Transparency Builds Trust Between a City and Its Resident

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021
The Drohobych Press Service holds events with the city council to inform local citizens about government activities.
Photo credit: Drohobych Press Service

USAID helps strengthen transparency in Drohobych and an open dialogue with the its residents

Drohobych, a city in Lviv Oblast with a population of 75,000, has significantly increased the transparency of how it does business and demonstratively improved communications with its residents. In 2020, for the third year in a row, Drohobych scored high in Transparency International Ukraine’s Transparent Cities ranking. The city’s score has risen dramatically since 2017, in large part due to efforts to strengthen municipal communications and increase public oversight. USAID’s Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCI) and its partners have contributed much to that effort.

USAID’s SACCI activity and its partner, the Eidos Center for Political Studies and Analysis, helped the Drohobych municipal government improve services and communications across the board. This included efforts to increase access to public information, strengthen internal policies and procedures that enhance budget transparency, standardize business processes, implement conflict-of-interest policies, strengthen compliance with its code of ethics, and install complaint mechanisms and whistleblower protection protocols. Rather than implementing these reforms behind closed doors, SACCI encouraged city officials to engage citizens in discussions and active communication prior to adoption.

Recognizing the benefits of keeping residents informed about the city’s management challenges and successes, the Drohobych city government became an eager partner in learning new and more effective communication approaches. SACCI’s activity partner, the Ukraine Crisis Media Center (UCMC), helped the city council press service find innovative ways to inform citizens about city council activities.

In late 2020, the city council press service launched its own crisis media center, inspired by UCMC and in reaction to the risks posed by COVID-19. Amid the pandemic, they created videos and organized online meetings and events to discuss major city issues. Today, UCMC continues to cooperate with the press service to update the Drohobych Crisis Media Center’s site content and help them to independently organize discussions, public reports, and press engagements with the mayor.

A 2021 USAID/ENGAGE survey confirmed that Drohobych continues to build on its lead as a city with high levels of public trust. By keeping city residents informed and engaged, Drohobych is making great strides toward creating an environment without dark corners for corruption to fester.  

Last updated: September 23, 2021

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