ENGAGE: Building democracy from the ground up
In partnership with USAID, Pact launched the ENGAGE project in Ukraine in 2016. The five-year effort is working to advance democratic reforms across the country, build demand for fundamental European values, and forge a robust civil society. In addition to providing them funding to carry out their work, ENGAGE helps strengthen the capacity of Ukrainian civil society organizations through training, mentorship, coalition building and more. A key focus of ENGAGE’s work has been helping civil society organizations to boost civic participation and engagement among Ukraine’s 40 million-plus citizens.
This is a challenge in post-Soviet Ukraine. Although Ukrainians, led by civil society organizations, have waged two revolutions since the country gained independence in 1991, the soviet mentality is still pervasive, especially in certain regions of Ukraine. Many Ukrainians don’t actively take part in civic life or see it as their role to hold their government accountable. Changing this is critical to the success of Ukraine’s democracy. It is a key task facing Ukrainian civil society organizations – to build their constituencies by reaching and activating new citizens who previously weren’t engaged. With support from Pact, civil society is taking on this challenge and creating a new Ukrainian future. Learn more at pactworld.org/ukraine.