NGO “Strategies and Technologies for Effective Partnership” (NGO “STEP”) was registered as Zaporizhzhia Youth City NGO “STEP” in 2009. Since then, the organization has been actively participating in the civic processes at the local and regional level. 

We cooperate with communities, local governments and NGOs to achieve our Mission: to promote partnerships between different stakeholders at the local, regional and national levels to build a cultured, democratic, capable and human-oriented society.

What we do

Strengthen civil society and local democracy

Facilitate social dialogue at the local level

Support development projects and civic initiatives

STEP uses its expertise and raises grant funds to support Ukrainian territorial communities in their democratic, inclusive, human-oriented development. Our partners are both local NGOs with a strong demand to make their communities better and local governments that are motivated to transparent decision-making and citizen participation in development processes. We work in rural areas and small cities, which usually have less access to international funds and cooperation opportunities.

Activity portfolio

Raising the level of legal culture among the youth of Shyroke community funded by International Renaissance Foundation (November 2020 – April 2021).

The project creates environmental for secondary school students to learn about their rights and responsibilities and increase their legal awareness. Implemented in cooperation with Shyroke village community of Zaporizhzhia region and the Legal Development Network (LDN).


Learn to Discern in Schools – National Rollout funded by IREX (October 2020 – February 2021), provider of project activities: Zaporizhzhia National University – Faculty of Philology, Faculty of Journalism.

The purpose was to strengthen infomedia literacy competencies of student youth and subject teachers and help school educators integrate info- and media literacy into the teaching process. The project included 6 webinars (Media Literacy School) for students from target communities, 6 online trainings for subject teachers, creative competitions and a final Zoom forum.


Launching a free legal aid system and strengthening the legal capacity of residents in Shyroke community funded by International Renaissance Foundation (January–September 2020), provided in collaboration with Shyroke village council.

STEP used the grant support to organize the pilot system of free legal aid in 27 villages of Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine. The project activities involved onsite consultations with legal experts, legal advice campaign in local media, and launching a legal aid helpline for rural residents. Performed in cooperation with Shyroke rural amalgamated territorial community.


Strengthening Local Democratic Governance III funded by NED (November 2019 – February 2021).

The third phase aims to strengthen the capacity of local NGOs and involve them in community development processes. For this, STEP supported 8 initiatives of NGOs from Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions. Their leaders completed the online training, developed plans for local events, and implemented information campaigns.


Strengthening Democratic Governance II funded by NED (2018–2019).

The project contributed to the capacity and engagement of local civic platforms in Zaporizhzhia region. STEP selected 10 target communities to participate in the project. Their representatives built the project teams from both activists and local government officials for joint training and further implementation of joint initiatives.


Strengthening Democratic Governance funded by NED (2017–2018 ).

The project was launched to promote civic engagement and democratic governance in amalgamated communities of Zaporizhzhia region. STEP used the Endowment grant to support local initiatives that reinforce civic engagement in the decentralization process and address urgent local concerns.


Community Center for Urban Development “Zmistovno” funded by Initiatives of the Infrastructure Program for Ukraine – GIZ GmbH (2017–2018).

The project was designed to promote participatory budgeting in Zaporizhzhia and cooperation between the city residents, the local government, and other urban development stakeholders.

Other projects (2011-2020)

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 among residents of Shyroke community funded within the Humanity and Mutual Aid Program of the International Renaissance Foundation (direct purchases by the Foundation and transfer of personal protective equipment to healthcare and social workers).

Excursions in municipal transport provided together with the NGO “Platform for Joint Action” and Zaporizhia City Council. Development of audio tours for city bus routes.

Interactive space for solving local problems in cooperation with the public funded by Caritas Zaporizhia Charitable Foundation (provided in cooperation with Shyroke community).

Youth Councils in the amalgamated territorial communities, provided in collaboration with Fundacja Mapa Pasji (Poland), funded by the Polish-American Foundation for Freedom within RITA program “Changes in the Region”. Assisting rural communities of Zaporizhzhia region in establishing youth councils. The Polish-Ukrainian project team prepared the Youth Council Development Guide, which is available online (in Ukrainian).

The Government is Our Common Goal. Civil Dialogue in South-Eastern Ukraine, provided in collaboration with NGO Fundacja Miejsc i Ludzi Aktywnych (Poland). STEP organized training for local officials and activists, managed small sub-grant projects in 10 communities of Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Kherson regions and conducted the interregional conference “Public Dialogue in Ukraine – on the path between struggle and indifference.”

Advocacy Campaign for the Implementation of the New Anti-corruption Legislation by Local Authorities supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine. 

Public monitoring of the right to education for internally displaced persons funded by the International Renaissance Foundation. Conducting a sociological study “Supporting the needs and implementation of IDPs’ rights”, developing proposals for addressing the topical issues.

Public anti-corruption control for increasing financial transparency and budgetary accountability of local health departments in Zaporizhzhia region, provided in collaboration with the EIDOS Centre, funded by the International Renaissance Foundation.

Know to Act! This project of the EIDOS Centre was funded by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. As a regional partner in Zaporizhzhia, STEP provided a monitoring campaign on local budgeting, tender activities, implementation of the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Public information”.

Functional Survey of Local Authorities to Increase the Effectiveness of the State Gender Policy funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine.

Public monitoring as a basis for the transparency of public procurement funded by the International Renaissance Foundation.


In March 2021, STEP joined the Union of Ukrainian NGOs – Legal Development Network ( The actual cooperation with LDN began in 2018. The Network’s lawyers are involved as experts in STEP’s projects on legal aid and legal education.

Since 2018, we have a memorandum on cooperation with Shyroke territorial community (Shyroke village council, Zaporizhzhia region) and already implemented several joint projects, in particular, those aimed at the improvement of local policies, civic engagement, youth participation, supporting primary health care facilities in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2017, the NGO collaborates with the PAUCI Foundation ( experts within various projects. In January 2020, STEP was a partner of the International Forum of Participation Practitioners held in Poltava, Ukraine, and provided by PAUCI and the PLEDDG Project. Also, we collaborate with the Association for Communities Participatory Development, which was established with the support of the PAUCI Foundation in 2019.

Since 2010, STEP is a regional partner of the Centre of Political Studies and Analytics EIDOS ( in Zaporizhzhia. Has the successful experience of joint projects (2011-2015), particularly, within the Coalition “For Transparent Councils”.

We also cooperate with local and regional NGOs – Zaporizhzhia branch of the All-Ukrainian Initiative Active Community (Insitute Respublica), Insitute for Civil Development “Ortega y Gasset”, YES, Impulse UA. In 2020, STEP signed memorandums on cooperation with 8 NGOs operating in Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Kharkiv region within Strengthening Democratic Governance project.