Jun 2020-Jun 2021 Empowerment through Comparative Learning-2: (ECoLearn-2)

The Empowerment through Comparative Learning – ECoLearn project, which was piloted in 2019 with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Tbilisi, aims to support territorial administration reform in Armenia and contribute to enhancement of managerial capacities of consolidated municipalities. The project has established close cooperation with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures (MTAI), to ensure that the project outcomes are in line with the strategic objectives of the government.

The ECoLearn Phase 2 implemented in 2020-2021 aimed at building on and strengthening the achievements of the pilot phase of the ECoLearn project.

Lessons learned from the first phase highlighted the need for strengthening the results of the pilot phase. As advised by the VNG Int., the BM instrument needs to ‘mature’ by iterating over few years to become a managerial culture and generate enough basis for observing performance dynamics in comparison with peers which is the key aspect of BM. The ECoLearn Phase 2 intended to make a step ahead and move in that direction having the following distinct objectives in view.

Objectives of ECoLearn Phase 2

  • To organize and carry out the second phase of the benchmarking exercise.
  • Institutionalize and further disseminate the BM method in Armenia.

Results were achieved

  • Revised set of indicators of 4 key competence areas of municipalities developed and recommended other municipalities for usage.
  • 4 on-line benchmarking workshops carried out to finalize indicators.
  • Second series of benchmarking exercise carried out to generate objective picture of the status and performance dynamics of services.
  • A peer review session organized.
  • 7 representatives of participating municipalities have obtained enhanced knowledge and skills in applying BM method and are able to act as ToTs.
  • A user-friendly electronic platform created for data management and comparison across participating municipalities.
  • A “Benchmarking Handbook” created.
  • The Benchmarking method was introduced to additional 5 municipalities facilitated by the ToTs.

Funding: The Netherlands Embassy, Tbilisi

Implementer: The Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development (UFSD), Armenia

Project partner: VNG International, the Netherlands


Primary: 10 municipalities: Sisian, Goris, Charentsavan, Vardenis, Gegamasar, Chambarak, Tsaghkahovit, Akhurian, Alaverdi, Stepanavan.

Based on ToTs: 5 municipalities: Byureghavan, Meghradzor, Akhtala, Aparan, Akunk.