Ukraine’s wartime recovery and the role of civil society

Chatham House survey of Ukrainian CSOs – 2024 update

Pre-read for Berlin Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC) 2024

Key takeaways and summary of survey results

This document presents the findings of a survey of 218 Ukrainian civil society organizations (CSOs), conducted online by Chatham House in May 2024. This 2024 update follows on from a November–December 2022 survey, the results of which were published in June 2023.
The focus of our latest survey is on recovery and reconstruction, on the role CSOs can play in assisting with that process, on the obstacles to their doing so effectively, and on how those obstacles can be overcome.
For the full survey results and more on the methodology, see the Annex on page 15.
1. Amid the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine, a concerted Ukrainian and international effort is needed to replenish societal and individual resilience and embed the principles of resilience in recovery and reconstruction – both in the short term to support Ukrainian resistance amid current hostilities, and for a future post-war context.
2. Ukrainian civil society is already very active in supporting recovery.
Kyiv-based CSOs report an improvement in the state’s effort to engage civil society compared to 2022. Volunteers remain the most trusted group among all social institutions. However, CSOs view the state’s cooperation in delivering recovery as inadequate.
3. CSOs are seeking a collaborative approach that would enable them to support and share the burdens of the state. They wish to ensure that the interests of vulnerable groups are considered, and that innovative solutions replace old ways of providing public services.
4. A prolonged war risks weakening the functioning and accountability of Ukrainian state institutions. Related to this are potentially increased risks both of misuse of recovery funds and of ineffective decision-making.
Such risks indicate a need for civil society to take on a strong watchdog function at both the national and regional level. CSOs consider the need to modernize institutions and enforce the rule of law as priorities for Ukraine, both to ensure successful delivery of recovery projects and to enable wartime resilience.

5. The civil society sector is seeking special attention and cooperation from the Ukrainian state, the private sector and international donors around the issue of reintegrating veterans. This group stands out prominently as being in need of assistance and a new dedicated programme of policymaking. Also in need of special support is a wartime generation of children and youth whose education has been disrupted or interrupted by the war. CSOs view addressing both issues as critical to fostering social cohesion and resilience.

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