Last week, we participated in the Lviv BookForum an event that united not just book enthusiasts, but also civic-minded individuals and civil society organizations to discuss pressing societal issues. This forum gave us and our partners a unique opportunity to emphasize the importance of preserving Ukrainian cultural heritage and discuss citizens` engagement in Ukraine’s reconstruction.
In this edition, we delve into how Ukrainians perceive their role in reconstruction, focusing on gender dynamics. We also offer insights from the BookForum and provide updates from our esteemed partners. Join us as we journey through these highlights!
Women are demonstrating a higher willingness to engage in reconstruction processes compared to men. According to the dashboard developed by the Center for Innovations Development (CID), 66% of women would participate in events related to reconstruction projects, while 52% of men do the same. Additionally, 59% of women desire to be involved in reconstruction by staying informed about its progress through online tools. In comparison, only 48% of men feel the same. When it comes to familiarity with detailed information about reconstruction projects, 54% of women are in the loop, as opposed to 43% of men. Furthermore, in terms of involvement in various stages of reconstruction such as public discussions, planning of reconstruction projects, and overseeing their implementation, women consistently show a higher engagement rate. The figures are 46%, 30%, and 30% for women, compared to 36%, 25%, and 24% for men, respectively.
Civil Society News
USAID/ENGAGE Co-Hosts Lviv BookForum
From October 5-8, USAID/ENGAGE co-organized the Lviv BookForum and co-hosted two panel discussions, dedicated to cultural heritage protection and citizen engagement in post-war reconstruction efforts.
We pinpointed several key takeaways from the discussions that emphasized the significance of cultural heritage and its protection, and the potential actions Ukrainian citizens can take to influence community, city, and national recovery.
- Cultural heritage, manifested through language, traditions, and culture affirms an ethnic group’s right to uniqueness and self-governance, even amidst repression and assimilation attempts;
- Cultural heritage shapes collective consciousness and identity, serving as an effective tool against Kremlin manipulation and propaganda;
- Cultural heritage is a means of safeguarding distinctiveness, preserving values, strengthening national unity, and upholding sovereignty;
- Cultural heritage is a significant instrument in international diplomacy, contributing to the positive image of Ukraine abroad;
- Cultural heritage stands as a cornerstone of European integration.
- Engaging citizens and businesses in reconstruction projects is essential for the success and continued progress of this process;
- Public oversight and utilizing electronic tools such as voting, and discussions are promising ways to engage citizens;
- Public pressure, including through the media, is a good tool for citizens to influence the reconstruction process;
- Public disclosure of non-strategic data is crucial for ensuring a thorough, well-informed, and transparent reconstruction process.
Transparency International Ukraine Analyzes Risks and Advantages of the National Restoration Fund
The draft budget for 2024 prioritizes defense spending and increases allocations for social security and central authorities. The National Restoration Fund, proposed as part of the budget, aims to address critical infrastructure and housing needs. However, there are potential risks, including misallocation of funds and the exclusion of certain expenditures from priority status. Read the material by our partner, Transparency International Ukraine, to learn about the advantages and risks of such an initiative.
International Center for Ukrainian Victory Advocates for Global Support for Ukraine at Warsaw Security Forum
From October 3 – 4, the International Center for Ukrainian Victory (ICUV) participated in the Warsaw Security Forum – a leading European platform for transatlantic cooperation, focused on addressing common security challenges. During the Forum, ICUV highlighted the urgent need for an effective mechanism to investigate Russia’s war crimes, establish tribunals, and execute the confiscation of Russia’s assets. The CSO also addressed Ukrainian elections during wartime, European integration, NATO membership, the future course of Russia after Putin, concerns related to nuclear and energy security, and introduced the global advocacy campaign #MakeRussiaPay.
All-Ukrainian Association of Music Events Presents Results of Cooperation with European Music Festivals
During the summer of 2023, the All-Ukrainian Association of Music Events (UAME) collaborated with 22 European music festivals and raised nearly USD 70,000 for humanitarian aid in Ukraine through its Music Saves UA initiative. Through these activities, the CSO also promoted Ukraine and increased awareness of Russia’s war.
On October 5, the “UAME`s Music Saves UA” received an award in the Sustainability/Empowerment category at the annual Gunda ceremony hosted by the German Nürnberg Pop Festival. Along with the award, the CSO received EUR 1,000, which it will allocate towards humanitarian aid.
Stay Tuned for the Upcoming Release of an Updated Request for Applications
As ENGAGE continues to grow alongside Ukraine’s civil society, we’re gearing up to release an updated Request for Applications for civil society initiatives. This will offer even more comprehensive institutional and project support. Stay tuned for the upcoming release on our website!
Qualified specialists interested in our job openings are encouraged to review the listings – https://bit.ly/3UKgGN7
Chatham House Launches a Digital Discussion on Reconstruction
Chatham House invites you to join a digital discussion on the Polis platform regarding the engagement of citizens, civil society organizations, and local communities in Ukraine’s recovery. To participate, please vote on the positions on the discussion page and add your suggestions. We encourage your prompt involvement, as this discussion will be open until October 13.
USAID HOVERLA Launches Grant Competition
The USAID HOVERLA project announced a grant competition to bolster local self-government in Ukraine and advance decentralization efforts. Applications for project concepts will be accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year, with the selection committee conducting monthly evaluations. The inaugural round of evaluations is scheduled for October 31, 2023.
What We Read
Civil Society in Ukraine’s Restoration
Ukraine has one of the most vibrant civil societies in the world. In the decade since it launched and led the Revolution of Dignity, it has held successive governments’ feet to the fire while at the same time cooperating with authorities to build world-leading tools of transparent and accountable governance. Read the analytical report by Rise Ukraine Coalition to learn more about Ukrainian civil society and its role in ensuring a transparent and accountable recovery process.