The Association of Economic Development of Ivano-Frankivsk The Association of Economic Development of Ivano-Frankivsk  
   
   
Projects

Project “Promotion of investment opportunities and cooperation between small and medium sized enterprises through development of cross-border ties in the Carpathian region”

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Monitoring the public opinion of Ivano-Frankivsk citizens

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Let's care about the future today

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Holding debates on the Draft "National Program of Ukraine’s Social and Economic Development for 2002"

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Publication

Rules of tourist behavior in the Carpathians

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Carpathian Culture and Arts Events Calendar

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Centre for Facilitating Kalush Economic Development Profile

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Association for Economic and Social Development of Rohatyn Profile

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Association for Economic Development of Kolomyia Profile

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March 2009

How to improve the quality of housing and utilities services; what measures to take to fight corruption in this area; how to improve the  transparency of the local government

 

March 21, 2008 Kalush hosted a round table aimed at establishing a public dialogue between the representatives of local governments, housing and utilities companies, mass media, and the community devoted to the quality of housing and utilities services, anti-corruption measures, and improving the transparency of the local government.

The participants included 32 representatives from NGOs, local businesses, local government, housing and utilities companies, and Kalush mass media.

The round table brought up the following issues:1. Survey report on the quality of housing and utilities services in Kalush.

2. Main problems and solutions for improving the quality of housing and utilities services and fighting the corruption in this area.

3. Developing recommendations on improving the quality of housing and utilities services, anti-corruption measures, and improving the transparency of local governments.

Mariya Kovaliv, Deputy Chair of the Association for Economic Development of Ivano-Frankivsk presented the survey report on the quality of housing and utilities services in Kalush. It included the assessment of the sufficiency and efficiency of the measures, taken by the local government and housing and utilities companies in fighting corruption, and the willingness of the citizens to change their living conditions and fight corruption. M. Pidkaminna, Chair of the national “Women’s Alliance” NGO, identified the problems of the housing and utilities companies, the drawbacks of its regulatory framework on the national and local levels, lack of community spirit, and the need to contract private companies. M. Dovbenchuk, councilor of Kalush City Council, chair of the NGO “Moving into the Carpathians” ecological NGO, paid attention to the poor infrastructure in the city, the need to teach the citizens how to behave in public places, and the adoption of Regulations on the Improvement of Kalush. Yuriy Rekunov, Director, Department on Housing and Utilities, Kalush, Head of the project’s expert group, and M. Lischynskyi, ZhEO 5 Director, noted the importance of the survey for raising public awareness about the activities of the local government and housing and utilities companies. They also spoke about the need to introduce on-going monitoring over these services, which gives the opportunity to attract citizens into the decision-making process and improve the transparency and accountability of the local government. The problems in this area have been around for quite a long time, and they are caused not only by the lack of funding, but also by other factors. Among them are: low prestige of working in a ZhEO, urgent need for qualified labour (especially plumbers), as well as the Ukrainian mentality: very often the citizens themselves initiate a bribe. The ways to address these problems include a public awareness campaign, opening a ‘hot line’ with the City Executive Board, setting up condominiums. The latter approach would help to preserve the housing stock and to maintain it more efficiently. Mariya Pasichnyk, Chairperson of the “Centre for Supporting Kalush Economic Development” NGO, secretary of the expert group, highlighted the need to attract additional funding for reforming housing and utilities through projects. She also mentioned the need to offer training opportunities to city council officials and employees of housing and utilities companies.

The round table participants adopted a resolution on anti-corruption measures, transparent activities of the local government and housing and utilities companies, and improving the quality of housing and utilities services.

Main survey resultsIn January 2008, under the framework of “Involving Kalush Citizens to Housing and Utilities Reform by Strengthening Public Control over the Government and Improving the Transparency of Government Activities in this Area” project, the the “Centre for Supporting Kalush Economic Development” held a survey on identifying the quality of housing and utilities services in Kalush and identifying corruption in this area.

The goal of the survey was to identify the satisfaction level of Kalush citizens with the quality of housing and utilities services in order to fight corruption and improve the transparency of the local government activities.

The survey accomplished the following tasks:

  • Evaluated the quality of housing and utilities services in Kalush
  • Identified the experience of citizens in dealing with cases of corruption in housing and utilities;
  • Evaluated the public opinion about the efficiency of anti-corruption measures taken by the local government and the utility companies;
  • Identified the readiness of the population to change their living conditions and fight corruption in housing and utilities areas .

The survey sample included 300 persons that represented the adult population of Kalush (over 18 years).

The survey revealed that Kalush citizens are the least satisfied with the road maintenance communal company – the grading did not even reach 2 points (2=“bad”). Water and heating supply company and the gas supply company received 3 points and more (“fair”).

The problems that the citizens encounter most often include bad roads (79.3%) and poor street lighting (77.0%). More than half of the respondents noted problems with cleaning the common stairways in apartment blocks, lack of hot water in winter and lack of running repairs in the common areas in apartment blocks.

The respondents reported their problems to ZhEOs (72.7%), water and heating supply company (31.3%), power supply company (28.3%) and the gas supply company (27,0%).

The respondents either make a personal visit to the communal companies (49.4%) or try to solve the problem by phone (47.2%). On the average they had to make 1-2 visits to have their problem resolved.

As for the time consumed, 13.7% of the respondents said that their problem was addressed at once, and the third of them – that during one week. However, a quarter of the respondents said that their problems still was unresolved.

Most of the respondents had to approach only or two officials. However, every fifth respondent had to approach three and more officials. As for the time the official took to learn about their problem, almost 70% of the respondents said it was more than 30 minutes. As for the companies where the respondents encountered corruption, 10% mentioned ZhEOs, 5.7% - gas supply company, 3.7 – water and heating supply, 3% - power supply, 0.7% - street lighting unit, and 0.3% - “Ekoservis” company.

Only 60% of the respondents were able to indicate the official price of the service, and their responses were very different.

54.7% of the respondents did not pay extra money to the officials who were dealing with their problem. 13.7% said they had to pay extra to have their issue resolved. A third of the respondents refused to answer this question.

It is impossible to track any correlation with the initiators of the bribes wince more than 80% of the respondents refused to answer this question. Among those who did reply, 4% did so on someone else’s advice, 5% - on their own initiative, and 8.3% - on the official’s request. As for the amount of bribe that was given by means other than money, the respondents mentioned sums up to 200 UAH. Again, over 80% of the respondents refused to answer this questions.

More than half of the respondents know who to complain to if their problem is not addressed during a reasonable timeframe or if they are required a bribe.

It has to be noted that the citizens are very inert in defending their interests.

Notwithstanding the high percentage of people who know where to submit complaints, only 2.3% really complained about the official who demanded a bribe. 78.3% did not even try to do so.

Only 2% answered ‘yes’ or ‘to a certain extent’ to the questions “Has your complaint received a fair treatment?”

As for the measures that communal companies management and local government need to take in order to fight corruption, the respondents identified the following: improve the selection of personnel; raise salaries to communal companies employees; create cooperatives on providing services to the citizens; inform the citizens about their right; improve community control over the communal companies.

The respondents also believe it is important to reform the housing and utilities sector. 72.4% are for establishing private companies; 64.3% opt for self-organization and helping the local government in establishing condominiums; 16.3% support the idea of introducing an automated communal payment system and a single payment centre.

The round table was held under the framework of “Involving Kalush Citizens to Housing and Utilities Reform by Strengthening Public Control over the Government and Improving the Transparency of Government Activities in this Area” project, which was implemented by the Association for Economic Development of Ivano-Frankivsk in partnership with the USAID and Counterpart Creative Centre.

 
News
 

October, 2015

Fourth Steering Committee meeting of the project “Promotion of investment opportunities and cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises through development of cross-border ties in the Carpathian region”

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September, 2015

Final Conference of the project “Promotion of investment opportunities and cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises through development of cross-border ties in the Carpathian region”

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June, 2015

International Investment Forum "Investments in the Carpathian Region"

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May, 2015

Focus group meeting held in the framework of the project “Promotion of investment opportunities and cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises through development of cross-border ties in the Carpathian region”

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May, 2015

We invite to participate in International Investment Forum “Investments in the Carpathian Region”

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March, 2015

Third Steering Committee meeting of the project "Promotion of investment opportunities and cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises through development of cross-border ties in the Carpathian region"

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December, 2014

The second Steering Committee meeting of the project «Promotion of investment opportunities and cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises through development of cross-border ties in the Carpathian region» 

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AEDIF
Address: Ukraine, 76000, Ivano-Frankivsk
Street. Dnistrovska, 26
Phones: (0342) 72-37-14, 72-37-14
Fax: (0342) 72-37-14

E-mail: mkovaliv@gmail.com