The Swedish-Ukrainian PROSTO Project has launched a new line of activities aimed at supporting starostas

The Institution of starostas (head of settlements) is designed to ensure proper interaction between the territorial community center and residents of different settlements. Furthermore, starostas are responsible for provision of public, including administrative, services to residents of settlement districts. In fact, this is the first access point to address the needs of citizens living in settlements outside the territorial community center. 

Realizing the importance of access to public services for all residents, the Swedish-Ukrainian Project PROSTO "Support to Service Accessibility in Ukraine" began piloting a new activity– "The role of starostas in organizing access to public services in settlement districts".

"Starostas are government officials closest to the people and they are the first officials to communicate with the territorial community center. The community cohesion will depend on the quality of this communication, and the residents' satisfaction level will depend on the quality of the provided administrative services. Thus, the development and training of starostas is an important element of decentralization," Olesya Tsybulko, Director of the Directorate for Systemic Development of Administrative Services of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, said.

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The first partners of the PROSTO Project were 7 hromadas from different parts of Ukraine: Dunaivtsi (Khmelnytsky region), Kamyanka Buzka (Lviv region), Ivankiv (Kyiv region), Murovani Kurylivtsi (Vinnytsia region), Nadvirna (Ivano-Frankivsk region), Yasinya (Zakarpattia region), Ovruch (Zhytomyr region).

The pilot hromadas were selected according to the following criteria:

  • presence of at least 10 settlement districts within the territorial community
  • number of residents of the territorial community: from 10 to 100 thousand residents
  • communities where the number of IDPs is more than 10% of the community population / exempted from temporary occupation / located in mountains regions / has a mobile ASC,
  • the political will of the head of community to cooperate with starostas.

The number of partner hromadas is planned to increase after the pilot. Through the joint work and implementation of activities the aim is to achieve the following results:

  • the functioning of the institution of starosta in the pilot communities was comprehensively monitored;
  • sharing experiences for starosta and community leaders from pilot communities was organized;
  • trainings were conducted to increase the institutional capacity of starosta, including the provision of administrative services;
  • recommendations were given on the adaptation of IT equipment for use in settlement districts;
  • methodical recommendations and policy recommendations on effective functioning of starosta were prepared;
  • best practices were popularized with the aim of their large-scale implementation.

The Swedish-Ukrainian project PROSTO "Support to Service Accessibility in Ukraine" operates in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and the Ministry of Community and Territory Development of Ukraine to support local governments in providing affordable and quality services to citizens.