In 2023, Transparent Cities did not make traditional city transparency ratings, because Ukrainian cities faced unprecedented security challenges, and some of them were under occupation. Responding to new circumstances, we conducted the adapted study, to evaluate the transparency of City Councils during the war in 2022. Only three City Councils managed to get the status of “absolutely transparent.”
Our team strives to help, change local self-government in war conditions, unite communities and make cities more transparent. We regularly advise local governments, analyze current legislation, and adapt recommendations to the requirements of martial law. After the presentation of the adapted study, we have already consulted with representatives of City Councils of Stryi and Sumy, to analyze the results separately and discuss recommendations for implementing transparency practices.
This time we held a meeting with representatives of local authorities in Drohobych, Lviv region. How did the city perform in the study and what changes can the City Council apply to improve the situation?
Drohobych fully completed 15 of the 40 indicators of the study. During the year, the city regularly reported on raising and distribution criteria of humanitarian aid — this is a good example for other cities.
Another 16 indicators were partially achieved and 6 were not achieved, which makes the city “non-transparent.” The remaining 3 indicators could not be determined, so this did not affect the final status of the city. For more information about the performance indicators, see the detailed table by each city.
We should note that the Drohobych City Council demonstrated a high level of transparency in previous years when we compiled Transparency Rankings — 83 points in 2021, and 78 in 2020 on a 100-point scale. However, pre-war and current indicators cannot be compared, because the methodologies of these studies and the conditions in which our analysts evaluated the work of City Councils differ significantly.
Recommendations for increasing transparency
First, attention should be directed towards recommendations pertaining to the activities of the City Council itself. To become more transparent and open to residents, we advise Drohobych local authorities to do the following:
- Publish current regulatory acts of the City Council and its executive bodies on its website and on Open Data Portal.
- Publish the minutes of all meetings of the conciliation board.
- Regularly update the register of land lease agreements, with current-year information.
- Provide up-to-date information about major and ongoing repairs, construction, reconstruction, and landscaping in a machine-readable format on the city portal or Open Data Portal.
The municipality has a lot of property and land plots at its disposal, which are subject to transparent accounting and distribution. The Transparent Cities analysts recommend to:
- Update data on residential premises owned by the community (unused housing transferred for use, dorm rooms).
- Provide up-to-date information about development sites that can be sold at e-auctions.
- Update the list of municipal real estate available for rent on their website.
- Publish the register of all municipal real estate as of 2023.
- Add new information about advertising tools and structures during the year to the Open Data Portal.
Residents should have access to political processes in the city, this is an integral part of democracy. Drohobych City Council should implement the following recommendations:
- Continue announcing City Council sessions on their own website. The announcement should have the date and time of the meeting, a link to the broadcast, and an agenda. The same should be done with meetings of the Executive Committee, Standing Committees and coordination agency in the city.
- Ensure regular broadcasts of meetings on YouTube/Facebook.
- Consider even those petitions that did not get enough votes. They may be responded as a simple request on E-DEM platform.
How to turn recommendations into tangible actions?
The first step that we recommend that the Drohobych City Council take is to develop a detailed action plan. There should be clear steps and goals that the city wants to achieve to improve their transparency in a certain period of time. Transparent Cities experts are ready to review the developed plan and advise on its improvement upon request.
We strive to make all Ukrainian cities as resilient and transparent as possible. Therefore, the program is open to cooperation with Ukrainian municipalities. Representatives of cities can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org