Europe and the Caucasus

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
Jul 10, 2020
Read original article on USAID website All across Kosovo youth are finding creative ways to keep social distancing guidelines to only physical distancing.  They are maintaining connections to their peers and providing virtual support to each other to prevent feelings of isolation.  To capture and share these creative ideas, USAID’s Up to Youth activity encouraged participants to compete in an online competition sharing ways they are creatively spending their free time during the pandemic.  Youth between the ages of 15 and 24, from all nine partner municipalities, were highly involved in the competition, submitting more... Read more
Jul 10, 2020
A message from Global Communities President and CEO, David A. Weiss: This past year has seen increasingly complex challenges around the world, but the capacities and expertise of Global Communities mean we have a vital role to play in meeting exactly these challenges. Every day, our innovative, dedicated staff works side by side with vulnerable communities and underserved populations, strengthening resilience and bolstering recovery. Global Communities’ programs and projects promote social cohesion and community empowerment across a diverse range of sectors and geographies. Each challenge may be different, but we bring just the right combination of technical expertise and... Read more
Jul 09, 2020
Stanislavska village community was established in 2017, consolidating two councils – Stanislavska and Shirokobalkivska, where community residents totaled 7,130.  In Stanislavska consolidated community (CC), there are powerful nature-inspired, cultural and historic capacities. Due to its location along the estuary and being close to two Oblast level cities (Kherson and Mykolayiv), this geographic feature brings the CC the potential to develop agricultural, green, active (walking, water and biking), gastronomic and wedding tourism. Efficient utilization of such critical advantages are critical mechanisms for successful and sustainable community development. With this in mind, and with assistance from the USAID “Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency” program, the CC... Read more
Jul 09, 2020
How pivoting from auditing to advising helps financial institutions manage risk during COVID-19 By Richard Shumann,Chief Risk Officer for Vitas Group
This blog entry was originally published on FinDev Gateway   Internal auditors are an essential component of microfinance providers’ internal control and risk management functions, but how should they react to a sudden crisis? Experience in Vitas Group shows that a quick pivot from auditing to advising, supported by management and collaboration among auditors, helps financial institutions adjust internal controls and manage risk. Vitas Group operates micro and small enterprise... Read more
Jul 06, 2020
Co-authors: Olena Paseka, press secretary at Information and Public Relations Department at Lanivtsi City Council; Yuri Matevoshchuk, director at the Yelovytsky Culture Center Despite encouraging youth to be proactive, come up with ideas and initiate critical decisions in a community, it can be much easier said than done. In practice, young people do not always have the support and tools to make the first step. That is why, to bring about more efficient youth policy implementation in communities, local governance became involved in Lanivtsi consolidated community (CC). Background   Lanivtsi town CC of Lanivtsi Rayon in Ternopil Oblast was established on December 1, 2017. It soon consolidated with one town and four village councils, made up of  10 constituent communities:... Read more
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