Democratic Development, Decentralisation and Good Governance in Armenia
The project's intended impact is: Armenian citizens benefit from better municipal services and strengthened institutional structures at local level as a result of improved governance practices, more effective participatory mechanisms and an im-proved legal framework in line with European standards and values.
The expected outcome is: Local authorities deliver better services to citizens having developed capacities to strengthen their institutional structures, improve civil participation and the empowerment of women, engage with poor / disadvantaged groups, and promote respect for good governance principles.
The project's expected outputs are:
Output 1: Legal and policy advice provided to the Government of Armenia and local authorities ensures that the legislative, institutional and fiscal framework for local democracy is improved in line with European standards through inclusive participation and equal representation.
Output 2: Capacity-development of local authorities contributes to more efficient and effective structures, improved transparency and accountability, and the inclusive participation of women, youth and disadvantaged groups in relevant decision-making processes.
Output 3: Inter-community unions are established, strengthening the decentralisation and amalgamation reform and delivering better services to citizens.
Output 4: Benchmarking of standard municipal services and local finances leads to improved financial management and increased fiscal autonomy of municipalities.
Output 5: Enhanced understanding and application of good governance principles strengthens institutional structures at local level. Particular attention is paid to public ethics, equality between women and men, human resource management.
The Project aims to reach an estimated 20,835 direct beneficiaries including officials of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development (MTAD); local level stakeholders who participate in Community Consultation initiative Meetings; public officials at central and local level (in particular staff at MTAD and municipal servants) who participate in capacity development activities; local elected representatives; civil society actors; local finance officers who benefit from training on local finance benchmarking; central and local officials and civil society actors who complete e-learning courses as well as residents of amalgamated communities who benefit from improved access to public services.
Indirect project beneficiaries will be the residents of 10 amalgamated communities who benefit from access to renovated community halls as well as access to live webcasting of council sessions and women, youth and poor / disadvantaged groups whose participation in decision-making processes is facilitated and supported.
The project is designed to support democratic consolidation by developing effective, accountable and transparent local government bodies, promoting good governance principles, and fostering inclusive participation and equal opportunities for women in political decision-making across mutually reinforcing lines of action. It will strengthen the legal framework for local democracy in Armenia based on European standards; develop the capacities of local institutions and officials; promote local ownership and sustainable outcomes; and promote respect for principles of good governance and public administration.
Armenia has undergone important constitutional and political changes in recent years. Considerable progress has been made in the field of local self-government in line with established European standards.
In the context of the on-going decentralisation and territorial administrative reform and the recent political changes, the Council of Europe (CoE) assistance towards consolidating local democracy in Armenia gains particular importance. In the light of those developments, the CoE is ever more committed to support integrity, inclusiveness and increased transparency of the reform processes in Armenia and has prepared the current project proposal with a view to provide both the legislative assistance in revising current and preparing new legislation and to support the development of capacities of local governments to operate in the increasingly transparent, inclusive and integral manner.