The Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (RPP) is the unifying framework for eight projects funded for 2017 by nine international partners. The Programme addresses priority needs in eastern Ukraine after armed conflict erupted in the spring of 2014, and the opportunities that have arisen from the Minsk Protocol of September 2014 and the renewal of its cease-fire provisions in February 2015.
The long-term goal for eastern Ukraine is economic prosperity and lasting peace. To recover from conflict and build a foundation for lasting peace the deep-rooted economic and governance problems that are the underlying causes of the conflict must be addressed and reconciliation must be achieved among conflict-affected people and communities. As intermediate goals to address the causes, inclusive, responsive and participatory local governance requires development; social and productive infrastructure must be rebuilt and the economy redeveloped so that people’s livelihoods and wellbeing will improve; and conflict-affected communities must regain the safety and social cohesion that has been lost in recent years.
The RPP is comprised of the following three substantive components:
Component 1: Economic Recovery and Restoration of Critical Infrastructure;
Component 2: Local Governance and Decentralization Reform;
Component 3: Community Security and Social Cohesion.
The RPP follows a multi-sectoral programme-based approach, and is implemented using area-based methodology.
The Programme includes joint programming with other UN agencies and international assistance providers, particularly in providing support to local governance and early recovery. A gender analysis has been conducted for RPP, with gender-sensitive approaches throughout the Programme, and with specific outputs designated for gender inclusion to promote women’s participation in local governance, community security and peacebuilding.
The target areas are five oblasts of Ukraine:
Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk, with a significant portion of the activities in Donetsk and Luhansk, the most conflict-affected oblasts of eastern Ukraine. The Programme is implemented in close consultation and partnership with national, regional and local authorities, civil society, the business community and development partners.
Key achievements of the Programme in 2015/2016
28 critical social and economic infrastructure facilities in the conflict-affected areas of the Donbas, including hospitals, social services centers, water pumping stations and bridges, have been restored, benefiting 3.5 mln people.
Business development and job creation
- 248 businesses were launched or restored with UNDP startup grants;
- Over 2,000 new jobs were created;
- Over 4,000 people participated in training sessions and received new professional and business skills, enabling them to find employment;
- 11 new business support centers were created, including co-working, education and consulting hubs, export support and mediation centers;
- 600 entrepreneurs received access to office space;
- Almost 500 representatives of local authorities participated in exchange visits to seven oblasts of Ukraine to familiarize themselves with best practices of economic and social services development;
- 1,800 participants attended forums, conferences, workshops, round tables aimed at fostering cooperation between the public authorities and business in the Donbas.
- Nearly 37,000 IDPs received psychological support and legal assistance;
Over 8,000 people have benefitted from a Case Management System that was developed to help provide comprehensive, effective support to IDPs in getting access to various services.
Supporting local governance
- UNDP helped local governments update the Luhansk and Donetsk Development Strategies and adopt respective implementation plans;
- Citizens Advisory Bureaus were set up to help the population orientate in the immediate aftermath of the conflict, and to fill a capacity gap in the authorities’ ability to respond to specific needs created by the conflict, such as a lack of trust in government and fellow citizens. 1,557 appeals (33% men, 67% women) were addressed within five months;
Six advisors for governors and 30 experts for 15 city administrations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been recruited to strengthen the institutional capacities of the local governments.
Community security and social cohesion
- A Baseline Assessment on experiences and perception of security and justice has been completed, which will facilitate more effective, evidence-based policy-making and planning.
Some 300 representatives of civil society, international organizations, local authorities and private enterprises from the Luhansk and Donetsk regions participated in exchange visits, with the aim of finding bottom-up solutions to common challenges in the Donbas region.