The Ukraine’s decentralization reform was launched in 2014 and tremendous changes followed for local self-government representatives who required assistance in strengthening their capacities on the specificities of the reform, new legislation, and local governments’ responsibilities and functions. 

In response, DESPRO developed and launched an integrated Training Programme, called “Local Self-Governance School” (LSG School) in 2014. It addresses topics such as local self-governance (LSG) reform, decentralization, best practices (domestic and international) on decentralisation, practical issues related to organizational and legal changes as a result of the reforms, as well as development of knowledge and capacities for personal leadership and communications skills.


Two Face2Face sessions


Online courses and extensive homework

Discussions, lectures, interactive trainings and roundtables

Online courses on DESPRO Community of Practice

Communities participate in teams of 5 people

Head of community is a team leader

Rigorous selection process based on communities’ Development Strategy

Result of participation - updated Community Development Strategy

Training of trainers (ToT) for the best individual participants

Section for young professionals in LSG

Since 2014, the LSG School has developed and implemented 55 training modules covering topics such as: strategic planning, marketing of territories, local economic development, local financial resources and investments attraction, interpersonal and external communications, community-building and social cohesion, land regulations and spatial planning, branding of territories and e-governance, intermunicipal cooperation and participatory decisionmaking. 

The selection of participants to the LSG School is done on the basis of the availability of a developed Community Development Strategy for the Amalgamated Territorial Community (ATC), as well as compliance with the selection criteria. Admissions are made by a Commission on a competitive basis in order to select ATC teams for each LSG School’s cycle. 

All of the training topics of the School are focused around each ATC’s strategy. In particular, attention is paid to whether strategies are realistic, feasible, up-to-date, locally bound and applicable in the concrete community. The School’s modules are set so that each topic is applied to the strategies’ tasks and goals, thereby enabling participants to update their strategies. 

DESPRO has conducted 7 LSG Schools with 445 graduates, representating 89 amalgamated communities, and 110 certified trainers. Up to 15 professional trainers have been selected and constantly engaged into the School since its launch.


The detailed methodology and lessons learned on Local Self-Governance School are described in a  brief, available in the website library.

The collection of DESPRO impact stories including stories of LSG School alumni is available in the website library.

For news and updates on future cycles of LSG School: 

Visit the News section of the website in English and in Ukrainian               Follow DESPRO Facebook page     

More resources, manuals and publications are available in Ukrainian in the website library