Local development Strategy

Around 30% of the Ukrainian population live in rural territories. Prior to the start of the current decentralisation reform in 2014, the quality of municipal services provided in rural territories was very poor, with high levels of unemployment and poverty, and weak engagement of youth, people employed in the agricultural sector or self-employed people. This had repercussions on social well-being and led to a fall in life expectancy among the rural population of Ukraine.

In 2015 DESPRO piloted practical support to local strategies development in 3 village communities of the project’s partner regions. In cooperation with local self-government associations DESPRO conducted 4 sets of workshops for the members of its strategic committees. In addition to the face-to-face seminars, DESPRO’s Community of Practice platform provided an opportunity to continue consultations online. As a result, local development strategies were developed in all three communities. 

In 2016, DESPRO continued working with Local Government Associations to support strategic planning in 4 Amalgamated Territorial Communities (ATCs). And in 2018 DESPRO supported Zaytseve ATC. Local councils of the partner communities adopted these strategies, thus DESPRO methodology on local development planning was tested on practice and proved to be effective.

On this basis, DESPRO developed guidelines for local strategic planning on the community level, including the necessary sample documents. The publication is available in Ukrainian.

DESPRO’s methodology on strategic planning was integrated into DESPRO’s Local Self-Governance School training programme in 2017. Through it, 36 ATCs developed or updated their local development strategies between 2017 and 2019.

The detailed methodology and lessons learned are described in the brief “Strategic Planning in Communities” in DESPRO library.