Alongside with the ongoing war in Ukraine, the process of reforms and changes of internal policies keep happening. The divide between different levels of social institutions providing social services is immense, starting from local social centers and finishing with Ministries.
A team of 6 from the Network of Dialogue Facilitators, established by Foundations for Freedom (F4F) in 2014 in cooperation with the 'Stabilization Support Services' (SSS) funded by the UK Embassy in Ukraine ran a common project: 'Development of social cohesion in Ukraine by strengthening regional and local social support for internally displaced people, veterans and other groups that suffered because of the conflict'.
The project was successfully performed in October-December 2019 and consisted of running 22 facilitated dialogue sessions in 20 different regions of Ukraine involving heads of local social centers, social workers, representatives of local authorities responsible for providing social services where the most important issues were raised and ideas for solutions were gathered on how to improve the social system both locally, regionally and nationally. 22 road maps were created related to each of the regions where dialogue sessions were run. Just under 300 people took part in these events, that were organized by local advisors/coordinators from SSS and run by dialogue facilitators from F4F. This was the stage of connecting local and regional levels in social area as well as the creation of a Road map for strengthening social cohesion by improving the system of providing social services in Ukraine.
It was followed by 3 facilitated dialogue meetings on the national level involving representatives of NGOs, international agencies, state authorities, related ministries and advisors where the connection between the local and national level was established and certain steps were worked out for the interested parties to implement at their working places. Although the project is officially over, the cooperation still goes on and actions are being taken.
According to the responses from the regions, local workers highly valued the opportunity to be heard, consulted with and to share their concerns and ideas for solutions, so that they can reach higher levels of decision-makers. And from another side it has been valuable for representatives of different ministries and institutions to meet for getting ideas from the fields, exchanging and improving communication/cooperation so that they can deal with issues more effectively.
Calendar of events + future plans:
24, April - 1, May 2020
Training 'Youth for Dialogue' in Baia Mare, Romania run by Initiative Mittel- und Osteuropa e.V. (InMOE, Germany) in cooperation with F4F (Ukraine) and Center for Social Transformation (Romania) funded by Erasmus+ program of EU. During the training, participants will learn the methodology and different tools of “Dialogue” as a form of communication and dealing with conflicts, in order to run their own dialogues back home with young people from their community. The training is also seen as a space for reflection and community building process.
12-16, July 2020
Training track for city mayors and representatives of local authorities in Caux, Switzerland alongside with the Tools for Changemakers conference on the topic participation and empowering local citizens for active involvement in decision-making processes. This workshop is a continuation of a long-term process of promoting and implementing participatory methods of governing on local levels, like participatory budgeting, public hearings, etc.