Displacement and housing crisis. The war has caused the largest displacement in Europe since the Second World War, both outside and inside Ukraine. This has triggered the biggest housing crisis in Ukraine since it became independent in 1991. Most of the internally displaced people (IDPs) live in private rental housing that is inadequately regulated and does not provide enough protection of tenants’ rights. Due to the post-Soviet mass privatisation of the housing stock and subsequent policies incentivising homeownership, there is an imbalanced tenure structure and a lack of public housing to accommodate all the people in need.

Employment and reskilling. Due to the economy’s changes, reorientation, and displacement, there is a need to increase productivity, match potential employees with employment opportunities, and combat discrimination in the labour market (especially for older adults). The education system does not provide enough opportunities for reskilling, especially through short-term programs available for unemployed people.

Educational losses and inequalities. The COVID-19 pandemic and the war have disrupted the education process, resulting in educational losses. This has exacerbated the educational inequalities that existed before the war. Due to the ineffective school network, children from rural areas demonstrate significantly worse academic results than those from urban areas. The need to combine offline and online formats has increased the workload of teachers.

Social services and psychological support. Displacement, injuries, and the return of veterans to civilian life increase the need for social services in communities. The lack of capacities of social centres and kindergartens forces working-age persons, especially women, to leave the labour market and provide care work, resulting in a loss of skills and an increasing gender pay gap. The war increases the need for psychological support. In contrast, the capacity of the existing system of such support does not meet the need, and prejudices towards psychological support are common in society.

Working conditions of key workers and public servants. In the key social sectors, including education and social services provision, employees face low salaries and heavy workloads, leading to emotional burnout among existing staff and difficulties in hiring new personnel. The public sector generally faces these challenges, resulting in  significant limitations in national and local governments’ capacity to make and implement public policies.

Different experiences of living through the war. People have different experiences of living through the war based on participating in armed resistance, volunteering, being displaced, having relatives killed, etc. Socioeconomic status may also influence these experiences. Psychoemotional and economic challenges faced by the country may lead to misunderstandings between people. In the case of the need for difficult political decisions, this may cause conflicts in society, the rise of political populism, and distrust in the state and its course of European integration.

Lack of capacity of state institutions. Staff shortages, low salaries, and heavy workloads in the public sector limit the state’s capacity. The ongoing processes of reforms in many sectors, including the unfinished decentralisation reform, the impact of the war, and the ambitious goals of European integration make governance difficult, especially in light of Russian misinformation campaigns and hybrid warfare.

Vulnerability of civil society organisations. Most Ukrainian NGOs lack core funding and depend heavily on project-based short-term financing. While most of the onsite response to the challenges of the war is done by national and local NGOs, a disproportionate share of administrative expenses is accounted for by international NGOs or international organisations with ineffective bureaucracy and context-insensitive solutions.


  1. Develop a system of long-term social housing with municipal providers capable of financially sustainable management of social housing.
  2. Introduce better regulation of the private rental market to provide tenants with working mechanisms to protect their rights, including the housing ombudsperson.
  3. Create short-term educational programs for retraining that are affordable for different social groups, including unemployed people, internally displaced people, and veterans.
  4. Introduce employment assistance programs adapted to the needs of older adults and eliminate disincentives for their employment.
  5. Continue the secondary education reform, focusing on dealing with educational losses and overcoming educational inequalities by optimising the school network.
  6. Build or renovate bomb shelters in education institutions and create digital education centres in areas where permanent offline education is impossible.
  7. Develop the capacities of municipal centres that provide social services, including sufficient staff, premises, and transport.
  8. Support the development of municipal provision of psychological support services and psychological support in education institutions in particular.
  9. Revise the number of staff in the public sector and hire enough personnel needed to deliver the required level of public services.
  10. Improve working conditions and the amount of remuneration for public servants and key workers in the public sector.
  11. Ensure public participation and engagement of civil society in decision-making processes at national and local levels.
  12. Renovate the existing network of local cultural institutions into community-building centres promoting understanding, solidarity and justice within society.
  13. Enhance the state system of statistics collection, policy analysis and evaluation to strengthen evidence-based policymaking.
  14. Provide Ukrainian civil society organisations with core institutional funding to ensure their long-term sustainability beyond short-term projects.
  15. Implement humanitarian and development programs in Ukraine through Ukrainian national civil society organisations rather than international organisations.
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