The recommendations on decentralisation implementation, stated in the OECD Report, are very important for us, and we have already considered them in our route map for the further reform realisation. It involves strengthening of the regional development and sectoral reforms’ policy, support of amalgamation dynamics and hromadas’ capacity building, reforming of the rayon level, and focusing on human resource development, emphasised Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, during the public presentation of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) report.
The OECD report recommendations also include stimulation of amalgamation by means of implemented incentives, solving of the problems of insufficient capability of certain AHs, strengthening of coordination mechanism between all stakeholders in the decentralisation process, division of responsibilities and functions between different levels of government, which will enhance competence development in public service delivery.
“Taking into account these recommendations, our further route map of the reform, which we will implement in the next two years, envisages two main areas: maximum motivation for voluntary amalgamation of hromadas and strengthening of capability of already existing hromadas. And these ambitious tasks can be implemented through sectoral reforms and strengthening of financial decentralisation,” said Hennadii Zubko.
According to him, financial decentralisation has become truly tangible in the course of 4 years of the reform. Local budgets increased to UAH 192 billion over three years and amounted to 51% of the consolidated budget of the country. It is a tremendous resource that already works for the well-being of citizens. In addition, state support for hromada development and infrastructure improvement is increasing annually. By various subventions and sectoral directions this year it reaches more than UAH 30 billion. These are the funds in support of sectoral regional policy, construction of football fields, subventions for healthcare development in rural areas, infrastructure in AHs, socio-economic development, SFRR. In addition, this year there is a subvention envisaged for local roads in the amount of UAH 11.5 billion. MinRegion stimulates intermunicipal co-operation and there are already 187 co-operation agreements.
“The directions of our tasks include sectoral reforms and implementation of priority regional development projects: establishment of modern ASCs, a network of hub schools with the New Educational Space, a network of outpatient clinics of primary healthcare in rural areas, and Citizens' Safety Centres. Accessibility and quality of service provision are the main criterion for such projects. In the past two years, almost five thousand regional development projects have already been implemented,” the official emphasised.
Hennadii Zubko stressed that further amalgamation, sectoral reforms, development of human potential and regional competitiveness are the main tasks of further implementation of the decentralisation reform.
The OECD is a unique forum, where government bodies work together to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of globalisation. The organisation provides a platform for comparing policy implementation experience, solving common problems, identifying best practices and working on the coordination of internal and foreign policies. 34 countries are OECD members.
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