Decentralization for Improved Democratic Education (DECIDE)

Decentralisation and education reforms are key components to the ongoing national reforms that need to be pursued in a coordinated manner. Capitalizing on experience in decentralisation reform and in citizenship education, Switzerland will support the development of efficient, transparent and participatory education governance in rural areas of Ukraine, where it will aim at fostering trust between local authorities and citizens through improved education service and greater civic engagement of youth.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Vocational training
Vocational training
Education policy
Democratic participation and civil society
01.01.2020 - 31.01.2025
CHF  13’680’000

The finalization of Ukraine’s decentralization reform, planned for 2020, foresees major administrativeterritorial transformations. This process will pose challenges in alignment and synchronization with other socially important sectoral reforms, in particular the education reform.

While the amalgamated territorial communities (ATCs) in rural areas receive important new competences and responsibilities in education governance, they often lack the necessary capacities to fulfil these roles.

Moreover, there are no formalized models of efficient sector governance at local and regional level. This leads to an unclear division of labour between regional, subregional authorities and local self-governments.

As a result, the education system is unable to deliver fair and high quality learning outcomes across the country, leaving behind schoolchildren in rural areas.

Objectives Citizens of amalgamated territorial communities contribute to and equally benefit from democratic governance and high quality education.
Target groups

Local: rural communities, in particular schoolchildren and their parents, educators, civil society organizations, private businesses, local authorities;

Regional/sub-regional: oblast and rayon authorities, regional centers for training of civil servants, in-service teacher training institutes;

National: Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Communities and Territories Development, all-Ukrainian local self-government associations, donors active in the Decentralization Donor Board.

Medium-term outcomes
  1. National, regional and local authorities effectively implement sectoral decentralization with a focus on education governance.
  2. Schoolboys/girls and their parents benefit from inclusive democratic school governance and active civic engagement in amalgamated territorial communities.

Expected results:  

  1. Effective models of education management are developed and implemented in target regions in an inclusive and participatory way.
  2. Thematically and institutionally strengthened local self-government associations provide systematic guidance on decentralized education governance to their members across Ukraine.
  3. Government of Ukraine in a coordinated manner implements decentralization in education governance.

Results from previous phases:  

DOCCU, single phase (2013-2018):

- 47’000 public servants trained for citizenship competences reoriented their work towards quality service provision and citizens engagement.

- 90’000 educators in 8 target regions were trained on democratic citizenship education strengthening transparency and accountability in school governance and involving 1.2 million pupils into daily democratic practices.

- EDC/HRE training programs were officially adopted in eight regional in-service teacher training institutes.

DESPRO, phases 1-4 (2007-2019):

- Over 280’000 citizens in rural territories benefitted from participatory decision-making and improved access to public services (in particular water supply and sanitaion, waste management).

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO

Other partners
A consortium of the Ukrainian NGO “DOCCU” (leading partner) and the Zurich University of Teacher Education. Given the specific request from the Government of Ukraine to continue its successful cooperation with these institutions previously working on the DOCCU Project (2013-2018), and recognizing their unique mutually complementing expertise and capacity, a tender exemption was sought to directly award this mandate.
Coordination with other projects and actors

• Support to Decentralization in Ukraine DESPRO (information and communication on education decentralization);

• DESPRO, UNDP Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme and Livelihood Assistance Programme by DRC (joint area-based programmatic support to communities in Luhansk region);

• E-Governance for Accountability and Participation –EGAP (development of e-tools for democratic school governance),

• Other international donor funded projects coordinating in Donor Board Working Group on Education, e.g. U-LEAD with Europe (EU), DOBRE (USAID), and Swedish-Ukrainian Project Support to Decentralization (SKL).

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    13’680’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    9’509’062
Project phases Phase 1 01.01.2020 - 31.01.2025   (Current phase)