd to 57th place. Sievierodonetsk managed to improve such areas as Access and Participation, Education, Land Use and Construction Policy.

Irpin moved from the 75th to the 69th place, gaining 3.5 points. The city managed to improve Education, which is where the said 3.5 points have been gained. Another positive outcome is that there is now a person in the city council responsible for providing recommendations to structural units and controlling their implementation.

–              Information campaign aimed at raising the level of people’s awareness of the possibilities and advantages of monitoring and control of the local authorities reached 1200 people in the 4 cities.

–              47 representatives of the authorities and 115 representatives of the public attended the training on “How a Regular Person Can Influence Authorities” and “How to Improve the City’s Score in the Transparency Ranking.”

–            4 practical handbooks (“Transparency Journal,” “Transparency of Land Use and Construction Policy,” “Transparency of Social Services,” “Housing Policy”) are used by activists or journalists and local authorities alike.

–              5 publications have been published in the national media (Changers (2 articles), “Decentralization,” Radio Free Europe, Urgent. The article with Olha Omelchuk (local development expert) has reached 2244 people.

–              The level of citizens’ awareness of their role in the local self-government by 37%.

The project Make the City Transparent, Take Part in Governance is implemented by TI Ukraine together with the Center for Democracy and Rule of Law as part of the project Strengthening the RPR Coalition implemented with the support of the EU.