CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Impact of the Week: Ukraine: National Strategy for Civil Society Development

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 8, 2009

ukraine flag crowdCIVICUS’ country partners in Ukraine for the 2003-2006 phase were the Center for Philanthropy and Counterpart Creative Center.  Both organisations also participated in the 2000-2001 CSI pilot phase.  Counterpart Creative Center is the Ukrainian branch of Counterpart International, and its mission is to “support civic initiatives aimed at developing and strengthening civic society in Ukraine.”  Specifically, it provides informational and consulting services, delivers trainings and seminars, conducts research, evaluations, and surveys, administers grants programs, and prepares and issues publications.  The Center for Philanthropy’s mission is to “develop a culture of philanthropy by creating a favourable environment for citizens participating in civil society organisations in Ukraine.” 

Its objectives are:

to provide information and reference services for NGOs and potential philanthropists, to educate social service providers on fundraising and local donors on value and importance of civil society, to research issues of vital importance to philanthropy and civil society development in Ukraine and to provide networking opportunities for NGOs, business, government and mass-media.

The Center for Philanthropy and Counterpart Creative Center implemented the CSI between 2003 and 2004, thus also capturing information from the time of the 2004 presidential elections and the Orange Revolution.

While the CSI was being implemented in Ukraine, the government approached the Center for Philanthropy and Counterpart Creative Center as part of its process to develop a national strategy for civil society development.  The government invited NGOs for consultations on this document for a period of two years.  They provided the government with “CSI findings that were founded on facts and evidence and recommendations that were also grounded on the views of 300 stakeholders involved in the project.” Many recommendations from the report were included in the policy document.

There have been some positive changes after the adoption of this document.  The government must now call public hearings before adopting any laws or other changes. Civil society also now can help keep laws from passing.  For example, after many organisations wrote letters to the president against the proposed new law on volunteering, the president vetoed the law. In addition, Svitlana Kuts from the Center of Philanthropy now sits on an expert committee that helps create new laws for NGOs and charities.

While the adoption of these new policies is not a direct result of the CSI, it has had some influence.  In the words of Svitlana Kuts, “this change was not a direct impact of CSI, but the findings helped informed policies.”

For more information about the Center of Philanthropy, please visit their website: http://www.philanthropy.org.ua/

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