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Information about foundation

 

Democratic Initiatives Foundation

Suite 18, 43-B, Olesya Honchara St., Kyiv, 01034, Ukraine

tel/fax (380 44) 581-3317, tel (380 44) 234-8046

E-mail: dif@dif.org.ua

www.dif.org.ua

 

Democratic Initiatives Foundation has grown from the Ukrainian citizens movement –Narodny Rukh in 1992 to pursue the ideas of Rukh activists on developing Ukrainian independent state and governance, market economy and civil society.

Since then the Democratic Initiatives Foundation works with the mission to support Ukraine’s transition towards a fully functioning democracy, better governance, market economy and development of civil society in Ukraine.

DIF makes a significant contribution to Ukraine’s democratization and liberalization by:

• Identifying, formulating and proposing solutions to previously invisible societal problems
• encouraging an informed political process, a free press, and empirical political science;
• building the professionalism and knowledge of policy makers, civil society leaders, journalists, and academia in Ukraine;
• aiding the process of democratic integration by making Ukraine more understandable to the West and embracing Euro-Atlantic values.

To achieve its mission DIF focuses at putting important societal issues to public mainstream, researching them, informing and networking with stakeholders, developing recommendations for policy makers and public in general. Activities included conducting sociological surveys on social, economic and political issues and issues of Euro-Atlantic integration; disseminating the results among journalists and wider public; conducting exit-polls to assure free and fair elections; by publishing research finding and analytical works of DIF’s authors in journals, books and Internet and providing education for journalists and decision makers. The approach was strategically reasonable as the need for withstanding antidemocratic regime was a priority for civil society till 2004. In general DIF actively looked for the systemic change in the post-communist society.

For the years Democratic Initiatives Foundation has acquired a reputation as a highly respected research and education organization and credible source of information. DIF’s track record include more than 200 accomplished researches, hundreds of analytical publications, several Internet resources, more than 1500 recipients of press-releases and briefs sent regularly, etc.

Democratic Initiatives Foundation works in close partnership with organizations in Ukraine and from around the world who share its mission of developing Ukraine’s democratic society.

Since 1994 the DIF has co-initiated the creation of NGOs coalition for free and fair election in Ukraine. Since then coalition works as a network and traditional means of citizens’ elections control. DIF is a member of Public Advisory Councils (independent citizens bodies created within each government office) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Parliamentarian Committee of European Integration; is a member of the Expert Council within Ukrainian part of the Committee on Cooperation between Ukraine and EU (headed by the Prime Minister of Ukraine). DIF is a member of the All Ukrainian Public Monitoring Committee. Since September 2002 DIF has became a supporter of the Democratic League – an NGO association that furthers democratic processes in Ukraine.

DIF pioneered think tank movement in Ukraine by its founding and initiating conference “Think tanks and government”, think tank community internet resource http://intellect.org.ua, initiative “Dialog and Cooperation” among think tanks and government in Ukraine since 2000.

DIF has directly impacted to policy change when conducted first unbiased exit-poll during President’s elections in 2004, which provided the evidence for elections fraud and completely changed political landscape in Ukraine becoming the key argument for Orange Revolution. Since then exit-polls are the necessary elements of political culture to assure free and fair elections as an instrument of voters civil society control in Ukraine. DIF also supported exit-polls introducing to Georgia in 2008. Another example of DIF’s policy impact is Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, in which DIF provides research, information, communication and recommendations for Ukrainian government. Starting 12 years ago as an independent NATO civil support center DIF is recognized now as a reliable policy analysis source and messenger in developing government communication campaign on NATO.

Several of the most eminent economists, sociologists and political analysts in Ukraine serve as members of the analytical staff at DIF. These analysts are recognized individuals in the academic community whose research has been published in monographs, journals, daily newspapers, and regularly used in the radio and television media. Several prominent political and economic journalists also regularly contribute to DIF’s analysis of Ukraine’s socio-political and economic situation. The diverse experience of its staff allows DIF to provide qualitative policy analysis and propose policy options.

In recent years DIF focused its strategy at growing capacity of national think tank by adding to its services advocating the policy and agenda of civil society development and its cooperation with Ukrainian government. In the last DIF’s Strategic plan the attention is paid to ensuring a system of democratic governance and sustainable institutional growth.

In January of 2003 DIF amended its long-term programming strategy by including a new component, namely informing public opinion with regard to Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration. In 2006 DIF has conducted strategic planning and new strategy will be focused on developing instruments and methods of public policy impact on the basis of analysis and using the capacity of the local and international networks of civil society organizations. By this DIF will enhance its capacity of think tank and build on its 15 years research, networking and information experience.
   


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