IFES is a leader in the field of public opinion research in Ukraine. Since 1994, IFES has conducted 29 nationwide public opinion surveys in the country, examining socio-political issues, and attitudes toward elections and democracy, among other topics.
The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine is an existential threat to the country and its status as a free and democratic nation-state. Ukraine’s government institutions, which recently held successful local and national elections and transfers of power in 2019 and 2020 regarded by key international stakeholders as demonstrating significant democratic progress, now face a critical challenge of operating in a wartime environment. IFES is supporting Ukraine’s electoral management bodies and civil society so that they can continue to provide services to Ukrainian internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.
IFES, which is continuing to operate in Ukraine, has taken several steps to protect its staff and partners from the Russian-led war, such as supporting relocation efforts, providing shelter and enabling ongoing communication. IFES has issued or joined six statements of solidarity with the Ukrainian people denouncing the aggression of the Russian Federation. Through ongoing and new initiatives, IFES focuses on the following areas of support:
- Support to Civic Educators: Many universities in Ukraine have moved online and are continuing classes. IFES is planning to support select-university professors in continuing to teach the IFES-designed Democracy: From Theory to Practice civics course during the 2022 spring semester.
- Rapid Assistance on Key Pillars of Ukrainian Democracy: IFES is supporting Ukrainian institutions, including the Central Election Committee and Ministry of Digital Transformation, by providing advice on crisis management during the war, how to provide information to voters, including in accessible formats for people with disabilities, and supporting internally displaced persons.
- Support to Disability Communities: IFES is working with disabled persons organizations in Ukraine to enable them to provide direct assistance and address immediate needs of persons with disabilities, a particularly vulnerable population, to the Ukrainian governments and international aid agencies.
- Support to IDPs and Refugees: IFES is building on its previous work with IDPs by supporting nongovernmental organizations in Ukraine to provide direct services to disabled populations affected by the war. IFES also intends to work with local self-government and local executive bodies to advocate for IDPs’ rights, access to services and information.