Support to the decentralisation reform in Ukraine

Project description

Title: Support to the decentralisation reform in Ukraine UDU/U-LEAD with Europe
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ukraine
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services (MinRegion)
Overall term: 2015 to 2020

Context

Decentralisation and regional development have been priorities for the government of Ukraine since early 2014. Efforts at the national level have led to the adoption of important laws and implementing guidelines, with more in the pipeline. Budget and tax legislation, for instance, have been adapted to enable local authorities to mobilise more domestic revenue and to strengthen municipal financial systems.

At present, implementation of the decentralisation reform is not yet sustainable. State actors at national, regional and local levels still do not have all of the necessary skills and financial resources to carry out their duties and responsibilities effectively. The Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services (MinRegion), which is responsible for implementing the decentralisation reform, is given support in order to improve coordination of the reform process and to effectively communicate the objectives and benefits of the reform.

Objective

State institutions at national, regional and local levels perform their duties in the decentralisation process more effectively. This includes vertical and horizontal coordination throughout Ukraine, as well as support to decentralisation in the health and education sectors and to reform communication.

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Approach

In addition to funding from Germany and the European Union, EU member states Denmark, Estonia, Poland and Sweden have also been involved in the overall programme It offer training and advisory services. This contributes to the development of national, regional and local capacities in the areas of communication, professionalisation and coordination. At the same time, it supports the capacity and efficiency of local government bodies and promotes transparency in budget management.

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The programme operates in all of the country’s 24 oblasts, including the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. The programme’s regional offices support local authorities by providing expertise in the areas of regional development, decentralisation, local finances, communication, municipal services, land use planning and legal affairs.

A range of different advisory services such as consultation from experts, training courses, workshops, study trips, and discussion forums help Ukrainian communities and local decisionmakers in terms of delivering services to the country’s citizens. The programme also encourages exchange across administrative levels as well as the involvement of civil society and citizens in the reform process.

Results

At the national level, the support of the programme has improved the steering capacities of MinRegion within the framework of the decentralisation and regional development reforms. The programme also lends its backing to the efforts undertaken on a monthly basis by the Special Envoy of the German Government, Professor Georg Milbradt. Having attended over a hundred meetings and talks with all relevant Ukrainian stakeholders, he has drafted a list of laws for the reforms, helping to bring broader discussions of the decentralisation reform to focus on specific priority areas.

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With the support of the programme, more than 18,500 training sessions, workshops, conferences and on-site consultations have been held throughout Ukraine by mid 2019. These measures have reached around 245,000 participants, more than half of whom were women. Of those who attended training sessions, 80 per cent were able to give a specific example of how their newly acquired knowledge had helped them to perform their duties better. These examples range from the use of new tools and improved communication within the municipalities to fulfilling tasks in a more citizen-oriented manner.

The programme has organised over 200 dialogue events with civil society and numerous media training sessions. Radio and television programmes have been produced and broadcast in cooperation with public media organisations.

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