Ukraine Local Government Assessment
February 01, 2007
Following the Orange Revolution in early 2005, USAID began to increase activities at the central level in response to the changed political climate. Though the Mission’s local government portfolio is now more engaged in helping Ukraine address a range of public policy issues that affect local governments, the Mission’s dominant focus continues to be direct support for municipalities. This is based largely on its perception that the Government of Ukraine’s commitment to serious national-level changes to the legal framework for local government remains limited.
USAID has done quite remarkable local government development work in Ukraine with receptive, capable mayors and cities for more than a decade, in spite of a national policy environment that is badly flawed. In our opinion, however, the current national framework for democratic local government is neither capable of meeting citizens’ reasonable service delivery expectations, nor of stimulating private and public sector investments necessary for sustainable economic growth and rising living standards. USAID now needs to clearly define its priority goals and timelines for policy reform at the national level in favor of local self-government.
Our principal recommendations are summarized below: - Policy reform is paramount – get results or close out programming;
Revise implementation strategy in order to achieve “spread effect,” not more “waves” and addition of new cities;
Consolidate portfolio into fewer project units;
Transition to Ukrainian experts and “fees for services” in place of expatriate technical assistance and donor funds;
Emphasize depth over breadth in training activities.
Photo credit: Ferad Zyulkyarov