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Democracy and Governance

The key governance challenge in Armenia is the lack of genuine checks and balances. As governance is based on the consensus of elite groups, Armenia suffers from the inconsistent application of the rule of law as well as from the exclusion of civic input to legislative processes and policy formation. In addition, civil society is atomized, heavily donor dependent, and not widely seen as representative of the public’s interest. The media suffer from limited resources and lack diversity of viewpoints and professionalism. Consequently, citizens have low levels of trust in governance institutions, NGOs, and the media alike.

Targeting reform areas where political will exists – decentralization and local governance strengthening, accountability and transparency, and social sector reform – USAID partners with both the government and civil society to develop and reinforce a set of competencies and practices that improve citizen-government interaction and lead to more effective policymaking and implementation that delivers tangible results for citizens. USAID also increases citizen access to independent and reliable sources of information about these while educating citizens to become savvy media consumers and demand higher quality reporting. 

CURRENT PROGRAM

Advisory Support to Local Governance Programme in South Caucasus – USAID provides technical assistance to the Territorial and Administrative Reform in Armenia (aka TARA). The reform was officially announced by the Armenian government and a first important step towards decentralization of power in the country. The program largely complements USAID’s direct support to the Armenian government by building the capacity of newly consolidated clusters through training and technical assistance.

The Local Governance Reform Activity assists the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations to implement its decentralization policy and provide matching grants for community development in the 14 consolidated clusters.  ‡‡‡  

The Civic Engagement in Local Governance (CELoG) supports the joint efforts of local civil society organizations to increase civic engagement and oversight of local governance and decentralization reform at central and local levels. The project increases monitoring and advocacy capacities of the civil society, with a special focus on community-level civil society actors.  ‡‡‡  

The Engaged Citizenry for Responsible Governance project supports a locally-led civil society consortium to reduce the space for corruption by mobilizing citizens in public oversight on national and local levels and ensuring citizens’ access to reliable information on corruption.  ‡‡‡  

Civil Society Organizations  Development Program (CSO DePo) works to develop the capacities of Armenian civil society organizations to become more business-oriented as well as sustainable service providers. CSO DePo will seek to expand the pool of professional and organizationally strong local partners in the country.  ‡‡‡  

The Media for Informed Civic Engagement (MICE) project increases public media literacy and access to independent and reliable sources of information about government’s priority reforms and policies. While increasing public demand for information, the project will also help targeted media outlets to improve their professional capacity to produce fact-based, quality content as well as act as effective media watchdogs.  ‡‡‡  

Enhanced Transparency in the Mining Sector – The activity will promote transparency and accountability in Armenia’s mining sector through coaching the Government of Armenia on membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), data digitalization for the Republican Geological Fund, and select public awareness campaigns.  ‡‡‡  

Support for 2015-2018 Anti-Corruption Strategy Implementation – Under this agreement, USAID will provide assistance to the Government of Armenia (GOAM) to implement the Republic of Armenia’s 2015-2018 Anti-Corruption Strategy in the priority sectors of education, state revenues, healthcare, and police service delivery to citizens.  ‡‡‡  

Last updated: April 05, 2016

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