The International Conference “#ChangingCities: Achievements and Prospects” was held on February 10-11. The final event summed up the achievements of five years of implementation of PLEDDG in Ukraine.

“Today we summarize the activities carried out by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Ukraine together with the team of PLEDDG. We have devoted this time to strengthen the municipal sector, introduce democratic and effective governance, and accelerate local economic development. Working with our partners, we have achieved impressive results and witnessed how our joint work has turned into real cases — the success stories of Ukrainian cities,” said PLEDDG Project Director Oleksandr Kucherenko in his introductory speech.

The event brought together professional experts, leading Ukrainian and international practitioners, representatives of the public sector and business, public authorities, and local self-government.

“Canada has been supporting Ukraine for many years, particularly in the decentralization of governance and transformation of the municipal sector. All this time, professional experts has been sharing the experience and best practices of successful local development. The work carried out in the partner cities has really contributed to their positive transformation, which is undoubtedly an achievement of PLEDDG. Today, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is disseminating the Ukrainian experience in other countries around the world,” said Carol Saab, CEO of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

During the first day of the Conference, the participants reviewed the best practices of 16 PLEDDG Partner Cities in the areas of open governance, local economic development, and interagency cooperation. A separate focus of the event was the discussion of further sustainability of implemented initiatives and projects, as well as a review of current trends in municipal development.

The second day of the Conference was dedicated to celebrating the achievements of partner cities of Vinnytsia, Zaporizhia, Poltava, and Ivano-Frankivsk regions. Representatives of PLEDDG presented awards to local activists and officials for their contribution to the development of Ukrainian cities and communities.

“Recognition inspires new ideas and goals, which then become a part of your life! It is a pleasure to receive an award in recognition of our achievements, which will become a tool for the further successful local economic development of our Poltava,” posted Vita Klymenko, former director of the Department of Economy and Investment of the Poltava City Council.

The competition within the flash mob #ChangingCities of the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine and PLEDDG was summed up during the event as well. Representatives of the winning projects Maksym Cherkashyn (Open Market Platform, Ternopil) and Valentyna Sedliar (City Workshop Project, Zhytomyr) received a memorable award Creator of Local Change.

“Inspired by the success stories of our partners, we decided to find and encourage as many Ukrainian local activists as possible, because they are often the main drivers of positive local change. The #ChangingCities flashmob showed us how many change agents across the country work every day for the well-being of their communities,” said Olha Mazurenko, Head of Communications and Knowledge Management at PLEDDG.

During 5 years of implementation, PLEDDG together with the cities and communities of Ukraine has built effective mechanisms of local development. Joint efforts in the areas of open government, support for inclusive business, and expansion of interagency dialogue will allow partners to continue to pursue successful activities, ensuring the sustainability of implemented initiatives.