Governance and Peacebuilding

The interventions in this domain are supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Human Security Division (HSD).

Decentralisation is currently among the most critical reforms for Ukraine. It will be of paramount importance to reformat the entire system of division of powers, dismantle the vertical power structures, improve efficiency of governance as a whole and reduce the scale of corruption. Furthermore, decentralisation that encourages locally-driven initiatives will be critical in re-uniting Ukraine in the aftermath of the divisive conflict in the east of the country. Therefore, Switzerland will continue to support local governments, civil society organisations and citizens in rural and semi-rural areas in order to improve the performance of democratic institutions and their relationship with citizens, service delivery, participation and decision-making.

Stronger support will be provided to local governance associations, to become more recognised and credible stakeholders for disseminating knowledge among their members and lobbying for reforms which are in the interest of the local authorities. Policy dialogue with the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Municipal Economy of Ukraine will be continued and reinforced within the framework of donor coordination and at the bilateral level. The governance system will be further improved by promoting new tools that contribute to fight corruption and strengthen citizens’ participation in decision-making, as e.g. electronic governance (e-governance).

The newly introduced into the Swiss Cooperation Strategy peacebuilding component aims at improving relations between conflicting parties through dialogue, fostering respect for human rights, international humanitarian law and strengthening the inclusiveness of key political processes. Taking an impartial stance, Switzerland will contribute to the resolution of the conflict by involving key institutional actors as well as supporting local peacebuilding and dialogue initiatives. Further activities in this field will include supporting human rights and international humanitarian law monitoring and advocacy, enhancing capacity of domestic human rights actors. Bilateral efforts will complement Switzerland’s multilateral engagement with regard to implementation of Minsk agreement by providing expert support to the official process.

The domain of governance and peacebuilding will be funded with CHF 29 million for the period 2015–2018.

SDC Projects at a glance:

  • Swiss-Ukrainian Decentralization Support Project DESPRO (Phase III)
  • Council of Europe Programme “Strengthening the Capacity of Local Authorities in Ukraine”
  • Swiss-Ukrainian Project “Development of Citizenship Competences in Ukraine (DOCCU)”
  • E-Governance for Accountability and Participation (E-GAP)
  • Restoration of Governance and Reconciliation in Crisis-Affected Communities of Ukraine

HSD projects

  • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – Co-funding of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission
  • Crimean Human Rights Field Mission
  • Human Rights House Foundation
  • Council of Europe – International Advisory Panel


A young woman places a folded ballot paper in the ballot box.
The objectives of the SDC include supporting fair and transparent elections, for example in Tunisia. © SDC

The objective of governance is to create an environment that strengthens rule of law and human rights, gender equality, appropriate distribution of power and macro-economic stability. Governance is a strategic objective of SDC development cooperation.

The SDC's worldwide engagement