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Switzerland’s continued support to decentralization and local governance reform in Ukraine builds upon the good results achieved in previous phases. By strengthening capacities of the key national reform stakeholders and improving national policies, SDC will contribute to further advancing the reform. Local governments will be capacitated to effectively use newly transferred competences and resources to provide quality public services (in particular water supply & sanitation and solid waste management) to citizens.

Country/region Topic Period Budget

Democratic participation and civil society
Water supply
Water sanitation
01.07.2017 - 31.12.2022
CHF  9’450’000

The decentralization and local self-government reform was put on the top reform agenda of the Ukrainian government in 2014. Since that time the reform has achieved considerable results: over 400 sustainable amalgamated communities were established (incl. in the conflict-affected regions), laying the foundation for a more optimal administrative and territorial setup; local budgets have increased 3-7 times due to fiscal decentralization; and local self-governments have received new competences. The reform is recognized as one of the most successful ones, having 64% of public support and 46% of people experiencing its positive results. The complex political situation in Ukraine with the ongoing military conflict in the east and severe economic conditions still poses a risk to the finalization of the reform, which requires a well-coordinated and comprehensive support from the international community.


Citizens of Ukraine benefit from improved local governance, better access to and quality of public services resulting from the advanced decentralization reform.

Target groups

Local: citizens of target municipalities and amalgamated communities, representatives of local self-governments;

Regional: representatives of oblast councils and oblast state administrations; regional offices of reform funded by EU/GIZ; regional NGOs and media; 

National: Ministry for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services; Parliamentary Committee on State Building, Regional Policy and Local Self-Government; Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers and Reforms Delivery Office; local self-government associations; Central Reform Office (funded by EU/GIZ) and Project Office for Sectorial Decentralization (funded by Canada), national media.

Medium-term outcomes
  • National stakeholders improved their capacities to regulate, guide and implement the decentralization reform
  • Communities in partner regions and beyond received high-quality public services, implemented through sustainable models of decentralized service provision
  • Local self-governments capacitated to duly perform the delegated competences and to effectively use decentralized resources due to the reformed National Training System for local public servants (Council of Europe programme on decentralization)

Expected results:  

  • Improved general decentralization policies, legal and regulatory environment with a focus on sectoral policies for water supply and sanitation (WS&S) and SWM
  • Ministry of Regional Development capacitated to steer and monitor the decentralization reform
  • Regional, inter-municipal and local WS&S and SWM strategies and service provision models are in place
  • Partner Communal Enterprises are able to provide services in a sustainable manner
  • Communities and other beneficiaries improved their knowledge and skills in key local governance and public service provision areas
  • Experience with decentralized service provision is further analyzed, disseminated and promoted
  • DESPRO becomes an independent service provider for local, regional and national governments, local self-governance associations and other clients, including international donors

Results from previous phases:  

  • In total 76 projects in the areas of water supply (WS), sanitation and solid waste management (SWM) were successfully implemented in 5 partner regions, benefitting up to 80’000 people (55% women, 45% men)
  • Replication of the approach by partner regional authorities led to an increased number of indirect beneficiaries of up to 20’000 people
  • The level of local co-funding to Swiss-funded projects despite the economic crisis reached 64% in WS projects
  • Swiss-funded legal support (incl. via Council of Europe) was crucial for 11 adopted laws and Cabinet of Ministers Decrees related to decentralization and 19 drafted legal acts pending approval
  • The Swiss-funded Reform Communication Strategy contributed to the increased public awareness and forming a positive image of the reform
  • SDC’s deep thematic anchorage and proven results in decentralization helped to establish and institutionalize the donor/government coordination mechanism based on a Donor Board and related thematic working groups

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
Other International Organization
Private sector
  • Council of Europe
  • Swiss Private Sector

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • UNDP Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (coordination in Luhansk region)
  • Coordination with other international donors supporting decentralization and local self-government reform (EU, USAID, Sweden, Canada, GIZ, UNDP, others) will be ensured in the framework of the Donor Board chaired by Switzerland
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’450’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    9’097’037 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF   25’200’000
Project phases Phase 4 01.07.2017 - 31.12.2022   (Current phase) Phase 3 01.05.2013 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)

Last update 26.01.2022

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