Published 5 June 2024

Sida and SALAR Sign Agreement on New Programme to Support Democracy, Decentralisation and Recovery in Ukraine

Building on the previous impactful projects of SALAR International in Ukraine, SALAR and Sida have agreed revamp cooperation and to launch a new programme for development in Ukraine. The new programme, initially funded by 250 million SEK from Sida, will span the period of 2024-2028 and aims to further Ukrainian efforts to decentralise, strengthen municipalities, and support the work with recovery.

From left: The President of SALAR, Anders Henriksson and the Director General of Sida, Jakob Granit, during the signing ceremony on the 30th of May. Photo: Anna Nylander, Sida.

The programme will be an important part of the Swedish support to Ukraine, helping it to develop good governance and increase local resilience – factors that continuously have proved to be important in resisting the ongoing Russian invasion.

Through its previous projects in Ukraine, Support to Decentralisation in Ukraine (DSP & DSP II) and Support to Services Accessibility in Ukraine (PROSTO), SALAR International has supported Ukrainian efforts to decentralise since 2014 on behalf of SALAR. The new sizable programme is a testament to the successful work in previous projects, the fruitful cooperation with Sida as well as the importance of the issues of local governance as well as the challenges remaining for Ukraine. With components on both national and municipal levels the programme will have five thematic areas:

  • Supporting decentralisation of the education system and its funding
  • Enhancing the Administrative Service Centers and Starostas in delivering services effectively and close to citizens
  • Strengthening the financial conditions for municipalities through fiscal reform
  • Building capacity with municipalities to lead their own planning and work with recovery
  • Facilitating partnerships and mutual exchange between Ukrainian and Swedish municipalities

Beyond this, it will also provide direct material support and strategic investments to Ukrainian municipalities to ensure comprehensive and sustainable recovery, particularly in areas heavily affected by the war.

In strengthening Ukrainian democracy and advancing EU integration, the programme will benefit Ukrainian development and citizens. It will also enable exchanges of knowledge between Swedish and Ukrainian municipalities in areas of democracy, local governance and resilience in a mutually beneficial manner. It underscores the importance of international cooperation in addressing contemporary challenges and building a sustainable future for Ukraine, making it a stronger partner to the rest of Europe.