February 14 is an important date in the life of the civic sector of Ukraine: The Government adopted the Action Plan to Implement the National Strategy for Civil Society Development for 2021-2026. The most important thing is that this document does exist; after all, it was written by representatives of the sector in a constant dialog and with the assistance of representatives of the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, responsible ministries and departments. In October 2021, public discussion of the draft of this document began, and even a full-scale invasion did not prevent us from working on the Plan (another round of public discussions took place in July 2022).
A bit of background on what the Action Plan is for and what it will change for civil society. In September 2021, the President of Ukraine approved the National Strategy for Civil Society Development in Ukraine for the period until 2026. It includes the provisions of the Legal Reforms Roadmap for Civil Society, developed as part of the Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity in 2020 by the experts from a consortium consisting of ISAR Ednannia, the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research and the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law and representatives of other CSOs. The National Strategy is a huge window of opportunity, thanks to it civil society organizations for the first time develop the Action Plan on their own – the agenda of their development for the next years – with concrete steps and tasks, which will be implemented together by the state and the civic sector.
Currently, there are 43 different tasks in the Action Plan. They focus on improving the volunteer environment, improving the tax and financial climate for CSOs, promoting local democracy, facilitating the work of human rights organizations, developing legislation on humanitarian aid, promoting social entrepreneurship, simplifying the registration and regulation of CSOs, and other issues critical for the sector.
Therefore, the Action Plan has been launched, it officially empowers civil society to further develop (and now also rebuild) the country.
This material was prepared as part of the Project Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity implemented by the Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia” in partnership with the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) and Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM) with the sincere support of the American people through United States Agency for International Development.