NGOs in Ukraine

In order to understand the current state of NGOs in Ukraine, one must look at the genesis of their development. It would be fair to state that there have been three stages that contributed to the development of the “Third Sector” in Ukraine.
During the late 1980s in the former Soviet Union, a number of organizations began to emerge in within Ukraine that were progressive in regards to nation building and an idea of an independent Ukraine.

Numerous organizations active prior to Ukraine’s independence and in the early 1990s were indirectly contributors to the development of leadership of a number of NGOs that were the basis for further NGO development in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Helsinki Union ( Ukrainska Helsinksa Spilka), the Popular Movement of Ukraine ( Narodnyj Rukh Ukrainy), The Student Brotherhood of the City of Lviv ( Studentske Bratstvo Mista Lvova ), which had associate organizations in Western Ukraine, and then began to cooperate with the Ukrainian Students’Union ( Ukrainska Studentska Spilka ).

The later had filial organizations in numerous cities, and together with the former, in October of 1990, organized a student hunger strike, which contributed to the ousting of then Prime Minister Vitalij Masol.

Along with these organizations, numerous other organizations began to appear shortly after the proclamation of Ukraine’s independence on August 24, 1991. Their goals and aims were as diverse as the individuals, who took the initiative to organize other individuals to tackle specific issues, whether they were politically or socially motivated. Two key blocks of NGOs were either focused on the ideal of political sovereignty of Ukraine or, the ecological problems that existed within the nation, such as the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. Many individuals, who had been nurtured in Soviet rhetoric, began to realize the changes that individuals and groups of individuals could have on influence on society, be it on a micro-societal or macro-societal level. Individuals, who had been involved in the socio-political work of the aforementioned groups, chose to either involve themselves either in politics or to form NGOs with specific goals and objects. This was the genesis of the “Third Sector” in Ukraine, or the first stage.

A stimulus for the appearance of other NGOs was the arrival of numerous aid organizations interested in financially fostering the ideals of democracy and civic society. By the middle of the 1990s many international aid and charitable interested in particular areas of institutional development in Ukraine and began to fund NGOs as well as initiatives in wide range of areas: health, education, democratic development, independent mass media, and civic and human rights.

From 1992 until approximately 1997 NGOs developed individually throughout all regions of Ukraine. These years allowed for the growth in capacity and capability of some of the earliest formed NGOs, and also saw the arrival of new organizations, each with their own agenda, and specific areas of interest. Some continued to grow and develop, while others fell by the wayside. Towards the end of this second stage of development of NGOs in Ukraine, NGOs with similar interests began to show signs of cooperation and grouping around similar causes and single-issue events or activities.

The beginning of the third stage, and current one, began with the clear formation of nationwide coalitions. The first such unprecedented coalition was formed in March of 1999, in order to conduct a national campaign during the Presidential elections to be held on October 31, 1999. The “Freedom of Choice” Coalition of NGOs of Ukraine brought together over 250 NGOs from all regions of Ukraine who had experience in working in different areas. The cooperation, and coordination of NGOs during this single-issue event, is more clearly outlined in “Greater than the Sum of Its Parts: A Case Study” .

As a result, the success of this coalition stimulated the growth of other coalitions to tackle single-issues and multi-issues. Currently, coalitions of NGOs are tackling such social issues as AIDS and health education, agrarian reforms, corruption, and poverty.

Currently, there are over 30,000 NGOs operating in Ukraine working multifarious areas of interest. The activities of NGOs are regulated by a number of Ukrainian laws.

Coalitions of NGOs

Freedom of Choice Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations

Greater than the Sum of Its Parts: A Case Study
Kyiv, Ukraine, 2000

The Secretariat of the Coalition
Desiatynna 1/3, P.O. Box 193
Kyiv, Ukraine, 01025
e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Programs and Projects

The goal of this Project is to realize a comprehensive nationwide NGOs campaign aimed at curbing and lowering the level of corruption in Ukraine.

Prepared with consultational support and taking into account the experience of:
The World Bank
Management Systems International (MSI)
Transparency International (ТІ)
International Development Law Institute (IDLI)
Bulgarian Coalition 2000
Parliamentary Committee in Regards to the Question of Battling Corruption and Organized Crime and Corruption
Parliamentary Committee in Regards to the Question of Legislative Ensurance of Law-Enforcement Activities

The realization of regional projects of NGOs that are part of the basic list of activities of the NAP foresees a systematic realization of cooperative activities in all regions of Ukraine. The proposed activities will be realized using a single decided upon methodology, that will allow us to create an effective model of realizing the Program, to achieve concrete indicators both quantitative and qualitative, and to conduct continuous monitoring in order to take appropriate corrective measures in the realization of the activities.

From the Awareness of the Necessity of Battling Corruption and the Developmen of an Action Plan
To the Realization of Anti-Corruption Projects by Ukrainian Non-Government Organizations within the Framework of the
National Anti-Corruption Program


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