The primary development challenge that the Enhance Non-Governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagement (ENGAGE) activity addresses is the lack of citizen awareness and engagement in civic activities. ENGAGE also works towards a broader goal of improving citizen oversight and engagement in governance processes. Through a mix of innovative new approaches and proven methods, ENGAGE focuses its efforts at both the grassroots level, to educate and activate citizens to engage in civic initiatives, as well as the national and regional (oblast and rayon) levels, so as to improve organizational capacities, build coalitions, and support advocacy and watchdog initiatives.
The purpose of ENGAGE is to increase citizen awareness of and engagement in civic actions at the national, regional and local level
ENGAGE is premised on the idea that if citizens are aware and engaged in civic actions, then local and national governance processes will be more representative, participatory, and accountable to Ukrainian society. Pact therefore (1) enhances civic education; (2) fosters effective national, regional and local civic coalitions and initiatives to promote democratic reforms; (3) improves organizational capacity of partner CSOs; and, (4) develops local capacity to ensure long-term civic engagement in democratic reforms.
Enhance civic education
To improve citizen knowledge of civic responsibilities, ENGAGE supports the design and implementation of a civic education curriculum including extra-curricular activities. These activities involve both children and parents; setting in motion a shift in Ukrainian understanding of civic responsibility and engagement. ENGAGE also supports CSO-led civic education initiatives for all age groups that help citizens participate in civil society activities, including anti-corruption efforts.
Foster effective national, regional and local civic coalitions and initiatives to promote democratic reforms
ENGAGE provides support for ongoing civic advocacy and monitoring efforts by mobilizing activists, linking networks and coalitions, strengthening civic engagement mechanisms, and enhancing anti-corruption civic monitoring. This support is balanced across national, local, and regional areas strengthening horizontal and vertical linkages between national, regional and local CSOs to promote geographically consistent levels of citizen engagement. Through effective civic advocacy and oversights campaigns, issues advocated for by civil society are reflected in both government legislation and policies.
Improve organizational capacity of partner CSOs
With an emphasis on constituency building, outreach and communication, ENGAGE provides capacity support to national, regional and local level partner CSOs and coalitions, including those working on anti-corruption. Through citizen engagement, constituency-building and motivational leadership, partner CSOs become more inclusive and increase the participation of marginalized groups in democratic reform processes. This objective also strengthens so-called intermediary support organizations to link citizens with ongoing macro reforms.
Develop local capacity to ensure long-term civic engagement in democratic reforms
With an eye to the future, ENGAGE builds the foundation for sustained citizen engagement in civil society activities in Ukraine’s democratic reform process. The pillars of this foundation include dialogues with key stakeholders, a clear sustainability strategy, and targeted capacity development to ensure that the strategy is implemented.
Support through Grants and Technical Assistance
Through sub-grants, supports Ukrainian CSOs. Grant mechanisms vary depending on the program needs, nature of activities and other factors. Grants are issued to national, regional or local organizations and coalitions, including established CSOs as well as nascent groups and informal civic initiatives.
The ENGAGE activity primarily provides technical assistance on key democratic reforms and cross-cutting themes, such as: anti-corruption, decentralization, government transparency and accountability, inclusive development, youth, and European integration. Technical assistance is customized according to individual CSO partner needs with a focus on constituency building, citizen engagement, strategic communication, and leadership. Specific technical assistance for civic advocacy and monitoring are defined through consultations with relevant stakeholders
ENGAGE is committed to inclusive development of persons with disabilities, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other marginalized groups. ENGAGE supports CSOs focused on reducing discrimination by providing training on gender mainstreaming in order to increase knowledge of gender gaps and promote equity. Building upon a growing recognition of disability rights in Ukraine, ENGAGE supports CSOs engaged in disability advocacy and watchdog activities. Through ENGAGE’s commitment to inclusion of marginalized groups, Ukrainian civil society is becoming more inclusive and representing a wider range of Ukrainian interests.
Pact has worked in Ukraine since 2006 in the areas of governance, capacity development, and health. Building on Pact’s decade of experience, the ENGAGE activity addresses key challenges facing civil society organizations in Ukraine. A nonprofit international development organization founded in 1971, Pact works on the ground in more than 30 countries to improve the lives of those who are poor and marginalized. We strive for a world where all people exercise their voice, build their own solutions and take ownership of their future.