Maintaining the Momentum of Decentralisation in Ukraine

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This Multi-level Governance Series study focuses on Ukraine’s advances in regional development, territorial reform and decentralisation since 2014. The Government launched a reform to merge local governments and strengthen the decentralisation process, giving additional power and resources to sub-national authorities. In a short period, successful steps have been taken toward achieving municipal mergers and greater fiscal, administrative and political decentralisation, complemented by the State Strategy for Regional Development 2015-2020. The first local elections have been held and more public services are being delivered by certain local authorities. Yet, important challenges remain, ranging from a need to address rising disparities and adjusting multi-level governance practices and territorial structures, to better structuring fiscal decentralisation. This report addresses regional performance and disparities in Ukraine, provides insight into Ukraine’s current territorial reform and approach to decentralisation, explores the impact of fiscal decentralisation measures, and includes a case study of the transport sector. It also provides a set of recommendations for action to support Ukraine in meeting the conditions for successful decentralisation.

English Ukrainian


Executive summary

When the OECD published its Territorial Review of Ukraine in early 2014, the country faced many significant and inter-related territorial development challenges. These included large regional disparities; productivity shifts; high levels of unemployment and informal employment; poor public services; and top-down, centralised multi-level governance structures rooted in pre-independence practices. The social unrest, political change and armed conflict that Ukraine has experienced since then served to amplify these challenges and highlight the need for greater state resilience. To help address these challenges and harness the potential of regional economic development, territorial reform – including more decentralised subnational governance – became a pressing need.

English Ukrainian

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