PLEDDG Project is set to develop a Strategy for Sustainability and Impact. On December 13-14, 2017, PLEDDG team conducted a training session with the aim to kickstart the development of the Strategy.

On December 13-14, 2017, PLEDDG Project conducted a training session for representatives from partner cities on “Implementation of Changes at Local Level: Strategies for Sustainability and Impact, Challenges, and Key to Success” with a view to kick-start the development of a Strategy for Sustainability and Impact.

During two intensive seminar days, the participants learned about municipal development best practices and discussed practical strategies to ensure a long-lasting success for projects and initiatives implemented by them. The attendees took part in the facilitated discussion and discussed impediments to changes and assurance of sustainable initiatives. The focal point was given to their role as leaders in implementation of changes and to the importance of experience exchange with other communities. The event was mainly dedicated to two topics: “Territorial Branding and Marketing”, and “Women Entrepreneurship”.

Canadian expert, Pascal Lavoie, Senior Advisor on Knowledge Mobilization & Research at FCM, was invited to conduct the training. Pascal Lavoie presented FCM approaches to sustainability and impact of the implemented initiatives and programs and explained how FCM not only managed to increase capacity of the local self-government authorities and their partners, but also to successfully spread the lessons learned as well as the results of implementation of various projects.

PLEDDG Project invited former partners of MLED Project, which was being implemented by FCM and funded by the Government of Canada during 2010–2014, to share their experience on implementation of initiatives and their sustainability.

Tetiana Pidpalko, Head of the Economics Department of the Executive Committee of Kryvyi Rih City Council, discussed her experience gained in the course of the initiatives being implemented in cooperation with MLED Project. She talked about major difficulties that came up during the implementation process and explained how they had managed to overcome them. She also briefly presented the initiatives which were still being implemented.

Halyna Zayats, Deputy Head of Economic Development Division of Lviv City Council, shared the experience of Lviv City Council in implementation of the initiatives aimed at support and promotion of women entrepreneurship in Lviv. In particular, she told the participants about the experience of “Women in Entrepreneurship” Project, implemented in 2013–2014 by the Department of Economic Policy of the Lviv City Council together with “Centre for Civic Initiatives” Charity Foundation within the framework of the joint initiative of MLED Project and Association of Ukrainian Cities. In her presentation, Halyna Zayats provided a detailed outline of the key components of sustainability of the initiatives, success factors, and obstacles to implementation thereof. Valentyna Zatyshniak, Director of Dnipropetrovsk Regional Investment Agency, described the process of successful brand development for the city of Dnipropetrovsk undertaken within the framework of MLED Project.

After presentations, the trainees, in small groups, discussed the speakers’ stories and their relation to the projects currently implemented within the framework of PLEDDG Project. The participants also discussed what it takes to be a change leader for a community, efficient strategies for changes in an organization or an institution that exist, how one can learn from innovations, what sustainability means in the context of constant and rapid changes, small projects and their potential to have a real impact, etc.

Another important question raised during seminars was gender equality, which was presented by Olena Tykhomyrova, Gender Equality Advisor to PLEDDG Project. She launched a discussion on “gender-sensitivity” and “gender reasonableness” of various communication materials.

All the participants in this training session will continue to work with PLEDDG on the elaboration of a Strategy for Sustainability and Impact.