This article focuses on the development of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the post-Soviet country of Ukraine. Since the Soviet Union collapsed only 2 decades ago, civil society organizations have grown numerically, but are they making a difference in the lives of the citizens? Data from other former Soviet states show mixed results. Ukraine has a legacy of mistrust and distrust of NGOs; as it looks to engage with Western, industrialized countries and the global economy, there are both internal and external pressures for and against more democratic institutions. The hundreds of thousands who demonstrated in December 2013 and early 2014 show that the direction of this emerging democratic state is still in flux. Will Ukraine continue to re-align with the Russian influences to its east or will its government increase connections with the European Union and other western political and economic institutions? These decisions will have an impact on NGOs.
Key words: Civil society, competencies, growth, leadership, development.