Gearing up Ukraine’s transformation process

By Anton Usov

Central Kiev, Ukraine

Conference in Kiev takes stock and sets new goals for administrative overhaul

Five years after the start of the events that changed the political course of Ukraine, reformers and main donors supporting the change process will gather in Kiev on Thursday to collectively reflect on the progress achieved to date and discuss ways to deepen the reforms towards a prosperous future.

Under the title “Leading through change: shaping Ukraine’s future”, professionals working as #ReformHeroes in Reform Support Teams will consider how to build on the early reform successes in order to improve the country’s economic and social development, based on good governance and effective and transparent public administration.

The conference will be opened by the State Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Volodymyr Bondarenko, the new EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, Matteo Patrone, and the Head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine, Hugues Mingarelli.

Teams of #ReformHeroes, which form part of the Ukraine Reforms Architecture (#URA), are currently working in the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministries of Finance, Economic Development and Trade, Infrastructure, Regional Development, Ecology and Natural Resources, Agrarian Policy and Food and the state road agency Ukravtodor.

The first groups were established by the government of Ukraine with the support of the EBRD, European Union and international donors to strengthen Ukraine’s drive towards #MakingReformsHappen. The goal was to support reform delivery and the implementation of Ukraine's Public Administration Reform Strategy 2016-2020. Following the encouraging results of the pilot teams, the programme has been rolled out to more ministries and institutions.

Speaking ahead of the event, Volodymyr Groysman, Prime Minister of Ukraine, said: “We are managing a large-scale reload of the civil service in Ukraine. We are willing to provide a new quality of administration. It is an achievable goal. The changes will restore people's trust in authority.”

Matteo Patrone, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, said: “While the Euromaidan protests which started on the night of 21 November 2013 made global headlines, the work of rebuilding the public administration may attract less attention, but represents an even more radical departure from the past. Our teams are helping to build the foundations of a state based on the rule of law and a transparent and effective administration.”

Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, said: “A strong and well-functioning civil service is a cornerstone and precondition of reform success in Ukraine. It contributes to a competitive economy and better living standards for all Ukrainians. One of our key objectives is to lay the foundations for a new generation of reform-oriented professionals to work in the civil service and make changes from within. Today, the Reform Support Teams and the Reform Delivery Office are major elements of the reform architecture assisting the Ukrainian government to carry out reforms, crucially needed by the country. It is a critical contribution to our broader goal of building strong, well-governed and professional institutions in Ukraine.”

In order to translate the political changes triggered in late 2013 into a lasting transformation of the country’s system of governance, Ukraine – with the support of the international community – has developed a comprehensive reform architecture, of which the Reform Support Teams are a major component. URA aims to support the building of strong, well-governed and professional institutions via the reform of public administration.

The reform framework also includes the Reforms Delivery Office under the Prime Minister, which focuses on ensuring the consistency and efficiency of reform delivery across the government.

The third component is the Strategic Advisory Group for Support of Ukrainian Reforms, which offers strategic advice to the President and the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

International support for URA is provided by the Ukraine Stabilisation and Sustainable Growth Multi-Donor Account, established in November 2014 and managed by the EBRD, to support Ukraine’s efforts to reform its economy, improve its business climate and return to a path of sustainable growth. Contributors to the fund are Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.