Supporting the decentralisation reform

Project description

Title: Supporting the decentralisation reform in Ukraine
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ukraine
Lead executing agency: Мinistry for Regional Development, Building and Housing of Ukraine (MinRegion)
Overall term: 2015 to 2020

Context
Decentralisation and regional development are a top priority on Ukraine’s political agenda. Since the election of Petro Poroshenko in May 2014, numerous legislative projects have been initiated to create the legal framework for forthcoming reforms. Budget and tax legislation have been adapted to enable local authorities to generate more revenue of their own and to strengthen municipal financial systems.

At the present time, the decentralisation reform is not being implemented on a sustainable basis. State actors at the national, regional and local levels lack the necessary expertise and financial resources to effectively perform their duties and responsibilities. The Ministry for Regional Development, Building and Housing, which is tasked with implementing the decentralisation reform, has until now been unable to adequately coordinate the reform process and effectively communicate the objectives and benefits of the reform. Efforts to inform and involve civil society have thus far focused on satisfying formal requirements. Neither local government officials nor civil society representatives have any real opportunity to participate in and shape reform processes.

Objective
State institutions at the national, regional and local levels are able to perform their tasks in the decentralisation process more effectively. Municipal services are provided in a citizen-centred manner with the involvement of civil society.

Approach
The project is cofinanced by the European Union; Poland, Denmark and Sweden are also involved in the overall programme. It provides training and advisory services to improve national, regional and local capacities in the areas of communication, information and coordination. It also seeks to enhance the efficiency and capacities of local authorities while promoting transparent budget management.

Another important area of project work is the establishment of institutional support mechanisms, namely the Central Reform Office (CRO) at the national level and Regional Reform Offices (RRO). It also promotes exchange across administrative levels and the involvement of civil society and citizens in reform processes.

Coordinators for the RROs were appointed in a transparent, nationwide selection process. This is a first important step in establishing these institutions and enabling the RROs to fulfil their function as a service provider for communities.