On April 12 and 13, the online conference “Services for Everyone” was held by the U-LEAD with Europe Programme. The event was attended by almost 400 local self-government leaders – hromada heads, village heads (starostas), ASC directors and employees, experts in the field of administrative services.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine greeted the participants and noted: “The digital state is first and foremost about creating equal opportunities for all Ukrainians. Therefore, one of the priority goals of the Ministry of Digital Transformation is to provide a modern public service in every corner of Ukraine. We are working to expand the ASC network to more than 3,500 access points by 2024. Then every Ukrainian will be able to receive high-quality public services, regardless of where he or she lives. I am grateful to the U-LEAD Programme for supporting this ambitious goal, and I would like to express my gratitude to local governments, newly established hromadas for their commitment to sustainable development, providing residents with high-quality public services and willingness to innovate”.
The conference presented the achievements of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme in the establishment and modernisation of ASCs in territorial hromadas of Ukraine, the Programme’s methodological support package and other institutional support tools for the establishment of well-functioning Administrative Service Centres. Liudmyla Rabchynska, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, presented the concept of the DIIA Centres.
Ambassador Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine in his address to the participants noted: “Access to public services in a modern, digital and transparent way is crucial for the quality of life in hromadas. I am proud that the U-LEAD with Europe Programme funded by the EU and six EU Member States, is supporting the decentralisation reform in Ukraine and will help establish 484 Administrative service centers throughout the country by mid-2021. I encourage the Ukrainian authorities to take further steps in the development of accessible and qualitative services in accordance with European practices, to work together with new mayors, to exchange experience and build even stronger partnerships. The EU will continue providing support to Ukrainian government and hromadas to improve the quality of public services and thus the life of citizens. We are moving forward together”.
“U-LEAD contributes to the creation of over 1 300 access points for public service provision, delivering on the promise to bring public services closer to all Ukrainian citizens, including residents of remote settlements and the most vulnerable. Millions of Ukrainian men and women will benefit from improved service provision both in the physical centres and on-line”, said Tobias Thyberg, Ambassador of Sweden to Ukraine in his welcoming speech.
During the event, the priorities of the state policy in the field of administrative services, digitalisation of public services and ASC functions, training tools and experience exchange for ASC employees were discussed.
Serhii Sharshov, General Director of the Directorate for Local Self-Government Development of the Ministry of Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine, took part in the discussion on the priorities of the state policy in the field of administrative services and noted: “We highly appreciate the large-scale activities of the ULEAD with Europe Programme for the establishment and modernisation of ASCs in hromadas for almost five years. The systematic work of the Programme with more than 500 partner hromadas, with the support of the government, has brought significant results, but challenges remain. More than half of hromadas do not have an administrative service centre yet. And we are grateful that Sida plans to continue to support local governments in their efforts to provide residents with convenient access to public services”.
Susanna Dellans, Sida Programme Director of U-LEAD with Europe (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) noted “All achievements of the Programme became possible due to teamwork, high level of trust and mutual support. I would like to thank each partner of our programme for their efforts, enthusiasm and hard work to provide residents and businesses with necessary services and advice close to their homes or places of business. We will continue to support decentralisation in Ukraine and work with Hromadas, Government and Parliament to further improve the quality of local public services”.
The conference ended with a discussion on how public services will be provided in 2036, moderated by Valerii Pekar, a public activistand lecturer at the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School.