Ensuring the effectiveness of professionalization of local self-government officials

: pp. 144 - 156
Lviv Polytechnic National University, Ukraine

Introduction. The decentralization reform and the development of the local self- government system fundamentally changed the management tasks assigned to officials of local self-government bodies. These changes were most clearly manifested after the unification of territorial communities, which actualizes the problem of professionalization of officials, their ability to effectively exercise power and management powers in the conditions of a fast-moving environment. The professionalism of a person endowed with authority is the main factor in the effective development of the community, and the dynamism of the political, social and economic factors of the environment, the acceleration of information flows and the pace of organizational changes in the legal field every day only increase the requirements for the professionalism of local self-government officials, which confirms the relevance of the chosen topic research. Officials of local self- government bodies formed as a result of decentralization faced the need to work in a new system of  management  and  organizational  relations,  in  which  most  of them  had  no previous experience.  Therefore,  there is an urgent need to find ways  to increase the effectiveness of professionalization programs for local self-government officials.

Materials and Methods. In-depth semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were used, in which the heads (or deputies) of local councils of various levels and specialists of the regional training center were involved. The interviewers were chosen with the condition of ensuring the completeness of the representation of various local self- government bodies among 73 territorial communities of the Lviv region.

Analysis of Literary Sources. Scientists often addressed the problem of professio- nalization in state administration and local self-government, studying its individual components. In general, the professionalization of civil servants is considered by scientists as a necessary condition for the reform of public administration, which should be carried out taking into account modern needs in professional training. The goal of professio- nalization of service in local self-government bodies is determined by scientists to ensure the training of specialists. Researchers distinguish 3 levels of professionalization – educational level, work experience and professional excellence. Scientists identify personal interest in development and deep internal motivation as necessary conditions for professionalization. Also, public administration experts consider the professionalization of public service to be a necessary condition for the formation of trust in government institutions on the part of civil society. Of special scientific interest is the study of foreign experience in the professionalization of civil servants and the possibility of implementing its best practices in Ukraine.

The analysis of scientific publications indicates the absence of studies devoted to the problem of ensuring the effectiveness of the professionalization of local self-government officials.

Results. The results of the survey on the advantages and disadvantages of ensuring the professionalization of officials of local self-government of territorial communities of Lviv region are summarized. Officials’ awareness of the need for professionalization, the organization of training in almost all local self-government bodies, the targeting of practice-oriented training programs on the competencies necessary for the implementation of local self-government powers was revealed. Organizational shortcomings were identified: lack of management experience among officials, insufficient professionals, lack of formalized tools for determining training needs, insufficient effectiveness of online training, financial dependence of the professionalization support system. Recommen- dations were given to local self-government bodies and regional centers of professional development.

Discussion. Consideration of professionalization as a multifaceted phenomenon of the formation of an official as a community development management specialist is consistent with the conclusions of V. Lapshin that professionalism is one of the most important drivers of the social dynamics of a territorial community. Also, the statement of Antonova and L. Kozlova, that for civil servants the main signs of professionalism are regulatory and managerial competence, knowledge in the field of administration, critical attitude skills, communication skills in combination with general education and decency, is also not in doubt. The analysis of the approaches of scientists made it possible to outline the definition of professionalization as the professional development of a person in a certain field, which involves the comprehensive acquisition of specialized knowledge, competences, intellectual tools and value guidelines to ensure the qualitative effectiveness of his practical activities and demand  in the  socio-economic  system. In addition, the recommendation of S. Selivanov regarding consideration of the professionalization of the public service as a dynamic process, at various stages of which officials should fix or change the achieved level of expertise, is taken into account. We have also confirmed the expediency of including V. Miklovda's with co-authors proposals regarding the formation and application of the competence management mechanism in the structure of ensuring the professionalization of local self-government officials in view of the similarity of the strategic goal-setting of professionalization by levels of development – personal, territorial community and state.

Conclusion. Chairmen and deputy chairmen of local councils of all levels are aware of the need to increase the professionalization of officials. Internal training for officials was organized in almost all local self-government bodies. Most practice-oriented training programs are aimed at the development of competencies necessary for the implementation of the powers of local self-government. The disadvantages of ensuring professionalization are the lack of management experience among officials, the lack of professionals in the structure of local self-government bodies, the lack of formalized tools for determining the training needs of officials, the insufficient effectiveness of online training in a large part of local self-government bodies, and the significant financial dependence of the system for ensuring professionalization on external institutions. It is impractical to create  highly specialized educational programs for the personal development of local self-government officials, instead, conditions for self-training and self-education of officials should be provided. In order to achieve the target level of professionalization of local self- government officials, a number of proposals have been outlined for local self-government bodies regarding the organization of the professionalization management process and for regional professional development centers regarding the organization of training courses.

It is advisable to carry out further research in the direction of developing algorithms for matching professionalization training programs with the peculiarities of the development of territorial communities.

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