International assistance and experience transfer programme
The main programme aims include support of the comprehensive development of rural areas in Ukraine, mobilization of cross-sector collaborations, civil society development and citizens’ participation in public matters.
Using the existing Slovak experience in the abovementioned areas, we were linking Slovak stakeholders with potential Ukrainian counterparts and provided examples of best practices.
Programme target groups included, above all, Ukrainian NGOs cooperating with public administration and self-governmental authorities and with private businesses, in rural areas of Zakarpattya, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Chernivtsi and Cherkasy regions.
The programme has been implemented since 2013 in three stages:
- Truly Together – Support of comprehensive development of rural areas in Ukraine by means of mobilization of cross-sector collaborations and transfer of Slovak experience – implemented in the period 2013 – 2015;
- Truly Together 2.0 – Support of civil society development and increasing of governance quality in Ukraine and transfer of Slovak experience – implemented in the period between October 2015 and October 2017;
- Truly Together 3.0 – Civil society and public administration – implemented in the period between January 2017 and July 2018.
Programme Activities and Outcomes
- In the first phase of the programme, 10 active representatives of rural communities in Ukraine were involved in planning, preparation and implementation of development programmes. Through a specifically designed micro-grant scheme, they were coached and guided by the foundation and gained experience in the field of project implementation s. The micro-grant scheme supported 8 development projects in the total amount of €12,500.
In October 2014, selected Ukrainian representatives took a study trip to Slovakia where they spent three days visiting inspirational examples of rural community development. The best of the Slovak and Ukrainian case studies can also be found in a publication available in print/online in English, Slovak and Ukrainian versions.
- The second phase aimed to support the development of civil society and increasing of governance quality in four border areas. Through the grant scheme, young people from NGOs had a chance to plan and implement small community development activities. The grant programme redistributed a total of €18,120 to 8 projects. The programme activities promoted civic participation in public matters with the ambition of increasing the quality of governance in selected areas. The project included education activities for community representatives, soft-skills trainings and a study trip to Slovakia. All in all, 89 people took part in the activities. The Slovak experience transfer, who concerned mainly experience with public administration reform and devolution processes, as well as civil society building, took place in the period shortly after the “Revolution of Dignity” took place in Ukraine and the Minsk Protocol was signed, so these topics were highly topical.
- The focus of the third phase of the programme continued to be on devolution processes in Ukraine and on the utilisation of experience from the previous phases. Our aim was to help contribute to efficient state administration and civil society development in the region. Our main focus was on the promoting of active citizenship among young people (up to 35 years of age) and their active engagement in public matters through Citizens’ Councils – advisory bodies to public administration authorities (both self-governments and state administration authorities at local and regional levels).
We have implemented educational activities aimed at developing citizens’ public administration control skills for 80 people. Once again, the project included a micro-grant scheme which supported 5 local projects in the total amount of €20,000 .