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News

12 June 2018, 12:15

USAID-Rada: Model District enables MPs to better perceive ‘spirit of streets’

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

On June 8, the USAID RADA Program and MPs presented their experience and practices of interaction with voters, developed within the framework of the Model District Project

USAID RADA Program has been implementing a pilot Model District Project for several years, which aims to create the most effective model of communication and interaction of members of parliament with voters through both classical and innovative tools.

The objective of the project is to provide a parliamentarian and his team with a variety of support (expert, analytical, technical, and organizational) to solve the urgent problems of the district.

Seven parliamentarians from different factions and elected in both single-mandate and multi-mandate nationwide districts presented in the best tools and practices used during the Project implementation as well as the results of the initiative.

The above seven were offered to use the following dialogue-building and voter interaction tools:

    · Town hall meetings and public hearings in their model districts,

    ·Public debates (consultations) on laws of project management,

    · Systems actions aimed at a smoother communication with local deputies of the district,

    ·Furtherance of field meetings of committees, committee hearings in the districts,

    ·Public reports by deputies before local authorities and voters of the district,

    ·Press briefings and news conferences,

    ·Wide local (district) media coverage of a press tour to the Parliament,

    ·Scrutinizing, updating and solving the district’s problems,

    ·Trainings for aides and the deputy’s team within the district,

·  Trainings, studies and outreach work (educational activities) for the public,

·Regional colloquia for teachers to discuss and introduce a training game “Parliament-Agora” at the district’s secondary schools.

Opening the event, the first deputy of the chief administrative officer of Ukraine’s Parliament Petro Bodnar stated: “The Model District Project is a programme of high significance. A huge amount of time took our discussions on how to establish and foster communication with nationals. Lack of information is the exact factor producing a negative rating and many other related questions. The project is designed for solving the above problems as it enables people to come into close contact with deputies.

Ann Hopper, a deputy Director of the USAID Democracy and Governance Office, thinks the best part of a responsible and democratic institute is in fulfilling by deputies a representative function within the voting districts.

“The Model District Project is a product of our partnership with the Verkhovna Rada. We are pleased to be partners with the seven parliamentarians who have demonstrated both classical and innovative ways of communicating with voters, the media, local authorities and civil society”.

In turn, the President of the East Europe Foundation Viktor Liakh remarked there was the result of a 2.5-year work with people's deputies of Ukraine, who had participated in the Model District, presented today.  “We want to see interaction and communication between the parliament and the citizens. I hope the new format will become a model to emulate in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and that our model deputies will serve as examples to follow”.

The Director of the USAID RADA Program Ihor Kohut emphasized that the Model District Project was to build up communication models, then test them, develop traditional communications and offer innovative ones as well. "Among the findings I made was one that people's deputies began to listen to the thoughts of others during reporting, town meetings and other events within the project.  During these two years, we have been able to testify changes in attitude of voters to the people's deputies in our model districts," he said.

Other participants of the event also delivered their presentations, and expressed their gratitude to the Rada Program and the Model District Project for bolstering connections with the populace and implementing important socio-political projects.