«SMART-impulse for the community» – socially responsible business and international support as a driver of decentralization in Ukraine.
One of the key business stakeholders is the local communities with whom we develop productive partnerships. We are convinced that by promoting the development of communities and increasing their activity, business will grow and develop successfully.
Working with communities, we see the presence of such a problem as the lack of necessary knowledge about the development of local communities.
Therefore, we strive to help Volochysk OTG in planning integrated development, creating long-term capacity of the community to cope with future challenges and effectively use existing opportunities.
In view of the above, we, together with partners, decided to implement the project «SMART-impulse for the community».
SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM SITUATION
Partnership is a superpower of our time, because even with the greatest idea, it is difficult to implement it alone.
Another matter if a team of like-minded people works. As in the project «SMART-impulse for the community». At the end of 2019, four partners came together and took a SMART course to improve the social and economic development of the Volochysk community in the Khmelnytsky region.
The project is being implemented in the Volochysk united territorial community together with the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine, Deloitte International Consulting Company in Ukraine, and Agri-industrial holding «Astarta-Kyiv». Thanks to the project, the management of Volochysk OTG in close cooperation with expert partners in the field of self-government, economic analysis and sustainable development began to implement a plan of change for the development of their community.
The purpose of the project: to transform the Volochysk community through the identification of problems and growth points, development and implementation of SMART-ideas based on the collected information to improve the lives of residents; ensuring transparency and openness of local authorities, partnership with business, increasing the participation of residents in community development processes.
«Our company is a socially responsible business, for which it is important to develop relationships with the communities where our business is represented, on an ecosystem basis because, the power of growth is in the synergy of ideas, knowledge and cooperation. And we are always ready to support community initiatives and help concerned leaders who are ready to work in their homeland, develop their territories for a better future for all of us», – said Svetlana Mozhova, Director of human resources, corporate partnership and communications in Astarta-Kyiv.
«Partnership is the highest value for us and the key to success, and this project is based on a partnership between the community, business and governmental organization. We are convinced that the example of such a partnership will become a good practice for dissemination in other Ukrainian communities as well», – commented Eileen Hofstetter, Senior Advisor at the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine.
Formed on August 13, 2015, Volochysk OTG has 33,600 people.
According to the concept, there are three stages of project implementation:
1. Complex diagnostics of Volochysk united territorial community is an analysis of all spheres of community functioning which allowed to formulate scenarios of its further development, key challenges, opportunities and prospects, to develop strategies of community development.
2. Conducting a Hackathon among the residents of Volochysk united territorial community – a tool, used to identify problems quickly and generate effective solutions based on the needs of the population, which are economically justified and able to show high results in a short time, improving the quality of life.
3. Implementation of SMART-ideas – for the accomplishment of community projects aimed at solving the problems identified in the previous stages.
RESULTS OF THE DECISION
Key project results:
1. A comprehensive diagnosis of the community was conducted, 40 recommendations of the following direction were prepared:
– 9 strategic;
– 8 economic;
– 5 educational and sports;
– 6 medical;
– 5 housing and communal services;
– 7 cultural and artistic.
11 short-term ones have been implemented, such as:
– assessment of the balance of medical and administrative staff of community health facilities;
– introduce the practice of even distribution of projects between cities and villages;
– analysis of the efficiency of community utilities to optimize costs.
2. The hackathon was conducted among the population, thanks to which the needs of residents and their vision of the growth vector were learned. Generated 24 insights and 60 ideas related to education, culture, economics, health, infrastructure development and support for small and medium-sized businesses, interaction between government, community, and business. Their implementation continues.
3. The creation of the Community Development Strategy and a niche enterprise continues. For example, the Pranuka business project is the production of natural cosmetics and the provision of raw materials (medicinal plants) with the involvement of the maximum number of residents.
In the period 2020-2021, 3.5 thousand of sea buckthorn seedlings were grown and sold to retail customers. In the 2nd-4th quarter of 2021 – the first steps were taken in the direction of growing medicinal plants:
– 1 ha of mallow and 0.5 ha of echinacea were sown on a private plot in the village of Manachyn (Volochyska OTG);
– experimental sowing of sage, St. John’s wort, mint, oregano, and chamomile was carried out on a homestead plot in the village of Korystova (Volochyska OTG);
– it is planned to collect, process grown plants and sell them.
The business project helps to solve 2 main problems:
– social: job creation for the rural population of Volochysk OTG. For example, the seasonal harvest of 1 hectare of mallow requires the daily work of 50 people;
– ecological: the cultivation of medicinal plants does not require processing with synthetic fertilizers, so it does not contaminate or even maintain the purity of the soil, does not harm animals and human health.
Another interesting business project is the Pavensky family’s farm «Eco-Pig». It is planned to equip the premises in order to accommodate 275 pigs. Diet for pigs will be developed according to the recommendations of animal nutritionists, taking into account their physiological condition. The main goal of the farm is to increase the amount of pigs that will meet the needs of consumers.
So, the work continues, and the «SMART-impulse for the community» encourages to take action.