Ministry for Restoration of Ukraine unveils its roadmap for decentralization reform

November 14, 2023
Photo: Ministry for Restoration

Kyiv, 14 November 2023 – The event brought together 250 participants, including government representatives, Verkhovna Rada, the President's Office, local self-government associations, diplomatic missions, international organizations, experts, and civil society organizations’ representatives. More than 1000 participants joined the event online. 

The participants discussed regional policy issues and the needs of local self-government bodies in recovery planning, the role of digitalization in the decentralization reform, and the future of decentralization on Ukraine's path to joining the European Union. 

At the opening, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal acknowledged the impact of the full-scale war, emphasizing the continued relevance and timeliness of decentralization. “The capability of communities will determine the pace and quality of recovery, creating growth points for further development,” he said. “We expect communities to be able to create realistic projects and bring them to life, work with international partners and take advantage of what they offer, as well as to enhance human capital. If a community is attractive to people, it has a future.”

Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, who is also the Minister for Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure Development, highlighted the significance of the roadmap's unveiling, calling it a critical milestone for both his ministry and Ukraine. “Today, we introduce an updated roadmap for the reform of local self-government and the reorganization of territorial power in Ukraine,” he said. “This initiative comes at a pivotal time, as our nation grapples with the formidable challenges of the full-scale war. Throughout this period, our united territorial communities have demonstrated remarkable resilience and effectiveness. Our goal, even amidst the ongoing conflict, is to bolster the institutional capacity of these communities, with a keen focus on anti-corruption measures, digitalization, and strategic planning.”

UNDP Resident Representative Jaco Cilliers said decentralization reform is critical for the country's post-war recovery. “This reform grows from the needs of communities and reflects the resilience of Ukrainian communities, which will become the foundation for responsible governance and social progress in a restored country,” he said. “It is initiated not from the top down but from the bottom up – at the very heart of the communities, where every voice is important, and each community has its unique vision for its future.”

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine Matsuda Kuninori spoke about the Japanese experience of decentralization reform and assured of Japan's unwavering support for Ukraine on its path to implementing decentralization and post-war recovery. "This reform is not only timely but also critically important for the future of Ukraine. From our own experience of revival after numerous natural disasters and defeat in World War II, Japan understands the value of coordinated efforts at different levels of government. Strengthening the links between central and local government bodies will create a solid foundation for efficient and sustainable development of Ukraine. This allows not only for improved administrative processes but also reinforces self-sufficiency and resilience at the local level, which is the basis for economic well-being," said Matsuda Kuninori, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine. 

The development and presentation of the roadmap for local self-government reform were realized with substantial support and funding from several key partners. This includes the Government of Japan, the Ukrainian community capacity development program 'U-LEAD with Europe', the East Europe Foundation, the USAID 'GOVERLA' project aimed at enhancing local government efficiency and accountability, and the Swiss-Ukrainian 'DECIDE' project.

Background: The decentralization initiative in Ukraine, initiated in 2014, aligns with the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. This reform enabled the establishment of united territorial communities (UTCs) across the nation. As of now, Ukraine is home to 1,439 such communities, encompassing close to 28,000 settlements.

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: