Reload of Ukraine’s National Strategy for Developing Civil Society

Kyiv, 6 November 2015 – The national conference "Civil Society and State: Strategy for Cooperation and Development 2016-2020" brought together representatives of the government and civil society to discuss the revised National Strategy for Developing Civil Society over the next four years.

 MG 8123The conference, organized jointly by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine and the Presidential Administration of Ukraine in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine, focused on the civil society's role in the reform process and presented recommendations on updating the National Strategy as well as its priorities for 2016-2020.

"The civil society plays an active part in the country's reform process," said Rostyslav Pavlenko, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. "As an outcome of this conference, we hope to find out how the state and civil society can attain together common goals and understand what kind of environment the state should create for developing civil society."

 MG 8203In order to elaborate a longer-term vision for the development of the civil society with reference to the new socio-political environment, the Presidential Administration of Ukraine approached the international organizations, including UNDP in Ukraine, with the initiative to revise and update the existing Strategy for Developing Civil Society adopted in 2012.

An informal working group was established including representatives of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, Ukrainian think-tank CSOs, OSCE, and UNDP. Commencing its work in January 2015, the working group has reviewed the existing Strategy vis-à-vis new challenges, tendencies, and perspectives faced by the Ukrainian civil society in the recent two years and developed recommendations on its revision.

 MG 8167"We are pleased to see that the revised Strategy recognizes the civil society as a driving force behind reforms in the country. It also aims at ensuring meaningful mechanisms for CSOs' participation in policy development and reform implementation," emphasized Janthomas Hiemstra, UNDP Country Director in Ukraine. "It has been our privilege to often serve as a bridge between national or local governments and the civil society, facilitating their partnership and joint action."

The conference's participants discussed the recommendations for enhancing the National Strategy in four main strategic directions: institutional framework for civil society development, strengthening the role of CSOs for social and economic development, civil society and participatory democracy, and intersectoral cooperation.

The conference provided an opportunity to discuss how, in practice, internal processes and trends can be properly addressed and reflected in the civil society-related strategic framework so that to ensure the creation of an enabling and hospitable environment for civil society development, which is an embodiment of democracy.