Forward Together ENGAGEs Strategic Imperatives for Ukraine in 2024

Russia’s 2022 unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has not only redrawn the geopolitical and security context, threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the lives of its citizens, but it has also galvanized an unprecedented outpouring of civic participation across the country. This rise in civic engagement, reflecting the resilience and unity of the Ukrainian spirit, is a cornerstone of our ENGAGE program’s strategy. Recognizing that development programs are founded on principles as resilient and adaptable as communities that have withstood centuries of climatic changes, our program is specifically designed to flexibly adapt to and anticipate changing circumstances, whether they be social, political, or economic turbulences. To assist Ukraine’s thriving, resilient and engaged communities, an all-out invasion by an aggressor neighbor demands far more than mere adjustments to a pre-engineered control board; it represents a challenge that necessitates a comprehensive and wholehearted adaptation strategy, both literally and metaphorically.

In a recent meeting, we held under our overall umbrella of Collaborate, Learn and Adapt (CLA) events, we shared our lessons and knowledge to receive feedback from our partners about their ambition to mobilize citizens and address operational challenges. This meeting took stock of lessons we learned in FY23 and discussed programmatic plans and priorities for FY24. The CLA event, titled “FY24: Sprint to Spring, Europe, and Victory CLA” helped us define what civic activism should prioritize in 2024 while also reaffirming our programmatic focus in the years to come. While not an exhaustive account of our programming, this brief focuses on four distinct and crucial areas that set the stage for much of our work as we begin to turn towards future harvest seasons. Our focus on Ukraine’s EU membership, social cohesion, cultural heritage, and post-war reconstruction are not arbitrary; they are meticulously chosen and reflect Ukraine’s immediate needs and long-term goals in the face of unprecedented challenges.