Enhancing Local Governance and Local Democracy


ICHD consistently focuses on promoting local democracy and developing the institute of local governance in Armenia through addressing various dimensions, including strengthening capacities of local governance institutions, raising public awareness on the scope and powers of local institutions, as well as promoting participation of the community residents in the local decision making.

Armenia has established fundamental democratic institutions since its independence. Armenia’s local self-government is clearly defined by the legislation, instituting representative and executive bodies in each of about 930 communities. However, the local democracy in the country remains the Achilles hill of the democratic transformations in the country. Despite to consistent efforts of the Government of Armenia, development partners and civil society, the local democratic governance does not show much progress for several years. The weak capacities of the local governance bodies to deliver public services to the community residents remains one of the major obstacles hindering development of the local democracy and the institute of the local governance in Armenia. Indicatively, the level of satisfaction of citizens with the scope and quality of services delivered by the local governance bodies is rather low.


Supported by the Armenian Social Investment Fund (ASIF), ICHD trained over 830 representatives of the local government in four regions of Armenia (Shirak, Lori, Kotayk and Armavir) in 2001-2004. ICHD and ASIF have enhanced through the project the skills of mayors, members of community councils, municipal servants in community development mid-term planning, preparation and management of community budgets. ICHD’s training improved the understanding of local government representatives on basic concepts of tax legislation and contributed towards improved local tax collection. The training also enhanced their knowledge and skills in community asset management.

The integrated community development initiatives have been first ever genuinely piloted in Karakert village (Armavir region). A number of major development partners have agreed to distillate the community development assistance efforts in a way to ensure that all dimensions are addressed including reconstruction of physical and social infrastructures, development of skills, improving awareness of the residents, etc. Within the scope of this approach, the USAID funded Youth and Community Action Program (YCAP), implemented by Academy for Educational Development (AED), Junior Achievement of Armenia (JAA), aimed at increasing civic activism among young women and men, as well as enhancing community involvement in public affairs.

In 2005, by the YCAP request, ICHD conducted training for 20 young women and men of Karakert in asset mapping. The ICHD’s training equipped the young leaders of Karakert community with the knowledge and skills in asset mapping model and associated tools to initiate a change process. The young leaders also became aware of social capital concept. ICHD’s intervention has fostered teamwork and leadership in youth, as well as facilitated and supported the development of participants’ draft action plans.



Conducting Qualitative Research on Domestic Violence in Armenia (CQRDVA)

Violence against women is one of the worst forms of violation of human rights prevalent all over the world. Women face gender-based violence (GBV) in workplaces, educational institutions, rural and urban communities. They are exposed to GBV irrespective of their ethnic or religious background, social status, economic standing, age, or other condition. The violence is particularly rampant when it occurs at home, a place where women are supposed to be provided with safe family environment.

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Monitoring of Online Print Media on Sex Selection in Armenia

The current policy brief aimed at analyzing the monitored online print media outlets in cases when they covered the topic of sex selection and articles that were broadly linked to the value of girls and women. The content of web-based media outlets have been scrutinized to identify any statements or reporting that could have had distorted, untruthful or prejudicial elements against women or men. All these aspects were separately analyzed quantified and also handpicked, allowing analyzing the level of stereotypical reporting either as a media intention or as an absence of intention, leading to unobstructed penetration of prejudicial statements widely circulated in the society and back by reinstating the current state of the affairs.

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