Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) Program is USAID’s five-year program, implemented by international organization Global Communities, and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Program is working to enhance good local governance and create improved conditions for the development of consolidated communities (CCs), increase citizen engagement in decision-making, and ensure accountability and transparency in public administration.
The USAID DOBRE Program operates in 7 target Oblasts: Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kirovohrad, Mykolayiv, and Ternopil. Since June 2020, DOBRE Program started operating in three more Oblasts: Zaporizhzhia, Chernivtsi and Chernihiv.
The DOBRE Program implementing Consortium, led by Global Communities, includes: Ukrainian Crisis Media Center (UCMC); SocialBoost; Foundation in Support of Local Democracy (FSLD/FRDL), Malopolska School of Public Administration at the Krakow University of Economics (MSAP/UEK), Poland; National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Ukraine Crisis Media Center being the program’s communication partner leads strategic communications aimed at creating awareness of national and international audiences about the advantages of decentralization in Ukraine. It also trains the communities in efficient communications and shares their best practices.
Main activities of UCMC-DOBRE
Enhancing public communications: designing communication strategies, training sessions for heads, secretaries and communications professionals in the communities, expert guidance for logo design of the consolidated communities.
Working with journalists: press tours, round tables, training sessions, journalism contests, expert discussions.
Spreading best practices: briefings of community spokespersons, promotion videos, photography tours, touring photo exhibitions, the book “Success stories of partner communities of the DOBRE program”, the postcard set “Community short stories”, articles in the leading media.
Producing hands-on materials: handbooks (“Practicing public communications for consolidated communities”, “Powers of consolidated communities in securing children’s rights: understanding the origins”, travel guide “Across the new communities of Ukraine”), multimedia longreads.
Two seasons of the TV show “Million Worth Community” and “Million Worth Community. Specialists” aired on “1+1” TV channel – a social reality show that had the consolidated communities of Ukraine compete for investment and participate in exchange of international experience. Over 15,5 million viewers saw the prospects and development tools of the consolidated communities.
Two online education courses by Anatoliy Tkachuk on Prometheus platform: “Decentralization in Ukraine – theory and practice” and “Decentralization: from paternalism to responsible development”. The courses are about local self-governance, they combine theory and practice highlighting real-life stories of innovative solutions that emerged in consolidated communities during the reform. Over 8.000 people took the online courses. It formed a discussion platform and a professional network of decentralization professionals.
Promotion videos created in partnership with production studio DocNoteFilms present the potential, resources and cooperation in the Bashtanska, Prysyvaska, Terebovlyanska, Pechenizhynska, Nyzhnyoverbizka, Pokrovska and Voznesenska consolidated communities to investors, tourists and wider audience. Over 1,5 million viewers saw the videos. Three investment hubs and a tourism hub held for representatives of DOBRE’s partner communities, businesses, government, civil society, international assistance projects and media. Communities were trained to plan communications, they presented investment projects that helped build business partnerships.