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Ukrainians seek replacement for parties in NGOs

06.10.2011 | www.dw-world.de

 

According to an opinion survey carried out by IFES [the International Foundation of Electoral Systems], 76 percent of Ukrainians are convinced of the need for the work of nongovernment organizations.

Each year more and more Ukrainians say that the country needs active NGOs. If in 2005 such a view was expressed by 41 percent of respondents in all regions of the country, now the figure has almost doubled (76 percent). However the survey also showed that people have an extremely vague idea of what such organizations actually do.

Ukrainians are probably most positive about NGOs which give health care, provide humanitarian assistance or defend women’s rights. Those which are active in supporting democracy and governance are in the last place. This is true of practically all regions, and only in Kyiv did respondents say that support for democratic changes by NGOs was more important.

Disillusionment with politics

According to the Head of the NGO “Your Rights”, Oleh Ilkiv, the significant increase in trust of NGOs is directly linked with disillusionment in political parties. “People see total corruption in parties, the purchasing of places on candidate lists, etc, while NGOs do not generally function from Ukrainians’ money and confirmation is therefore greater”.  He sees it as natural that people prefer organizations providing health care and humanitarian aid, which is more immediate than abstract democracy.

66 percent of the respondents said that civic organizations concern themselves with problems that the authorities don’t want to deal with. However more than a third (28%) were inclined to believe that such organizations only do what is of benefit to them, not to Ukrainian society.

Whose interests do they represent?

A third of the respondents from eastern and southern regions think that NGOs represent foreign interests, rather than those of all Ukrainian society. Only in the North and West of Ukraine was the situation different, with 53 % saying that they represented the Ukrainian public’s interests. 65% of respondents from western regions believe that they should do this from foreign sources of funding.

It is interesting that there was a significant regional divide in opinions on funding. In the north and centre, a quarter of the respondents were convinced that organizations should work only from Ukrainian sources of funding. However almost 60% of Ukrainians see support from both foreign and Ukrainian sources as possible.

1.5 thousand people were surveyed from all 27 regions of Ukraine.

Halyna Stadnyk

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