Fighting corruption on a learning curve : the evolution of Ukrainian civil society since 2004
Ukraine’s battle with its deeply rooted corruption has been ongoing since the country achieved independence in 1991. At the forefront of this fight have been Ukraine’s civil society organizations, advocating for reform, monitoring politicians, and organizing two anti-corruption protest movements that became the Orange Revolution (2004) and the Euromaidan (2013-2014). The purpose of this report is to examine Ukrainian anti-corruption CSOs and the factors that have influenced their development between 2004 to the present day. Rather than compare Ukraine’s post-revolution periods as isolated entities, however, this paper examines the two transitional phases through one connected, chronological “learning curve” framework. By following the simultaneous evolution of CSOs and the external actors that impact them, this report finds that the “lessons” of the past have helped shape the predominantly positive developments for anti-corruption CSOs in the post-Euromaidan period. Despite growing pains stemming from an overreliance on Western funding, CSOs have expanded and become more cooperative, sustainable, influential, and consolidated anti-corruption actors at the national level.