Europe and the Caucasus

Feb 18, 2021
Efficient, affordable handling of waste management is a critical concern in Ukraine. Residents of Slobozhanska consolidated community decided not to wait for government guidance and proceeded with implementing the Law of Ukraine On Waste Management at the local level. This was in line with the CC Development Strategy which highlights the importance of protecting ecology and sorting solid household waste. The Slobozhanska community also detailed a relevant Service Delivery Improvement Plan for five years. In 2018, the USAID “Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency” (DOBRE) Program supported the CC and delivered a new garbage truck (... Read more
Feb 09, 2021
Originally published by USAID Meriton Binakaj is currently enrolled in online courses to finish high school.  “I couldn’t have done it before since I had a long recovery period from my accident,” he says.  Besides his high school classes, Meriton spends his time virtually participating in USAID’s Up to Youth activities.  Since joining the older cohort of youth in Gjakovë/Đakovica municipality, he has participated in various Up to Youth life-skills training courses, learning about critical thinking, effective communication, community asset mapping, entrepreneurship, and rapid market assessment. “The most exciting part is being engaged in the practical part, when I actually... Read more
Feb 09, 2021
Originally published by USAID It is essential that Kosovo youth have the skills necessary to take part in Kosovo’s democratic and economic future.  Acquiring soft and life skills helps youth become more resilient and makes it easier for them to form multi-cultural relationships and create trust between diverse communities.  USAID’s Up to Youth activity provides Kosovo youth with opportunities to form these skills that are not readily available in schools.  Deniz Hajrullahu, an energetic and enthusiastic 18-year-old participant... Read more
Jan 13, 2021
Originally published by USAID Less than two years ago, Fatbardha Muharremi and Herolinda Rexhepi were jobless. Fatbardha had recently graduated from college with a degree in banking and finance. Herolinda, with a passion for clothing, had finished tailoring courses outside of the country. Shortly after Herolinda returned to Kosovo, she reconnected with Fatbardha. The two young women teamed up to open a small tailoring business in their town, Viti/Vitina.  However, they lacked the experience and knowledge of opening and running a small business. Last year, Fatbardha and Herolinda joined USAID’s Up to Youth’s cohort in Viti/Vitina and recently joined the... Read more
Dec 23, 2020
On December 22, the USAID Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) program, in partnership with the Ministry of Communities and Territorial Development of Ukraine announced the joining of 25 new consolidated communities (CCs) from Zaporizhzhia, Chernihiv and Chernivtsi Oblasts to the program. Based on the results of the highly competitive contest, DOBRE selected five CCs from Zaporizhzhia Oblast: Veselivska, Huliapilska, Komysh-Zoryanska, Polohivska, Shyrokivska; 10 CCs from Chernihiv Oblast: Koropska, Koryukivska, Losynivska, Lyubetska, Menska, Nizhynska, Novhorod-Siverska, Snovska, Sosnytska, Tupychivska; and 10 CCs from Chernivtsi Oblast: Velykokuchurivska, Vyzhnytska, Hlybotska, Klishkovetska, Mamalyhivska, Nedoboivska, Novoselytska, Rukshynska, Ust-Putylska,... Read more
Sep 10, 2020
In Ukraine for quite some time, activities have been carried out aimed at improving legislation provision for medium-term budget planning at the state and local levels. The process has accelerated since Ukraine signed the EU Association Agreement. According to the Agreement, cooperation in terms of improvement of medium-term budget planning system lies in, first, in learning the EU member states projection practices in order to form most realistic budget forecasts. The reason for medium-term budget planning system development within the EU was in the understanding that a budget process surpasses the budget compilation and execution framework during one year. Ukraine has partially implemented the mechanisms for medium-term budgeting at the state level. However, at the local level, in... Read more
Sep 09, 2020
In the process of decentralization reform in Ukraine, small communities increasingly felt they should be treated not as provinces of big cities, but as strong and capable communities one would like to live in, and develop their own talents and plans, as various spheres started to evolve. In addition, time came to concentrate attention on local members: their daily successes and needs. According to Ilona Kozar, mediacenter manager, “local community mediacenters should actively perform this role, to keep everyone informed about life in the community, allow active residents to convene, to make theme events and discuss business presentations. Moreover, local media people would have access to space premises to cooperate, to write, to make photos, to shoot videos, to share information about... Read more
Aug 28, 2020
Anti-corruption and decentralization reforms have become key priorities in the Ukrainian program of new reforms, which are important in the country's path to European integration. A poll conducted in 2019 by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation together with the Razumkov Center's sociological service  showed that 62% of the population believe the anti-corruption reform is a priority, and is considered even more important than medical or social reforms. The anti-corruption reform is especially important for the consolidated communities (CCs) established as part of decentralization reform.  Newly established CCs have received more... Read more
Aug 14, 2020
In December 2019, new legislation on renting state and communal property came into force in Ukraine, which significantly altered the approaches to asset management. The situation became complicated by the fact that since mid-June, procedures for the abovementioned policy had not been adopted. With the new national order, the number of related questions was rising, as its procedure was too wide. The end users came across many issues on how to carry out communal property rental capabilities — for the transitional period, prior to electronic trade system launch. The frequent questions at the local level touched upon the possibility to extend the leasing established within the previously adopted policies and under the requirements of the effective legislation. USAID-funded “Decentralization... Read more
Jul 10, 2020
Read original article on USAID website As a long-time youth activist, Drita jumped at the chance to join the Emergency Response (ER) Team in her community.  She has been actively involved in USAID’s Up to Youth activity as a Youth Advisory Board member, and understands how vital it is to volunteer in her community.  Thus, she did not hesitate in joining local representatives from the police, the municipal directorates of education, public administration, and health, nonprofits and businesses, and the Red Cross to ensure the citizens of Vushtrri/Vučitrn remain safe during the pandemic.   As part of... Read more
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