Ella Lamakh

Director Democracy Development Centre Ukraine

Region(s): Europe
Country of focus: Ukraine
Based in Kyiv

Ella Lamakh is a social policy expert and women’s rights advocate.  She  heads the Democracy Development Center, an NGO based in Kyiv, Ukraine. After Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022 she began working in Western Ukraine helping organize support for internally displaced people.

The Centre announced in February 2023 that Ella had become the Ukraine country director of  Compassion Is Life, a program to help Ukrainian children who have remained in distressed areas of Ukraine and need support.

For more than 25 years, she has worked in international organizations on implementing and managing social policy program activities in cooperation with the government and NGOs. The focus has been on effective Ukrainian legislation on family, gender policies, prevention of violence and trafficking in human beings, and gender issues in HIV/AIDS services.

She has worked in advocacy campaigns on women’s rights and gender policy, children’s rights and implementation of the Women Peace and Security agenda of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. She is a member of the working group for the National Action Plan to implement the resolution in Ukraine. The Democracy Development Center also works with young women peace builders and with local women’s initiatives in Donetska, Luhanska, Khersonsla, Lvivska, and Volynska oblasts.

For the last six years, she has concentrated on development of social policies, programs and services for self-governing local bodies.

She has developed and conducted training programs for NGO leaders, public servants and local authorities on good governance, public communication in decision making, advocacy and communications skills, liquid democracy, human rights advocacy and civil initiatives.

Since 2004, she has worked with the Verkhovna Rada Committees to update and promote the law On Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men in Ukraine. She developed and coordinated the adoption process for the National Program on gender equality under the Law on Equal Rights.

As a Fulbright scholar (September 2015 – May 2016), Ella was a fellow at the Kennan institute. The research topic was ‘American Experience for Ukraine in development of social security system for war veterans and their families’.