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Vasili Kukharchyk

country director

Christine de Guzman

program officer

Pact has been working to develop civil society in Belarus since 2005. With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as European donors, we're building the capacity of local organizations – from think tanks and policy groups to grassroots activists – to effectively advocate for social change and progressive reforms.   
We're building credible, at-home civil society organizations, independent trade unions and media outlets, and we're fostering civic activism among Belarusian citizens. Through mentorship and support, Pact is helping the people of Belarus to organize, take ownership of their lives and strengthen their sense of belonging to their communities. We rely on civic-business partnerships, evidence-based research, communication and outreach, and community-driven initiatives. 
Our partners include Belarus Digest, Belarus Institute for Strategic Studies, Budzma campaign, Capacity Building Marketplace, Fond of Ideas, Golden Age University, LawTrend Center for Legal Transformation, Lithuania, the Office for a Democratic Belarus, the Office for European Expertise and Communication, and the Office for the Rights of Disabilities.

Signature Initiatives

Belarus Research Council
In 2012, Pact created the Belarus Research Council, a network of Belarusian polling agencies, think tanks and study centers that meets twice a year to discuss achievements, share their research findings and develop future plans. The project aims to build researchers’ capacity, enhance coordination between them, increase access to data by local stakeholders and improve the analysis and dissemination of qualitative and quantitative research results in Belarus.

Capacity Building Marketplace
In 2009, Pact leveraged its signature approach to capacity building by creating a Capacity Building Marketplace. A joint initiative of more than 20 civil society groups, this DANIDA-funded project is creating market-based mechanisms to facilitate direct relationships between donors and local CSOs, increaing the quality and accessibility of capacity-building services and decreasing costs.

Belarus Reality Check
In 2012, Pact and its local partners initiated the “Belarus Reality Check,” a policy review board tasked with providing realistic context analysis and impartial examination of key issues of the EU's Eastern Partnership policy. The process regularly convenes a "review group" of analysts, diplomats and policy and decision-makers to assess the EU's foreign policy toward Belarus. 

Civil Society Leader Fellowship Program
Since 2005, Pact has organized seven annual Leadership Program events, graduating more than 100 fellows from various sectors of civil society. Implemented in-country, the fellowship program provides customized mentorship and action-based learning opportunities for civil society leaders, as well as networking and capacity development for alumni.

Community Development Fund
Through the Community Development Fund (CMDF), Pact provides assistance to grassroots, community-based initiatives. The CMDF supports existing and emerging civil society groups, initiatives and individuals to develop understanding among Belarusian citizens to help them take responsibility for their lives and take part in improvements at the local level. The CMDF is helping to build a sense of belonging and community in Belarus.

Friday Report

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Stories and Highlights

Pact partner Golden Age University helps Belarus age gracefully

May 27, 2016
At age 70, Valentina Zvyarynskaya was living her life as many Belarusian seniors do. She stayed home a lot, took part in few community activities and rarely made new friends. Then she began...

Systemic change still far off, but ‘space is opening up’ for civil society improvements in Belarus, panel says

September 17, 2015
Although significant challenges remain, civil society improvements are taking place in Belarus, according to a panel of experts who spoke Sept. 1o in Washington, D.C. They described the changes as...