Reconstruction of countries after destruction: global experience for Ukraine

Mariia Mygal

The Institute for Analysis and Advocacy has studied the experience of recovery of 18 countries that have experienced very serious natural disasters or wars in the last 70 years. Olena Dmytrenko, Head of the IAA’s Analytics Department, spoke about the findings of the study and interesting experience for Ukraine in the podcast “What’s wrong with the economy?”.

*Listen to the podcast here 


The country resisted the Soviet Union, the Russian Empire, and was influenced by its neighbor for a long time, but managed to recover and build a high-quality education system and an exemplary social security system almost on its own.

In particular, Finland’s experience with refugees is interesting. At the end of the Winter War, Finland’s population was just over 3 million people, so 450,000 refugees is a huge number for such a country. By 1948, Finland was able to resettle all of these people on its territory, i.e. not only provide them with simple housing, but also help them to set up their own households and find work.


In 2004, a major tsunami hit the Indian Ocean, and Indonesia was the hardest hit. The disaster affected more than 200,000 people, and one of the government’s policies was to restore them. These functions were assigned to a separate ministry, and a separate recovery agency was created. We should consider such a systematic approach to planning and rebuilding Aceh, which suffered the most damage, as Ukraine is now actively discussing who should coordinate the reconstruction system, who should select projects, whether it should be a separate institution or not.


Like Indonesia, this country approached its reconstruction in a very thoughtful way: they planned, developed reconstruction plans, attracted donor funding, and created reconstruction institutions. But Iraq’s reconstruction cannot be called too successful, which is primarily due to the high level of corruption.

During the reconstruction of Iraq, there were hopes that the population would take an active part in the reconstruction of the country. These expectations turned out to be too high. The population mostly rebuilt only private housing.


The Germans worked hard and put a lot of effort into rebuilding their country, although Germany was significantly destroyed after World War II. One of the factors of the “German economic miracle” is the hard work of the Germans, their desire to overcome poverty and enter normal life as soon as possible.


After World War II, this country also recovered quickly. But later, its economic development began to lag behind its European neighbors. One of the aspects of interest to us is the uneven development of Italy both before the outbreak of World War II and during and after it. During the war, the south of the country suffered more destruction, while the north suffered less. 

But even before the war, the south was less developed than the north. Therefore, for many years after the war, Italian policy was partly aimed at developing or supporting the south.

You may be interested