Sustainable Local Development Project


USAID’s Sustainable Local Development Project (SLDP) is a six-year initiative supporting local governments, businesses and civil society to increase economic growth through Inter-Municipal Cooperation (IMC).  The project’s core activities are focused on supporting inter-municipal partners to add jobs and reduce unemployment in 32 municipalities clustered in eight regions.


  • Assisting IMC partners to add jobs by supporting private sector expansion;
  • Strengthening public administration to enable inter-municipal business growth and investments;
  • Integrating youth into local economies.


Private sector expansion to grow jobs in IMC areas:

  • Supported the  opening of a Regional Agriculture Education Center in Sombor, which helped the municipality attract an $8.5 million investment by Italian confectionary maker Ferrero Group in 2015;
  • Furnished a multimedia laboratory in the Kraljevo Mechanical Engineering Faculty’s Business Innovation Center.  In 2014 the number of client orders increased from 25 to 63;  
  • Helped Vojvodina Metal Cluster members introduce customer relationship management software, which decreased the time needed to process orders from one hundred days to ten days;
  • Helped unemployed youth start their own agribusinesses in 31 greenhouses, located in Novi Bečej (4), Kikinda (12), and Zrenjanin (15). During the autumn season 2014, 20 tons of of highly profitable vegetables were produced and sold on local and foreign markets.

Public administration enables inter-municipal business growth:

  • Since 2012, partner IMC areas attracted $131.7 million in foreign and domestic investments thanks to USAID coaching in foreign direct investment attraction, trainings in business retention and expansion, and guidance in brownfield redevelopment and asset management;
  • Provided support to 25 partner municipalities to improve their business enabling environment and meet NALED’s Business Friendly Certification criteria.

Youth skill development and employment:

  • Provided entrepreneurship support to 782 youths, and internship opportunities to 452 youths -- of which 583 were employed;
  • At two USAID-supported ICT Cluster Academies in Novi Sad and Niš, 57 students completed courses -- of which 28 were hence employed by IT firms. 

Project funded by:

U.S. Agency for International Development; USAID/Serbia

Project implemented by:

Chemonics International

Berman Group           

Key counterparts:

Government of Serbia ministries and offices; Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM); National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED); and others

Where we work:

Eight IMC areas; 32 partner municipalities led by the cities of: Vranje, Niš, Novi Pazar, Kraljevo, Užice, Novi Sad, Subotica, and Zrenjanin

Project duration:

December 2010 to August 2016 

Total amount:



USAID Sustainable Local Development Project

Koste Glavinica 23a

Belgrade 11000 Serbia

Phone: +381-11 414-1180

Fax:     +381-11 414-1181