Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development Program

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Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development Program

A new 7-week training program for Ukrainian practitioners and policymakers

About the Program

CDDRL’s Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development (SU-DD) Program, formerly the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, is a 7-week training program for Ukrainian practitioners and policymakers. Launching in the autumn of 2022, SU-DD provides a unique opportunity for up to 10 mid-career practitioners working on well-defined projects aimed at strengthening Ukrainian democracy, enhancing human development, and promoting good governance.
  • Overview
  • Program Components
  • How to Apply
  • Contact Us


Pro-Ukrainian protesters in front of the White House in Washington, DC

SU-DD builds on some of the successes of our Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, which was housed at CDDRL beginning in 2017. Since then, CDDRL has hosted 12 Ukrainian fellows across 4 cohorts. SU-DD aspires to multiply this success and increase our impact in Ukraine in a number of ways:

  • First, we seek to make the experience of Ukrainian fellows at Stanford more structured and impactful by requiring them to devise focused projects as part of the application, and then by working with our faculty before they arrive at Stanford to further refine these projects so that they can provide actionable solutions to current challenges for Ukrainian democracy and human development.
  • Second, by shortening the length of the program to a maximum of 7 weeks at Stanford, we can bring more Ukrainian policy influencers to campus and be more impactful with developmental solutions as a result.
  • Finally, by including the Ukrainian fellows in CDDRL's Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program, we seek to create connections, synergies, and a deeper understanding of shared development problems and solutions from a variety of country contexts. This program will also expand the network for our Ukrainian fellows to draw upon as they continue their work to strengthen democracy and development when they leave Stanford.

Program Components

Pro-Ukrainian protesters

The SU-DD Fellows program has five components:

  1. Each Fellow will come to Stanford with a well-defined project that can be further developed and refined while at Stanford. Proposed projects should be aimed at actionable ways to strengthen Ukrainian democracy, promote its recovery from Russia’s invasion, and promote economic development and good governance. Projects could range from those aimed at the reconstruction of territories decimated by Russian occupation and invasion (like delivering vaccinations in war-torn regions, or providing potable water to communities where there is none) to issues designed to strengthen democratic governance (like devising new legislation for local, regional or national governments on electoral conduct, or bolstering mechanisms to combat corruption, for example) or ensuring cyber safety throughout the country. These are merely examples, however, and proposed projects could range among a host of other issues that are crucial to Ukraine’s continued development.
  2. In the spring before their arrival at Stanford, the group of Ukrainians selected for this program will participate in a short online class with CDDRL faculty designed to assist in the definition and refinement of their proposed project.
  3. Each Fellow will begin the SU-DD program by joining CDDRL’s three-week Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program where they not only take compressed classes with Stanford faculty but also interact and learn with peers from other countries in transition who face similar developmental challenges. DHSF is a three-week on-campus training program that traditionally begins in mid-July.
  4. After the completion of their participation in the DHSF program, the Ukrainians chosen for the SU-DD program will stay at Stanford for up to an additional four weeks working with faculty mentors on an implementation plan for their specific project. 
  5. Upon completion of their stay at Stanford, SU-DD fellows will return home to implement their projects with the continued assistance of mentors at Stanford.

How to Apply

Pro-Ukrainian protesters

Applicants to the SU-DD program will use the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program (DHSF) application portal to apply. Applications are open now and are due by 5:00 pm PT on January 15, 2023. Click the links below to get started or learn more about the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program.

If you are a Ukrainian interested in being considered for the SU-DD program, please indicate your interest on the online DHSF application. You will then be directed to a supplemental application for the SU-DD program. The supplemental application will ask some additional questions specific to the SU-DD program, including requiring a detailed description of your proposed project.

Stanford asks all applicants to be prepared to contribute towards the cost of their participation in the program if they are selected, though some need-based funding is also available.

Note: The Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program remains open to Ukrainian applicants who are interested in participating in ONLY the 3-week DHSF program, and not the SU-DD program as well. That is, SU-DD is not the only avenue by which a Ukrainian may apply or be included in DHSF.

Contact Us

For inquiries, please contact us at

Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development Program
c/o Stanford Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law
616 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305-6055


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