The research was conducted by the Social Research Center of Sumy State University in October-November 2022. It concerned households in 5 rayons of the Sumy Region whose residents are currently staying at home or have evacuated since the full-scale Russian invasion.
Totally, the Google Form polls covered 655 households of the Sumy Region (with staying or evacuated citizens).
The regional population structure shows that 76.4% of households are regarded as vulnerable. About 44% comprise one or more able-bodied family members that are being unemployed (31.8% – one person; 10.1% – two persons; 2.9% – over two persons).
Within 19.2% of households, there are displaced citizens (including those moving abroad). For them, 6.1% are single persons, 6.6% are couples, 6.6% are groups of three or more people.
The war displacement raised the population leak significantly. For the whole invasion period, 25.3% of households have moving family members. The highest displacement rate is detected in the Okhtyrka, Sumy and Shostka Rayons (54.4%, 30.9% and 25.8%, respectively). Among them, females (19.1%) and females with children (15.3%) prevail.
Meanwhile, the return tendency is also traced. So far, up to 40% of displaced families came back to the region. Besides, 31% of households are going to return soon.
Simultaneously, 19% of displaced people are not planning to come back. Within this group, 12% will stay abroad, 7% will stay in other Ukrainian regions.
The safety and livelihood are the main factors to increase the return desire. 44% will return in case of partial safety improvement. 26% will come back only if the war is completely over. 13% will return provided that they can find job in their community. 7% prefer solving own problems to coming back home.
According to the financial family assessment, 51.8% afford basic needs only while 16.3% lack for basic needs (food, utilities, medicines).
About 35% have reduced incomes: 16.9% with part-time jobs and lower salaries; 8.63% with official unemployment; 3.5% with lost odd jobs.
Anxiety and uncertainty provoke tension and stress. About 20% regard the mental family state as rather unsatisfactory.
The highest mutual support and trust concerns family members themselves (67.6%), the Ukrainian Armed Forces (49.8%), friends (29.5%), volunteers and public organizations (24%). 80% consider themselves as community elements. 70% can protect their rights. Only 41.1% can influence community decisions.
Most respondents (59.4%) find Ukrainian prospects positive: the situation is likely to improve.
Interviews of providers, volunteers, public funds and charities in the Sumy Region let us conclude that there is:
– A range of services for vulnerable people (humanitarian aid, housing recovery, psychological and law consultations, education for children, TCCC courses, etc.);
– Regular support from international funds, humanitarian missions and charities for different residents of the Sumy Region;
– Lack of adequate coordination between public organizations and charities, which leads to waste of help for the same human categories, no single aid standards, etc.;
– Difficulty of establishing a stable communication between the public sector and local authorities (for communities in case of winter and protracted war).
To make better local services, we need to train organizing and recording skills of public organizations and humanitarian centers; to coordinate public agencies; to create the single beneficiary base of aid provision. Besides, one should keep volunteering support (financial, food, psychological); direct public and charity activities to displaced persons and local vulnerable residents. Additionally, public organizations can be encouraged for humanitarian missions and their statute duties (analytics, trainings for gender violence resistance).
Olena KUPENKO – DSc in Pedagogy; associate professor of the Department of Psychology, Political Science and Socio-Cultural Technologies; researcher of the Social Research Center of Sumy State University
Andriana KOSTENKO – DSc in Politology; professor; chief of the Social Research Center of Sumy State University
Nina SVITAILO – PhD in Philosophy; associate professor; head of the Department of Psychology, Political Science and Socio-Cultural Technologies; research supervisor of the Social Research Center of Sumy State University
Kristina SAKHNO – researcher of the Social Research Center of Sumy State University
Hanna YEVSIEIEVA – researcher of the Social Research Center of Sumy State University
Taras SAVCHENKO – metadata expert
Full report (in Ukrainian):