Duration: 01.01.2009 - 30.06.2012
Project Document: full text
The Civil Society Development Programme (CSDP) aims at strengthening civil society and promoting democratic governance. CSDP supports an open and democratic society founded on the rule of law and based on human rights and governance transparency and accountability both nationally and regionally.
The project covers 7 oblasts in Ukraine: Chernihiv, Donetsk, Kirovohrad, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Lviv, and Luhansk.
The Project will ensure that civil society organizations (CSOs) can become stronger, diminish their dependency on the donor community, and enhance citizen participation in policy processes by developing the capacity of CSOs at the regional and local level to effectively address citizens’ needs. The Civil Society Development Programme is implemented by the UNDP Ukraine through the local and international partners and funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs during 2009 through 2012. The overall budget amounts to USD 3,5 mn.
CSDP includes two main components:
1) Small grants scheme for CSOs in seven regions (Chernigiv, Donetsk, Kirovograd, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Lviv, and Lugansk) to provide services to their constituencies and communities aimed at improving the rights and situation of vulnerable groups, and promoting transparency and accountability of regional and local governments;
2) Supporting the development of a more favourable legal framework for civil society in Ukraine in accordance with recommendations of the Council of Europe.
In addition, the CSDP will offer such activities as trainings of CSOs on general management and specific professional topics, international study tours, CSO networking and experience sharing activities, as well as expert round table discussions, public awareness, and media events. At least 90 Ukrainian CSOs in 7 target regions will benefit from the CSDP support.
Today, Ukrainian CSOs are trying to address public needs which the state is presently unable to satisfy. In addition, they are working to increase public awareness on topical development issues as well as citizens’ rights and their impact on policy-making and implementation processes.
Thus, the Ukrainian CSOs were a major driving force behind the "Orange Revolution" in December 2004. Despite setbacks since the revolution in the democratic process and in moving the political reform agenda as quickly as anticipated, the trend in the development of civil society has been generally positive and quite steady, according to international observers.
Despite the increasing total number of registered CSOs, the active participation of citizens in CSO activities is still low. Only about 6 per cent of the population engages earnestly in civil society organizations, according to Razumkov Centre’s 2003 national survey.
However, the civil society organisations still play an important role in advancing the current reform process, not least at the central government level. When becoming "of age" their role also gradually has been changing from one of informant to the citizens and watchdog to one of engaging in solving social issues, formulating policy positions, and finding alternative methods of problem solving. This will require a closer and more confident cooperation with government representatives and institutions, as well as the public, which is still a great challenge in many places, especially in terms of local government.
The Ukrainian third sector currently faces a series of challenges. First, the legal status of CSO in Ukraine is still ambiguous due to confusing legal framework and regulations, hampering registration, advocacy of public interests, effective growth and financial sustainability. As a result organisations get limitation in terms of geography, as well as those interests that they are allowed to advocate or pursue. In this concern, according to the decision of European Court on Human Rights Ukraine’s Law on Civic Associations contradicts to the European Convention on Human Rights (decision as of April 3, 2008).
Second, the focus of donor support provided to NGOs tends to be sectoral rather than institutional or organizational. The classic definition of organizational capacity development is the means of strengthening CSO's ability to perform certain functions, such as knowledge management or service delivery. This focuses predominately on providing the apposite infrastructure and other administrative needs, and it is often a prerequisite for NGOs to be able to perform their work at an appropriate level of quality and predictability, especially in underserved regions.
Third, there is insufficient networking and collaboration amongst NGOs, which, particularly due to shrinking resources available and the heavy donor dependence, tend to see each other as competitors. There is a need to foster collaboration around specific thematic issues of general relevance to the country.
The overall aim for this programme is a strengthened civil society that promotes an open and democratic society. The project will ensure the CSO sector can flourish, diminish its dependency from the donor community, and enhance its participation in policy processes by developing the capacity of NGOs at the regional and local level to solve the local needs. The programme will be complementary to other donor efforts and emphasis will be put on securing information and knowledge sharing with other donors in the field. In particular, it will link up to UNDP's other projects supporting civil society, and social development in Ukraine.
In order to help Ukraine enjoy a strengthened civil society that promotes an open and democratic society founded on the rule of law and based on human rights and governance transparency & accountability both nationally and regionally, the project plans to ensure implementation of the following outputs and activities:
Output 1. Ukrainian civil society strengthened to promote transparency and accountability as well as rights of vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, detainees and prison inmates and empowerment of women and youth based on increased strategic, managerial, advocacy and monitoring capacity of civil society organisations in selected regions:
Activity 1.1. Implement a special grants facility for NGO initiatives focused on 1) defending the rights of vulnerable groups, youth, children and women; 2) protection and promotion of human rights through strengthening the capacity of human rights CSOs; 3) enhancing citizens’ involvement into the process of decision making on the local level.
Activity 1.2. Develop capacity of Implementing Partners and grantees in selected regions, specifically targeted at the defined focus areas.
Activity 1.3. Provide effective management of the project.
Output 2. An enabling legislative and policy environment created for a better functioning civil society in Ukraine
Activity 2.1. Deliver support to civil society, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and government agencies working on a new legislation that ensures autonomous, sustainable, and representative civil society growth and inclusion in policy processes.
Activity 2.2. Sustain awareness raising, lobbying and advocacy campaign on the recommendations on policy changes to enable full participation of civil society in policy processes.
Activity 2.3. Assist in securing the implementation of new legislation on civil organisations.
Ukrainian civil society will become strengthened to promote transparency and accountability as well as rights of vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, detainees and prison inmates and empowerment of women and youth based on increased strategic, managerial, advocacy and monitoring capacity of civil society organisations in selected regions
Also, there will be created an enabling legislative and policy environment for a better functioning civil society in Ukraine
In general terms, the 53 current CSO partners supported by the CSDP, in the three mentioned thematic areas have increased the number of people they serve, expanded the range of services they provide to the vulnerable persons, gave new skills to social workers, civic activists and young leaders, advocated various issues of importance to communities and target groups, legally empowered economically and socially disadvantage urban and rural community representatives, presented and advocated their cases in courts, and catalyzed support and improvement of policies by local governments as well as enhanced the improvement of national policies and legal acts.
More specifically, during the period of January – December 2011, over 5,258 individuals directly benefited from project activities supported by the CSDP in 7 regions. These include representatives of vulnerable groups, whose rights have been protected or ensured; individuals, who received legal psychological and physical assistance; people or groups of persons, whose health condition, mental or psychological situation has been improved. This number is also comprised of those, who during or after project implementation began to receive services of improved quality, rendered by state or communal authorities. This figure also embraces communities, on which the economic burden of groundless utility tariffs has been alleviated.
In addition, 53 CSDP-supported CSOs have been able to generate UAH 163,572.00 from the private sector and UAH 58,210.00 from the public sector as a result of their activities that involved vigorous promotional and lobbying activities.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
Civil society organizations
Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine)
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
Local government authorities
"Counterpart" Creative Center
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Danish Institute for Human Rights
USD 1,636,787 (91%)