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World Bank Group;
In recent years, skills development has become a priority among developed and developing countries alike. The World Bank Group, in its quest to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity, has joined efforts with countries and multilateral development partners to ensure that individuals have access to quality education and training opportunities and that employers can find the skills they need to operate. The skills towards employability and productivity (STEP) skills measurement program is part of the World Bank's portfolio of analytical products on skills. The STEP program consists of two survey instruments that collect information on the supply and demand for skills in urban areas: a household survey and an employer survey. STEP has been implemented in waves, the first surveys being implemented in seven countries in 2012 (Bolivia, Colombia, Ghana, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR), Ukraine, Vietnam, and the Yunnan Province in China), and the second in five countries in 2013 (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kenya, and Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of (FYR)). The data presented in this publication correspond to these countries. It illustrates the similarities and differences among groups that have completed different education levels on a wide range of issues and outcomes. Section one analyzes the trajectory of skills acquisition: participation in early childhood education programs, educational attainment by gender, and participation in training and apprenticeship programs. Section two explores background conditions associated with educational attainment, including the socioeconomic status of survey respondents at age 15, the educational attainment of their parents, their households' asset levels, their health (as expressed by the presence of chronic illness), and their overall satisfaction with life. Section three covers cognitive skills: writing, numeracy, and reading (which is also evaluated through a direct reading assessment). Section four covers job-relevant skills, which are task-specific and which respondents possess or use on the job; and section five covers socio-emotional skills, using established metrics to measure personality and behavior. Section six covers the status of survey respondents in the labor market: whether they are employed, unemployed, or inactive.
European Foundation Centre (EFC);
This publication aims to provide the reader with a comparative overview of the diverse legal and fiscal environments of foundations in 40 countries across wider Europe: the 28 EU Member States, plus Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. It includes charts, draw on the basis of the updated online EFC (European Foundation Centre) Legal and Fiscal Country Profiles, which are available to download at www.efc.be. The EFC online profiles include more detailed country information and further explanation of the information presented in those charts.
European Foundation Centre (EFC);
This publication aims to provide the reader with a comparative overview of the diverse legal and fiscal environments of foundations in 40 countries across wider Europe: the 28 EU Member States, plus Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. It includes charts, draw on the basis of the updated online EFC (European Foundation Centre) Legal and Fiscal Country Profiles, which are available to download at www.efc.be. The EFC online profiles include more detailed country information and further explanation of the information presented in those charts. (Edition translated from English to Chinese)
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC);
This publication shares and analyses people's sense of threats and safety through the lens of human security. Spanning six regions of the world, it presents the accounts of people living in Afghanistan, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Zimbabwe, Ukraine, Mexico, and the Philippines. As a people-centred approach to understanding threats to people's livelihoods, safety and dignity, human security is useful as both an analytical tool and an operational approach for addressing socio-political problems.
This is the the 18th edition of Freedom House's comprehensive report on post-communist democratic governance -- highlights recent setbacks to democracy across Eurasia and the Balkans, as well as in Central Europe. Russia served as the model and inspiration for policies that have led to an uninterrupted retreat from free institutions throughout Eurasia and in 2013 brought a new and alarming level of repression. In Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and several other countries, civil society responded with remarkable resistance to repressive governance. The year also featured improved elections and peaceful transfers of power in Kosovo, Albania, and Georgia.
A study carried out on behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung by the Warsaw-based Institute of Public Affairs dispels the myth of a country made up of opposing Ukrainian- and Russian-speaking regions.
Pew Research Center;
As Russian troops remain in Ukraine's Crimea region and Crimea's Parliament has set up a secession vote, Americans
prefer the U.S. to not get too involved in the situation. By a roughly two-to-one margin (56% vs. 29%), the public says it is more important for the U.S. to not get involved in the situation with Russia and Ukraine than to take a firm stand against Russian actions.
2013 is the first year Ukraine has held the Chairmanship in Office (CIO) of the OSCE since it became a participating state in the organization in 1992. The Chairman in Office, Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs Leonid Kozhara, outlined the country's priorities for its CIO in November 2012, among which were the freedom of speech, resolving the frozen conflicts, and combating human trafficking, and acknowledged that Ukraine's own record would be under the microscope during its CIO.
Little progress has been made on many of those questions as acknowledged by Foreign Minister Kozhara in a recent editorial and in a bi-annual report issued by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Ukrainian OSCE chairmanship. According to their assessments, special attention has been paid to resolving the frozen conflicts, but few results in strengthening the freedom of speech have been realized except for the "arrangement of necessary conditions for renewal of mandate of Representative on Freedom of the Media."
Ukraine's progress in meeting its obligations to respect the freedom of expression, including to facilitate the dissemination of information and working conditions for journalists, has been mostly unsatisfactory in recent years lagging behind progress made in Moldova, Georgia, and Armenia while doing better than Azerbaijan and Belarus. In spite of the generally high quality of legislation, the reality of implementation is less impressive. Citizens may freely express their views, and collect and disseminate information, but access to free and pluralistic media and to public information held by the authorities is inadequate. Journalists' working conditions are not secure enough to work safely and remedies for violations of journalists' rights or attacks on journalists are ineffective.
The media, and especially television, is rife with hidden paid content, making it difficult for viewers to discern what news is real and what is not. Television stations are constantly juggling political and economic pressure. Adherence to journalistic standards is unsatisfactory as ethics boards are ineffective.
2013 has thus far included some meaningful efforts to improve Ukrainian media legislation following a 2-year delay in reform; the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's Parliament) enacted a law on ownership transparency of media and passed the laws on public service broadcasting and privatization of government-owned press in the first reading. Neither law has proceeded to the second reading though, raising concerns about their ultimate fate.
Access to the media for the ruling party and its allies is significantly easier, including during the electoral period, due to legislative privileges for officials and governmental bodies and their influence on government-owned media outlets. Nationwide TV channels often do not cover the opposition because of special relations between their oligarch owners and the ruling political forces. A lack of quality analytical reports on television, the Internet, and in the print press, as well as the proliferation of tabloid-style content, also limit access to good quality information and access to the media by the opposition.
Much of the local media is financially dependent on the government and thus on the ruling political forces. Ownership of TV channels is not transparent and the new law on media ownership leaves loopholes, allowing opaque ownership structures to persist across the sector. The National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting is not an independent regulatory body. Moreover, nationwide TV channels show loyalty to the government as important political events and themes, especially those relating to the political opposition, are covered inadequately or not at all.
There have been improvements in the protection of journalists' sources. Since implementation of the new Code on Criminal Proceedings, there have been no reports of police pressuring journalists to disclose their sources. Despite this progress, journalists who work for Internet media are still vulnerable.
There has been little recent progress in meeting the obligation to guarantee transparency in public affairs. Progress in the sector of access to public information, made in 2011, has stalled. The preliminary passage in 2012 of a draft law that would bring Ukrainian laws in line with model laws on access to information is a step in the right direction, but the second reading has been inexplicably put off several times and the date of its adoption is unclear.
In 2010 Freedom House released its first special report on Ukraine, "Sounding the Alarm: Protecting Democracy in Ukraine". That report, as the title suggested, warned that Ukraine was heading in the wrong direction on a number of fronts: consolidation of power in the executive branch at the expense of democratic development, a more restrictive environment for the media, selective prosecution of opposition figures, worrisome instances of intrusiveness by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), widely criticized local elections in October 2010, a pliant Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament), an erosion of basic freedoms of assembly and speech, and widening corruption. "Ukraine under President Yanukovych," last year's report warned, "has become less democratic and, if current trends are left unchecked, may head down a path toward autocracy and kleptocracy."
A year later, most of those key concerns remain, and in some cases the problems have grown considerably worse, especially in the area of selective prosecution of opposition figures and corruption. The mayoral election in Obukhiv in March was widely criticized for its alleged rigging and fraud and bodes badly for the upcoming Verkhovna Rada elections. The term "familyization" was commonly used by interlocutors, implying that President Yanukovych's family has not only benefitted personally from his presidency (see the section below on corruption) but is increasingly at the center of power and governance. Freedom House's ranking of Ukraine in its Freedom in the World 2012 report remained in the Partly Free category with a negative trend; the same assessment can be found in Freedom House's just-released "Nations in Transit."
Against this backdrop, Freedom House, with support from the Open Society Foundations' Ukrainian arm, the International Renaissance Foundation, undertook this follow-up special report on Ukraine.
Open Society Institute;
Examines the achievements and remaining issues for a program that trains health mediators as liaisons between Roma communities and health systems in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and the Ukraine. Makes program and policy recommendations.
Human Rights Watch;
This 93-page report describes Ukrainian government policies that make it impossible for cancer patients living in rural areas to get essential pain medications. While most cancer patients in cities have access to some medications, the treatment they receive is inadequate and provides only limited relief.
Open Society Foundations;
Discusses the need for global partnerships to provide palliative care in developing nations; issues for policy, drug availability, education, and implementation; and examples from the Open Society Foundations' initiative programs. Makes recommendations.