Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Partnership Programme announces fellows

August 19, 2013

Four professionals at independent democracy and human rights advocacy NGOs and think-tanks from the CIS region have been named recipients of an Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Partnership Programme fellowship.

PASOS is partnering with network members the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF) and the Institute of Public Affairs (ISP) to offer the fellowship program, that seeks to assist the advancement of democratic practices in transitional democracies. The program was made possible with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Fellows will work with the hosting institute for a six-month period or project co-operation and mentoring, and spend up to five weeks in the office of the hosting think-tank. Three of the hosting think tanks are members of the PASOS network: the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO), Bratislava, Slovakia; the Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation (PAUCI), Warsaw, Poland; and the Association of International Affairs (AMO), Czech Republic.

The fellowships will also provide one-on-one, hands-on training with the host institute’s experts as mentors. The goal is to provide a mentoring opportunity for an in-depth, on-site, and interactive experience in democratic transformation and protection of human rights.

The  four fellows, their policy specialisations, and hosting institutions are:

1. Maria Zolkina, Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine
Policy area: The impact of Europeanization on democratic transformations: the cases of Slovakia and Ukraine
Host organization: Institute for Public Affairs (IVO), Bratislava, Slovakia

2. Kyrill Zakharov, Vidkryte Suspilstwo, Sumy, Ukraine
Policy area: Review and analysis of Polish NGOs’ watchdog type activities in the sphere of justice and transferring of their experience to Ukraine
Host organization: Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation (PAUCI), Warsaw, Poland

3. Vyacheslav Bihun, Koretsky Institute of State and Law, National Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Kyiv, Ukraine
Policy area: Justice through Human Rights Protection: Ukraine’s Case Study (the Impact of European Court of Human Rights in Ukraine)
Host organization: International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France

4. Galyna Usatenko, Europe XXI Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine
Policy area: The Role of NGOs in the reform of higher education in ex-Soviet area (the experience of the Czech Republic and Ukraine’s practice)
Host organization: Association of International Affairs (AMO), Czech Republic

The program is named after Ilko Kucheriv, a prominent activist in the Ukrainian civil-society movement who succumbed to cancer in 2010.

“Kucheriv worked to unite journalists, political analysts, politicians, diplomats and civil activists with radically different views through civilized discussion of the most poignant topics and problems in society,” said Jeff Lovitt, executive director of the PASOS secretariat in Prague. “He aspired to make DIF a powerful analytical center that would produce original research and training programmes, and have an impact on politicians and public opinion across a broad spectrum of issues, including rights, security and democratic freedoms and processes. Our intention to honor his ideas and actions with this program so that others may take up his campaign for a cvil and open society.”

Kucheriv was the founder of the DIF and personally contributed a great deal to the advancement of democratic ideas in Ukraine. In the early 1990s, he understood the importance of public opinion for the development of a civic society, and DIF was the first organization to make available the results of social research to the broader public and to train journalists in understanding public opinion polling.

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