New Report: Enhancing Civil Society's Impact in Donbas

In the fourth year of the violent conlict in East Ukraine, this report refers to the work of civil society actors, as one of the driving forces for social change. This report also takes stock of the question of how civil society can enhance its impact on the process of conflict resolution in Donbas.

The recommendations, presented in this report, were pronounced by civil society actors from Ukraine, Russia and other European countries at a strategic retreat in Warsaw (26-28 June 2017), which was co-organised by the Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP) and the DRA (German-Russian Exchange), in co-operation with ODIHR and the support of the French and German governments.

The strategic retreat in Warsaw was important because it addressed two overlapping challenges which are integral to the civic engagement in Donbas - the tense relationship between Russian and Ukrainian civil society communities, and the interrelation between the approaches of human rights advocacy and peacebuilding. To respond these challenges can help enhance the impact of civil society in the process of conflct resolution. 

The findings of the report allow to make two conclusions:

1. To strengthen the impact of CSOs in the process of conflict resolution in Donbas will require more strategic cooperation. Still a punctual collaboration seems to be a more plausible alternative comparing to a stronger unification of resources.

2. Because many of the constraints that prevent the CSOs from better using synergies to overcome the multifaceted consequences of the violence are recurrent and internal to the current political culture, both of Ukrainian and Russian societies; and because they inhibit the restoration of a rule of law and democratic peace in Donbas, it is necessary that the international community increases its support of joint activities (especially of CSO-representatives from Ukraine and Russia) as well as proceeds with technical and methodological support and a transfer of best practices.


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