Europe and the Caucasus

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
Jan 23, 2020
On November 19, 2019, DOBRE and the European funded U-LEAD programs co-hosted the Crystal of the Year Budget Transparency Award ceremony. The ceremony took place to mark successes of the best Ukrainian amalgamated hromadas evaluated on a common methodology implemented by USAID DOBRE and U-LEAD with Europe programs in 106 hromadas and within 18 oblasts of Ukraine. The ceremony brought together more than 400 participants: hromada representatives, central executive authorities, experts on international technical assistance projects, and heads of diplomatic missions. USAID DOBRE, implemented by Global Communities, assessed the local governance budget processes in 106 consolidated communities (CCs) in 18 Oblasts of Ukraine. 75 DOBRE... Read more
Dec 06, 2019

Maksym Khoruzhevsky uses the new website. Co-Authors: DOBRE partner, SocialBoost, and Maksym Khoruzhevsky, website moderator from Sofiivska CC “The hromada (community association) has been in an information vacuum for a significant amount of time: we only had one rayon* level newspaper and it raised some interest, but only among senior community members. There were no media outlets to raise awareness among other residents such as students and entrepreneurs. That’s why we launched a social media application—and quickly enough, we received 1,000 subscribers to the Facebook page, which is impressive especially considering the fact that 10,000 residents live in the Sofiivska consolidated community,” shares Maksym Khoruzhevsky, moderator of the Sofiivska consolidated community (CC)... Read more
Dec 05, 2019
Local officials and civil society representatives from the Global Communities-implemented DOBRE program in Ukraine toured nine cities in the eastern United States in October to learn more about economic development, civic infrastructure, and promoting citizen engagement from their American counterparts. The 48 participants were from communities newly consolidated under Ukraine’s decentralization reforms that began in 2014. The USAID “Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency,” known as DOBRE, is working to strengthen their capacity to use their new community budgetary and governing responsibilities. Participants came with a mission to explore new avenues of local economic development and governance and to bring those... Read more
Nov 21, 2019
In Ukraine, the USAID DOBRE program, implemented by Global Communities, ran the Third Annual “Strategic Development and Investment” Conference (November 20-21, 2019) for DOBRE partner consolidated communities and multiple stakeholders respectively. Over 400 representatives attended from DOBRE partner consolidated communities, USAID, the national government of Ukraine (including the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development and the Ministry of Digital Transformation), DOBRE partners from Malopolska School of Public Administration at the Krakow University of Economics (Poland), the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, and experts from international technical assistance projects. The Conference was a platform for dialogue, establishing new partnerships, sharing and best practices lessons... Read more
Nov 01, 2019

Bulldozer procured for Bashtanska CC Co-Authors: Head of Bashtanska Consolidated Community and the Department Specialists “The story about savings started in 2018, when Bashtanska Consolidated Community (CC), established in 2017, decided to purchase a bulldozer to handle a landfill site. To budget for the needed costs, we had to do market research. The price for similar machinery ranged between 5.4 mln Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) to 3.8 mln UAH. Notably, we aimed for 3.8 mln UAH as the base price and announced a call for commercial offers in October 2018,” explains Tetyana Zavorotnyuk, a procurement specialist in Bashtanska CC. According to Zavorotnyuk, four bulldozer-producing companies participated in the tender. The company from Zaporizhzhia was granted the offer, as during the... Read more
Oct 25, 2019

Photo by Robert Houk/Johnson City Press Written by Robert Houk. This article was originally published by the Johnson City Press rhouk@johnsoncitypress.com   A 30-member delegation from Ukraine was in the region Thursday to learn how Johnson City and other local governments are tackling economic and community development issues. The group — consisting of elected mayors and appointed economic development officials from rural areas of Ukraine — started the day reviewing workforce development programs in Kingsport before taking a walking tour of storm water mitigation and redevelopment efforts in downtown... Read more
Oct 17, 2019
Empowering Young People through Up to Youth Launched in April 2019, Global Communities is implementing a five-year Up to Youth Activity in Kosovo, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), committed to improving the capacities and enabling the aspirations of youth so that they can contribute to and benefit from more stable, democratic, and prosperous communities. The Activity works with the youth in nine municipalities to help them become a source of change for their own and for their communities’ positive development; and encourage youth participation in development efforts leading towards an effective democratic society, and strengthened economies. Despite being one of the poorest countries in Europe, with the support of USAID and other donors, Kosovo is... Read more
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