Increasing the capacities of CSOs to better respond to citizens’ needs is a critical question in Armenia. The Armenian CSOs 2.0 programme is to help better address this multi-level issue. The programme is financially supported by European Union Delegation to Armenia, and will be implemented by Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in partnership with Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF).
This three-year program, launched in December 2016, will go through a set of interrelated activities. Using the outstanding possibilities of CSOs and CSO-support actors, in Armenia and in the Diaspora, the programme aims to support the development of advanced CSOs for a fully enabled civil society. A unique characteristic of the programme is utilization of Diaspora capacity for strengthening thematic expertise of Armenia CSOs.
The step-by-step approach consists of:
- A professional sector-related (vertical) needs assessment of up to 200 CSOs in order to better document their capacity needs. The results of the assessment will be finalized in an inception report, and the team will design the way forward of the programme. General and sector-specific finding of the assessment will be presented at a kick-off event of the programme.
- Strengthening of up to 80 CSOs and 200 persons’ skills through tailor-made trainings. The team will build a pool of local and international professionals who will be invited to provide trainings on topics identified during the needs assessment.
- Provision of on the job consultation to 80 CSOs though pro bono Diaspora- and Armenia-based experts. An online platform will be used to register the pro-bono consultants, upload the undertakings, match the consultants with the undertakings, rate the pro-bono consultants and the CSOs.
- Institutionalisation of capacity building though introduction of university-based NGO Management Certificate Programme. The Certificate Programme will provide 30 representatives of CSOs with strong theoretical and practical background in NGO management.
- Support to CSOs for projects implementation through a sub-grant scheme. A set of 30 beneficiary CSOs will implement 30 projects (including 15 social entrepreneurship projects) with sub-grants ranging between €20,000 - €35,000 supported by 30 mentors from the public and private sectors.
- Increasing trust towards civil society. Locally-based Goodwill Ambassadors will be enrolled in promotion/advocacy events in the regions of Armenia. These promotion events will be “opening-up” gatherings, information fairs, networking events where selected CSOs will be able to present their activities, services and products.
The final step and the overarching goal of the programme is to bridge local CSOs in Armenia with Diaspora. An online platform will feature international cooperation success stories, achievements of CSOs, reports, and sectorial information, along with other relevant information, which will help to bridge the international civil society, via the Diaspora, and Armenia-based CSOs.