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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

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USAID is working to help Ukraine continue on a path of democratic development. Working with Ukrainian parliament, USAID supports improvements to the legislative process and increased public engagement and accountability. USAID programs strengthen the rule of law through improved judicial accountability and independence, and established networks of advocacy organizations and legal clinics that increase access to justice in the areas of healthcare, employment and property rights.

Civil society is critical for sustaining democracy in Ukraine. USAID is helping to develop the capacity of non-governmental organizations to have an impact on government policy and decision-making. Through support to Ukraine’s independent media, USAID is enhancing journalistic professionalism, ethics and monitoring capabilities. Finally, USAID provides targeted support to ensure that elections are free and fair, while also working to increase the accountability of political parties and elected officials to Ukraine’s citizenry.

Current programs:

Fair, Accountable, Independent and Responsible (FAIR) Justice Program
Chemonics International, Inc.
October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2016

USAID supports legislative, regulatory and institutional reform of judicial institutions to build a foundation for a more accountable and independent judiciary. The FAIR program strengthens the accountability and transparency of key judicial institutions; promotes Ukrainian legislative and regulatory compliance with international and European standards; bolsters the professionalism and effectiveness of the Ukrainian judiciary; and supports civil society organizations in advocating for and monitoring judicial reform. FAIR program activities include: support for the preparation of draft laws and regulations; analyses of current laws and procedures; assistance to High Qualification Commission of Judges to introduce a new system of judicial selection and discipline; support to the National School of Judges the design, implementation and evaluation of training programs for the judiciary; and support to working groups, conferences, and roundtables focused on judicial reform. Through the FAIR program, USAID also supports organizations engaged in court performance monitoring and evaluation, public awareness of judicial process and procedures, and advocacy on issues related to judicial reform and standardized testing for judicial reform.

Strengthening Civil Society in Ukraine Project
October 1, 2008 – September 30, 2016

The purpose of the SCSU project, also known as UNITER - Ukraine National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms is to increase citizen support for and participation in specific civil society activities by: (1) implementing effective, broad-based monitoring and advocacy campaigns; (2) expanding CSOs’ constituencies; (3) improving CSOs media engagement and ICT usage; and (4) developing a sustainability roadmap. UNITER promotes and supports a number of broad-based civic coalitions across communities and regions, and connects local and national organizations to increase citizen engagement in issues of interest. These coalitions are comprised of civil society, media, businesses associations and other organizations and activists that work towards a common purpose. The campaigns supported by UNITER coalition partners represent citizen interests on issues such as EU integration, anti-corruption, elections, civic responsibility and participation, youth engagement, human rights and inclusiveness. The UNITER program also supports anti-corruption and constitutional reform-oriented organizations, coalitions and campaigns that seek to build constituencies, mobilize public support, and engage in effective dialogue between citizens, civil society, government, the private sector and other key stakeholders in the reform process.

Ukraine Civil Society Capacity Building Project
Initiative to Support Social Action Ednannia (ISAR-Ednannia)
July 11, 2014 - July 10, 2019

The purpose of the Ukraine Civil Society Capacity Building activity is to improve organizational capacity of Ukrainian CSOs to become stronger citizen advocates and government watchdogs. To achieve this purpose, ISAR will focus on three objectives: 1) organizational development skills of CSOs improved through the NGO Marketplace (mini-grants voucher system, web-portal and regular capacity development forums); 2) NGO Capacity Building Marketplace strengthened as a tool that provides organizational development assistance to civil society; and 3) technical and organizational capacity of ISAR Ednannia increased as an Intermediary Support Organization (ISO) and the Marketplace Administrator.

Ukraine Civil Society Enabling Environment
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
July 11, 2014 – July 10, 2019


The overall purpose of the Ukraine Civil Society Enabling Environment activity is to improve the legislative and policy environment to become more conducive to civil society needs and to reflect European standards. To achieve this, UCIPR focuses on three objectives: 1) to improve the quality of relevant civil society enabling legislation and policy; 2) to increase capacity of public officials and CSOs to ensure effective implementation of legislation and policy; and, 3) to increase technical and organizational capacity of UCIPR as a leader and driver of civil society legislative efforts. UCIPR’s unique approach will cover the full cycle of improvement of legislative and administrative environment for civil society development in its key areas. Namely, UCIPR will combine analysis of shortcomings and opportunities, monitoring of emerging challenges, development of proposals for improvement of legal acts and administrative practices, initiating and leading advocacy campaigns as well as offer awareness and training efforts, methodological support and monitoring of adopted legislation for civil society development.

Media Development
Internews Network
October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2016

The five-year Ukraine Media (U-Media) Project promotes the development of a free, vibrant and professional media sector in Ukraine that provides a wide range of useful news and information, serves as a watchdog in the public interest, and defends freedom of speech. The U-Media Project seeks to achieve this goal through four key objectives designed to: (1) Support and promote freedom of speech and media independence; (2) Increase the variety of news sources and improve news quality; (3) Improve the enabling environment for media and freedom of speech; and (4) Improve organizational capacity of Ukrainian media CSOs. The U-Media program has adapted to the changing context in Ukraine by focusing activities on promoting more balanced political coverage across Ukraine through local content production, exchange visits, public discussions, and webcasts with special attention to the South and East. Local media partners monitor and publicize intimidation and attacks on civic activists and journalists and government interference in independent media coverage of Ukrainian politics. Partners provide legal aid and facilitate coordinated action in response to restrictions on press freedoms and violations of civil rights. The U-Media Project has also made a concerted effort to conduct programming that reaches the conflict areas in Donbas, where events are presenting an increasing challenge for Ukraine’s political transition and democratic future. In the lead-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections, the U-Media Project has sought to harness the energy of EuroMaidan and its demands for reform to increase the integrity of the parliamentary elections and help make political processes more responsive and accountable to the people. Specific electoral activities are designed to promote balanced and objective media reporting by increasing local media content and improving journalism skills, including election coverage, as well as Get out the Vote events to help inform citizens about the snap parliamentary elections - the candidates, issues and electoral process.

Strengthening the Financial Stability of Media Outlets in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia Using the Experience of the V4 Countries
International Visegrad Fund
September 25, 2013 - September 24, 2015

The aim of the activity is to increase financial independence of media companies in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia using the experiences of countries in the Visegrad group. The project will achieve this goal through several key activities, including: mapping media companies in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova; analyzing main factors of financial instability of these media companies; identifying common challenges of financial instability; provide recommendations to address these factors with the experience of Visegrad countries; elaborate different models to increase financial independence of media companies; and assisting media companies in implementation of these models through events and exchange visits.

Promoting Worker and Trade Union Rights
American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center)
February, 2011 – February, 2016

The Solidarity Center supports local union efforts to bring Ukrainian laws, and judicial and administrative enforcement into compliance with international labor standards and promote those standards to the general population. It partners with independent and democratic trade unions to protect and strengthen the rights of workers to freely associate, bargain collectively for better working conditions, and participate in the legislative process and democratic development of Ukraine.

Political Process Programs in Ukraine
Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening
October 1, 2009 – April 1, 2016

The USAID CEPPS program promotes political processes that lead to more representative and accountable governance. The program addresses the current needs of Ukraine’s political system by seeking to establish stronger linkages between political parties, citizens and civil society organizations. Through its partners, USAID has conducted trainings and seminars for political party activists, youth, women candidates, civil society leaders and local elected officials. The training increases the ability of parties to communicate with voters and civic groups, helps them develop issue-based platforms, and builds closer ties to citizens, while developing the skills of NGOs and activists for advocacy and engagement with political actors. USAID programs also promote women’s political participation and were instrumental in the establishment of a multi-faction parliamentary caucus focused on gender issues. The program is implemented by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).

Domestic Oversight of Political Processes in Ukraine Program
All-Ukrainian public organization "Civic Network OPORA"
January 1, 2014 – January 1, 2017

The goal of this activity is to improve Ukraine’s electoral process and its corresponding legislation to better reflect the will of the Ukrainian people. The activity will achieve this goal by improving the integrity of Ukrainian elections through domestic monitoring, supporting development and implementation of relevant legislation that is inclusive, transparent and conforms to European standards, and increasing the organizational and technical capacity of the Civic Network OPORA.

Ukraine Electoral Law Reform Program
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
April 8, 2011 – April 7, 2016

The program seeks to strengthen civil society’s role in the development and implementation of election-related legislation. IFES cooperates closely with the international community, including the European Union, Venice Commission, and OSCE to promote legislation that is fully compliant with international standards and best practices. It assists civil society in advocacy efforts, while convening and informing a range of domestic and international stakeholders on electoral law issues. The program also provides technical assistance to the Central Election Commission, focusing primarily on its capacity to train election commissions.

Responsible, Accountable and Democratic Assembly (RADA)
Implementer: East Europe Foundation
November 25, 2013 – November 24, 2018

The RADA activity works to reinforce a more effective and independent legislature in Ukraine, and increase citizen participation into the policy-making process. Specifically, RADA will support members of parliament in building constituent relations and improving their representation function, expand citizen education and monitoring of members of parliament in order to increase their accountability, promote parliamentary independence by reinforcing the rules that govern that body.

Development Initiative for Advocating Local Governance in Ukraine (DIALOGUE)
Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC)
May 11, 2010 – November 9, 2015

USAID’s DIALOGUE project provides training and constancy to Ukrainian public servants, civil society organizations, and the public to help build a positive environment for local government reforms and ensure broad-based support for decentralization. The project seeks to create a constructive dialogue between local governments and the central government, and expand the legal and institutional framework for the development of local government in Ukraine.

Countering Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Project
International Organization for Migration
July 20, 2004 – January 1, 2018

The purpose of this project is to reduce trafficking in persons in Ukraine by transitioning services for victims of trafficking, such as registration, referral and reintegration assistance to full Ukrainian ownership. This includes efforts to strengthen the national referral mechanism, increase government funding for counter trafficking efforts, and increase the involvement of non-governmental service providers in the national referral mechanism.

Responding to Human Rights Violations and Empowering Citizens and Human Rights Defenders in Ukraine (Human Rights in Action program)
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
September 8, 2014 - September 7, 2017

The "Human Rights in Action" program is Mission's first stand-alone human rights activity to respond to human rights violations and empower human rights activists through: 1) Human rights monitoring and advocacy; 2) Strategic litigation on human rights cases; 3) Awareness raising and citizen empowerment regarding human rights; and 4) Strengthening the Chernihiv Educational Human Rights House.

Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative (UCBI)
Chemonics International Inc.
July 11, 2014 – July 10, 2017

USAID’s Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative (UCBI) will complement ongoing USAID efforts to create a prosperous and stable Ukraine. The program will provide fast, flexible, short-term assistance to Ukrainian partners in support of successful, peaceful democratic transition and community cohesion in the wake of deepened social tensions and conflict the East. The program’s overarching objectives are to enable communities and government to mitigate the conflict’s destabilizing effects, and enhance public engagement in the GOU’s response to the crisis and the broader political transition. UCBI assistance will come in the form of small in-kind grants (goods, services and technical support) to a range of partners, including national and local civilian government entities, civil society organizations and community leaders.

Ukrainian Standardized External Testing Initiative (USETI)
American Councils for International Education
May 2013 – December 2015

The USETI Alliance is building a coalition for standardized testing for university admissions, bringing together a growing circle of supporters among educators, NGOs, businesses and parents who understand the benefits of merit-based admissions to higher education institutions.

The goal is that Ukraine’s higher education system will be more transparent in selecting applicants for baccalaureate and other levels of higher education.

Step by Step Inclusive Education Project
Implementer: Ukrainian Step-by-Step Foundation
December 1, 2013 – February 28, 2015

The purpose of this activity is to increase the academic and social skills of children with disabilities by promoting their inclusion in regular classroom activities. The project will improve support to children with disabilities in schools, strengthen the skills of parents with children with disabilities, enhance the capacity of teachers and methodologists working with children with disabilities, and increase the knowledge of educational authorities. The trainings will take place in six Inclusive Resource Centers established in association with Psychological Medical Pedagogical Institutions and In-service Teachers Training Institutes.

Participant Training Program
Implementer: World Learning/Project Harmony/Consortium for Enhancement of Ukrainian Management Education
April 3, 2013 – April 2, 2018

The Participant Training Program promotes USAID/Ukraine’s strategic vision of a stable, democratic, and prosperous Ukraine integrated into Europe. The program seeks to transfer new knowledge, skills, and attitudes to Ukrainians to improve the political, social, and economic context in Ukraine and to create a network of professionals that shares international best practices and knowledge.

The Program offers practical training opportunities and internships in the United States and Europe for entrepreneurs, local government officials, non-governmental organization leaders, education administrators, as well as medical, business, and environmental professionals. The program combines seminars, workshops, site visits and meetings with American and European professionals with hands-on practical internships.

Last updated: August 13, 2015

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