Support to the Decentralisation Reform in Ukraine UDU/U-LEAD
Title: Supporting the decentralisation reform in Ukraine
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Мinistry for Regional Development, Building and Housing of Ukraine (MinRegion)
Overall term: 2015 to 2020
Decentralisation and regional development have high priority on Ukraine’s political agenda. Since the election of Petro Poroshenko in Spring 2014, numerous legislative proposals have been initiated to create the legal framework for upcoming reforms. Budget and tax legislation have been adapted to enable local authorities to generate more own revenue and to strengthen municipal financial systems.
Currently, the decentralisation reform is not yet being sustainably implemented. State actors at national, regional and local levels still do not retain of all the necessary expertise and financial resources to effectively perform their duties and responsibilities. The Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services, which is responsible for implementing the decentralisation reform, receives support to better coordinate the reform process and effectively communicate the objectives and benefits of the reform.
State institutions, at national, regional and local levels, are able to more effectively perform their tasks in the decentralisation process. Municipal services are provided in a citizen-centred manner with the involvement of civil society.
The Programme is co-financed by the European Union; Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Poland and Sweden are also involved in the overall Programme. It provides for training and advisory services and thus improves national, regional and local capacities in the areas of communication, professionalization and coordination. At the same time, it supports the efficiency and capacities of local administrations while promoting transparent budget management.
Another significant contribution of the Programme is the set-up of institutional support mechanisms, namely the Central Reform Office (CRO) at the national level and the Local Government Development Centre (LGDC) with its 24 Regional Centres. Through the Regional Centres, which cover all 24 Oblasts of Ukraine including Donetsk and Luhansk, the Programme ensures a nationwide outreach. The Regional Centres provide support to Ukrainian municipalities through permanent staff and experts in the fields of regional development, decentralisation, local finance, communications, municipal services and spatial planning.
Ukrainian communities and community decision-makers are strengthened, through various formats of knowledge transfer (e.g advisory expertise, trainings, workshops, study trips, exchange fora), in their capacity to deliver services to the citizens of Ukraine. It also promotes exchanges across administrative levels and the involvement of civil society and citizens in reform processes.
At national level, the programme supports the establishment of the Central Reform Office, which includes a team of coordinators and expert groups to help MinRegion steer the decentralisation and regional policy reforms. The Central Reform Office plays an important role for the information exchange between donors and partner ministries and in coordinated planning.
In 2017, the programme supported more than 3,700 trainings, workshops, conferences and on-site consultations, with more than 88,000 participants. More than half of them were women. Approximately 20,000 of the participants were community representatives. Furthermore, approximately 1,500 participants, 59 per cent of them female, were trained in project acquisition.
To date, the project has organised 46 dialogue events and ten media trainings. 12 programmes for TV and radio were developed and broadcasted in cooperation with public media organisations. The public perception of the reform process has increased by five per cent: according to a survey, 71 per cent of the population stated that their knowledge of the decentralisation process had improved.