The Way Towards Civil Society Engagement in Armenia

, 2021-02-23

NESEHNUTÍ is starting new three years project (2021-2023) in Armenia called The Way Towards Civil Society Engagement.

The main aim of the project is to promote social transformation from the bottom through education of civic initiatives in the regions of Armenia. By supporting the development authentic initiatives, we want to increase their -professionalisation in the area of conducting civic campaigns aimed at positive systemic solutions to social, environmental and human rights problems that they themselves feel are burning.

Support of civic initatives

In April 2021 was launched first open call for civic society support in Armenia with possibility to obtain support for civil campaigns and initiatives for the period from June 2021 till May 2022. Open call deadline May 5, 2021.

Problems are defined directly by initiative groups based on needs in their own community and are not externally defined by Donors' needs through grant calls. In addition to the open call for participation in the micro-grant and coaching support by The Initiative Way, in the project we want to focus on building space for new initiatives in four regions outside the centres with already active civil society.

The project aims to achieve the intended changes through individual work with citizens' initiative groups through expert support, coaching and micro-grants. The project works systematically to strengthen the competencies of civic leaders with campaign experience, to be able to pass on their experience to new initiatives. Through their active involvement in the ongoing coaching of initiatives and consultations, the project is headed to promote the engagement of Armenian civil society.

Increasing participation

As part of this project, local leaders will strengthen capacities in planning socially beneficial campaigns, including updating them under the auspices of experienced facilitators from the Czech Republic. These local experts will strengthen their capacity to facilitate and guide the participatory process of developing a communication strategy plan for local residents and councils. The training on Participation and facilitation will be held on May 29-31, 2021 with the Czech expert Martin Nawrath.

The project aims to involve the public at local and regional level in decision-making processes and to professionalise and enhance the qualifications of the active public in specific methods of participation. They will thus motivate and nurture active citizenship in the regions and set up pilot cooperation for dialogue between active civil society and local government.

Building connections

Another area of support is the sharing of experience at national and international level and networking through training events to raise awareness of human rights, peaceful conflict resolution, environmental protection, civic engagement, the role of NGOs as well as independent media, and the recognition of fake news. These competences will be developed through educational programmes, namely a study trip to the Czech Republic and the realization of the School of Civil Engagement, a seminar on media communication in Armenia and the Peace Camp focusing on combating the militarisation of youth, developing capabilities for peaceful conflict resolution and strengthening values of solidarity and inter-ethnic tolerance.