Democratization and human rights

May 1- Nov 30 – A step Ahead: Empowering former participants of FES seminars to become Experts on Armenia-EU integration issues

The goal of the project is to further build capacities of young activists – participants of previous seminars supported by FES, to upgrade and systemize their knowledge about EU-Armenia relations to act as trainers and focal points in the regions of Armenia.

The following results will be achieved:
– 30 persons will upgrade and systemize their knowledge about Armenia’s recent European integration: they will produce position papers based on their knowledge obtained from previous seminars/workshops stating how they can contribute to increased awareness of population about Armenia-EU issues
– Selected 10-15 participants will be ask to elaborate mini-project based on their papers, describing in what way they will disseminate information about Armenia’s integration issues with EU
– Selected 10-15 participants will be supported to carry out their mini-projects
– 10 participants will have an opportunity to visit EU/CoE offices in Europe

Apr 2015 – Dec 2015 – At the Crossroads: Discourse over Armenia’s European and/Eurasian perspectives

The goal of the project is to fill the lack of information and awareness about perspectives of Armenia’s political and economic development vectors and provide debating skills to participants. Through series of seminars and workshops the project will help regional activist groups to formulate their own judgment about democratic values and economic perspectives of the country.

This project will build on the previous similar initiative successfully implemented in 2014 funded by F. Ebert Foundation thanks to which a dynamic group of young informed activists was formed representing different regions of Armenia. This new project along with new participants, will at some point engage also participants from the previous project thus creating strong synergy and impact of projects funded by the F. Ebert Foundation.

Training manuals for organizing and conducting trainings on foundamentals of local self-governance

List of Local Government Training Modules

Module 1 Orientation training for Council Members

Module 2 Training modules on different sectors of local self-governance:
2.1 Legislation, administration and management
2.2 Leadership skills
2.3 Strategic planning
2.4 Community budget
2.5 Community procurement
2.6 Property management
2.7 Service delivery and performance management
2.8 Cooperation and partnership
2.9 Communication
2.10 Participation and transparent governance

Module 3 Computer skills

These training manuals were made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Associate Cooperative Agreement AID-111-LA-10-00001, implemented by Counterpart International, as the Civil Society and Local Government Support Program (CSLGSP). Content, views and opinions expressed herein belong to the Urban Foundation of Sustainable Development and do not necessarily reflect the views of Counterpart International, USAID or the United States Government.

You can contact the Urban Foundation on any questions related to the training modules.

2015-2016 – Citizen Participation Initiatives: Support to consolidating local democracy in Armenia

Provision of expert support for the Citizen Participation Initiative Programme for partner municipalities within the framework of the Council of Europe “Support to Consolidating Local Democracy in Armenia.”

The purpose of the assignment is:
1.Present to the community stakeholders (separate meetings with mayor, municipal staff, councilors, community activists and civil society) the strategies for citizen participation initiatives
2.Co-Facilitate the session moderating the discussion and coaching participant stakeholders in the finalization of the strategy for the citizen participation initiatives and drafting an action plan for its implementation
3. Assist the international expert and provide your input and advice for finalizing the draft strategies for the citizen consultation process for the 4 communities.
4. Coaching the communities in the preparation of the citizen participation initiatives.
5. Providing guidance and assistance to the communities in the implementation of citizen initiatives based on the timelines mentioned in the strategies and action plans.
6.Draft a final report for the Council of Europe presenting the participation process organised in the communities and its phases, assessing the methodology adopted, comparing objectives and results achieved, and providing recommendations for future implementation of similar initiatives.

Funding: Council of Europe.

Apr 2015 – Jun 2015 – Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance – regional programme

The main objectives of this programme are to support the on-going process of local government reform in the participating countries (i.e. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus).

Within the frame of the programme a comparative study will be conducted on the roles and responsibilities of local elected representatives (mayors and councillors) in the six participating countries, i.e. the country-based analysis will be complemented by a comparative dimension.

The study will be disseminated in the countries concerned within the framework of the future activities of the programme. Its targeted audience is intended to be as broad as possible: local elected representatives themselves, central public authorities, experts, civil society and non-governmental organisations working in the field of local democracy, and citizens.

The Comparative Study has the following objectives with regard to the Eastern partnership countries:
1. Based on the review of the respective national legislation and its practical application to analyse the actual situation of local government with a focus on:
– Territorial division and organisation of local governments;
– Scope of competences and roles assigned to local authorities;
2. To determine common problems and obstacles and to develop policy recommendations to improve local self-governance;
3. To promote mutual learning at the local level.

Funding: Council of Europe

Dec 2014 – Dec 2019 – Support to Social Sector Reforms in Armenia

The project called Support to Social Sector Reforms in Armenia targets Social Sector Reforms under Civil Society Consortium. The overall goal of the 5-year project is to promote an improved and
sustained social protection system in Armenia that is effectively responsive to the needs and concerns of citizen.

UFSD will be involved in the Citizen Engagement component and will oversee the monitoring of the pension system reform. Activities under this component are directed not only to facilitate the
information flow, but also introduce more advanced levels of participation – consulting, deliberating and partnering.

The activities carried out by UFSD will improve partner CSOs’ knowledge and skills in citizen participation, leadership and monitoring. The trainings will help CSOs to effectively
communicate their concerns and views regarding social reforms at national and local level. Activities are projected also to assist local authorities to realize the importance of the added value of civic engagement, to plan and implement their activities using participatory approach these reforms could bring real change to Armenia, serving as a major step forward in reducing poverty.

However, several major concerns and gaps remain. If not addressed in a timely way, these could adversely affect the betterment of social protection system in the long term

Funding: USAID

2014- present – Public Ethics Bench-marking: Support to Consolidating local democracy in Armenia

Provision of expert support in public ethics benchmarking for the municipal staff of Armenian communities within the framework of the Council of Europe “Support to Consolidating Local Democracy in Armenia.”

The purpose of the assignment is:

– self-assessment by five-seven pilot municipalities;
– preparation (update) of a Armenian National Handbook of public ethics at local level, based on an adaptation to the national context of the European Handbook;
– preparation of a National Score Card on public ethics at local level, based on an adaptation of the European Score Card;
– training of participants from each pilot to the process of peer review;
– peer reviews and assessment, followed by recommendations in pilot municipalities;
– closing conference for discussion and measurement of change in pilot municipalities.

Funding: Council of Europe

Nov 2013-Local Democracy: Researching popular perceptions about upcoming reform of Local Self-Governance System in Armenia

The goal of the proposed research is to identify perceptions of the population and opinion leaders of Armenia regarding upcoming consolidation of communities and local governance reform in general. The findings of the research were intended to be used for two purposes: a/ for elaboration of a targeted communication strategy and fine-tuning communication massages; and b/ to measure the change in perceptions of the population.

The following objectives will be addressed within the proposed project:
1. Elaboration of methodology and sampling for the research
2. Development of research tools
3. Conducting of in depth expert interviews with stakeholders – estimated 20 interviews
4. Conducting a baseline survey among population – estimated 300 interviews
5. Preparation of the summary research report

Intended beneficiaries
The beneficiaries of the project are stakeholders engaged in local government and public administration reforms including but not limited to: Ministry of Territorial Administration, donor community, specialized CSOs, media, etc.

ՏԻՄ բարեփոխումների ընկալ ումները
Perceptions of population on LG reforms

Funding: Friedrich Ebert Schtiftung