Decentralizing national administrations is a necessary step towards boosting social and economic development in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, government and civil society representatives said at the closing of a conference hosted by the Ukrainian government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kiev at the beginning of December 2015. The conference brought together more than 150 participants for two days of formal and informal discussions on how to lead successful anti-corruption and decentralization efforts.
Ukraine is in the midst of one of the most ambitious decentralization and local governance reform exercises Europe has witnessed in a decade. Its ongoing decentralization process was taken up as a priority by the post-Maidan government in 2014, and has included a comprehensive package of constitutional changes, fiscal decentralization and tax reform.
Participants said local administrations have a major role to play in accelerating the delivery of services and allowing people to participate in local decisions, including vulnerable groups. That vision is embodied in Sustainable Development Goal 16, which specifically addresses the link between peaceful and inclusive societies on the one hand, and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions on the other.
The conference also served as the launch of a new regional project that will support anti-corruption efforts in six municipalities in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. It will be supported financially by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by UNDP and Partners for Local Development in Romania. You can find more in this video-reportage.