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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

Language: English | Ukrainian

USAID helps Ukraine become more democratic by supporting participatory, transparent, and accountable governance processes.  Working with the Ukrainian parliament, USAID improves legislative processes and increases public engagement and accountability, strengthens the rule of law by improving judicial accountability and independence, builds a foundation for decentralization and local government accountability, and supports programs that prevent trafficking in persons and help victims.

Civil society is critical to sustaining democracy in Ukraine. USAID develops the capacity of non-governmental organizations to monitor the government, protect human rights, and ensure that citizens have a voice in government decision making.  By training Ukraine’s independent media, USAID enhances journalistic professionalism, ethics, and monitoring capabilities. USAID political processes programs ensure that elections are free and fair, at the same time making political parties and elected officials more accountable to their constituents.

Current programs:


Justice Sector Reform Program (Nove Pravosuddya)
Chemonics International, Inc.
September 1, 2016 – February 7, 2021


Through coordination with Ukrainian partners, other U.S. Government supported programs, and international donors, this activity supports government and non-government-based efforts to establish an independent, accountable, transparent, and effective justice system that upholds the rule of law and is empowered to fight corruption.  Specifically, the activity strengthens judicial independence, increases accountability and transparency while instituting rule of law, enhances justice administration, improves the quality of legal education, and expands access to justice wile expanding human rights.  

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 30, 2017 – September 30, 2022

The "Human Rights in Action" program is Mission's 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; 4) Legal assistance to conflict-affected people. 

Global Labor Program: Ukraine
American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center)
February, 2016 – January 2021

The Global Labor Program (GLP) strengthens worker organizations and other civil society advocates for workers' rights, promoting access to justice for workers, ensuring equal employment opportunities for women and vulnerable groups, and building capacity to reduce trafficking in persons and labor rights violations. The GLP works with partner Ukrainian trade unions across the country on local capacity and leadership building efforts, including anti-corruption and freedom of association initiatives for IDPs, migrants, workers, and the disabled. 

Countering Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Project
International Organization for Migration
July 20, 2004 – January 1, 2023

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. The project also works to provide economic opportunities and improve the social well-being of IDPs in response to ongoing conflict in Ukraine, one of the root causes of human trafficking in the country.


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.

Small Project Assistance Program (SPA) 
Peace Corps
October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2023

The Small Project Assistance Program (SPA) is a joint collaboration between USAID and the Peace Corps aimed at building the capacity of local communities and organizations. 

The purpose of the SPA Program is to encourage and support community self-help efforts by providing small amounts of funding for activities that can have an immediate impact at the community level.  The program also supports technical skills training to help local leaders improve the design and management of sustainable community development efforts.  

The Program encourages effective, sustainable development projects in sectors ranging from health to agriculture to small enterprise development. Through the SPA Program, Peace Corps Volunteers assist local communities develop and implement small community-initiated projects in such areas as health and sanitation, basic education, including non-formal education with out-of-school youth, women's organizations and other disadvantaged groups; agricultural and economic growth activities; environmental activities; and civic education and democracy building activities. 


Ukraine Media Activity
Internews Network
October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2023 ​

USAID’s Ukraine Media Activity aims to strengthen the role of media in Ukraine’s democratic processes, improve the quality of reporting, and expand citizens’ access to quality information in order to counter malign influence and support European integration. The total amount of the five-year activity is $35 million, of which at least 50 percent includes sub-grants to local Ukrainian organizations.  The Ukraine Media Activity focuses on the following objectives: (1) increase high-quality, engaging content, particularly in the East and South; (2) increase public demand for quality information; (3) implement critical media reforms; and, (4) strengthen and sustain key media institutions and processes.

Accurately Reflecting the Ukraine-Europe Union Association Agreement in Ukrainian Media
Solidarity Fund PL
September 14, 2015 – March 31, 2019

Using Poland's experience as a model, this activity increases awareness and knowledge among Ukrainian media professionals to better understand and communicate facts about the European-Ukraine Union Association Agreement (EU/AA), what it accomplishes in practice, and how it affects citizens, communities, and the country. The goal of the activity is to increase citizen awareness of EU/AA opportunities and challenges and the EU/AA accession process, largely by increasing the availability of relevant balanced information. The Activity responds to Ukraine's dynamic political and social climate, in which the media has the potential to play an important role in promoting economic westernization through the EU/AA and similar means. The direct beneficiaries of the Project will be journalists, editors, managers, and media publishers in Ukraine that are interested in exploring the role of the media in teaching the Ukrainian public about the opportunities, challenges, and practical aspects of the EU/AA. The primary beneficiary of this project is Ukrainian society, which will receive objective information through news articles and broadcasts about the EU/AA, the related obligations and opportunities, and the impacts for everyday people.


Ukraine Responsive and Accountable Politics Program (U-RAP)
Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening
April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2020

The USAID Ukraine Responsive and Accountable Politics Program (U-RAP) promotes political processes that lead to more representative, transparent, and accountable governance.  The program emphasizes three main areas: promoting political party accountability and inclusivity at the national level, enhancing party and government officials’ representation of citizens' interests at the local level, and improving the enabling environment for political competition.  The program equitably assists a broad spectrum of democratic parties in Ukraine and maintains a geographical balance nationwide. In select regions, the program will help local elected political actors be aware of and responsive to citizens' interests and will improve political and leadership skills among youth. The program will also support multi-level dialogues within communities on national reform issues. The USAID Ukraine Responsive and Accountable Politics Program will increase civil society's role developing and implementing election-related legislation. The program will also provide technical assistance to the Central Election Commission (CEC), particularly on the training of election commissions. It will also develop voter education materials and work with the CEC to help voters understand the new rules. 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 – December 31, 2020

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.


Democratic Governance East (DG East)
Chemonics International
October 2018 - September 2023

USAID’s Democratic Governance East (DG-East) is a five-year activity to improve trust and confidence between citizens and government in eastern Ukraine, contributing to USAID’s broader development objective of mitigating the impacts of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Key objectives include increased participation in community problem-solving; more efficient, modern service delivery; integration of separated, marginalized, and isolated communities; greater citizen confidence in and understanding of key reforms; and diversified citizen engagement with inclusive and democratic civic values.

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.

Policy for Ukraine Local Self Governance (PULSE)
Implementer: Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC)
December 14, 2015 – December 13, 2020

This activity strengthens local governance, deepens democracy, improves conditions for development of communities and promotes stability. The activity helps the Government of Ukraine and local governments adopt and implement sound decentralization policies, beginning with decentralization enabling legislation based on local government input and by increasing resources and capacity of institutions of local self-government.

Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE)
Implementer: Global Communities
Project period: June 8, 2016 – June 7, 2021

DOBRE provides comprehensive assistance to local communities by making local government effective, responsive, capable of delivering tangible benefits to citizens, and able to quickly implement reforms in key sectors. DOBRE is part of a coordinated package of international donor assistance to the Government of Ukraine to implement nationwide decentralization reforms and ensure the success of newly consolidated communities.

DOBRE has two primary objectives: (1) build the capacity of consolidated communities to carry out their responsibilities and provide quality services to their constituents, and (2) increase the involvement of local residents and civil society organizations in local government decision making, while holding local officials accountable through monitoring and oversight.


Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services (TAPAS)
Implementer: Eurasia Foundation
Project period: August 4, 2016 – August 3, 2021

This $19 million, five-year anti-corruption activity is funded by USAID and British government's UK aid. It provides e-governance tools to reduce opportunities for corruption within the Government of Ukraine and engages the public in anti-corruption efforts.  TAPAS features three major components: training Ukrainian officials to use software-based procurement processes reduce corruption (e.g. eliminating malfeasance, providing transparency in acquisition, and imposing accountability); an Open Data initiative disseminates standardized, accessible, and consistent GoU data for public, intra-governmental, and international oversight; and an eServices platform provides government services over a secure and user-friendly medium. 

Ukrainian Transparent Education Management Alliance (UTEMA)
Implementer: American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS (American Councils)
Project Period: May 15, 2016 – December 31, 2018

UTEMA aims to institutionalize transparent, efficient, accountable management practices in the education sphere that are visible examples of good governance and narrow opportunities for corrupt practice. UTEMA’s objectives are to establish the institutional framework for transparent E-governance at the Ministry of Education and Science (MOES), develop an electronic document processing system for the MOES, and develop and pilot an electronic system for financial business reporting by Ukrainian’s higher education institutions (HEI) and to the MOES.

Proposed project activities will ensure development, testing, and initial deployment of the e-governance systems. The proposed Alliance founding partners (MOES, Microsoft, American Councils, Inforesurs, and USAID as the initial Key Resource Partner) will ensure that all three objectives are achieved in a focused and timely fashion. Each of the founding partners brings fundamental capabilities to construct a new institutional environment exemplified by transparent, timely, and consistent Ministry documentary operations; and a pilot model for accountable, transparent, and unified financial and business reporting for Ukrainian HEIs.

UTEMA outcomes will be:

  • An institutional framework for transparent and accountable e-governance management at the Ministry of Education and Science;
  • An electronic document processing system at the Ministry of Education and Science;
  • An electronic system for Ukrainian HEI financial business reports to the Ministry of Education and Science.

Enhance Non-governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagements (ENGAGE)
Implementer: Pact, Inc.
Project period: October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2021

USAID’s flagship Enhance Non-Governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagement (ENGAGE) program is working to increase citizen awareness of and engagement in civic actions at the national, regional and local level.  The Enhance Non-Governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagement program focuses on four key objectives: (1) Enhanced civic education; (2) Support for civic coalitions and initiatives at the national, regional and local levels; (3) Improved organizational capacity of partner CSOs; and (4) Long-term sustainability of civic engagement in democratic reforms.  The 5-year program will provide funding, capacity building, and facilitate networking among citizens, civic organizations, and coalitions on critical areas of democratic reform, with a special focus on anti-corruption.  The Enhance Non-Governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagement program builds on the success of the former UNITER civil society strengthening project, which worked to empower Ukrainian CSOs to represent citizens’ interests and drive Ukraine’s reform agenda through more effective advocacy, monitoring, and activism.

Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCI)
Implementer: Management Systems International
Project period: June 14, 2017 – June 13, 2022

The Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCI) activity reduces corruption and increases government accountability and transparency in Ukraine. The activity has three objectives: 1) Empower key government institutions to fight corruption, 2) Increase public support for, and engagement in, anti-corruption efforts, and 3)  reduce the public's tolerance of corrupt practices.

Last updated: October 16, 2018

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