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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:


Justice Sector Reform Program (Nove Pravosuddya)
Implementer: Chemonics International, Inc.
Project Period: September 1, 2016 – September 30, 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 securing the rule of law, enhances justice administration, improves the quality of legal education, and expands access to justice while extending human rights.

Responding to Human Rights Violations and Empowering Citizens and Human Rights Defenders in Ukraine (Human Rights in Action program)
Implementer: Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Project Period: September 30, 2017 – September 30, 2022

The USAID Human Rights in Action Project supports efforts that enhance accountability for human rights abuses and war crimes arising from the conflict in eastern Ukraine and purported annexation of Crimea. These efforts include: human rights monitoring and advocacy, litigation of human rights cases, awareness raising and citizen empowerment, 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
Implementer: American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center)
Project Period: February 1, 2016 – January 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.

Monitoring Human Rights in Ukraine During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Implementer: Freedom House
Project period: September 2020 - May 2021

Freedom House and its two local partners, VostokSOS and Truth Hounds, are working to ameliorate abuses by security forces related to the coronavirus pandemic in Ukraine's conflict affected areas. The specific objective of the initiative is to mitigate the impact of and identify solutions to pandemic-related restrictions on individual rights by security forces in the conflict affected areas. The expected results of the initiative are as follows: 1) human rights abuses by security forces in Ukraine's conflict affected areas are documented and analyzed; 2) victims of pandemic-related human rights abuses  by security forces  in the conflict affected areas receive legal assistance to protect their rights and pursue redress; 3) information about pandemic-related human rights abuses by security forces are shared with key stakeholders along with recommendations to prevent and respond to them.  


Democratic Governance East (DG East)
Implementer: Chemonics International
Project Period: October 1, 2018 – September 30, 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 goal of mitigating the impacts of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. DG East works to increase participation in community problem-solving, develop more efficient, modern service delivery, integrate separated, marginalized, and isolated communities; build citizen confidence in and understanding of key reforms; and strengthen inclusive and democratic citizen engagement.

Countering Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Project
Implementer: International Organization for Migration
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. The project also develops economic opportunities and improves the social well-being of IDPs in response to ongoing conflict in Ukraine, one of the root causes of human trafficking in the country.


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) 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) 
Implementer: Peace Corps
Project Period: October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2023

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

SPA Program 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 
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 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.

USAID Transformation Communications Activity
Implementer: Chemonics International, Inc.
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
Implementer: Internews Network
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, particularly in the east and south; (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
Implementer: IREX  
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)
Implementer: Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening
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 program emphasizes three 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, and improving the 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 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 program 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 program 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
Implementer: All-Ukrainian public organization "Civic Network OPORA"
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.


Responsible, Accountable and Democratic Assembly (RADA)
Implementer: East Europe Foundation
Project Period: November 25, 2013 – September 30, 2021

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 supports Members of Parliament (MPs) in building constituent relations and improving their representative function, expanding citizen education and the monitoring of MPs to increase their accountability, and promoting parliamentary independence by reinforcing the rules that govern the legislative body.

Policy for Ukraine Local Self Governance (PULSE)
Implementer: Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC)
Project Period: December 14, 2015 – June 30, 2021

PULSE 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, including development of enabling legislation based on local government input and by increasing the resources and capacity of local self-government.

Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE)
Implementer: Global Communities
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)
Implementer: Eurasia Foundation
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)
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.