Europe and the Caucasus

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
Jul 01, 2020
By Kristin Wilcox Feldman, Chief of Party, USAID CLEAR Program Link to article on Medium.com The impacts of Covid-19 are weighing heavily on so many of us right now. As reality sinks in it becomes evident that Covid-19’s weight has hit some of us more dramatically than others. As governments globally struggle to implement measures addressing preventative and acute health priorities they are also forced to recognize that the most vulnerable populations health-wise are also in overlapping categories of economic vulnerability. This has been particularly true for those working in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which the World Bank... Read more
Jun 30, 2020
USAID DOBRE, which is implemented by Global Communities, has provided excavators to several CCs in Ukraine as part of its service delivery improvement projects, which proved very useful when a recent hurricane caused major damage in DOBRE partner CCs Biloberizka and Pyadytska including flooding, fallen trees, roads covered with stones and debris, all of which damaged livelihoods. In... Read more
Jun 30, 2020
Co-Authors: Liudmyla Pogribna, Local Council Secretary at Muzykivska CC; Ashley Bravo Garcia, CD PCV, Peace Corps Ukraine; SocialBoost and the National Democratic Institute, USAID DOBRE partners.  The Muzykivska community, which was established in 2016, later consolidated with Skhidnenska village, when community residents started exploring ideas for a new website. The goal was in part to help establish a strong connection between the two communities, which are a far distance from each other. Muzykivska Village Council had had its own website since 2010, but had not been updated very often;  its complex structure prevented most staff  from actually  working on  it.  In 2017, Muzykivska consolidated community (CC) joined Cohort#1 of the CCs participating in USAID DOBRE Program and became... Read more
Jun 22, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted the business community around the world. Small businesses in developing economies have been hit particularly hard. Countries like Iraq and Lebanon were experiencing social and political unrest as the pandemic struck, while Jordan and Palestine were already facing economic recessions, further compounding their problems. This report summarizes the results of a COVID-19 client survey among Vitas Group network institutions. Surveys were conducted in May 2020 with clients in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Romania, where Vitas served a combined 90,298 active clients and an... Read more
Jun 15, 2020
Today, the USAID DOBRE program in Ukraine announced its extension into three additional oblasts: Chernihiv, Chernivtsi and Zaporizhzhia. This increase brings the number of oblasts DOBRE supports up to 10. Within the oblasts, 25 new consolidated communities (CCs) will be added to the program’s reach, bringing the total number of CC’s up to 100. USAID Acting Ukraine Mission Director, Susan K. Fritz, made the public announcement via video and delivered opening remarks while DOBRE Chief of Party, Barry Reed, and Deputy Minister of the Ministry for Communities and Territorial Development contributed to the discussion. The DOBRE program is to receive an additional $17 million from USAID and will be extended to September 2022. Competitive selection of the additional 25 participating consolidated... Read more
May 29, 2020
In Halystyniska, Ukraine, the village council, businesses and the public organized the sewing of protective facemasks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Volunteers sewed over 4,700 cloth masks with sewing equipment given to the community as part of the implementation of the USAID DOBRE Local Economic Development program. The masks were distributed free of charge in six consolidated communities at community social institutions and administrative buildings as well as to senior citizens and vulnerable groups. The consolidated community residents created a business incubator at the Adult Education Center, where people were trained on the new sewing machines with an eye toward producing other products such as protective clothing and suits. Volunteers credit the Sewing Educational... Read more
Feb 22, 2020
Vitas Group, created by Global Communities is a for-profit holding company that operates a network of microfinance companies, predominantly in the Middle East. They are a unique group of companies with more than twenty years of proven track record of successfully lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises and the only such investment vehicle for impact investors in the region. Since 2004, Vitas companies have disbursed more than $3 billion to over 1 million customers with an annual default rate below two percent. Every two years, Vitas Group surveys clients in its affiliated institutions to assess customer satisfaction, the impact of loans... Read more
Feb 04, 2020
In Ukraine, the USAID DOBRE Program supported the opening of a Tourism and Business Development Center in Starosaltivska consolidated community. The newly established Center will serve as a space for local governance, private sector entrepreneurs and regular community members (8,805 in total) to improve dialog through joint business meetings and consultations, to enhance participatory cooperation leading to the community prosperous economic and tourism growth. Watch the video below to learn more.
Jan 31, 2020
Here is a short answer – the consolidated communities (CCs) underwent a budget transparency evaluation. In November 2019, the Crystal of the Year Award acknowledged the top performing CCs that were evaluated with the joint methodology implemented by USAID DOBRE and U-LEAD with Europe Programs, including the public coalition “For Transparent Local Budgets!” The evaluation was performed in 106 CCs in 18 Oblasts of Ukraine. 47 DOBRE partner CCs were evaluated for the second time in a row, and their index scores prove that the CCs increased the level of budget transparency in just one year. The maximum transparency index grew higher: from 46 to 61 points. Moreover, there were significant system changes revealed: average budget transparency levels increased 17.7% in all 47 CCs. In 2018 the... Read more
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