Sustainable and Inclusive Balanced Regional Development

The level of development among the 8 regions in North Macedonia is highly unequal. This misbalance directly affects the wellbeing of citizens living in less developed areas. SDC supports North Macedonia by working on the country system, to improve the national legal framework for planning, monitoring and evaluation of balanced regional development (BRD) ensuring greater allocation of funds for BRD, hence improving the living conditions for all citizens, especially in the underdeveloped regions.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
North Macedonia
Employment & economic development
Public finance management
Rural development
01.10.2021 - 30.09.2025
CHF  4’040’000
Background In light of accelerated process of structural reforms and accession to the EU, North Macedonia has increased effort and implemented a more integrated approach to a balanced development of the regions. The overall results confirm the progress in the area of BRD, however disparities between regions in North Macedonia still prevail. The regional policy is still not fully harmonized with sectoral policies, with line ministries still not fully allocating regional funds according to the level of development of the regions. Regional Councils (RCs) struggle to address regional challenges and Centers for Regional Development (CRDs) do not have sufficient capacity to develop and implement projects with regional impact that spur regional growth and improve citizens’ wellbeing.
Objectives Disparities in the development among and within the planning regions are decreased, and as a result, citizens, in particular those of the less developed regions in the country, have better living conditions.
Target groups Ministry of Local Self-government, 12 line ministries and national agencies, Ministry of Finance, Bureau for Regional Development, 8 Regional Councils, 8 Centers for Regional Development, National council for balanced regional development, Cabinet of the Vice Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, 80 municipalities, 2.1 million citizens with special focus on most vulnerable groups (LNOB).
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: The Government allocates and implements funds for balanced regional development in a transparent, predictable and effective manner and according to the level of development of the planning regions.

Outcome 2: Regional Councils effectively implement BRD policy while mainstreaming transparency, citizen participation and social inclusion.

Outcome 3: CRDs in all eight planning regions, in particular the less developed ones, are more effective and efficient.


Expected results:  

  • The Government through its ministries is increasingly aware of the regional development policies and the results achieved. 
  • System for regional development (SiReRa) is digitalized and becomes efficient and effective tool which is used by the government for strategic decision-making processes for balanced regional development;
  • Strengthened capacities of RCs for efficientimplementation of the regional policy.
  • Increased capacities of the CRDs for effective and efficient implementation of regional projects of considerable size and importance with cost - benefit analysis and feasibility study.

Results from previous phases:  

  • National funds for BRD increased by 245%, from 13.8 mil EUR in 2017 to 33.9 mil EUR in 2020.
  • The legal framework for BRD was further improved by incorporating transparency, citizen participation and social inclusion.
  • Regional disparities in the GDP per capita level between the most and least developed region have decreased from 2.9 to 2.5.
  • Total value of projects implemented through 8 CRDs increased from 6.8 mil. EUR in 2018 to 16.6 mil. EUR in 2020.


  • Deficient harmonization of BRD policy with other line ministries and sectoral policies, hence horizontal and vertical coordination in the area of BRD is still not effective.
  • Insufficient amount of funds allocated for BRD still not achieving the legally prescribed target of 1% of GDP.
  • RCs struggle to address regional challenges.
  • CRD lack capacity for dentifying and developing projects with BRD impact.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Other partners
Ministry of Local Self Government
Coordination with other projects and actors EU delegation and Swiss funded projects: Creating Job Opportunities for All, SwissEP, Increasing Market Employability, Gender Responsive Budgeting, Nature Conservation Programme.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’040’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’100’000 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    6’040’000
Project phases Phase 2 01.10.2021 - 30.09.2025   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.11.2015 - 30.09.2021   (Completed)