Restoring Governance and Reconciliation in Donbas: a work in progress

Jun 1, 2016

UNDP-Ukraine’s programme for “Restoration of Governance and Reconciliation in Crisis-Affected Communities of Ukraine” shows first signs of success in facilitating recovery, improving public services, restoring trust and building bridges between authorities and communities in the Donbas region.

Kramatorsk, 25 May 2016 – One year after launching its programme for  “Restoration of Governance and Reconciliation in Crisis-Affected Communities of Ukraine”, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine today unveiled a series of positive developments achieved by local governments and the civil society in Donbas to jointly reduce tensions through inclusive dialogue and reconciliation practices. 

Supported by the governments of Sweden and Switzerland through a USD 3 million budget, the programme, spanning across 2015-2017, aims to enhance local governments capacities to facilitate early recovery, improve public service and include citizens in decision making in the conflict-affected oblasts of Luhansk and Donetsk, by engaging local governments and civil society at regional, district and municipal levels.

The programme focuses on restoring governance functions, training local officials on various operational procedures, developing Public Councils as bridges between citizen engagement and state structures, establishing Citizens Advice Bureaus as independent, non-partisan structures providing guidance to the population in conflict aftermaths, and promoting local dialogue and trust-building within communities, as well as between them and the authorities, through joint decision-making, public consultation and hearings that ensure due consideration of all concerns. 

Within the first year, some concrete steps towards restored governance and reconciliation have been achieved, such as the establishment of partnerships between 2 oblasts, 13 rayons, 10 cities and 2 village councils, the organization of five workshops at regional level involving all stakeholders in the development of a strategy for the Donetsk oblast, two workshops on Reconciliation and Social Cohesion held in Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk, as well as the opening of seven Advisory Bureaus in March.

UNDP Country Director, Janthomas Hiemstra, explains: “ Recovery and peacebuilding in the conflict-affected areas and the support of internally displaced people are paramount for us. The conflict in the east is the most serious challenge the country has faced since achieving independence in 1991. We are thrilled that Sweden and Switzerland have enabled this programme to bear fruits. This is the beginning of a long journey towards well functioning governance practices that leave no one behind, and we are looking forward to consolidate

such progress in the next 18 months, with significant additional support from the EU and the Netherlands. ” 

Contact information

Yevgeniy Zelenko, Yevgeniy.zelenko@undp.org; Tel.: +38 044 253-9363  ext.141

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