Technical Support to Regional and Local Development in BelarusKlant: European Commission, DG REGIO | Sectoren: Public Sector Reform
This project (2014-2016) promoted sustainable regional development in Belarus as part of a new phase of regional policy in the country focused on addressing a number of identified regional and local problems (i.e. the disparity of social and economic development; the demographic burden; high unemployment rates - especially in the rural areas, etc…).
Regulatory developments in Belarus had created the necessary preconditions for a new advanced regional development approach aimed at addressing regional disparities. However, the country still lacked the practical experience in doing so, beyond centralized programming approaches. Against that background, the project introduced new regional development approaches at both the national and regional level and also built relevant capacities to implement them. A key focus was the elaboration of a new system of regional development planning and management, with local and regional authorities and communities involved in the definition of development plans and strategies. In parallel, support to the development of competences and capacities of those regional and local authorities in regional and local development management was provided. The Ecorys team successfully implemented a variety of activities around those two main project areas, including leading a legal and institutional needs assessment of the current regional development framework, developing policy recommendations on regional development planning and management, drafting of a single methodology for national regional development planning including legal, budgetary and fiscal impact, as well as provision of trainings, seminars and study tours.
The key achievements were significantly improved absorption capacities of regional authorities and other key stakeholders, enabling the identification, financing and implementation of regional projects (projects of economic and social infrastructure, environmental, innovative and technology support projects, etc.).