Key Findings & Recommendations on Governance & Services
Confidence in institutions is generally low across the country at a score of 2.4 out of 101. Trust in central institutions, the feeling that authorities care equally about and are ready to listen to different opinions from all parts of Ukraine, are low, and have decreased in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts since 2019. Although scoring above central institutions, confidence in local institutions is not high either, at 4.4 out of 102. Still, trust in local institutions has increased since 2018 at the national level, while in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts trust towards newly elected heads of cities or towns is higher or at the same level compared to 2019.
Satisfaction with public services is mediocre at 5.8 out of 10 at the national level, with some western oblasts faring slightly above the national average and some eastern and southern slightly below3. Justice services are considered inefficient across the country at 4.7 out of 10, while the provision of administrative services and welfare payments are perceived as the most efficient, at 6.8 and 6.6 respectively. Interventions aimed at improving rule of law and justice services should prioritise Cherkasy, Odesa and Poltava oblasts, while welfare payments lag behind the national average in Kirovohrad and Zakarpattia oblasts.
Scepticism towards reforms stood at 6.5 out of 10 in 2021, experiencing an increase since 2018. Support for reforms is locked in a vicious cycle with trust in institutions and feeling that authorities care. Combined support for decentralisation, land and health reforms is low (3.7 out of 10), with land reform being the least and decentralisation reform the most supported (3.2 and 4.3, respectively). Support for reforms dropped compared to previous years, and is lower in Kharkiv, Odesa, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and along the ‘contact line’.
Interventions should focus on building visibility of anticorruption measures and reforms and on strengthening good governance via transparency, access to information and constructive dialogue between citizens and local authorities to improve confidence in the reforms process and in decision makers. Transparency and dialogue should be coupled with improved service delivery, with a particular focus on justice and law enforcement to increase a sense of security and safety, in order to nurture the social contract between citizens and the state.
Notably, service provision is closely linked to human security and these should be interpreted in tandem, particularly given the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on service delivery and the impact of the latter on citizens’ confidence in institutions. Be it infrastructure, justice or health and social services, their delivery should be well targeted and tailored to ensure that these are accessible to disadvantaged communities, older and more rural demographics, as well as to those with specific needs, such as women and people with disabilities. In addition to digitalisation and reduction of red tape, accessibility of all governance services can be improved via expanding mobile service units such as mobile health centres for groups who are not internet savvy to buttress the success that digital services4 and ASCs (and newly established Diia.Centres) have had thus far.