Advocacy CSO Sustainability Strategy Road Map: Next Steps in Fostering Greater Financial Sustainability in Ukraine

This Sustainability Strategy Road Map provides next step recommendations and guidance for further development of advocacy CSO sustainability programming in Ukraine, which is envisioned to include development of an advocacy legacy fund mechanism. This strategy firstly focuses on steps that Pact ENGAGE can take in the next eighteen months to further support select CSOs’ financial sustainability efforts to be more financial diversified and resilient and to be able to take advantage of future advocacy fund mechanism support. It also identifies a number of issues that Pact, USAID, and other donors will need to more coherently address in order to provide a legally enabling and donor-coordinated environment conducive for advocacy CSOs’ further financial diversification options. Thirdly it provides a general blueprint for USAID to consider for consultation on and designing of an advocacy fund mechanism for advocacy organizations in Ukraine. Looking forward, it provides guidance as to what would be strategic considerations for advocacy CSO sustainability programming beyond 2021. During validation fieldwork in January 2020, the researcher refined these strategy objectives and recommendations with key stakeholders including Pact CSO core partners, USAID, and a select set of donors active in supporting CSOs in Ukraine.

This strategy builds on conclusions from the October 2019 Pact ENGAGE synthesis study that looked at global experience in supporting advocacy organization financial diversification, which concluded that no one funding mechanism stands out as meeting needs of advocacy CSOs except to foster funding diversification. It further suggested as part of diversification the potential benefits of design of a hybrid advocacy fund in Ukraine (Pact 2019). Ten days of fieldwork in Ukraine in October 2019 tested the assumptions of the Synthesis Study. Key conclusions from the fieldwork suggest that financial diversification of some of the most established advocacy CSOs is progressing, but particularly domestic resource mobilization (DRM) is still in the early stages. As well, the fieldwork highlighted the mixed donor and enabling environment within which CSOs must navigate with few coordinated efforts in place to support a clear drive towards advocacy CSO financial sustainability or conditions in place for establishment of an advocacy legacy fund at the current time.

Hence the strategy focuses on addressing these current gaps with three broad levels of engagement and objectives to prepare the organizations and the environment for eventual legacy fund considerations as part of an advocacy sustainability strategy These include 1) Specific Pact efforts to strengthen advocacy CSOs’ financial readiness and 2) Pact, USAID, and other donor efforts to support the improvement of the domestic funding environment and enhanced donor coordination on advocacy CSOs’ financial diversification; and 3) USAID efforts to begin consultation process on development of an advocacy fund mechanism. Each of these is detailed out in the file bellow.

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