The Municipal Development Planning 
and Public Involvement in Russia


2003 IPF Fellow
Nikolai Jounda

Fellowship Area
Policy Process

Final Report

Activity Report

Research Paper

Policy Paper

Critique Forms

Interim Report

Activity Report

Draft Research Paper

Critique Forms

Project Description

Research Proposal

Project Timetable

Curriculum Vitae

Project Mentors





IPF 2003 Fellow
Nikolai Jounda / Nikolay Zhunda

Fellowship in Brief

Cities are made up of people and their hopes –
not of buildings and streets.

Augustin, 400 A.D.

Summary of the Research

In this research project, I examined the evolution of local development policymaking in several Russian cities. Each faced the challenges of the transition period in the 1990s and had to adapt their policies and policy processes to the new political and economic realities. Two of the main issues addressed in this research are whether administrative planning was changed by a new system of views on local development and whether it did become more transparent and open to public. The institutional approach used in this research focuses on the political, organizational and governmental aspects of the policy process at the local level. I examine which are the key actors of the process, how they influence decision-making, which mechanisms are used for the provision of citizens’ participation and the representation of the diverse interest of the local community.

The structure of the paper represents the work done. In the first chapter, there is an overview of the background for local development policymaking in Russia. In the second, I examine the environmental variables, which influence the process and offer an overview of the context of local development issues which cities experienced in the 1990s. Further on, in the third chapter, I provide case studies from three Russian cities – Saint-Petersburg, Kirov and Cherepovets and briefly overview the practices from 10 smaller municipalities. Finally in the fourth chapter there is comparative analysis various practices of local development policymaking and arguments pro et contra participatory planning model.

Research paper: Evolution of Local Development Policymaking in Russia: from Administrative Planning to Public Policy?

Policy Recommendations

One of the major findings of the research is that participatory strategic planning approach used in some Russian cities allowed to build up policy process from ground zero, since local authorities in Russia previously have had neither experience nor skills in independent policymaking. This approach is claimed as both a policy suggesting more effective usage of local resources and better adaptation to rapid environmental changes; and also as a policy process, a new way of decision-making at local level. 

The recommendations, suggested in the policy paper, aimed at the promotion of citizens’ participation and strategic planning as a single package since. This approach sets the conditions for spreading participatory mechanisms into other sphere of public policy and governance and further will allow the participation principle to be normalized and subsequently internalized as a value by local politicians and public officers.

Policy paper: Local Development in Russia: from Administrative Planning  to Participatory Policymaking.

Outputs and Outcomes

During the fellowship, I prepared six published works on the topic of my research (some of them are written in co-authoring). Most of these works are targeted at policymakers and audience of the professionals engaged in local development policymaking.

List of published works 

Among other outcomes of the fellowship, I consider one of the most significant the establishment of an NGO – Association of the Local Economic Developers (ASSET). The aim of this professional network is to promote best practices regarding local development and governance (in particular participatory strategic planning model) among Russian municipalities. I became one of the co-founders and member of the board - executive director of the association.


Throughout the course of the fellowship, the preliminary results of the research were communicated and discussed with both practitioners and experts. I was participant of 5 national and international conferences and 4 workshop on topic of my research.  In particular, results of the research project were presented at the EURA - Eurocities conference on “European urban development, research and policy and the future of European cohesion policy”, and also discussed during round-table “Involvement of the Entrepreneurs into Local Economic Policymaking”, which I co-organized under the framework of All-Russian Forum of the “Cities - Leaders in Strategic Planning”. 

List of conferences and workshops attended  
Paper prepared for the EURA-Eurocities conference


The author is grateful to his mentors Dr. Ivan Tosics (Metropolitan Research Institute in Budapest), Dr. Natalya Lebedeva (Institute for Regional Economy which runs under Russian Academy of Sciences in St.-Petersburg) and Dr. Andrew Cartwright (Center for Policy Studies in Budapest) for the attentive and thoughtful mentoring during the fellowship. The author appreciates valuable comments and contribution to his research made by Dr. Boris Zhikharevich and Dr. Leonid Limonov. The author also thanks IPF program staff, IPF trainers and Center for Policy Studies at CEU who made this research possible. 

Contact Information

Nikolay Zhunda
14, Izmailovskiy pr., office 440
198005, St.-Petersburg, Russia
To send an e-mail click here.

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News & Updates

Final report
now available

CATO Institute Conference "A Liberal Agenda for the New Century: A Global Perspective"

NGO "Association of local Economic Developers" - ASSET is established

Draft of Final Policy Research Paper now available

"Involvement of the Entrepreneurs into Local Economic Policymaking"

training workshop 
"How to Be a Better Policy Advisor"

Full-text article 
"Strategic Planning 
in St. Petersburg
now available

Coming soon: article "Strategic Planning 
in St. Petersburg"
View abstract in pdf 

Interim reports

now available 

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improved / standardized

Mentors' page

© Nikolai Jounda. International Policy Fellow 2003-2004