Supporting democratic progress in Ukraine.

IFES Ukraine

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Academic Conference “The Role of Money in Ukrainian Politics and Elections”

On November 25-26, IFES, in cooperation with Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, organized an academic conference “The Role of Money in Ukrainian Politics and Elections”.

The event provided a platform for Ukrainian and international academics to engage in a discussion about key issues related to political and campaign finance in Ukraine, with particular consideration of the recent 2019 presidential and early parliamentary elections. The conference brought together Ukrainian academics, international political finance experts, OSCE/ODIHR election monitoring experts, civil society organizations representatives and students.


“The event provided an excellent opportunity to analyze different key roles that money had in the recent Ukrainian elections. Academic reviews ranged from the prevalence of media advertising to misuse of administrative resources and the size of different candidate’s election funds”, – summarized IFES Senior Political Finance Adviser Magnus Ohman.

During the conference, selected authors presented their papers and received constructive feedback from international political finance experts. Based on the submitted papers, the conference focused on the following aspects of political finance reform in Ukraine:

  • Campaign finance in national elections;
  • Ukrainian political finance in comparative context;
  • Media and political finance;
  • Political finance and local politics;
  • Gender analysis of Ukrainian political finance;
  • Lessons learned from the 2019 presidential and early parliamentary elections and recommendations for the upcoming 2020 local elections.

The conference also featured a public discussion “Lessons Learned from the 2019 Elections: Assessing the Role of Money in Ukrainian Politics” to foster constructive dialogue among a broader audience.


“During two days, I realized the real complexity of the very important issue for Ukraine – campaign finance. The participation of foreign guests allowed me to experience the academic level of the event as they aptly illustrated the similarities of political finance context in Ukraine and worldwide”, said Lyudmyla Yuzva, participant of the conference.

Drawing on lessons learned from the conference, IFES and OSCE/ODIHR will contribute to developing joint recommendations for legal, procedural and behavioral reform that will be incorporated into a follow-up report.

The conference “The Role of Money in Ukrainian Politics and Elections” is a part of IFES’ efforts to support Ukrainian academics in researching political finance issues and lays the foundation for future similar events following the October 2020 local elections.