Promoting municipalities – reducing distance to citizens

Supporting the decentralisation reform in Ukraine (UDU/U-LEAD with Europe: Phase II)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2015 to 2023

  • Other Stakeholders

    Ministerium für digitale Transformation der Ukraine, Ministerium für Bildung und Wissenschaft

  • Products and expertise

    Staat und Demokratie

Collage of project activities with children and young people. Copyright: GIZ


Decentralisation – handing over power to communities – has been progressing in Ukraine since April 2014. The aim is for municipalities to improve the quality of public services, thus bringing them closer to citizens.

The reform has brought together relatively small communities to form 1,470 larger administrative units (hromadas), and given them more responsibility, power and financial resources.

With the support of its funding providers – the European Union (EU), Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Estonia and Slovenia – the project has invested greatly in the decentralisation reform. Since the Russian invasion, the project has stayed at the side of the Ukrainian administrative units with a view to making the reform sustainable and supporting the municipalities.


Local authorities respond faster and more effectively to the needs of citizens.


The project has offered seminars, advisory services and study trips for representatives of local self-government since 2016, aiming to promote municipalities and regional development. Since 24 February 2022 it has quickly adapted its work to the wartime conditions in order to support municipalities in preventing and mitigating the negative effects of the war.

In future, the project will concentrate on three areas with the aim of making the administrative units more resilient: reform, reconstruction and renovation.

Reform: The projects provides political and legal advice to promote national and local capacities for reforming local self-government, transparency and integrity.

Reconstruction: It helps administrative units by offering training courses, advisory services and other activities to develop capacities. These activities cover the topics of their work under wartime conditions and restoration after the war.

Renovation: In addition, the project supports municipal administrations in planning, coordinating and implementing reconstruction. It facilitates cooperation between the EU and Ukrainian administrative units, provides support in implementing municipal projects and is helping to expand the digital transformation at local level.

Collage of project activities relating to reconstruction. Copyright: GIZ

Last update: February 2023

Additional information