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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

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USAID supports participatory, transparent, and accountable governance processes in Ukraine. USAID works at the national level by identifying and supporting anti-corruption champion institutions and transparent service delivery, as well as at the local level, by building a foundation for decentralization and effective local governance. USAID programs strengthen the rule of law by improving judicial accountability and independence, and promote human rights protections consistent with European standards. USAID also develops the ability of citizens and civil society to recognize and fight corruption, oversee and inform government decision-making, and advocate for community priorities. USAID programs support the role of media in a democratic society by increasing journalistic professionalism, helping produce high-quality news content, and increasing citizen resilience to propaganda and disinformation. USAID helps ensure that elections are free and fair, while also working to increase the accountability of political parties and elected officials before their constituents.

Current programs:


Global Labor Program: Ukraine
Project Period: February 1, 2016 – September 30, 2022

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 developing the ability to effectively reduce trafficking in persons and labor rights violations. GLP works to strengthen the effectiveness of partner Ukrainian trade unions across the country, including their leadership, focusing on anti-corruption and freedom of association initiatives for internally displaced persons (IDPs), migrants, workers, and the disabled.  


Countering Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Project
Project Period: July 20, 2004 – January 1, 2023

The USAID Countering Trafficking in Persons Initiative is part of a broader U.S. Government effort 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 Ukrainian government’s national referral mechanism, increase government funding for counter trafficking efforts, and increase the involvement of non-governmental service providers in the national referral mechanism. 


Enhance Non-governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagements (ENGAGE)
Project Period: October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2023

USAID’s flagship Enhance Non-Governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagement (ENGAGE) activity works to increase citizen awareness of and engagement in civic actions at the national, regional, and local level. ENGAGE focuses on four key objectives: (1) enhancing civic education; (2) supporting civic coalitions and initiatives at the national, regional, and local levels; (3) strengthening organizational capacity of partner CSOs; and (4) developing the long-term sustainability of civic engagement in democratic reforms.  The five-year program provides funding, and organizational strengthening while also strengthening networking among citizens, civic organizations, and coalitions on critical areas of democratic reform, with a special focus on anti-corruption.  ENGAGE builds on earlier USAID civil society strengthening efforts that worked to empower Ukrainian CSOs to represent citizens’ interests and drive Ukraine’s reform agenda through more effective advocacy, monitoring, and activism.

Small Project Assistance Program (SPA) 
Project Period: October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2023

The Small Project Assistance Program (SPA) promotes and supports 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.  

SPA encourages effective, sustainable development projects in sectors ranging from health to agriculture to small enterprise development. Through the SPA activity, Peace Corps volunteers assist local communities to develop and implement small community-initiated projects in such areas as health and sanitation, basic education -- including non-formal areas of education for 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 Civil Society Sectoral Support 
Project Period: October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2024

The Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity works to improve the social and political environment for civil society and strengthen the ability of civil society organizations (CSOs) to sustain themselves and strengthen the self-reliance of the overall civic sector in Ukraine. The three activity objectives are to: (1) strengthen the ability of society organizations to sustain themselves and the work they do; (2) strengthen the legal enabling environment for civil society; (3) stimulate increased research and learning to better understand civil society’s challenges, and take advantage of opportunities and best practices. To increase the sustainability and self-reliance of civil society organizations, the five-year program provides support to a diverse range of Ukrainian civil society organizations and civic groups throughout the country on a demand-driven/needs-based approach in areas identified as critical to long term CSO self-sustainability. The activity strives to improve legal and regulatory policies related to the operating environment for civil society by improving monitoring and advocacy, increase awareness of new legislation, and ensure sufficient legal aid for civic activists and organizations.

Transformation Communications Activity
Project Period: July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2025

The purpose of the USAID Transformation Communications Activity (TCA) is to increase the resilience of Ukraine’s democracy with innovative communications initiatives about democratic transformation and European integration.  This will be achieved through three primary objectives: 1) equip USAID and its partners to conduct data-driven communications; 2) increase the quality and quantity of strategic communications on reform dividends; and 3) broaden the use of social impact content by Ukraine’s civic leaders and creative sector.

The Media Program in Ukraine
Project Period: October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2023 ​

The Media Program in Ukraine strengthens the civically relevant role of media in democratic processes and helps expand citizens’ access to quality information to counter malign influences and support European integration. Media Program partners work to establish a constructive dialogue between local authorities and citizens by raising public awareness of reforms, and engaging local residents in the decision-making process.  The activity focuses on the following major objectives: (1) increase high-quality, engaging news content; (2) increase public demand for quality news and information; (3) work to implement critical media reforms; and, (4) strengthen and sustain key media institutions and processes.


Ukraine National Identity Through Youth (UNITY) Activity
Project Period: August 10, 2020 – August 9, 2025

The purpose of the new Ukraine National Identity Through Youth (UNITY) Activity is to foster vested ownership among young people, ages 10 through 35, in Ukraine's democratic, European future by further mobilizing youth leadership around a values-based concept of Ukrainian identity grounded in innovation, engagement, and pluralism.  This will be achieved through the following interconnected objectives: 1) Improved innovation, entrepreneurship, and career preparedness skills by youth expand economic opportunities; 2) Youth broaden their engagement in civic and community problem- solving; 3) Youth drive Ukraine’s pluralism and respect for diversity; and 4) Research and learning on youth-related data, trends, and approaches inform youth policy and programming. 


Ukraine Responsive and Accountable Politics Program (U-RAP)
Project Period: April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2025

The USAID Ukraine Responsive and Accountable Politics Program (U-RAP) promotes political processes that lead to more representative, transparent, and accountable governance.  The activity emphasizes four main areas: promoting political party accountability and inclusivity at the national level, enhancing the representation of citizens' interests by party and government officials at the local level, improving the environment for political competition, and supporting electoral stakeholders in Ukraine to ensure free and fair elections.  The activity equitably assists a broad spectrum of democratic parties in Ukraine and maintains a geographical balance nationwide. In select regions, the activity raises the responsiveness and awareness of local elected political actors to the interests of their citizens, and strengthens the political and leadership skills among youth. The activity also promotes dialogue within communities on national reform issues. U-RAP strengthens civil society's role developing and implementing election-related legislation. It provides technical assistance to the Central Election Commission (CEC), particularly on the training of election commissions, while also developing voter education materials and working with the CEC to help voters understand the new rules. The activity is implemented by a consortium that consists of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, and the International Foundation for Election Systems.

Domestic Oversight of Political Processes in Ukraine Program
Project Period: January 1, 2014 – August 21, 2022

This activity is working to improve Ukraine’s electoral process and corresponding legislation to better reflect the will of the Ukrainian people. The goal is to improve the integrity of Ukrainian elections through domestic monitoring, support development and implementation of relevant legislation that is inclusive, transparent and conforms to European standards, and increase the organizational and technical capacity of the Civic Network OPORA.


Governance and Local Accountability (HOVERLA) Activity
Project period: March 19, 2021 –  March 18, 2026

HOVERLA will assist the Government of Ukraine to further develop a strong legal framework for local governance that provides an appropriate balance of authority and responsibility between local self-government institutions and subnational and national executives. The Activity will also support sectoral and fiscal decentralization to ensure local government accountability, effective citizen engagement, and oversight by: 1) ensuring Ukraine's system of local self-governance is increasingly institutionalized and effective; 2) facilitating more self-reliant subnational governance; and 3) creating mechanisms that allow citizens to play an increasingly influential role in local governance processes.

Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE)
Project Period: June 8, 2016 – September 30, 2022

DOBRE provides comprehensive assistance to local communities to make 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)
Project Period: August 4, 2016 – August 3, 2022

This joint USAID/UKaid activity develops and provides e-governance tools to reduce opportunities for corruption within the Government of Ukraine (GOU) and engages the public in anti-corruption efforts. TAPAS features three major components: (1) training for (GOU) officials to use software-based procurement processes to reduce corruption (e.g. eliminating malfeasance, providing transparency in acquisition, and imposing accountability); (2) an Open Data initiative that disseminates standardized, accessible, consistent GOU data for public, intra-governmental, and international oversight, and; (3) an eServices platform to provide government services over a secure and user-friendly medium.

Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCI)
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: November 01, 2022

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