NEWS // 
26.10.2007
Since January 2007 ICHD has launched the implementation of the project “Enhancing public participation in the decision making process in Armenia: initiating a community experience to anchor people’s involvement in the public policy making culture”. The goal of the project is to enhance public participation in decision making processes through community’s direct involvement in the budgeting process of the community. The project will be implemented in ten regions of Armenia.

In order to ensure the success of the project, ICHD planned to enhance local capacities and involve regional NGOs in the project implementation process. Thus, ten partner organizations had been identified, one from each region. ICHD trainers then developed a training package on project relevant capacities, that was to address the needs of the staff from these organizations in initiating public participation. The training module consisted of two parts: introduction to the instrument of Town Hall Meeting (THM) and effective facilitation skills.

From August to October five training sessions were organized. About 100 staff members from partner organizations in Syunik, Vayots Dzor, Aragatsotn, Armavir, Ararat, Kotayq, Gegharkunik, Lori, Shirak and Tavush participated in these sessions. They were introduced to the concept of participatory democracy and THM. In addition, ICHD trainers shared their experience in organizing a THM for the discussion of the budget of Sarnaghbyur village in Shirak, the successes and lessons learnt and trained the participants in effective communication and facilitation skills: key to meaningful implementation of a Town Hall Meeting.

The next phase of the project is the organization of Town Hall Meetings in ten communities of the above-mentioned regions.
14.09.2007
Does business have any role protecting human rights and the environment, investing in the professional development of their employees and fighting corruption? What is the situation in Armenia and where does the society want it to be? About 50 residents of Yerevan, both business owners and employees, were discussing these questions at the Town Hall Meeting organized by ICHD and UN Global Compact, which strives to introduce the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into the private sector of the country.

The Global Compact in Armenia was launched on 17 November 2006. 19 companies and civil society organizations made commitment to implement the Global Compact principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. To facilitate the process of promoting the concept of CSR the UN Global Compact and ICHD regularly implement different activities to start a policy dialog among the various stakeholders. This Town Hall Meeting was the second attempt to maintain the dialog.
24.07.2007
What is and should be the role of men in maternal health? This was the key issue discussed at the Town Hall Meeting in Yerevan on July 24. About 80 residents of Yerevan were sharing their perspectives on the issue, occasionally referring to the four scenarios which outlined recommendations on the ways to encourage men and women to effectively share responsibilities in the household in order to be able to develop a healthy family. The scenarios suggested the following solutions: improved state support, increased community involvement, redistribution of roles of men and women and mentality and culture change, i.e. men and women negotiating over the productive and reproductive roles. The final vote revealed that the majority of participants were certain that the state support in the form of legislative acts to promote women’s rights, introduction of a package of benefits during pregnancy and financial assistance to young families would be the most effective intervention to change the current situation when men are reluctant to undertake more responsibilities during the pre- and post-natal period.

The Town Hall Meeting was organized with the support of UNFPA within the framework of the World Population Day, the theme of which for 2007 is “Men as Partners in Maternal Health”.
17.07.2007
On 13 July the International Center for Human Development was granted the membership of Policy Association for an Open Society (PASOS). The association is a network of policy centers in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. PASOS promotes and protects open society values, including democracy, the rule of law, good governance, respect for and protection of human rights, and economic and social development, by supporting policy centers.

To read more on what this membership implies, please, visit this link on PASOS website.
04.07.2007
A round table was held on July 3, 2007 within the framework of the project “Support to Migration Policy Development and Relevant Capacity Building in Armenia” implemented by British Council Armenia, Migration Agency of the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and International Center for Human Development (ICHD) with the support of the European Commission. Findings of two research studies developed and conducted within the framework of relevant projects of the OSCE office in Yerevan were presented to the representatives of the key state agencies, international organizations and local NGOs, specifically

  • the evaluation of the RA migration legislation, and
  • the interim report on the qualitative and quantitative study of labor migration from Armenia in 2005-2007


  • The participants highlighted the importance and urgency of a number of issues, such as regulating labor migration and the legal relations characterizing the entry to and exit from the country, updating the concept on state migration, assuring its relevance to the current requirements and improving the efficiency of the system. They were requested to get actively involved and to support the development of the migration system with their expertise and skills.
    02.07.2007
    ICHD, together with the Centre for European Security Studies (CESS) of the Netherlands and with support from the OSCE Office in Yerevan, organized the second training course on Democratic Governance in the Security Sector. The training was organized within the framework of Starlink program (Security, Transparency, Accountability and Reform: Linking the Security Sectors of Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia to the European Mainstream).

    The course targeted democratic governance of the law enforcement sector. It was held from June 28 to 30, 2007 in Tsagkhadzor, Armenia. The three-day training course was planned for 20 participants who represented the RA Police, media and NGO sector. In addition to the theme of democratic governance in law enforcement agencies, there were a number of other significant topics, such as integrated border management and policing.

    According to the participants, it was an excellent learning opportunity which allowed them to gain new ideas and tools for securing democratic practice of governance.
    30.05.2007
    On May 18th and 22nd ICHD organized a series of seminars on early cancer prevention and detection. The participants were about 80 family doctors from all the regions of Armenia. The seminars were conducted with the support of the American Cancer Society. This is the second phase of the training, the first being implemented in 2006 when the first group of family doctors participated in four seminars on the same topic.

    During these seminars ICHD experts worked with the Armenian National Institute of Oncology. The presenters provided some materials on different types of cancer, namely, breast, prostate and cervical, as well as brief information leaflets on early cancer prevention. These materials were developed for the general population with the support of UNFPA, and the presenters encouraged the doctors to disseminate those among their patients, which will enhance the awareness campaign.
    24.04.2007
    The first substantial outcome of the project implemented with the support of the European Commission and in consortium with the British Council and Migration Agency of Armenia was the creation of the Migrants Support Unit in mid-April. It will assist Armenian migrants world-wide, providing relevant information on migration issues in general and the reintegration process in particular. The Unit staff comprises five experts. Among other activities, they will also coordinate all the necessary activities to facilitate effective functioning of a hot-line and internet portal to be created for ensuring wider and easier access to the relevant information. Both these tools will provide updated information migrants may need for smooth reintegration.

    On April 23rd the project partners held the first working meeting with the unit staff in the premises of the newly created unit. There were two major issues on the agenda: discussion of several bills on migration policy and introduction of the first draft of the portal, called Tundarts (Returning Home). Project experts argued for the necessity of ratifying three bills, namely a law on regulation of oversees labor, law on entry and departure of RA Citizens and a new law on refugees. It was decided to enlarge the discussion of the mentioned bills, involving a larger audience of stakeholders and finalize recommendations regarding Tundarts website.
    09.04.2007
    Journalists usually either report on or try to provide unbiased analysis on the issue of Nagorny Karabakh. Rarely if ever do they come to share their personal perspectives. The Town Hall Meeting which ICHD organized on April 7, 2007 brought together about 40 representatives of Armenian media who shared their attitudes, opinions and challenges regarding the possible resolution of the conflict. The exchange of opinions was marked with high level of awareness of both local and global contexts of the conflict.

    The THM provided an open platform for the journalists to discuss five possible scenarios of resolution. The scenarios were developed based on information so far reflected in Armenian and Azerbaijani media. More information on scenarios is available here.

    The outcomes of the Town Hall Meeting will be discussed further with various groups of policy makers, political scientists and other relevant experts.
    04.04.2007
    The ICHD, together with the Centre for European Security Studies (CESS) of the Netherlands and with support from the OSCE Office in Yerevan, organized a training course on Democratic Governance in the Security Sector. The training was organized within the framework of Starlink program. Under the Starlink Program (Security, Transparency, Accountability and Reform: Linking the Security Sectors of Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia to the European Mainstream) several intensive courses on democratic oversight have been held in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Following a presentation of its program in Yerevan in 2006, the current training was the first of a series and covered democratic oversight of the defense sector. Later in the year trainings on democratic governance of the intelligence sector and the law enforcement sector will follow.

    The training was held from March 30 to April 1, 2007 in Tsagkhadzor, Armenia. The three-day training course was planned for 20 participants who represented the Ministry of Defense, National Assembly, media and NGOs which deal with security issues.
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    Informative Local Meeting in Lori Region

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