Macedonia—Make Decentralization Work Project (MDW)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2004-2007

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Macedonia

Solutions: Economic Growth Governance

Decentralization is an important component of lasting democratic development in countries such as Macedonia that are accustomed to a centralized autocracy. The MDW project increased the capacity of municipal governments to assume new powers under the decentralization that commenced in 2005. Most of the work was at the local level, including direct, small-group, and one-on-one technical advice. The project also invested in information technology hardware and software for municipal offices to support finance and budget, tax administration, and urban planning functions.

Sample Activities

  • Work with key ministries of the central government—including finance, education, transportation, and local self-government—to help develop a workable legislative and regulatory framework for decentralization.
  • Provide technical and financial support to the Association of Local Governments and the Association of Providers of Communal Services.

Select Results

  • Fifty Macedonian municipalities established the financial management and tax administration capacity to assume new competencies under decentralization.
  • Established an improved regulatory environment for public communal enterprises, demonstrated by higher collection rates, improved financial management, and improved customer satisfaction.
  • Twenty-five Macedonian municipalities implemented modern urban planning systems, resulting in a demonstrable improvement in the key indicator areas (zoning, customer service and permitting, city planning).


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