Step 1. Formulating the problem. There is mutual distrust between the city government and the community. City government bodies make decisions without involving the residents, the community protests because they are not consulted. City government officials do not understand why the activists are angry at them, and the activists do not understand the motivations behind the Kyiv City State Administration’s decisions.
Step 2. Desk research. We analysed the laws to determine the existing mechanisms of residents participation in decision making in their city. We found that many of these mechanisms were poorly adapted for the diversity of urban residents and especially insensitive of the vulnerable categories. We also found that the KCSA lacked official responsibilities and resources for effective communication with the residents and urban activists.
Step 3. Collecting and analyzing data. Using interviews and focus groups, we collected data about how the described mechanisms actually worked and what needs of the officials and activists were unmet at the time. We also discovered the main barriers for establishing communication between the city government and representatives of the civil society.
Step 4. Formulating recommendations. Mechanisms and special departments should be created for effective interaction with residents at all stages of decision making. The key target audience should be analysed, and the measures should correspond to that audiences’ needs and lifestyle. Special attention should be paid to the needs of vulnerable categories. Meetings should be conducted at a convenient time and in a convenient place. Practices of early involvement and informing should be introduced. Informal education for city residents and officials should be offered, etc.
Step 5. Implementation. Together with our partners, the Council of Europe, we have exerted influence in order to base the KCSA’s academy for officials and activists on our recommendations. We have inserted our recommendations into the guidelines for public consultations in Kyiv.