The State Strategy for Regional Development is the main planning document in the regional policy system. It needs to be updated due to the challenges Ukraine faces after the full-scale invasion, as well as the country’s new obligations in the context of obtaining EU candidate status.
About 300 experts worked on the document in seven groups: environmental protection, security, e-governance, human capital, infrastructure, economy and institutions. The creation of a large discussion platform allowed for the presentation of different positions and the most inclusive cross-sectoral approach.
“When working on the strategy update, the main task was to combine the processes of recovery and development of territorial communities and regions, strengthen the institutional capacity of local governments and local executive authorities, and create conditions for future cooperation with EU institutions. A unified approach to development and recovery at the national, regional and local levels guarantees unity both within the country – for citizens and businesses – and outside – for development partners,” said Oleksandr Kubrakov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for Restoration and Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development.
The updated draft Strategy focuses on the implementation of digital solutions. The documentary framework of the State Strategy for Regional Development, including regional and local strategies, should be presented in a new GIS system for monitoring and evaluation of regional development starting in 2024. The active phase of its development is currently underway.
“Our goal is to give the Development Strategies the status of the main document in the planning process at the regional and local level. It is the Strategies that should streamline the existing chaos in the documents, incorporate the budget process and bring the strategic and spatial planning processes into line. To this end, we are working closely with the relevant committee of the Verkhovna Rada to prepare all the necessary legislative changes,” said Oleksandra Azarkhina, Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine.
She emphasised that the draft Strategy was developed in a way to align key points with the Ukraine Facility (the European Union’s support instrument for Ukraine) and the RDNA framework (the recovery needs assessment for Ukraine developed by the Government jointly with the World Bank, European Commission and the UN). This was done in order to synchronise Ukraine’s multi-level governance system with existing international support and needs assessment instruments.
The priorities of the updated Strategy are as follows:
The presentation of the updated State Strategy for Regional Development was supported by the Good Governance Fund’s Community Recovery Planning project. The initiative supports Ukraine’s territorial communities in their recovery and enhances the state’s capacity to manage regional development projects. The project is being carried out in partnership with the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, supported by the UK Government (UK International Development) and implemented by Abt Britain and KPMG in Ukraine.