Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
April 2018


Action Plan for Evaluating the Effectiveness of PRM Multilateral Partners in Ukraine to Assist Internally Displaced Persons and Prepare for the Eventual Transition from Relief to Development Recommendations

 

Evaluation Report Recommendation

PRM Response

  1. PRM should advocate for the government of Ukraine (GoU) to revoke resolution No. 637 “On welfare payments to persons displaced from the temporary occupied territory of Ukraine and antiterrorist operation conduct districts.”
The U.S. government is advocating for the payment of pensions at the highest level, including efforts by Special Representative Kurt Volker and Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
  1. PRM should advocate for the GoU to develop/introduce administrative procedures for civil registration needs for legalizing birth/death/marriage/divorce certificates received in non-government-controlled areas (NGCAs); this will reduce internally displaced persons’ (IDPs’) need to pay excessive court fees. Alternatively, PRM should advocate for the Verhovna Rada (Parliament) to review and adopt a draft Law (# 4394, April 12, 2016) “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine on Court Fees,” developed by the Legal Rights and Documents Recognition Working Group under the Ministry of Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons (MTOT), to waive court fees for processing cases on establishing the fact of birth/death of persons in the temporary occupied territories; equally, court fees could be canceled for certain categories of court issues for vulnerable, displaced, and non-displaced populations.
PRM has advocated for the GoU to introduce an administrative procedure by civil registration, which complements UN agencies’ efforts. Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice has opposed registering civil documentation issued by Russian proxy authorities through an administrative procedure, defending the existing judicial procedure. PRM will continue to coordinate with IOs to advocate for the change.
  1. PRM should advocate on the highest government level, using diplomatic resources to push Verhovna Rada to review and adopt amendments to the Law on Local Elections to exempt IDPs from the permanent residence registration requirement so that they can participate in local elections, in turn fostering local integration of IDPs. IDPs could prove their local residence by showing either local utility bill payments or their children’s school attendance certificate.
Securing the right to vote in local elections remains a priority for PRM; however, the bureau has not engaged with members of the Verhovna Rada to adopt amendments on the Law to Local Elections. PRM will seek an opportunity to work with parliamentarians to update the law.
  1. PRM should advocate for the GoU to identify, map, and utilize unused municipal properties for IDPs and other socially vulnerable groups as temporary and permanent housing given that there is a deficit of suitable housing.
PRM has worked with local governments through a grant implemented by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to provide housing to socially vulnerable groups and IDPs. As a result of this program, the Municipality of Mariupol issued a degree on January 17 to guide the assignments of housing to IDPs based on vulnerabilities. Families are assigned scores based on the number of children, whether there is a single parent, whether there are disabled members of the families, whether a family member was injured or killed as a result of Russian aggression, among other factors. The decree will be applied for the first time in the assignment of apartments under construction to be completed in July 2018. Officials from Mariupol have participated in several study trips organized by the DRC in a PRM-funded project, who told DRC employees in a February visit that the visits “have opened their eyes on many issues and most importantly on the necessity of integration projects for IDPs and their host communities.”
  1. PRM together with multilateral partners should engage the GoU to explore options such as tax waivers on the income for landlords renting to IDPs, given the need to improve the security of tenure for displaced persons living in rented accommodations.
PRM’s implementing partners and local NGOs have consistently identified housing as a key issue for displaced and vulnerable persons. However, tax waivers and other efforts to work directly with landlords have not been identified as implementable solutions.
  1. PRM should advocate to the GoU to permit all those forcibly displaced from and within conflict-affected areas in NGCAs and government-controlled areas (GCAs) to register as IDPs and allow them to benefit from compensation, in accordance with the definition of IDPs in Ukraine’s IDP Law and consistent with the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
PRM has supported UNHCR and its implementing partners who advocate with Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers to allow all those displaced by conflict to register as IDPs and collect applicable social payments. Existing law still does not allow all those displaced by conflict to register as IDPs and collect pensions.
  1. PRM together with development donors should engage the GoU to ease regulations that prevent IDPs from accessing the microcredit/loan system, and it should create favorable conditions (reducing interest rates, taxes) for those who would like to start micro-level entrepreneurial initiatives
This recommendation will be taken into consideration as PRM and its partners prioritize issues for advocacy.
  1. PRM together with the development donors should continue to advocate for and facilitate activities to harmonize IDP-related legislation, address inconsistences between policies, and advocate for the removal of legal and administrative impediments to foster IDP rights as well as the inclusion of a right to a genuine choice between three settlement options stated in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Framework on Durable Solutions for IDPs.
PRM and development donors coordinate and advocate for a wide range of policies and legislation to forward the rights of IDPs.
  1. PRM should require its partners to review their vulnerability criteria and improve prioritization of the most vulnerable. This review may include examining how to scale the income-verification process.
Active conflict in eastern Ukraine continues, and PRM’s partners are focused on delivering life-saving material to those directly affected by conflict. For assistance away for the line of contact, PRM partners continue to review vulnerability criteria to ensure that assistance is delivered to those who need it most.
  1. PRM should promote relief and development donors to support the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA’s) model of gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) assistance to sustain gains and achievements made so far. GBV remains a significant risk in conflict-affected areas of Ukraine, particularly close to the contact line and areas with a high military presence.
There currently is no effort to promote UNFPA’s model of GBV. Assistance on GBV issues is in its early stages, and PRM stands ready to promote this model.
  1. PRM should discuss with multilateral partners implementing indirectly in Non-Government-Controlled Areas (NGCAs) the effectiveness of the existing platform of operation in NGCAs to enhance effectiveness and efficiency given the complicated political and security situation in opposition-controlled areas with limited access, ability to conduct monitoring and scarcity of resources).
Provided restrictions on humanitarian access in Russian proxy controlled territory, direct implementation carries risks of misuse of U.S. funds and malfeasance. PRM partners should continue to implement directly, whenever possible, and jointly with local NGOs when not.
  1. PRM should advocate for the GoU, specifically MTOT, to inform public about internally displaced integration policy, plans, and strategies, so that displaced population is clear about the government’s policy and less fearful about their future).
PRM has funded a project implemented by the DRC to improve the MTOT’s capabilities in messaging. It is also coordinating assistance with USAID that is working to improve the MTOT’s public messaging.
  1. PRM should encourage the GoU to disseminate messages promoting national solidarity with displaced and conflict-affected populations, restore social cohesion, mitigate and dispel prejudice against IDPs, and sensitize relevant authorities and the public.
The GoU does not have a unified message to promote national solidarity with displaced and conflict-affected persons. PRM’s focus remains on advocating the government to follow through on its core responsibilities of disbursing social payments and providing services.
  1. PRM should continue to support programs that benefit the whole community, encourage collaboration and interaction between IDPs and host populations, and foster social cohesion. Provision of support to the economic pillar is key, with activities that support livelihoods offering a potential avenue to explore, for example, micro-business, start-up grants, microcredits, marketable skills development, food- and income-generating activities, etc.
PRM, through its IO partners, continues to fund and support a growing number of livelihood programs in the conflict area.
  1. PRM should advocate the GoU to develop a strategy to support durable solutions to displacement, including measures promoting medium- and long-term legal, economic, and social integration of IDPs.
PRM successfully advocated the GoU to develop and pass and IDP integration plan, which was drafted by the MTOT.
  1. PRM together with development donors and IOs should encourage the GoU to allocate adequate funding to implement the Action Plan of the Comprehensive State Program Support, Social Adaptation and Reintegration of IDPs.
PRM will continue to encourage the GoU to allocate adequate funding to implement the action plan. Funding is still insufficient.
  1. PRM should advocate for the GoU to establish a Steering Committee consisting of key government agencies, donors, multilateral organizations, international and local NGOs working on IDP issues to oversee Action Plan implementation. MTOT should be a leader in the process.
Such a steering committee is not necessarily needed. The MTOT has set up a several working groups that includes NGOs and donors, which need to be given the chance to serve the same purpose.
  1. PRM should encourage the GoU to delineate clear roles and responsibilities of multiple government ministries/agencies dealing with IDP issues.
PRM will continue to advocate for the MTOT to be empowered and funded to play a lead role on IDP issues.
  1. PRM should encourage the GoU to deliver clear national policy direction and vision on IDP integration to regional and local government administrations, and provide timely funding to ensure the inclusion of displacement-related issues into local development plans and the facilitation of IDPs’ sustainable integration.
This recommendation will be taken into consideration as PRM and its partners prioritize issues for advocacy.
  1. PRM should advocate jointly with other donors to push GoU to modernize and reform its health, education, public service, and pension system so that the quality of public services increases for all Ukrainian citizens.
This recommendation will be taken into consideration as PRM and its partners prioritize issues for advocacy.
  1. PRM should continue to increase opportunities for communication between humanitarian and development donors, such as the recently established Technical Donor Working Group to discuss and identify potential joint humanitarian-development approaches and define a common strategic framework, funding distribution, and advocacy coherence.
PRM coordinates closely with both humanitarian and development donors, and will continue to do so.
  1. During a hybrid humanitarian/development situation, PRM should conduct information-sharing meetings with partners to provide an opportunity for partners and PRM to gain perspectives on potential humanitarian-development linkages, clarify funding updates, and understand PRM’s strategy. Additionally, the meeting could provide a platform for partners to exchange lessons learned and discuss challenges and potential solutions to improve the effectiveness of the response. It is recommended that a similar meeting (or perhaps jointly with multilateral partners) be conducted with international and local NGOs.
PRM maintains close contact with U.S. donors and international donors to coordinate assistance and efforts. These efforts include individual meetings and PRM participation in UN organized coordination meetings at the national and local level.

U.S. Department of State

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