Director of the Visiting Fellows Programme
Anna Korhonen
Head of International Affairs
tel. +358-(0)50-563 63 07

Eeva Korteniemi
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aleksanteri-fellows [at]

Aleksanteri Institute
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Location & Connections


Visiting Fellows 2016-2017

Ulla Pape, University of Bremen, Germany
“Confronting HIV/AIDS in Russia and Ukraine: A Comparative study on epidemic impact and policy response”
(February - March 2017)

Ulla Pape is university lecturer at the University of Bremen. Previously, she was post-doctoral researcher at Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands) and senior research fellow in the Laboratory for Nonprofit Sector Studies at National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia). She studied Slavonic languages, Eastern European History and Political Science at the University of Münster (Germany) and Humanitarian Action at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). In 2012, she received a Ph.D. from the University of Groningen with a thesis on „Civil Society and the Politics of HIV/AIDS in Russia“, in which she studied the collaboration of civil society organisations with Russian state institutions and their impact on domestic policy-making. Ulla’s research interests include social policy and civil society development in the post-Soviet space.

Short description of ongoing research:
The research project aims to analyze the difference in the policy response to HIV/AIDS in Russia and Ukraine, two countries that are hotspots for the rise of HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. According to UNAIDS, they account for more than 90% of new infections in the region. The epidemics in the two countries show many similarities. In both Russia and Ukraine, the spread of HIV/AIDS is closely linked to injecting drug users and other vulnerable groups such as prison inmates, sex workers and men who have sex with men. Whereas Ukraine has made tentative progress in stabilizing HIV/AIDS by focusing on prevention among key groups, the situation has been worsening in Russia, where government institutions have been opposing prevention programmes for vulnerable populations.

The research project sets out to understand why we can observe a difference in policy response in two neighbouring countries that are confronted by a similar policy challenge. Based on the impact model, developed by Barnett and Whiteside (2006), the research project will address the following research question: How can the differences between Russian and Ukraine in their government policy response to HIV/AIDS be explained? In the comparative analysis of governmental policies, the research project will focus on four interrelated dimensions: (1) institutional framework, (2) funding, both by government and external donors (3) cooperation with international organizations, including the preparedness to discuss and consider evidence-based interventions, and (4) involvement of civil society actors. These four dimensions are crucial for understanding the policy response to HIV/AIDS.

The project will make an original contribution to the existing literature on the social aspects of HIV/AIDS in Russia and Ukraine. Data collection will be conducted during several visits in 2016. During the research stay at the Aleksanteri Institute, I plan to analyse the data material, discuss the research project with the institute’s experts and prepare a journal publication.

Email: u.pape[AT]

Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Meri Kulmala, Andrey Starodubtsev