Start at


End at

4,4 million CHF

Amount of aid

Swiss-Ukrainian Decentralization for Improved Democratic Education Project (DECIDE)

Project mission

The Decentralization for Improved Democratic Education (DECIDE) aims at providing support to the state and local authorities in the establishment of effective, transparent and participatory systems of education management on regional, sub-regional and ATCs level in targeted regions.

Decide project was designed to address the challenge of synchronizing and aligning the decentralization reform and the reform of education in Ukraine through strengthening the capacities and democratic governance of amalgamated territorial communities and creation of conducive environment for local authorities to implement sectoral decentralization with a focus on education.

Project development goal

The project development goal is defined as follows: “Citizens of amalgamated territorial communities contribute to and benefit equally from democratic governance and high quality education”.


DECIDE project is implemented by the Consortium of the NGO DOCCU (Ukraine) and Zurich University of Teacher Education - PH Zurich (Switzerland) and is supported by the Swiss Confederation represented in Ukraine by the Embassy of Switzerland / Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine. The Consortium is also supported by the Association of ATCs as a strategic national implementation partner. 

Project was designed to comprehensively advance implementation of two key reforms in Ukraine – reform of decentralization and sectoral education reform.

The DECIDE project builds on the achievements of the project Swiss-Ukrainian Development of Citizenship Competences in Ukraine Project (DOCCU) implemented by Zurich University of Teacher Education from 2013 to 2018.

Firstly, DECIDE project is aimed to equip ATCs and oblasts to build the decentralized system of education management. Project development of the potential of ATCs to design and set in practice the decentralized education management models. Experience gained on a local level will empower regional and national level stakeholders to steer and implement the education reform across the country.

DECIDE is intended to contribute to enhancing the capacities of ATCs in the development and practical implementation of decentralized educational management models, including education development strategies and plans for their implementation; raising the professional level of local self-government officials and in particular the employees of the structural units responsible for education in the ATCs; improving the methods and instruments of civil society development and involving citizens in the management of education.

Secondly, DECIDE is aimed to demonstrate how to manage education locally and build up schools, which serve as educational hubs for local communities. This implies implementing and developing democratic, transparent and accountable governance of schools in local communities, enhancing their role in public life, involving all citizens in decision-making, including school children and their parents, teachers, heads of schools, local self-government representatives, media representatives.

Project supports the development of evidence-based policy dialogue mechanism, a credible legal environment, and effective training and knowledge management implementation.

DECIDE is implemented in 16 communities of Ivano-Frankivsk, Luhansk, Poltava and Odessa regions. Its first phase will last from February 2020 to January 2025.


Outcome 1. National, regional and local authorities effectively implement sectoral decentralization with a focus on education governance.

The component is aimed at capacity building of the public authorities in implementing the decentralization reform in the sector of education. This should result in improved potential of ATCs to design and set in practice the decentralized education management models (including education development strategies and plans and their implementation, improved professional level of ATCs and education administration staff, methods and tools of civil society and citizen engagement in education management). Experience gained on a local level will empower regional and national level stakeholders to steer and implement the education reform across the country in a coordinated, informed and evidence-based way. This will include investing in the mechanism of evidence-based policy dialogue, a credible legal environment, and effective training and knowledge management. 

Outcome 2. Schoolboys/girls and their parents benefit from inclusive democratic school governance and active civic engagement in ATC.

Component is aimed at improvement of education management systems locally and building up schools, which serve as educational hubs for local communities. This implies ensuring democratic and accountable management of schools, on one hand, and a stronger role of schools in local public life and active citizenry and the decentralization reform.

Rolling up of gained local experience in the system of education across Ukraine will allow to strength capability of the institutions of civil society and foster both key reforms – decentralization and education reforms.

Project implementing partners

Project is implemented by the Consortium of the DOCCU NGO and Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zurich).

Project achievements (expected):

The DECIDE aims to support decentralization of education governance, in particular in the following areas:
1. Promoting the development of effective education governance models for regional, sub regional and local levels (ATCs). Support is provided to partner regions in the elaboration of regional and local development strategies, optimizing functions for effective education governance, establishing inter-municipal cooperation and developing a regulatory environment.
2. The Swiss experience on democratic education governance at various levels will be disseminated through the expert support of the development of mechanisms and tools for quality education management in cooperation with the State Service of Education Quality of Ukraine (SSEQU).
3. Provision of technical support in building of professional networks of leaders and employees of the ATCs` governance bodies through strengthening the institutional capacity of key civil society associations and organizations (CSOs) working with local communities.
4. Facilitating the inter-ministerial cooperation in coordinating of education reform (in particular, in decentralization of education governance) through targeted expert support, technical assistance for reform communication activities, development of information and training materials, training courses for civil servants and workers of local self-government bodies, conducting national sociological surveys.
5. Development of practical tools for involving citizens in the education governance in local communities.
6. Provision of technical and expert assistance for training of representatives of LSG bodies, councillors, teachers, heads of schools, school children and representatives of CSOs in targeted ATCs on democracy and human rights, democratization of educational governance and quality education management.
7. The involvement of international experts to establish functional school boards in targeted ATCs that will allow the public to take an active part in school governance.
8. Development of training courses, programs, educational online tools for school children on local self-government.
9. Promoting citizen engagement through the involvement of partner schools and municipalities in the development of joint community projects related to education, youth, sports, culture, community and social events, etc.
10. To support the NUS implementation, the Project supports implementation of training programs on education for democratic citizenship and human rights education (EDC/HRE) in the in-service teacher training system. Besides, courses and materials for the development of citizenship competences will be elaborated and integrated into the educational programs of pedagogical universities and colleges.


Partner regions

Poltava, Luhansk, Ivano-Frankivsk and Odesa regions

Key project partners

Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine

Ministry of Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine

National Agency of Ukraine on Civil Service

State Service of Education Quality of Ukraine

All-Ukrainian Association of Local Self-Government Bodies "Association of Amalgamated Territorial Communities"

Regional state administrations of Ivano-Frankivsk, Luhansk, Odessa, Poltava regions

16 ATCs in Ivano-Frankivsk, Luhansk, Odessa, Poltava regions.

Project team

Nataliia Protasova – Project Director

Valentyna Poltorak – Project Manager

Iris Henseler Stierlin – Team Leader of Strategic Advisory Group, Zurich University of Teacher Education (Switzerland)

Rolf Gollob – Project Strategic Expert (Switzerland)

Maryna Maryshevska - Project Financial Manager

Larysa Zhabenko – Coordinator of Component 1 ’Decentralization of Education Governance’

Iulia Molchanova – Coordinator of Component 2 “Building up of Democratic Education Structures’

Tatiana Mykhailova – Associate of Component 1 ’Decentralization of Education Governance’

Nataliia Sydorenko – Associate of Component 2 ‘Building up of Democratic Education Structures’

Olha Lytovchenko –  Procurement and HR Associate



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