The Second Annual Ukrainian Aid Leadership Conference

Refugees International was proud to once again co-organize the Ukrainian Aid Leadership Conference in Kyiv (March 15, 2024) as a part of its ongoing support for the Alliance of Ukrainian CSOs.

Read the July 2024 post-conference Update from 16 of the co-organizers in English here and in Ukrainian here.


9:00-9:45 – Registration & Coffee

9:45-10:00 – Welcome from The Alliance of Ukrainian CSOs (Dovzhenko 3 Hall)

  • Mila Leonova, Acting Director, Alliance UA CSO
  • Alliance UA CSO Founding Members

10:00-10:20 – Iryna Vereshchuk, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, Government of Ukraine

10:20-10:25 – Online address from Denise Brown, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Ukraine

10:25-11:50 – Plenary Panel One: “Partnerships, Leadership and Policy Influence”

  • The Humanitarian aid architecture in Ukraine – creators, roles and resources. What do we know about each other, what are our common interests and challenges? How can we empower each other?
  • What does localization mean and how can it be achieved through genuine and equitable partnerships? What does this look like? 
  • How can a joint localization roadmap help build relationships between stakeholders to move faster and work more efficiently for people in need?
  • What does being a leader mean in a locally-led humanitarian response?


  • Tetiana Stawnychy, President, Caritas Ukraine
  • Lizz Harrison, Emergency Programme Manager, The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development 


  • Tetiana Lomakina, Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Barrier-Free Environment, Government of Ukraine
  • Jeff Lehrer, Acting Deputy Mission Director, The United States Agency for International Development/Ukraine
  • Oksana Kuiantseva, Board Member and Humanitarian Program Manager, Vostok SOS
  • Anna Miedviedieva, Partnership Technical Lead, People in Need Ukraine
  • Larysa Polska, Chairman of the Board, The Kherson Community Foundation “Protection”

12:00-13:15 – Plenary Panel Two: “Coordination, Participation & Complementarity

  • Overcoming the consequences of war through solidarity. What does effective communication and coordination at the national and local levels look like? How should we account for representation, empowerment, decision-making and connecting to those most impacted by the war?
  • How can a locally-led humanitarian response architecture address war-induced humanitarian needs through a strengthened, streamlined, and more predictable public-private partnership structure?
  • Сharting the future: Transitioning from a humanitarian response to early recovery and development. What are the components of a coherent, coordinated, cross–cutting approach at all levels (access to information, participation in decision-making and design, access to funding, and a recognition of all stakeholders)?


  • Illya Kletskovskyy, Deputy Director General, Red Cross Ukraine
  • Jeremy Konyndyk, President, Refugees International


  • Sarah Hilding der Weduwen, Head of Office, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 
  • Viktoriya Viktorivna Baltser, Head of the Board, Community Foundation of Voznesensk 
  • Joanna Garbalinska, Director, Humanitarian NGO Platform in Ukraine
  • Dina Urich, Head of Direct Aid Ukraine and Board Member, Helping To Leave

13:15-14:15 – Lunch

14:15-15:30 – Plenary Panel Three: “Funding and Capacity”

  • Meeting the challenge of insufficient resources for the humanitarian response: Making the best use of resources available through cooperation, localization and innovations
  • Strengthening and sharing capacity between Ukrainian and international NGOs, the private sector, the government and the UN system. How and what can we learn from each other?


  • Lesia Ogryzko, Deputy Chief of Party at United States Agency for International Development project “Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity,” The Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia”
  • Pawel Mania, Deputy Director, Humanitarian Leadership Academy


  • Charlene Woolley, Head Humanitarian, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Government of the United Kingdom
  • Sasha Galkin, Director, Right To Protection
  • Daria Rybalchenko, Chairman of the Board, National Network for Local Philanthropy Development
  • David White, Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • Ihor Liski, Founder and chairman of the supervisory board of the group of companies “Effective Investments” (EFI Group)

15:45-17:00 – Breakout Dialogue Sessions (off the record/not broadcast)

  • “How do we strengthen partnerships and coordination between Ukrainian CSOs and International actors?”

Breakout Room #1 – Donors & Ukrainian CSOs (Dovzhenko 3 Hall)


  • Carly Ziska, Partnership Advisor, Concern
  • Dina Volynets, Head of Supervisory Board, Your Support


  • Alyona Krytsuk, Co-Founder, Brave To Rebuild
  • Alice Hooper, Humanitarian Adviser, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Government of the United Kingdom
  • Mario Trutmann, Humanitarian Policy and Protection Officer, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • Oleksandr Pakholiuk, Head of the Department for Attracting Social Investments and Partnerships, MHP-Gromadi
  • Leslie Anne Schafer, Ukraine Crisis DART Deputy Leader, The United States Agency for International Development/Ukraine

Breakout Room #2 – INGOS & Ukrainian CSOs (Dovzhenko 1)


  • Karolina Soliar, Coordinator of Advocacy Campaigns, National Network for Local Philanthropy Development
  • Yulia Tymchyk, Partnerships Support & Resource Coordinator, Nonviolent Peaceforce


  • Sonia Khush, Country Director, Save the Children
  • Chris Palusky, Ukraine Multi-Country Response Director, World Vision
  • Liza Baran, Deputy Country Director, Mercy Corps
  • Larysa Bayda, Program Director, National Assembly of People with Disabilities of Ukraine
  • Yuliia Sporysh, Founder, NGO Girls

Breakout Room #3 – UN Agencies & Ukrainian CSOs (Dovzhenko 2)


  • Kseniia Ginchuk, Deputy Director NGO Resource Center
  • David Fisher, Head of Country Office Ukraine, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies


  • Yunesti Handayani, Senior Programme Officer, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Anna Nishnianidze, Co-Founder, Philanthropy in Ukraine
  • Mona Fetouh, Chief of Evaluation, UNICEF Ukraine

17:00-17:30 – Plenary Closing Session: “Summary of Views and Key Findings from the Breakouts”

  • Alliance UA CSO Founding Members

About the Alliance UA CSO

The 1st National Workshop on Localizing Humanitarian Aid in Ukraine was held on February 17, 2023, in Kyiv. The participants formed the basis of the initiative group, which held its first meeting in May, identifying common interests and joint action. The Alliance of Ukrainian Civil Society Organizations (Alliance UA CSO) officially launched in September 2023 with 16 founding organizations signing onto the Manifesto

Members of the Alliance UA CSO are Ukrainian organizations who engage in the overall aid response, help to develop civil society and its capacity at the national and local levels, strengthen the culture of philanthropy, engage in networking and also contribute to initiatives to build democracy in Ukraine. Through these pathways, our Alliance community promotes the localization of humanitarian action and contributes to strengthening the capacity of all stakeholders involved in this process, enabling them to work together as partners now and in the future during early recovery and the reconstruction of Ukraine. 

By joining with international partners, the Alliance UA CSO also creates a space for complementary partnerships to jointly develop approaches to humanitarian challenges and promote local partners’ roles as leading actors in the response, putting localization and Ukrainian aid leadership into practice. We believe that such cooperation is an opportunity to learn from each other and to build lasting partnerships based on trust and respect which ultimately benefit Ukrainians in need.

The 2nd Annual Aid Leadership Conference was co-organized by: Alliance UA CSO, Refugees International, CAFOD, The Humanitarian NGO Platform, OCHA, Nonviolent Peaceforce and People In Need (PIN) Ukraine. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) provided primary financial support for the conference as well as UK Aid which provided additional funding.