Modernising local public services
Title: Modernisation of local public services in the Republic of Moldova
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union
Country: Republic of Moldova
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment
Overall term: 2016 to 2021
A large development gap persists between urban and rural areas in Moldova. More than half of the population lives in rural areas, where the poverty rate is three times higher than in urban areas. The majority of people lack access to basic public services such as water and sanitation, solid waste management or energy efficiency of public buildings.
Local authorities have only limited financial means and human resources. As a consequence, local infrastructure is poorly maintained and continues to deteriorate. The low standard of public services has an adverse effect on health, education and local employment opportunities, and undermines trust in public institutions.
This situation results from a lack of cooperation between public institutions at the national, regional and local levels, as well as the low institutional capacity for effective, citizen-oriented support of regional development. In the Moldovan Government’s action plan for the implementation of the Association Agreement with the European Union, regional development is one of the main fields of action.
Conditions have improved for a citizen-oriented implementation of regional development policy in priority sectors of local public service provision.
The project cooperates with national partner institutions to strengthen the planning and implementation capacities of local authorities. It supports these partners in developing the legal and institutional framework for regional development in order to improve local public services in rural areas, in four sectors:
- Water supply and sanitation
- Solid waste management
- Regional and local roads
- Energy efficiency of public buildings
The project supports investments in infrastructure, as prioritized in a participatory process. The project’s measures include the provision of training in regional planning and programming, public procurement, corruption prevention and the management of local public services. These courses can be delivered countrywide.
The involvement of the Congress of Local Authorities of Moldova ensures the local level is effectively represented in the national discussion on the future shape of local self-administration and regional planning.
The project also contributes to the promotion of civil society in Moldova by supporting participatory planning procedures at local and regional levels, through awareness raising measures, and by increasing transparency and accountability in public decision making.
The project covers four areas of activity:
- Policy and strategy advice for an improved framework for national regional development policy:
The project supports its partners in the participatory development of a coherent regional development strategy, in the alignment of the legal framework with EU standards, and in the harmonisation of existing national and international funds.
- Improving the coordination and monitoring of regional development strategies:
Regional development councils receive support in performing their legally established roles in regional development. Procedures are being introduced to improve results-based monitoring.
- Improving regional development strategies:
The planning and implementation capacities of the three regional development agencies and of local institutions are being enhanced. Investments from the Regional Development Fund are used to support locally implemented pilot projects.
- Institutionalisation of training modules:
The project is scaling up best practice examples taken from its training modules for local public service provision.
The project is co-financed by the European Union and the governments of Sweden, Switzerland and Romania. An expert-pool managed by GFA consulting group supports the implementation.
Working with its partners, the project has achieved tangible and sustainable results:
- Institutions in three regions received supported for the creation and consolidation of 12 regional sector working groups. These have since produced 11 regional sector plans across the four priority sectors.
- A new approach has been introduced to the prioritisation of infrastructure investments. A project pipeline, based on previously developed sector plans, now encompasses public investment projects at various stages of development.
- The three regional development agencies benefited from advice while developing project concepts in the priority sectors. Inter-ministerial commissions have approved 40 concepts for further development.
- 28 pilot measures have been successfully implemented in the four public service sectors, including the creation of the first inter-municipal solid waste management enterprise.