Democratic Development, Decentralisation and Good Governance in Armenia – Phase 2
Armenian citizens benefit from more inclusive, effective and resilient institutional structures at local level, which are capable of delivering improved public service and promoting sustainable economic development as a result of an improved legislative framework for local self-government.
The expected outcomes are:
1. The Armenian government has adopted a new legislative framework for local government reflecting interests of stakeholders and facilitating local economic development.
2. Consolidated communities have enhanced their capacities to promote inclusive socio-economic development.
1. Active and meaningful participation of communities and civil society in policy development and local governance processes.
2. Inclusive socio-economic development policy adopted to support financial decentralisation and deliver increased fiscal autonomy at local level.
3. Revised Law on Local Self-Government and relevant constitutional amendments adopted in light of stakeholder contribution and in line with European standards.
4. Improved accessibility to and provision of public service at local level that supports equal access to resources for women, youth, and vulnerable people.
5. Start-up grants support the completion of feasibility studies into intercommunity cooperation and the establishment of intercommunity arrangements to support shared service delivery.
6. Cross-border cooperation (CBC) start-up grants support the establishment of cross-border economic development initiatives.
7. Platform for exchange of experience and best practice in inter-municipal cooperation (IMC), CBC and economic development established to facilitate peer learning among communities.
The total estimated number of direct beneficiaries will be approximately 2,400 citizens.
Indirect/final project beneficiaries will be: >75 000 residents of consolidated communities who benefit from the establishment of three inter-community arrangements; >50 000 residents of communities in Armenia and Georgia who benefit from the establishment of 3 cross-border economic development activities; women, youth and poor / disadvantaged groups whose participation in decision-making processes is facilitated and supported.
Under Outcome 1, an improved concept and legislative framework for decentralisation will be prepared with expert and multilateral peer support, and with the active, substantive participation of local stakeholders. The organisation of Community Consultation meetings will offer communities, civil society, and economic actors a vector through which to contribute to the policy-making and legislative processes in line with the European Charter of Local Self-Government. Project activities will be adapted to respond best to the evolving concept for decentralisation and local economic development.
Under Outcome 2, activities will help ensure communities and their staff develop institutional and personal capacities based on the toolkits and standards of the Council of Europe. They will be supported to improve their financial management and to promote economic development through the preparation and implementation of inter-municipal and cross-border cooperation projects. Small grants will be awarded to communities to implement inter-municipal cooperation projects and to support the establishment of cross-border economic development initiatives with neighbouring municipalities in Georgia.
A platform for exchange of experience and good practice will facilitate peer learning among consolidated communities.
The key objectives of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of the Republic of Armenia (MTAI), under the Five-Year Government Action Plan 2021-2026, are: promoting proportionate territorial development; improving the quality of administrative services in communities; ensuring the continuity of the administrative and territorial reforms and decentralisation process; introducing new forms of inter-community cooperation; improving waste management and garbage collection at community level.
The process of amalgamation/consolidation of communities under the Territorial Administrative Reform was completed in September 2022. However, the next steps of the process are crucial to ensuring the sustainability of the reform.
In order to maintain the good momentum and consolidate the progress achieved thus far, the project will seek to develop the capacities of local authorities of newly enlarged communities to ensure they can assume new responsibilities and competences, support civil participation, further raise awareness of good governance principles and promote cross-border cooperation, inter-municipal cooperation and economic development at local level.