On May 27, Transparency International Ukraine presented a handbook Municipal Transparency: Best Practices, which contains new ideas and tools to improve authorities’ openness in Ukrainian cities.

The handbook is designed to help local self-government agencies to adopt successful experiences of other cities in their own, following specific examples.

Program experts have analyzed the implementation of transparency indicators by city councils of the Transparency Ranking of 100 Biggest Ukrainian Cities. They identified several best practices for each of the 86 indicators and added links to each of them.

According to experts, there are three indicators which are easiest to implement:

  1. Publish a detailed action plan of the mayor and executive agencies of the city council. The indicator is easy to implement, since we are convinced that every mayor and executive agency already have a developed action plan. The only thing left to do is to publish it on the city council website, so that the citizens can understand how their elected representatives work.
  2. Publish the biographies of heads of municipal enterprises. This indicator is required by the Economic Code of Ukraine. However, only 16 city councils out of the 100 on our Ranking have implemented it as of now. Why is this information important? Residents of the city will understand whom to contact when there are any questions or problems.
  3. Join a special public procurement service where you can view complaints, offers, and requests.Thanks to public platforms like DOZORRO, city residents get information about all purchases made by the city council and its executive bodies. The indicator does not require the development of additional functionality. The council can just make the decision to use the platform and send a request to join to system administrators.

In certain cases, the practices are not perfect, but they do demonstrate a variety of options how the recommendations can be implemented. Thus, city councils will be able to learn about the experiences of other municipalities and identify the best options that work in the context of their cities’ needs and resources.

Sharing best practices is useful for all city councils. That’s especially true for small ones, since they don’t always have the funds to develop extra services or engage experts in a specific field,” explains TI Ukraine’s COO Anastasiia Mazurok. “This cooperation is precisely what helps each city council to make its work more transparent and the lives of local people more comfortable without spending too many resources.

The collection of best practices of transparency will be regularly updated to reflect the changes in legislation and in the methodology of city transparency ranking. That way, both municipal authorities and social activists will always be able to find relevant examples of information sharing from city councils across the entire country.

The presentation is held with the financial support of the European Union (EU) and the UNDP Project “Civil Society for Enhanced Democracy and Human Rights in Ukraine” funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Sharing best practices is useful for all city councils. That’s especially true for small ones, since they don’t always have the funds to develop extra services or engage experts in a specific field.

Anastasiia Mazurok, COO of TI Ukraine