Engaging and Informing on Capitol Hill

When a group of graduate students attending meetings on Capitol Hill were told that there is a need for more policy-oriented information on Ukraine, they sprung into action. Led by Razom volunteer Mykola Murskyj, a team of writers came together to create the report titled U.S. Policy on Ukraine: Challenges and Opportunities. The team expects to release the 100+ page report by the end of February 2017.


“Our objective is to engage and inform policymakers about Ukraine so that they build policy that continues to help Ukraine become stronger and more prosperous,” explained Mykola Murskyj.


Policymakers need more high-quality content about Ukraine so they can make informed decisions. By providing a document that gives background and tailored recommendations, the team gives members of Congress and their staff information they can use. Part I of the report will introduce a primer on Ukraine and on U.S. policy toward Ukraine. For Part II, we asked both Ukrainian and American experts to write the sections, which take a deeper dive into specific policy issues. But the project does not stop there.


Instead of working on their own, then revealing the findings and hoping the final copies would not gather dust on shelves of Senators and Representatives, the team took an open approach — over recent months, they met with policy experts and staff to share drafts of the report as they were producing it.  With individual staffers discussing the ideas in the report, they take an active role in thinking about the issues. The volunteers expect that such deeper engagement will lead to a better understanding of the issues surrounding US policy towards Ukraine which will mean better legislation in the long run.


One measure of success is the number of meaningful conversations about Ukraine the team will have with staffers. Some of those are in a formal setting in an office building, but some will be over a beer at a bar. The team wants to make connections and make Ukraine real and relevant to people on the Hill.



The final report will be published online and a limited number of print copies will be produced and distributed to each member of Congress. Volunteers will continue to meet with policymakers and use the report as a tool for discussions.


Backstory: The Group for Tomorrow’s Ukraine brought together young professionals and grad students who organized a Ukraine Trek to give participants first-hand impressions of Ukraine. Once they saw the need for writing a report, they approached Razom and asked to blend efforts so they could focus on writing the report.


Make it happen: The entire project team is very grateful to the individual donors who have already contributed to fund the launch event and publication of the report. Donate to Razom and make it possible to print up more copies of the report.


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