Prospects of advocacy and reforming of social sphere of Ukraine were recently discussed in Kyiv


20.04.2013, Ukraine
On 11th of March a round-table with participation of Ukrainian and international organizations in sphere of philanthropy and social work was held in Kyiv. Meeting participants discussed actual problems of social sphere in Ukraine and prospects of its reforming.

During the discussion of these issues event participants agreed that strategic planning of social policy is in unsatisfactory condition and there is need in creation of expert coordination body with representatives of non-governmental organizations. At the same time reports on situation with activity of community boards in governmental authorities’ bodies were presented and it was decided to lobby the increase of their duties.

While reviewing possible changes in State budget expenditures participants agreed that there is a necessity to address governmental authorities to save the current level of social guarantees, regarding payments ensured by the state and also amount and quality of social services. Considering that fact, everyone gave his/her consent that it is unacceptable to eliminate the institute of social sphere experts, decrease their number (that was defined regarding norms of securing social services to population).

Successful stories and prospects of lobbying changes in regulation and tax assessment of charity organizations, foreign experience, strategic directions of further reforms in this sphere were examined with help of report, prepared by colleagues from Ukrainian Philanthropist Forum and further discussion. All these give an opportunity to reduce burden on benefactors, stimulate the development of private and corporate philanthropy in Ukraine.

During a round-table in Kyiv participants got a joint position concerning future activity of state authorities bodies in sphere of children’s rights protection, notably, regarding function of Children’s Ombudsman position in structure of authorities bodies. Taking into account the recent change of state system to parliamentary-presidential republic, round-table experts came to the same idea that such position should be included to the structure of Verkhovna Rada, perhaps, as a department of Human-rights Ombudsman Front Office.

Additional attention was focused on interaction of civic society with governmental authorities within community boards and, particularly, on participation in elaboration of regulatory documents, need in efficiency of public expertise of such documents.

Participants of a round-table “Prospects of advocacy and reforming of social sphere” agreed to form a working group that be involved in creation of national representative expert and coordination body, its team, responsibilities, structure and managing board. There is a working title for it – “National council of non-governmental organizations in sphere of children and family rights protection”. It is foreseen that such representative body will:
–    include a wide circle of experts, representatives of organizations, professional and client communities;
–    work independently from bodies of state authorities;
–    provide a regular monitoring of children and families rights protection sphere;
–    stand as an expert group in elaboration, approval and implementation of legislative initiative in social sphere;
–    coordinate its efforts in implementation of reforms and strategies through activity of community boards and lobbying groups.

There were the following preliminary priorities defined:
•  transformation of institutional establishments system,
•    development of social services segment for children and families (including preventative one);
•    combination of family policy and policy of children’s rights, changing directions in all fields of social policy targeting family interests.

Moreover, according to the results of the discussion an open letter to state authorities’ bodies was formed. It includes proposals and warnings on current condition of social sphere reforming.

Debates showed that round-table participants had common attitudes, responsibility and high level of readiness to cooperation. Among active participants there were:
Vasylyna Dybaylo and Zinayida Kyianytsya – Head and Deputy Head of “Every Child” Partnership
Svitlana Tolstoukhova – President of All-Ukrainian Civic Organizations “League of social workers”
Andriy Chuprikov – National Head of ICF “CF SOS Children’s Villages”
Kateryna Rzhevskaya – Ukrainian Philanthropist Forum Program Manager
Dzvenyslava Chaykivska – Head of Lobby Group in ICF “Caritas Ukraine”
Iryna Sinelnik – Expert of projects and programs in “Development of Ukraine” Rinat Akhmetov Foundation
Andre Poddybnyi – Executive Head of “Our children” Center
Gabriella Akimova – Legal Advisor on children’s rights protection in UNICEF

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