for Development
U-LEAD with Europe
International Expert Exchange 2021
December 7-8th, 2021
About the Conference

The conference will round off a year of significant progress for local self-governance in Ukraine. Competences transferred to Ukrainian municipalities during the period have increased not only their financial autonomy, but also their level of responsibility and the challenges they face.
Further, 2021 has seen an influx of energy and vision after the recent municipal elections, not least in the field of local development.

Given the importance of cooperation between and synergies across municipalities, the International Expert Exchange 2021 will address the topic of municipal partnerships as a driver of local development.

The conference aims to inspire participants, providing them with food for thought regarding partnerships between municipalities: why is partnerships/cooperation between municipalities desirable; what can they achieve better together; what might have the larger regional impacts; what are the potential risks and challenges? A specific objective will be to showcase selected local development projects of regional significance currently under preparation within the U-LEAD initiative launched in April 2021.

Themes addressed by the conference main sessions will comprise the macro issues areas that all local governments have to tackle – thus,

1) the local economy
2) the environmental infrastructure
3) the social inclusion, and
4) the digital transformation.

Exchange Area

In order to allow for exchange and networking between peers, experts, and other relevant stakeholders, an “exchange area” facility will be ensured during the conference. To this end, “exchange meetings”, titled “Ask the Expert!” will be held on conference themes in parallel with the main sessions. At registration conference participants will be able to select up to 4 exchange meetings and submit questions/points they would like to see addressed.
Video of the Сonference

Day 1
December 7, 2021

Day 2
December 8, 2021

Conference Agenda
Day 1
December 7, 2021

9:40 – 10:00

Connection of participants to MS Teams
10:00 – 10:10

Presentation of the conference flow and agenda
Conference moderator: Nina KURYATA
10:10 – 10:30

  • Oleksiy CHERNYSHOV, Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine
  • Remi DUFLOT, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine
  • Bastian VEIGEL, GIZ Programme Director of U-LEAD with Europe

Conference moderator: Nina KURYATA
10:30 – 11:10

International Expert Discussion

“Closing the gap – Enhancing the capacities of municipalities to prepare, implement and finance investment projects that boost economic and social growth: Experiences from the EU and plans for Ukraine”
In order to prepare ready-to-go municipal investment projects administrative capacities of municipalities have to be strengthened. Public and private donors’, such as ministries and IFI’s are interested in investment projects that are “bankable”. What analysis to be prepared in order for investment project concepts to be ready for financing and what would be the key points of successful projects implementation thereafter? What is the role of the Government?

How this is being done in Poland, in particular, and what may be lessons to be learned for Ukraine?

Panel speakers:
Piotr ZUBER, Senior Lecturer at the Warsaw University, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies; Principal Advisor, Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy, Poland
Igor KORKHOVYI, Deputy Minister for EU Integration, Ministry for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine

Moderator: Ilona SOLOHUB, VOX Ukraine
11:10 – 11:15

11:15 – 12:30

Session 1. Local economy
To advance local economic development Ukrainian municipalities are looking for different support instruments. The establishment of business development areas is one of them. The legally established format of business support area in Ukraine is the industrial park. However, this format could be less appropriate for some municipalities as it foresees quite a heavy investment in capital and human resources, requiring in return some privileges for the business to be established there. Some other formats, such as industrial zones or different formats of business zones could be a more adequate and beneficial solution for municipalities with up to 50.000 population.

To present the different alternatives of business development areas at the local level and to discuss how to define the most appropriate format of the business development area for a specific municipality.

  • Ivan LUKERYA, Deputy Minister for Regional Development, Ministry for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine
  • Jurij KOBAL, Senior Expert, Oikos, Slovenia
  • Yurii FOMICHEV, Head of Slavutych municipality, Kyiv oblast, Ukraine
  • Bohdan AVGUSTOVICH, Head of Luka-Meleshkivska municipality, Vinnitsa oblast, Ukraine, representative of U-LEAD Initiative

Moderator: Dzmitry KORBUT, Senior Expert of the U-LEAD with Europe
12:30 – 13:30

Lunch break
13:30 – 14:45

Session 2. Social inclusion & development

Inclusivity should be considered at all stages of the local development projects’ lifecycle - planning, development and delivery. A clear inclusion strategy should be established at the earliest phase of an investment project preparation, including setting inclusivity targets and measurable outcomes, arranging stakeholder analyses and consultations (e.g. via a an engagement/empowerment plan), possible involvement of representatives from vulnerable groups in project planning committee. Ukraine is now actively addressing inclusiveness as a component of preparing all sorts of governmental and municipal investment projects.

Sharing good practices of partnerships on inclusive local projects development and implementation demonstrating how inclusivity should be considered in an integrated, cross-sectoral approach.

  • Tetyana LOMAKINA, Envoy of the President of Ukraine for inclusiveness
  • Federica DISPENZA, Specialist, Community Security and Social Cohesion, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Ivan KALASHNYK, Head of Tomakivka municipality, Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine
  • Rostyslav BORTNYK, Head of Berezhany Municipality, Ternopil oblast, Ukraine, representative of U-LEAD Initiative
Moderator: Helge ARENDS, Team Leader, U-LEAD with Europe

14:45 – 15:00

Summing up session
Andrej HORVAT, GIZ Deputy Programme Director, U-LEAD with Europe

Conference moderator: Nina KURYATA
Day 2
December 8, 2021

9:40 – 10:00

Connection of participants (MS Teams)
10:00 – 10:05

Welcome to the Day 2
Conference moderator: Nina KURYATA
10:05 – 10:45

Keynote session

“Institutional/administrative capacities and their contribution to the success of municipal investment projects”
Fiscal and political decentralization has often been considered as the panacea for local economic development. More proximate governments, with a better knowledge of local conditions can deliver better targeted and more efficient policies. However, decentralization can fail in improving public investment and, consequently, achieve greater economic development, if the quality of institutions in charge of designing, implementing, and monitoring intervention is subpar. This is one of the dilemmas municipalities across the Ukraine are facing in the wake of its comprehensive administrative decentralization: local authorities have new-fangled powers to implement independent investments and projects, but often in circumstances of insufficient capacities and inadequate funding.

Keynote speaker:
  • Prof. Andres RODRIGUEZ-POSE, London School of Economics (LSE)

Moderator: Natalia STAROSTENKO, Sector Manager, Regional and local development, Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine
10:45 – 11:00

11:00 – 12:15

Session 3. Environmental infrastructure
Following the finalisation of territorial reform in 2020, the newly established local self-governing authorities have become better positioned financially to prepare and implement development projects and facilitate social-economic development at local level. One of the biggest developmental challenges of municipalities is renovation of worn-out infrastructure, so they might provide high quality services and follow modern standards of environmental protection and climate change adaptation. Of particular relevant are the spheres of solid waste management, waste collection and treatment. Local projects of regional significance in such fields might benefit several municipalities, thus bringing economies of scale. In this context, inter-municipal cooperation in preparation and implementation of large-scale projects might address long-waited-for needs for infrastructure improvement.

Sharing concepts, tools, and best practices available to accomplish by municipalities the task of preparation, attracting financing and implementation of environmental infrastructures projects.

  • Julia SHEVCHUK, Nordic Environment Finance Corporation NEFCO, Head of the Representation Office in Ukraine
  • Vasyl SCHUR, Head of Mizhgir’ya municipality, Zakarpattya oblast, Ukraine, representative of U-LEAD Initiative
  • Volodymyr YASCHUK, Head of Illintsi municipality, Vinnitsya oblast, Ukraine
Moderator: Yana BRYK, Public Infrastructure Adviser, U-LEAD with Europe
12:15 – 13:15

Lunch break
13:15 – 14:30

Session 4. Digital transformation on local level
Digital transformation is one of the key policy priorities of Ukrainian government which is also eloquently reflected in strategic documentation – EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, State Regional Development Strategy, Economic Strategy, plans of respective ministries. However, what does it mean to the local level? What is the starting point for municipalities in their digital transformation? During this panel, we would like to explore what digital transformation means at the local level: both in the EU and Ukraine. To this end, we will talk about various aspects of digital transformation at the local level: needs of municipalities when it comes to digital transformation, plans of the government addressing these needs, availability of data, designing of digital services for and with citizens. We would also look into the most recent European trends when it comes to digitalisation of local public administration.

To demonstrate a real potential of digital transformation for municipalities in Ukraine considering recent EU and national policy developments.

  • Donat MAGYARI, U-LEAD with Europe Expert
  • Valeriya IONAN, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for European Integration
  • Oleksandr DUDCHENKO, Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine on digital development, digital transformation and digitalization
  • Viktor GURSKYI, Director of the NGO ‘Social Boost’

Moderator: Mariana SEMENYSHYN, Team Leader, U-LEAD with Europe
14:30 – 14:45

Bastian VEIGEL, GIZ Programme Director of U-LEAD with Europe

Conference moderator: Nina KURYATA
Exchange Meetings Agenda
Day 1
December 7, 2021

11:15 – 11:55
Ask the Expert
“How to invest into cycling infrastructure in municipality?”

Expert: Vadym DENYSENKO, Sustainable mobility expert
Moderator: Yana BRYK, Public Infrastructure Adviser, U-LEAD with Europe

“How to start recycling waste in a municipality?”

Expert: Oleksandr IGNATENKO, Regional Projects Team of the U-LEAD with Europe
Moderator: Ljubica KOSHELIUK, Regional Development Adviser, U-LEAD with Europe

“What are key success factors when preparing Terms of Reference for a water management project?”

Expert: Serhiy KARELIN, Regional Projects Team of the U-LEAD with Europe
Moderator: Oleh CHERNYSH, Municipal Investments Adviser, U-LEAD with Europe
13:30 – 14:10

Ask the Expert
”How to establish a business support services/centre in a municipality?”

Expert: Serhii TROKHYMYSHYN, Regional Projects Team of the U-LEAD with Europe
Moderator: Yaryna STEPANYUK, Partnership and Cooperation Advisor, U-LEAD with Europe

“Establishment of business parks: key 'Dos' and 'Don'ts'?”

Expert: Artem SACHUK, Senior project manager “Investment climate and economic growth”, Office of Reforms, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
Moderator: Dzmitry KORBUT, Senior Expert of the U-LEAD with Europe

“How to invest into cycling infrastructure in municipality?”

Expert: Vadym DENYSENKO, Sustainable mobility expert
Moderator: Yana BRYK, Public Infrastructure Adviser, U-LEAD with Europe
Day 2
December 8, 2021

11:00 – 11:40

Ask the Expert
”How to establish a business support services/centre in a municipality?”

Expert: Serhii TROKHYMYSHYN, Regional Projects Team of the U-LEAD with Europe
Moderator: Yaryna STEPANYUK, Partnership and Cooperation Advisor, U-LEAD with Europe

“Establishment of business parks: key 'Dos' and 'Don'ts'?”

Expert: Artem SACHUK, Senior project manager “Investment climate and economic growth”, Office of Reforms, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
Moderator: Dzmitry KORBUT, Senior Expert of the U-LEAD with Europe

“How to create a touristic brand for your municipality”

Expert: Galyna MALETS, Regional Projects Team of the U-LEAD with Europe
Moderator: Maksym CHOPEY, U-LEAD’s Regional Office in Ivano-Frankivsk
13:15 – 13:55

Ask the Expert
“How to start recycling waste in a municipality?”

Expert: Oleksandr IGNATENKO, Regional Projects Team of the U-LEAD with Europe
Moderator: Ljubica KOSHELIUK, Regional Development Adviser, U-LEAD with Europe

“What are key success factors when preparing Terms of Reference for a water management project?”

Expert: Serhiy KARELIN, Regional Projects Team of the U-LEAD with Europe
Moderator: Oleh CHERNYSH, Municipal Investments Adviser, U-LEAD with Europe

“How to create a touristic brand for your municipality?”

Expert: Galyna MALETS, Regional Projects Team of the U-LEAD with Europe
Moderator: Maksym CHOPEY, U-LEAD’s Regional Office in Ivano-Frankivsk
Oleksiy Chernyshov
Oleksiy graduated from Kharkiv University of Humanities “People’s Ukrainian Academy” with a degree in "Business Economics" and from the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, majoring in Jurisprudence. He worked as the head of the Kyiv Regional State Administration, is the founder of the Kyiv Vision Foundation.
Rémi Duflot
Rémi joined the European institutions in 2004, after a career in investment banking that included assignments in CIS countries, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. 

As managing officer for European Union–Republic of Moldova relations, first at the European Commission (2008-2010), then at the European External Action Service (2011-2014), he advised successive EU Special Representatives in the Transnistrian settlement process. 

In 2014, Rémi joined the European Commission Support Group for Ukraine, before moving to Kyiv to deputise for the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group. 

Since 1 January 2021, Rémi has been the deputy to the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC), France and is a Visiting Professor of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.
Bastian Veigel
Bastian Veigel is a manager with a high exposure in international cooperation for many years working in South Eastern Europe, South East Asia, China and the Middle East. He has a strong operational management background and broad thematic knowledge, including decentralisation, EU structural policies, local development and legal approximation to the EU-Acquis Communautaire.

His extensive experience in working with partner ministries and public bodies in international cooperation has been proven in projects of various sizes (including large-scale projects) funded by the German Government, the European Union and national governments. Since February 2017 he is GIZ-Programme Director of U-LEAD with Europe.
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose holds the Princes de Asturias Chair and a professorship of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he has taught since 1995. 
Rodríguez-Pose is probably the most cutting-edge researcher today in the fields of economic geography and urban and regional planning worldwide. A common thread in his research focuses on understanding why some territories prosper, while other do not, and why some public policies designed to promote development work, while others fail. His research has also contributed significantly to progress in our understanding of development processes at subnational level, the geography of innovation, the role of migration for regional development, and the effectiveness of development policies. He has also pioneered new topics, such as the geography of institutions and the economic impact of solitude. 

Rodríguez-Pose's work —frequently done in collaboration with economists, political scientists, and sociologists— is testimony to the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in the social sciences.
He is a regular advisor to international organizations and only in 2021 has he directed the Handbook on Special Economic Zones in Africa (for UNCTAD), the Post-COVID Recovery Plan for Turkey (for UNDP) and the Report on Regional Disparities in Kazakhstan (for the Asian Bank of Development).
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose is also collaborating with U-LEAD with Europe in advising Government of Ukraine in its decentralisation and regional development policy reform. U-LEAD with Europe is a multi-donor action of the European Union and its member states Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Slovenia.
Piotr Zuber
Piotr Jacek ŻUBER has a PhD in Economics and master’s degree in Geography. He is a member of Spatial Development Committee, Polish Academy of Science and Regional Science Association. Has over 22 years of experience in international cooperation in the field of regional, spatial and urban policy, including by virtual platforms and 17 years of professional experience in preparation and coordination of programming and implementation of EU Structural Funds: national and regional administrative capacity building, building monitoring and evaluation capacity. He is directly involved in design of various national and EU co-financed development programmes and projects in Poland, Croatia, Serbia and Georgia. Since 2014 cooperates with GIZ programmes as expert and team leader.
Igor Korkhovyi
Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine on European Integration. Prior to that, he worked as the Director of the Strategic Planning Directorate of the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction.

He graduated from the Kyiv National Linguistic University and the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine, a graduate of the Riga Graduate School of Law (Latvia) "European Law and Economics".
Conference Speakers and Moderators
Welcome Speakers
Keynote Speaker
Ivan Lukerya
Ivan Lukerya holds a Master's degree in Political Science from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He worked as an advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, coordinator of the Central Reform Office at the Ministry of Regional Development (U-LEAD with Europe), and was a member of the Council of the Resuscitation Reform Package (RRP).
Jurij Kobal
Jurij has over 25 years of experience being engaged with complex international projects since 1995 when he first managed international project for the DG Environment. He later worked with World Bank, EBRD, different governments and business. He supported the development of several small and large business zones, technology parks, incubators, airports, energy pipelines and created many business support mechanisms, regional, rural and urban development projects and infrastructure projects. Currently he is engaged with the World Bank for the preparation of the Industrial transformational roadmap in Croatia, with DG REFORM on strengthening the innovation ecosystem in Slovenia, with GIZ in Ukraine on the U-LEAD with Europe. Among others he is also a member of the board of the innovation funds in Europe.
Yurii Fomichev
The head of the Slavutych municipality, which is located in the Kiev region, has many years of experience in local governments - since 2006. Yurii Fomichev has a European education. Master of Public Administration. In 2020, he is re-elected mayor of Slavutych.

Yurii Fomichev is the President of the Association of Energy Efficient Cities of Ukraine. Slavutych has extensive experience in implementing innovative projects, best practices of local self-government and has repeatedly won national competitions and international grant programs.
Bohdan Avhustovych
Head of Luka Meleshkivska village, Vinnytsia region.

The youngest head of the village in Vinnytsia region.
Has 3 higher educations, experience of cooperation with public sector, 4 years of experience of working in local governments and 5 years of experience of business activity. In his first year as head of the village, he initiated a full audit and monitoring of economic opportunities for municipality development and formed an appropriate group of advisors.

Has initiated cooperation with 5 neighboring municipalies in the areas of inter-municipal partnership, which gave impetus to the development of more than 10 projects, 2 of which attracted additional filling of the local budget in the amount of more than 500 thousand UAH. for the first half of the year.

Goals - Actions – Result!
Tetyana Lomakina
Tetyana Lomakina was the head of the public organization "Barrier-free", the executive partner of the Initiative of the first lady "Without Barriers". Has more than 20 years of experience in the public sphere, as well as experience in the social sphere and local government in Mariupol. She held the positions of deputy mayor, director of the city center for families, children and youth, was a deputy of the city council. Tetyana Lomakina holds a Master's degree in Public Administration and a Degree in Public Administration Mechanisms from Donetsk State University of Management. She also holds a degree in Engineering Economics.
Federica Dispenza
Federica Dispenza has more than 9 years of responsible experience in coordinating joint programmes and managing programmes in fragile and politically operational contexts, in complex and protracted crises. Experienced in formulating and managing early recovery, municipality resilience, livelihoods. Federica Dispeza has a huge work experience in UNDP, RIASCO, United Nations. Has a MS in development management and in economics and social sciences, BA in economics of international markets and new technologies.
Ivan Kalashnyk
Head of the Tomakivka village municipality since 2015. Actively works on the implementation of local government reform. Ivan Kalashnyk is the Head of the Local Association of Local Self-Government Bodies "Association of Participatory Community Development".
Ivan Kalashnyk has a degree as a document scientist, manager of public authorities and administration, recently received a master's degree in public management and administration.
Rostyslav Bortnyk
Head of the Berezhany municipality, Ternopil region. Prior to that, he studied and worked as an architect in Austria for 17 years. In 2020, Rostyslav Bortnyk won a convincing victory among 22 candidates for mayor of Berezhany and 20 villages - for the first time he became mayor and returned to Ukraine after 17 years spent abroad.

Rostyslav Bortnyk has a degree as agricultural machinery operator and a civil engineer-architect. Has practical experience in the construction of social facilities (schools, kindergartens, geriatrics, and social housing). He also takes an active social and cultural position on the Holodomor, Ukrainian patriotism, and other issues of Ukrainian creation. Rostyslav Bortnyk uses the acquired knowledge and skills for the successful development of the Berezhany municipality.
Julia Shevchuk
Julia Shevchuk is a passionate project manager with over 20 years experience in infrastructure project development in a range of sectors including delivering large programmes for the public sector. She works with international donor agencies like Sida, GIZ, EU and USAID.

Julia Shevchuk joined the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) in 2007 and is an experienced and energetic Chief Investment Advisor and Head of the Representative Office in Ukraine with an impressive background of managing more than 200 projects in Ukraine.  
She is result oriented and has wide experience in the infrastructure projects development and financing in Ukraine in water, district heating, public buildings and renewable energy.»

Vasyl Shchur
Head of the Mizhhirska municipality, located in the Zakarpattia region. Vasyl Shchur began his career in the local self-government in 2006 as the head of the Mizhhirska village council. In 2011-2014 he headed the Mizhhirska Regional State Administration, then in 2015-2020 he occupied a position of the head of the Mizhhirska district council. In 2020 Vasyl Shchur won a landslide victory in the local elections and headed the Mizhhirska village municipality.

Vasyl Shchur is the Chairman of the Mountain Territories Development Platform of the All-Ukrainian Association of Amalgamated Municipalities. Mizhhirska municipality has significant experience in implementing investment projects that contribute to the socio-economic development of Mizhhirya area.
Volodymyr Yashchuk
Chairman of the Illinetska city municipality, located in Vinnytsia region. Has many years of experience in state executive bodies and local self-governments.
In 2015, Volodymyr Yashchuk was elected as Ilinets Mayor. In the election of the head of the Illinets city municipality in August 2016, he received the support of 86% of voters. Last year he was elected for the third time as the head of the Illinets city municipality.

Volodymyr Yashchuk is the head of the Vinnytsia Regional Branch of the All-Ukrainian Association of Municipalities. Illiinets city municipality has significant success in implementing the latest projects in the field of ecology and environmental protection. In 2019, the city of Illintsi was recognized as the winner of the All-Ukrainian competition "SMART CITY 2019" in the nomination "Environmentally responsible city".
Donát Magyari
Donát is a development economist, in the last decade he specialized on digitalization and transformation related projects, working together with the top management of market-leader technology companies focusing on disruptive and user-driven ICT innovations. 
He worked for the European Commission assessing & evaluating multi-million euro funding proposals on the field of Smart Cities and Urban Innovative Actions, as an external evaluator. He also served as

Advisory Board Member of the EU-funded “Modelling the European Data Economy” initiative. Recently was involved in formulating proposals for Intelligent Cities Challenge; European Digital Innovation Hubs, European Green Deal.
Valeriya Ionan
Valeriya Ionan - Deputy Minister for Eurointegration at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. She was a co-founder of the Quadrate 28 group of companies, founder, and ex-publisher of the online magazine for entrepreneurs MC Today, SMEA and a licensee of the international event Disrupt HR in Kyiv and Lviv.

Valeriya Ionan was a finalist in the New Leaders project on ICTV. Has 2 bachelor's degrees in Organizational Management and Spanish and is studying for an MBA program at Edinburgh Business School in Eastern Europe (Heriott-Watt University). She received certificates in such specialties as "Marketing", "Negotiation", "Organizational Behavior", "Human Resources Management" and "Economics".
Oleksandr Dudchenko
Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine on digital development, digital transformation and digitalization
Viktor Gurskyi
Сo-founder and CEO of SocialBoost Organization. Founded by Victor Hursky and his brother, the organization develops technological tools and projects aimed at digitalization of the public sector, development of innovative IT entrepreneurship, local government, public participation and e-democracy. The National Open Data Portal, the Public Project Platform for automating participation budgets, the Dosvit Platform, aimed to help to digitize municipalities, the 1991 National Startup Accelerator and the 1991 Startup Center in Eastern Ukraine – these are the projects with more than 1 million users and participants.
Sessions' Speakers
Nina Kuryata
Ukrainian journalist, media coach and media expert. Since 2005 has worked as an editor in Ukrainian and international media, headed BBC News Ukraine for 8 years. Collaborates with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the OSCE Project Coordinator, Internews and many Ukrainian media organizations. Conducts trainings on journalistic skills and ethical standards. Advises editorial staff on editorial management and content creation.

Graduated from Odessa Ilia Mechnikov National University with a degree in Microbiology and Virology and the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy with a degree in Journalism.
PhD in Biological Sciences.
Ilona Solohub
Ilona Solohub is the scientific editor of Vox Ukraine. During 2019-2021 headed the organization. Since 2014 she has been a member of the editorial board and the Supervisory Board of Vox Ukraine, and also worked at the Kyiv School of Economics as the Director of Economic and Political Studies. Conducted research in the field of economic and social policy.
Until 2010, Ilona worked in the banking sector, performing market and operational risk analysis. Ilona is a co-author of the books "From the Ukraine to Ukraine" and "Everyone can write analytics". Has a master's degree in economics from the Kyiv School of Economics.
Andrej Horvat
Andrej Horvat is an economist with long lasting experience in the fields of transformation processes, good governance, structural and public administration reforms, local development policy, and EU integration. In 2006, he was appointed the State Secretary of the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Growth, and in 2009 he was appointed State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia responsible for development policies. He has worked as a consultant in Turkey, Jordan, North Macedonia, Albania, and Serbia.

Since September 2017, Andrej Horvat has been GIZ Deputy Programme Director and is Head of the Sustainable Development Unit with U-LEAD with Europe.
Helge Arends
Helge Arends is a political scientist and holds a PhD on Fiscal Decentralisation. Helge heads the Planning, Monitoring and Communications Team at U-LEAD with Europe since September 2020. Prior to that, he was responsible for GIZ projects related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as to strengthening the rule of law in Mexico. Between 2012 and 2014, he was seconded to DG Development and Cooperation (DEVCO) of the European Commission working on an EU position on the 2030 Agenda. Before that, he was part of the poverty reduction advisory team of GIZ.
Dzmitry Korbut
Expert in local economic development, business development and public services at the local level. Member of the U-LEAD with Europe Regional projects team. Previous working experience in the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine (Kyiv), the European Social and Economic Committee (Brussels), the Regional Office of the Ministry of Economy of Finland in the region of Varsanais-Suomen (Turku). Participation as a co-founder in the Belarusian-Belgian Export and Import Agency (Brussels-Minsk).
Natalia Starostenko
Natalia Starostenko has extensive experience in management of projects of European Union, Council of Europe and UNDP with involvement of senior civil servants, civil society leaders and top consulting companies. During her career at international organizations, she focused on public finance management, civil service reform, regional and local development, including cross-border cooperation programmes.
Since 2013, she has been a sector manager at the EU Delegation to Ukraine.
Ms. Starostenko holds PhD in Finance from the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences and a Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania (the USA).
Yana Bryk
Works in GIZ Ukraine since 2020 and is a public infrastructure adviser. She has experience in implementing projects in the field of public infrastructure, sustainable mobility, including legislative drafting. Also, Yana has worked in international organizations (UN Migration Agency), the Parliament of Ukraine and Ukrainian non-governmental organizations.
Mariana Semenyshyn
Mariana Semenyshyn works in GIZ Ukraine since 2016 and is Team Leader and Deputy Head of the Sustainable Development Unit. Prior to that, Mariana worked in local self-government, think-tank and NGO. She also cooperated with the OSCE as a political and media consultant. Mariana possesses extensive expertise in the sphere of media, democratic governance, and regional & local development.
"Ask the Expert!" Speakers and Moderators
Vadym Denysenko
Expert in mobility and transport development. Has experience in conducting advocacy campaigns in the field of sustainable development of urban transport. Coordinated the development of a program for the development of cycling in the city of Kyiv and five municipalities. Participated in the creation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP) of Mykolayiv and Poltava.
Oleksandr Ignatenko
Doctor Sciences in Public Administration, Ph.D in Economic Sciences, Magistral level of Management in production area (construction).

21 years of experience in local economic development projects at the national, regional, local and international levels.

20 years of experience working with national, regional and local authorities / municipalities, including experience in drafting legal acts and policy documents (including strategies). Took part in the preparation of more than 300 approved laws and regulations in the area of development territories and municipal services, engineering protection of territories.

11 years of experience in the Public Administration, including as the Head of the department of development territories and municipal services of the Ministry of Regional Development of Ukraine.

12 years of experience as a coach, including at the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine and at the State Ecological Academy of Postgraduate Education and Management. Author and co-author of more than 130 articles in professional magazines, including 17 practical guidelines. 
Serhiy Karelin
Man water supply and sewerage. Expert practitioner who has implemented more than 150 reconstructions of water supply systems with energy savings of 30 to 80%. Author of patents for inventions, utility models, developer of methods for assessing the energy efficiency of water supply / sewerage systems. Motto - "Money should be spent only when you are sure of the final predicted result"
Sergii Trokhymyshyn
Received a master's degree in accounting and auditing at Zhytomyr National Agroecological University.

From February 2019 to May 2020 worked as a manager for the development of a network of industrial parks at the Regional Development Agency of Zhytomyr region. Entrepreneur since 2019. Project manager of the team that won UAH 12 million for the Western Industrial Cluster project from the EU Sectoral Budget Support.
Artem Sachuk
Galyna Malets
Independent expert in destination marketing, tourism and communications.
Mentor of "Culture. Tourism. Regions." partnership program of Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, USAID and the State Agency for Tourism Development.
Researcher and promoter of the cultural heritage of Lviv region, in particular Knyazhy Zvenyhorod.

Cooperated with tourist brands in Lviv, Vinnytsia. Now works on creating a tourist brand of Chernihiv.

Halyna Malets has 13 years of experience in local government. From 2013 to 2018 she headed the tourism department of the Lviv City Council. In 2018-2019 worked on the implementation of the marketing strategy of Vinnytsia and the "City of Ideas" brand, headed the city marketing and tourism department of Vinnytsia City Council.
Ljubica Kosheliuk
Ljubica Kosheliuk has over 15 years of working experience in local and regional development in South-Easter and Eastern Europe. Since 2012 she has been working on various projects related to strategic planning and spatial planning with focus on integrated urban development. During the last two years she is supporting implementation of the state regional policy in Ukraine.
Oleh Chernysh
Oleg Chernysh has over 20 years of experience in project management, strategic planning, local economic development and rural development. A financier by profession, Oleg Chernysh has extensive experience in the private and public sectors, mainly in agricultural and financial consulting and the provision of non-banking financial services.
Yaryna Stepanyuk
Partnership and Cooperation Advisor at U-LEAD with Europe. Yaryna graduated from a master program in German and European Studies at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and did an internship in the office of one of the members of the German Parliament. She worked at the City Institute of Lviv City Council, where she was involved in city strategy development. While working at the Business School of Ukrainian Catholic University, Yaryna dealt with curricula and case studies development as well as conducting research for small and medium businesses.
Maksym Chopey
Adviser on Decentralization and Local Self-Government of the Ivano-Frankivsk RO of the U-LEAD with Europe. For a long time has been working on the implementation of decentralization reform in the Ivano-Frankivsk region. He took an active part in the preparation of the State Programme for the Development of Mountain Territories of the Ukrainian Carpathians for the period up to 2023. Works on strengthening hromadas’ capacity through cooperation. Joined the establishment of cooperation among the hromadas of "Dnister Canyon", hromadas of ethno district "Hutsultschyna" and "Opillya" and "Eastern Boykivshchyna".
Municipal Partnership Projects Initiative
of the U-LEAD with Europe

The Municipal Partnerships initiative aims to enhance the capacity of municipalities to prepare investment projects independently and improve access to funding resources.
In Spring 2021, 195 project ideas were submitted by almost 400 municipalities applying partnership approach: 130 of these project ideas were selected for further capacity development support and were considered solid project ideas.

In September, representatives of 130 selected project ideas received training on how to develop their project ideas into concepts with a budget and programme for realization, including consideration of key management and cross-cutting issues. Seven clusters of project ideas, based on commonalities in issues and key problems to be solved during development were organised. Municipalities then submitted detailed project concepts: a total of 71 project concepts were received.

In the first week of November the U-LEAD with Europe conducted eight special sector trainings for the seven clusters of the local development projects of regional significance, the first being used to show municipalities how to conduct feasibility studies, environmental impact assessment and develop project budgets. Special cluster trainings covered SMEs and Business Parks, Tourism and Recreation, Water and Waste Management, Environmental Management, Energy Efficiency, Transport and Mobility and Public Services . Training was delivered by a team of Ukrainian and international experts.

These events are being followed on with two half-day events on investment finance.
The presentations are being delivered by EBRD, Ministry of Communities and Territories Development, Ministry of Finance, UkrGasBank, the EU Poland-Belarus-Ukraine CBC. Four types of financing are covered: IFI financing by EBRD and EIB, grants and subventions from the state budget, commercial debt and support for infrastructure in the CBCs. Municipalities will be undertaking a practical exercise to determine which type of financing is most appropriate for their projects.

Once municipalities have made any final changes to their concepts using the training inputs, there will be four parallel finance-oriented selection panels to choose approximately 30 project proposals that can be submitted for financing. The panels will include representatives of the financial institutions.

Once the finalists have been identified, each will have a small support programme
from U-LEAD that will assist in the detailed pre-feasibility stage that will take place during the first quarter of 2022. The finalists will also be presented as concrete
examples in the International Expert Exchange linked to Decentralisation Week
from 7th December 2021.