World Bank Small Grants Program Promotes Accountability of Local Authorities

June 2, 2011

Kyiv, June 2, 2011 - The World Bank Office in Ukraine has awarded grants to six civil society organizations as a part of the annual Small Grants Program (Civil Society Fund) competition.  This year the Ukraine Small Grants Program was announced in partnership with the Ukraine National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms (UNITER) and focused on improving governance through enhancing the role of civil society in improving service provision and government accountability in particular. Inside this broader area, the Program is concentrated on supporting civil society activities, addressing the issues of public accountability in health and communal services. Among 86 applications received this year, proposals by the following organizations stood out for innovation in addressing the issues of public accountability in health and communal services:

1. Information campaign on reforming medical services in Vinnitsa Region, by Vinnitsa Oblast Public Organization “Vinnitsa Press Club” (Vinnitsa)

2. Involvement of city residents into development of city program “Improvement of courtyards”, by Center for Reform Support and Development (Dolyna, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast)

3. Activization  of Donetsk residents to protect their rights for receiving quality communal services through the access to public information, by Donetsk Oblast Chapter of the All-Ukrainian Public Organization “Committee of Voters of Ukraine” (Donetsk)

4. Partnership of authorities and community for better quality of life, by Center for Information, Forecast and Coordination of Business Initiatives (Drogobych, Lvivska Oblast)

5. Community participation in local self-governance through creation of condominiums and social partnership, by Center for Municipal and Regional Development  - Resource Center  (Ivano-Frankivsk)

6. Improvement of quality of housing services rendered to Slavutych citizens through public empowerment, by Center for Community Development (Slavutych, Kyiv Oblast)  

Winners were selected by an independent panel which included experts from the Ukraine National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms, the United Nations Development Program, the Counterpart Creative Center, and the World Bank. The total amount of grant funding awarded to these six organizations is $30,000. Some of the projects have been recommended for further consideration under UNITER’s local program.
“Ukraine ranks poorly in the public perceptions of the quality of health and communal services. Poor governance is one of the reasons for the low level of satisfaction and trust with public services. The activities supported by this year’s Small Grants Program are meant to exemplify how civil society can help improve governance and thus help rebuild trust from below,” said Martin Raiser, World Bank Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.

The World Bank Small Grants Program (Civil Society Fund) for non-governmental organizations is a mechanism complementing the Bank programs on enhancing cooperation and communication between different partners and enabling the World Bank to directly cooperate with civil society organizations.