Jun 2020-Jun 2021 ECoLearn – Empowerment through Comparative Learning։ Stepping Ahead

The goal of the project is to reinforce capacities of Armenian municipalities in establishment of effective management system by promoting self-assessment through benchmarking of municipal services.

The proposed project aims at building on and strengthening the achievements of the pilot phase of the ECoLearn project implemented with the support of the Netherlands Embassy   in 2019.

Supported by the Dutch partner, VNG Int., for the first time in Armenia the Urban Foundation introduced the benchmarking method for assessing municipal services in 10 newly amalgamated municipalities that were nominated by the Ministry of the Territorial Administration and Infrastructure (MTAI). The outcomes of the pilot phase were presented to the MTAI and international donor community in a dissemination event in December, 2019 and were praised for supporting the Armenian government’s efforts in improving municipalities’ capacities and performance.

The lessons learned from the pilot phase have been discussed with the Dutch partner and are reflected in the proposed project. The proposed project will have the following milestones:

  1. Carrying out the second benchmarking exercise with subsequent peer reviewing workshop to assess progress;
  2. Organizing a ToT for replication of the method in other municipalities;
  3. Developing a user-friendly electronic tool/software for effective application by municipalities (instead of the Excel-based spreadsheets used in the pilot phase);
  4. Developing a ‘Benchmarking Handbook’ as a reference for municipalities.

The second (main) phase of the project is needed to ‘mature’ the benchmarking by carrying out the exercise in 2-3 years in a row so that it is possible to assess the dynamics of the performance over time both inside the given municipality and across several municipalities and equip them with a modern, well-localized and handy method that can be replicated as the administrative reform continues involving more and more communities.

Funding organization: The Netherlands Embassy in Tbilisi
Location: Armenia
Beneficiaries: 10 consolidated communities։ Goris, Sisian, Charentsavan, Vardenis, Tsaghkahovit, Geghamasar, Akhuryan, Chambarak, Stepanavan, Alaverdi․