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Filed under: Governance

Map of municipalities in Ukraine

Local development problems often require joint efforts of several neighboring municipalities to find comprehensive solutions.

Ukraine’s current administrative and territorial system is quite complicated; it is represented by over 12,000 local governments of different levels, including 454 urban communities.

Some of the problems that need coordination include solid waste management, infrastructure construction and maintenance, cleaning of rivers, forests, and parks, and developing common strategies for domestic and in-country tourism promotion.

In 2011 UNDP hosted an international mission to promote inter-municipal partnerships for improved public service delivery in Ukraine. The perspectives for inter-municipal cooperation were analyzed and experiences from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (pdf) (in Ukrainian pdf) were shared with the partner municipalities and relevant ministries in Ukraine.

Inter-municipal cooperation is about more efficient and effective performance of municipal functions through cooperation. Our mission expert, Mr. Boran Ivanoski, (UNDP in FYR Macedonia), shared with us the experiences of several other European countries. The main benefits included:

  • Sharing administrative overhead costs for the performance of administrative tasks and services
  • Reducing unit costs and improving public service quality through economies of scale and access to more advanced technology
  • Attaining minimum economic size that justifies offering a service
  • Providing the same quality of services across several municipalities
  • Addressing situations when citizens live and pay their taxes in a municipality but benefit from services provided by another municipality
  • Enhancing economic, social and environmental protection performance through coordinated planning
  • Attracting investment funds from the public or private sector requiring a minimum size
Some examples of inter-municipal cooperation that have been started in Ukraine include: a project on solid waste management in the Tulchyn area, and Dolyna’s experience on solid waste management with Rozhnyativ and the Bolekhiv area. You just need to start!
Five types of inter-municipal cooperation arrangements are commonly used according to the type of service to be improved:
  1. Joint service production – formation of joint enterprises for certain services ( water supply or road maintenance)

  2. Joint administration – formation of joint enterprises for certain administrative duties (tax collection and administration, physical planning, licensing)

  3. Selling and buying of services – provision of services from a better to a lesser efficient municipality for which a fee is paid

  4. Joint planning and development – formation of joint enterprises in cases where small municipalities can’t perform the project alone (local economic development, tourism)

  5. Joint funding – formation of joint enterprises in cases municipalities, sometimes with an upper level of government, jointly fund a mutually useful project

What kind of partnership could your city form with its neighbours to increase efficiency?

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  • Clare Romanik

    Ukraine has so much potential for inter-municipal cooperation because of the fact that you have so many small local self-governments. It will take time to build the trust that is needed for them to work cooperatively, but typically once they have formed cooperation in one area they see it advantageous to continue to cooperate in new areas.

    • http://msdp.undp.org.ua Olena Ursu

      We really hope that they see the advantages faster. Right now after so many years of talking about the administrative and territorial reform (and some of the theories really made people angry about the possibility to lose their autonomy) they are rather resistent to the idea. And the current legislation needs to be further improved to allow real functioning of the inter-municipal partnerships. But proper understanding is slowly emerging. Thanks for your feedback, Clare!