The First Forum on Participatory Budgeting Held in Kyiv
15 December 2016
   On 13 December, the USAID Municipal Finance Strengthening Initiative (MFSI-II) Roll-out Project held a forum in Kyiv devoted to Implementation of Participatory Budgeting in Ukrainian Cities. The event has wrapped up the results of the Project’s first year of activities to assist Ukrainian cities in engaging their citizens in the budget process at the local level. The Forum was chaired by the First Deputy Chairman of the Kyiv City State Administration Henadii Plis.
   The event has become a platform for an open discussion for 80 persons involved in implementation of participatory budgeting in Ukrainian cities. The event participants included representatives of the Kyiv City State Administration, members of the Kyiv City Councils, mayors of the Ukrainian cities collaborating with the Project, international experts of city councils, nongovernmental organizations, and mass media outlets.
    The attendees have discussed the experience of Ukrainian cities in implementation of participatory budgeting, the specifics of using the Citizens’ Project electronic system in the Project partner cities. Vyacheslav Zubenko, director general of the Institute for Budgetary and Socio-Economic Research has stressed that implementation of participatory budgeting in Kyiv and 14 other cities (Lviv, Rivne, Chernivtsi, Khmelnytskyi, Berdiansk, Kramatorsk, Melitopol, Ternopil, Dnipro, Baranivka, Romny, Okhtyrka, Vilnohirsk, and Zhovti Vody) by means of supplying the Citizens’ Project electronic system became possible thanks to financing by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Representatives of the cities using the system have noted that the Citizen’s Project platform assured the transparency in submitting projects and voting for them. Viktor Rachkevych, USAID’s municipal development project manager has emphasized: “With the help of participatory budgeting residents can decide as to the specific purpose of using budget funds. USAID has provided financial support for development of the Citizens’ Project electronic system, which can be used for submitting projects and voting for submitted ideas.”
   Justyna Piwko, coordinator of participatory budgeting at the Social Communications Center of Warsaw’s City Council has shared her four years’ experience of realization of participatory budgeting in the Polish capital city. Among other things, she told about the marathons of writing city projects held in Warsaw, where residents come together and decide jointly about the most pressing needs of any specific city district. The Polish model is very close for Ukraine, therefore, that experience can be useful in subsequent years for implementation of participatory budgeting in Ukrainian cities.
   Project authors also took part in the Forum. They shared the experience of submitting their ideas via the Citizens’ Project website and discussed a promotion campaign to advertise their projects among city residents.
Speakers’ presentations are available at the link
A picture gallery can be found at the link