Comprehensive state policy will help provide livelihood support to the war-affected more effectively — the Aspen Institute Kyiv holding of seminar under the “Relief for Ukraine: Ecosystem of Support for Ukrainians” Program

Clear and understandable rules and comprehensive state policies that help to address various challenges are among the most effective ways to achieve positive results in humanitarian aid provision.

On February 10, 2024, the Aspen Institute Kyiv held a seminar, “Support for War-Affected Ukrainians: Coordination and Interaction.” The Institute organizes one-day events under the “Relief for Ukraine: Ecosystem of Support for Ukrainians” Program, initiated by CORE Response and supported by the American Red Cross. Their goal is to engage the main stakeholders in the field of livelihood support in discussing possible ways to develop a humanitarian response in Ukraine and to provide more effective support for war-affected Ukrainians.

Coordination of humanitarian aid at the state level

Participants paid particular attention to the role of the state in establishing sustainable processes that would contribute to practical assistance for war-affected Ukrainians:

  1. Streamlining the legislative framework, developing state policies and methodologies for needs assessment, and building a comprehensive ecosystem would allow for more effective livelihood support for war-affected Ukrainians. It is also vital to delineate the roles of the state, businesses, and civil society.
  1. There is a need to standardize the definition of humanitarian and charitable aid and synchronize them with international standards.
  2. Systematic work at the national level with donors will ensure more efficient provision of livelihood support for war-affected Ukrainians, especially during wartime.
  3. The government should involve communities in building the provision of a humanitarian assistance ecosystem familiar with the local situation concerning livelihood support.

Digital innovations in the livelihood support sphere.

It is also essential to digitize processes for their verification, systematization, and ensuring security:

  • Digitization of registries of recipients and providers of livelihood support can address the challenge of verifying those in need. Additionally, digitization can help to determine the priority of needs. Also, the effectiveness of humanitarian response can be enhanced by zoning territories to provide livelihood support: rear, support, near-frontline, and combat zones.

Crisis management and response speed

Due to the war, it is essential to be able to restructure processes quickly, including at the national level, for effective addressing of challenges:

  • Livelihood support should facilitate the return of affected individuals to active social life and productive activities. It is also crucial for livelihood support to focus on society’s recovery and self-sufficiency, not just survival. 
  • Rapid crisis management is crucial for adequate humanitarian aid provision, especially during wartime; peacetime protocols cannot adequately respond to challenges.
  • Alongside providing livelihood support, Ukraine needs to develop the market for social services.
  • One of the challenges is the so-called “last-mile problem,” where war-affected individuals cannot access livelihood support, for example, due to a lack of delivery from warehouses and their limited mobility. This can be addressed through improved coordination and the development of social services.

Additionally, participants discussed the feasibility of establishing a state agency to deal with humanitarian aid issues for the war-affected. Some expressed that establishing clear rules of the game is the state’s prerogative, while the state’s role in distributing humanitarian aid should be lessened.

The Aspen Institute’s Kyiv team thanks the participants for their productive dialogue and high engagement in discussing the seminar’s topics.

We plan two more seminars under the “Relief for Ukraine: Support Ecosystem for Ukrainians” Program. Applications are currently open via the link.

The “Relief for Ukraine: Support Ecosystem for Ukrainians” Program is implemented by Aspen Institute Kyiv, initiated by CORE Response, and supported by the American Red Cross.