How to Rebuild Ukraine Without Mistakes: International Experience

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

$400 billion is the minimum funding requirement for Ukraine's recovery and reconstruction. These funds are far from available within Ukraine's budget. They are not promised by international partners either. Therefore, the hope rests on the influx of foreign businesses with their experience and capital.

However, achieving this requires fulfilling domestic tasks such as reforming the judicial system, strengthening anti-corruption measures, and ensuring transparency. Meanwhile, it's crucial to efficiently spend every hryvnia that supporters of Ukraine invest in its recovery and reconstruction.

This is why studying existing reconstruction experiences in various countries is extremely important.

Read more in an article by Iryna Kosse, a leading researcher at the Institute for Economic Research and Political Consultations, 10 Lessons for Ukraine: Top Problems that Hindered Reconstruction in Other Countries.

The experience of reconstruction in different countries allows us to identify ten risks that the Ukrainian government should consider when planning and implementing reconstruction, both currently and in the post-war period.

So, what mistakes were made during previous reconstructions?

1. Using various indicators by the government, international organisations, other donors, and the public to assess the effectiveness of reconstruction.

In Indonesia, the establishment of a unified structure for essential indicators initiated by the TRIAMS initiative proved to be a breakthrough. It enabled progress tracking and impact assessment in countries and regions affected by the 2004 tsunami.

2. Focusing solely on rebuilding housing and critical infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.

It's also important to consider the reconstruction of social infrastructure (education, medicine, and other social services) and plan for the sustainable use of natural resources.

3. Tracking only government-directed reconstruction funds and duplicating financing.

On the DREAM platform, information about funding from donors should also be presented. This will allow better project coordination, sharing of experiences, highlighting successful reconstruction practices, and overall enhancing the efficiency of recovery efforts.

4. Lack of data for monitoring reconstruction.

5. Monitoring only quantitative indicators of reconstructed buildings and failing to address issues of preventing disasters in the future.

In Haiti, the Netherlands conducted monitoring of the assistance they provided, but it was focused on counting what was done, not how it was done.

6. Disregard for principles of sustainable reconstruction.

In Croatia, it was noted that hundreds of buildings rebuilt by the state after the war were constructed with poor quality and in violation of minimum building standards.

By learning from these experiences, Ukraine can better navigate its own reconstruction process, avoiding potential pitfalls and ensuring a more successful recovery.

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