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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 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. In addition to its work with governing institutions, USAID develops the capacity of citizens and civil society to fight corruption, oversee and inform government decision-making, and advocate for community priorities. USAID programs also 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. In the political processes area, USAID helps ensure that elections are free and fair, while also working to increase the accountability of political parties and elected officials 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 while 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 USAID Human Rights in Action Project supports efforts aimed at enhancing accountability for human rights abuses and war crimes arising from the conflict in eastern Ukraine and purported annexation of Crimea. These include: human rights monitoring and advocacy, strategic litigation on human rights cases, awareness raising and citizen empowerment regarding human rights, and legal assistance to survivors of torture and conflict. The Activity is implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU), a coalition of 29 human rights  organizations representing 15 oblasts.

Global Labor Program: Ukraine
American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center)
February 1, 2016 – January 30, 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 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 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.


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 Civil Society Sectoral Support 
Implementer: “EDNANNIA” - Initiative Center to Support Social Action” as a prime implementing partner in a consortium with the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) and the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM)
Project period: October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2024

The Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity will work to improve the social and political environment for civil society and strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to sustain themselves and strengthen the self-reliance of the 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 sectoral challenges, and take advantage of opportunities and best practices. To increase the sustainability and self-reliance of civil society organizations, the five-year program will provide support to a diverse range of Ukrainian civil society organizations and civic groups throughout the country on the demand-driven/needs-based approach in areas identified as critical to long term self-sustainability. The activity will work to increase monitoring and advocacy efforts to improve legal and regulatory policies related to the operating environment for civil society, increase awareness of new legislation, and ensure sufficient legal aid for civic activists and organizations.


The Media Program in Ukraine
Internews Network
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 in order to counter malign influence and support European integration. Media Program partners also work to establish a constructive dialogue between local authorities and citizens, 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 content, particularly in the east and south, where approximately 50% of resources will be sub-granted to Ukrainian organizations; (2) Increase public demand for quality information; (3) Implement critical media reforms; and, (4) Strengthen and sustain key media institutions and processes.


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 – June 30, 2020

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. 

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: November 25, 2019

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