13 October 2016, 19:00
Ukrainian Institute, 79 Holland Park, London W113SW
The talk will be in English and will be moderated by Marina Pesenti, Director of the Ukrainian Institute.
Ukraine has been in receipt of foreign funding for over two decades, coming from individual governments, as well as from international organosations, such as IMG, World Bank, ENRD and others. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s “reform process” seems to be unending. What impact has been achiebed with this money? How much coordination is there between funders? What have donors and recipients learnt in the process? The talk at the Ukrainian Institute will feature Duncan Leitch, the authour of a book “Illusions of Donors and Disillusions of Recipients,” and Diane Chandler, the author of a novel “The Road to Donetsk”, exploring the impact pf foreign aid in Ukraine.
Diane Chandler worked at the European Commission in Brussels for several years, where she managed overseas aid programmes in Ukraine just after the fall of communism. Ukraine soon worked its way into her heart, and she travelled there extensively. Back in London, when Diane married and her daughter was born, she was able to pursue her passion for writing in those few hours she could snatch, and she chose Ukraine as a setting. The Road to Donetsk is her first novel and won The People’s Book Prize for Fiction 2016. Her next novel Moondance, about a career woman battling with IVF, is out in October. More on the book here. Diane Chandler’s FB profile is here.
Duncan Leitch worked in senior management in UK local government before being invited to Russia and Ukraine in the early 1990s to advise on public service reform following the demise of the Soviet Union. From 2000 to 2013 Duncan lived and worked in Ukraine for six months a year under contract to the British government, the EU and other donors, including lengthy periods living in the cities of Luhansk and Zaporizhia. In the spring of 2016 he published a book ‘The Illusions of Donors and the Disillusion of Beneficiaries’, a reflection on his experience as an international adviser to the Government of Ukraine. Ukraine has become Duncan’s second home and he considers himself to be a Ukrainian patriot!
The event will include sale of both books and an autograph signing sessions, and will be followed by a wine reception.