Europe and the Caucasus

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
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 one... 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
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