Onerous regulations, low human and institutional capacity and inefficient processes hamper government effectiveness and create opportunities for corruption. In recent years, Armenia has made some progress in addressing corruption, improving tax administration, and increasing effectiveness in public administration. Yet, despite nascent improvements in efficiency, mechanisms for accountability and participatory governance on the local and national levels remain weak.
Targeting reform areas where there is political will, USAID works with the Armenian government and political parties to make governance more transparent, participatory and responsive to citizens needs and expectations. At the same time, USAID builds civil society’s capacity to engage more productively in policymaking and reform implementation, and to help create opportunities that will advance the country’s democratic reform both at the local and national levels. USAID also fosters participation of youth and women in the political process.
The Civil Society and Local Government Support Program (CSLGSP) aims to increase the level of informed and organized civic activism at the local and national levels, along with more participatory, decentralized, accountable governance that leads to a more democratic society. The project has three goals: (1) facilitating local government and civil society collaboration, (2) fostering civic participation, advocacy and activism, and (3) facilitating decentralization and local fiscal autonomy.
The Alternative Resources in Media (ARM) project supports the production and dissemination of alternative content though various high- and low-tech platforms. The project also builds consumer demand for news and information at local and regional levels by promoting media literacy, critical analysis, and use of the latest and most useful web and mobile-based media applications. ARM also encouraging timely, concerted public advocacy by NGOs, think tanks and citizens on specific key media-related issues.
The Support to the Armenian National Assembly Program (SANAP) provides technical assistance and works with committees and staff in the Armenian Parliament to improve internal legislative procedures, to support institutional checks and balances through enhanced accountability and responsiveness, and to ensure better public outreach.
Assistance to the Network of Advocacy and Assistance Centers: The project develops and supports the existing National Advocacy and Assistance Centers (AACs) Network, initially established by the USAID Mobilizing Action Against Corruption (MAAC) project in 2007-2011. The project helps to address corruption-related complaints from citizens who are victimized by corruption, as well as to build the local institutional capacity to address corruption. The network of 11 AACs is operated by the Armenian Young Lawyers’ Association, the Armavir Development Center and the Gegharkunik Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Rule of Law Development Program’s core programmatic objectives include (1) increasing the judiciary’s knowledge of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); (2) enhancing the institutional capacity of the Independent Bar Association; (3) improving the quality of legal education; and (4) fostering an effective environment for human rights protection.
The Access to Information for Community Involvement program focuses on training of public officials, local government representatives and civic groups on freedom of information. The project conducts media outreach to inform and update the public and the government on freedom-of-information issues in Armenia, and maintains freedom-of-information (FOI) website. The project also works to improve mechanisms for proactive publication of government-held information, and provides free legal counseling to citizens and community organizations on FOI.
The Political Process Development in Armenia program targets party building and civic advocacy with an issue-based, bottom-up approach that is focused on developing the “demand” for political responsiveness and empowering youth and women. NDI builds the skills of local political party organizations and community-based activists; supports the emergence of new “agents of change” at the local level; promotes greater responsiveness among political and civic groups to citizens’ interests at the local and national levels; and facilitates more government outreach to opposition groups and citizens.
The Election Process Support program assists Armenia’s electoral institutions and major stakeholders in achieving their reform objectives through an inclusive and transparent process, guided by the application of international standards and lessons learned. IFES activities aim to improve Armenia’s voter registration system and insulate it from abuse, assist Armenia’s electoral institutions and stakeholders in the development of critical legal and procedural improvements in the area of election administration reform, strengthen the political will to change Armenia’s election culture, and work toward campaign finance reform.
Monitoring of 2012 Parliamentary and 2013 Presidential Elections, and Monitoring of Elected Bodies’ Activities - The purpose of the project is to ensure the transparency of electoral practices for the upcoming major elections in 2012 and 2013. It’s Your Choice will monitor both Parliamentary and Presidential Elections, educate first-time voters through mock elections, monitor elected bodies’ activities, and expand IYC’s organizational capacity.
Last updated: October 11, 2013