During September and October, online meetings of the Advisory Committees on Good Governance and Development and the Committees for the Management of the Implementation of the Development Strategies of PLEDDG Partner Cities in Zaporizhia Oblast are held. Melitopol, Zaporizhia, Enerhodar, and Berdyansk shared their achievements in implementing development strategies and plans for their implementation in accordance with the planned indicators.
The creation of urban development strategies according to the methodology of PLEDDG is based on the analysis of the socio-economic profile, surveys of the community and business representatives on the needs and directions of the city development, as well as strategic environmental assessment. The strategy has a consensual nature of the proposals and ideas of all stakeholders involved, which ensures a high level of trust and realistic implementation.
“Currently, the first program stage of the implementation of our Strategy is being completed,” said Valentyna Pavlenko, Head of the Division of Socio-Economic Development of the Department of Economic Development of the Zaporizhia City Council. “In the beginning, in 2017, we collected project proposals online from NGOs, local self-government departments, educational institutions, business representatives, and city council deputies. Now, we have the opportunity to analyze the implementation of the Strategy of development of the city of Zaporizhia according to the established indicators. The most successful projects implemented within the areas planned by the Strategy are the participative budget, which is actively supported by residents, bringing administrative services closer to citizens, a pilot training center for ATO participants, and an export support center.”
Each area of the Strategy is complemented by an implementation plan and performance indicators, with which all partner cities draft their reports. Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Strategy according to the methodology of PLEDDG completes a number of tasks:
- control over the implementation of the strategy as a whole;
- assessment of the degree of progress in strategic areas, strategic and operational goals;
- analysis of information on changes in external and internal factors of the region’s development to clarify and adjust the goals of the Strategy.
Yuliya Doynova, Deputy Mayor of Berdyansk told about the successes in the implementation of the Berdyansk Development Strategy:
“Implementation of the first stage of the Berdyansk Development Strategy was marked by the intensification of government interaction with the community, constructive cooperation between the business and the public. In particular, important results in establishing a dialogue with citizens were achieved thanks to the tools provided by the participative budget, with residents actively responding to the city’s call to initiative funding. Thanks to the implementation of participative budget projects, the city’s neighborhoods are developing, their improvement and infrastructure are improving. The Center for Administration Services Provision “Single Office” has also received positive feedback from its visitors, thanks to which new methods for the provision of services are being introduced, making them more accessible and efficient. The material and technical condition of the healthcare sector, education, and culture has improved, international technical assistance funds have been attracted, and local self-government practices are being actively applied. Now, we have a focus on strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises of the city by introducing a mechanism of partial reimbursement from the city budget of interest rates on loans for business projects, as well as for the promotion of products of local producers. We will not rest on our laurels, and I hope to continue working to create a favorable business environment for economic growth.”
The involvement of the main stakeholders at the stage of monitoring the implementation of the Strategy is no less important than at the stage of its development. Iryna Rudakova, First Deputy Mayor of Melitopol, shared her experience in monitoring the implementation of the Strategy:
“To ensure the monitoring of the effectiveness of the Strategy implementation, the Committee for Management of the Implementation of the Strategy (CMIC) was formed, which in its essence is a continuation of the public-private partnership, which enabled the strategic planning process. The CMIC includes the most active leaders, representatives of business, local self-government, industrial enterprises, the public, and educational institutions. CMIC conducts an analysis of the quality of the completion of tasks and adherence to the work schedule – today, the highest indicators of the effectiveness of the implementation of the Strategy are the areas of work related to territory branding, combining local initiatives in business associations, and promoting export activities.”
The monitoring process compares demographic, economic, environmental, and other indicators. This comparison is made with the indicators as of the date of the adoption of the Strategy, as well as with the relevant indicators of the territories which were compared in the course of the socio-economic analysis during the development of the Strategy.
According to Ihor Kudria, First Deputy Mayor of Enerhodar:
“Studies have shown that thanks to the joint work with PLEDDG, 60% of the city’s residents are aware of the city’s development strategy and brand. The participative budget has become one of the most successful cases of the implementation of new tools of local economic development, as city residents get actively involved with their own ideas to improve life in their neighborhoods. The city is becoming recognizable among investors and guests of the city, in particular, due to the developed brand and its visualization in the murals of Enerhodar.”
The main purpose of monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Development Strategy is to promptly adjust the implementation periods of the projects as well as their tools based on the obtained objective data. This approach makes it possible to ensure realistic, achievable, and maximum compliance of the projects with the strategic directions of the city development and the needs of citizens.
Each successful indicator of the implementation of the city strategy is supported by a number of comprehensive projects, the implementation of which is primarily the achievement of the professional team on the ground, high professional competence, and sincere interest in creating better living conditions, doing business, and attracting investment. PLEDDG is grateful to the partner cities for fruitful cooperation and celebration of the contribution of PLEDDG’s team to the development of economic growth and well-being of the community of cities of the Zaporizhia Oblast. The next stages of joint implementation of urban strategies are ahead, with PLEDDG remaining a reliable partner on the way to growth and enhancement of the competitiveness of cities.