Pro-bono consulting as a capacity building activity is aimed at exploring and using the possibilities of bringing together CSOs and experts of other sectors. “STRONG CSOs for Stronger Armenia” project believes that one of the most meaningful ways to build the capacities of CSOs is through the combination of the skill set of various sectors, facilitation of cross-sectorial cooperation, and building of networks, relationships and partnerships.
Below you can find information about our pro bono experts who help our beneficiary civil society organisations excel at what they do by enhancing their capacities through their expertise and fresh perspectives.
Anahit Shirinyan is a foreign policy analyst focusing on Armenia and the South Caucasus. She is an Academy Associate and was previously an Academy Robert Bosch Fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House - the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Prior to that, she worked on institutional development and strategic planning with political parties in Armenia and facilitated political party dialogue in the South Caucasus more broadly. She has coordinated initiatives in the spheres of foreign policy, regional cooperation and conflict transformation and has also published and presented on these issues widely. Anahit holds BA and MA degrees in International Relations from Yerevan State University and an advanced MA degree in European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe in Warsaw.
Within the framework of “STRONG CSOs” project Anahit provided pro bono consulting on how to make effective presentations and speak in public.
Market Entry Adviser
Paruyr Jangulyan has more than 8 years of experience in managing projects with the EU Delegation to Armenia, the World Bank Group, public institutions and private sector. Paruyr is currently working as a Market Entry Adviser. Prior to that he was the head of investors’ aftercare services at Development Foundation of Armenia, where he supported the existing foreign investors’ expansion projects, managed site visits, tax, customs and legal advisory and business set-up for new foreign investment projects in Armenia.
Paruyr has experience working with the U.S. state institutions in economic policy analysis and cost-benefit analysis of draft legal acts during his full-time fellowship in the office of Senator Lena C. Taylor in Madison, Wisconsin in the framework of the Professional Fellows Program (Fall 2012) funded by the U.S. State Department.
Paruyr Jangulyan holds a PhD in Economics from the Institute of Economics of National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia and he is a graduate of Yerevan State Institute of Economics. He was a DAAD research fellow in the Faculty of Business Studies and Economics in the University of Bremen, Germany in 2014. From 2007 to 2015 Paruyr published 6 scientific articles on foreign direct investment risk evaluation, legal framework for effective investment policy, and private equities.
Within the framework of “STRONG CSOs” project Paruyr was engaged as a pro bono expert on writing an attractive motivation letter. The materials of the meeting are available here: Statement of purpose
Certified and accredited Executive, Life & Career Coach and international trainer
Ms Anna Gapinska is Polish, resident of Ireland (Dublin) for over 8 years. Anna is certified and accredited Executive, Life & Career Coach and international trainer with over 10 years of experience in training, education and public relations. She is a practitioner, with work experience in Poland, Ireland and Armenia as a Trainer, Consultant and Coach (including international projects). In her practice she supports private, public and non-governmental organisations, as well as individuals.
Presently she concentrates on supporting women in starting and developing their professional careers and setting up businesses, running regularly workshops and coaching sessions for them. Being a teacher by education she also works this way with secondary schools, supporting students in making purposeful, conscious and informed personal career choices. Professional and personal effectiveness, as well as work and life balance are subjects of her special interest and attention.
More information on the expertise of Ms Anna Gapinska can be found HERE.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Anna provided a coaching session on work and life balance for women and the fundamental toolkit of a coach.
Karen Sargsyan (PhD, CMCE) is a business consultant who gained his theoretical knowledge from national and international formal and non-formal education institutions, and professional experience. He has almost 15 years of practical work experience in organisational development and strategic management, business development and community economical development, programme management and human resources management, research and analysis, advocacy and networking.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Karen provided pro bono consulting on "Change Management".
The materials of the meeting are available here:
“Save the Children” Armenian Representative Office
Regional Programme Manager
Arsen Simonyan has over 12 years of work experience with various local and international organisations. Currently, he holds the position of the Regional Programme Manager at Save the Children Armenian Representative Office. Arsen is also the president of “Stepanavan Youth Centre” NGO. Prior to this, he worked as Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Coordinator and Youth Programme Coordinator at "OxYGen" Youth and Women's Rights Foundation. As a freelance trainer and consultant, Arsen delivers trainings and provides consultancy and coaching on organisational management, project management, strategic planning, stakeholder dialogue and other topics.
Arsen holds an MA in Economics and BA in Physics from Yerevan State University. He is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from Project Management Institute.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Arsen Simonyan provided pro bono consulting on “Participation of CSOs in Policy Dialogue”. The materials of the meeting are available here: CSOs participation in policy dialogue
“For Equal Rights” NGO
Project Coordinator of “Article 3” Human Rights Club
Ms Satenik Baghdasaryan works as Project Coordinator of “Article 3” Human Rights Club founded by “For Equal Rights” NGO. Previously she has worked at the “Regional Studies Center” as Project Director. She has been writing articles and papers for series of international magazines and has served as a trainer for many international youth projects.
Satenik holds an MA in European Studies from Yerevan State University (YSU), where she also earned a BA in Political Science.
Satenik completed the American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES), was one of the participants of Professional Fellows Programme sponsored by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affair and had her fellowship in a leading think tank in Chicago, US. She has also taken part in different academic programs by UK Cranfield University, UNAOC, Tartu University, Tbilisi state university, etc.
Within the framework of “STRONG CSOs” project Satenik was engaged as a pro bono expert on fundraising. The materials of the meeting are available here: Fundraising
Armenian Progressive Youth
Grigor works in the field of youth education since 2008. With an educational background in Political Science and European Studies, he works as an Executive Director, Educational Supervisor and trainer at APY. Previously, he has been working as the Vice-President of the organisation. Grigor is responsible for management of educational projects implemented by the organisation, design and preparation of learning curricula of educational activities, as well as supervision of project managers and project coordinators. Grigor is a youth worker and activist in Armenia with considerable practice in consolidating youth. He has been working for Civil Society Development in Armenia since 2007 both in terms of academic research and practical work. As a trainer in the field of Education and Youth, his main areas of expertise are in the fields of Intercultural Learning, Education for Sustainable Development, Gender Equality and Education for Active Citizenship. He is passionate about youth empowerment and driving positive social change in Armenia.
Within the framework of “STRONG CSOs” project Grigor Yeritsyan provided pro bono consulting on EU projects in the field of youth. The materials of the meeting are available here: EU projects in the field of youth
Media Initiatives Centre
Editor of MIC Media.am website, Media expert
Gegham is a physicist by education, and a journalist by profession. He started his career in 1999 as a Parliamentary Correspondent at A1+ TV Company. Later, in 2003 he joined Internews Media Support NGO (currently Media Initiatives Centre) as a journalist and editor of Media.am website. Gegham was involved in the production of documentary films, special reports and radio stories. He produced and wrote scripts for documentaries and more than 200 stories and features on social and economic issues. However, his main area of specialisation is online content production. Gegham is a media trainer, who develops and conducts trainings in multimedia and citizen journalism, media campaigning, social media, digital storytelling.
Also, Gegham served as a jury member for a number of journalistic contests and is a member of Media Ethics Observatory. He teaches online and multimedia journalism in universities. His media analytical articles are published in a range of local and international media and online.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Gegham provided pro bono consulting on “Effective use of social media by CSOs”.
Eurasia Partnership Foundation
Isabella Sargsyan is Project Management and Communication specialist with 15 years of experience. Her specialisation includes theory and practice of human rights, conflict transformation, qualitative research and analysis. She also has an extensive training and consultancy provision experience working as an invited trainer and consultant for various organisations including Council of Europe, OSCE/ODHIR, UN OHCHR, UN Women, SOS Children’s Villages, Saferworld, CARE Caucasus and others.
Isabella is also knowledgeable in the application of modern communication and information technologies to improve branding and programming of organisations, increasing visibility of action in the fields of civil society at large, marketing of CSO services and promotion of civic activism, as well as in the practical use of social media, multi-media and other innovative platforms for public engagement, organisational networking, conducting campaigns and advocacy through Internet.
Isabella holds MSc degree in Sociology and Human Rights from London School of Economics and Political Science. She was a research fellow of Heinrich Boell Foundation and author/editor of number of articles, studies and training manuals.
Within the framework of “STRONG CSOs” project Isabella was engaged as a pro bono expert on communications and visibility.
Armenian Lawyers’ Association
Karen Zadoyan has over 22 years of work experience including public administration, CSO’s management, human rights, anti-corruption and other professional spheres. Karen is the President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association. He was elected in the position of the President of the organisation at the Special Session of the General Assembly held on 12 February 2016, for the term of 4 years. Karen Zadoyan manages the organisation for the period between the sessions of the Board and the General Assembly. He is responsible for the design and management of major projects implemented by the organisation. Since 2016, Karen is the team leader of the EU-funded project “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue”.
Karen Zadoyan is also the founder of Iravaban.net independent professional media outlet. He graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Yerevan State University. He is a member of the Chamber of Advocates of Armenia.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Karen Zadoyan provided pro bono consulting on “Legal Aspects of Starting and Running a Social Enterprise”. The materials of the meeting are available here: RA Law on Public Organisations
“Association of Young Journalists” NGO
Arman Ghazaryan is a journalist with more than 10 years of work experience in various media outlets. Since 2008 he is teaching at the Department of Journalism of the Yerevan State University. Since 2011 he is the Founder of the “Association of Young Journalists” NGO.
Arman conducts trainings on media literacy, CSO projects’ effectiveness and visibility, project development and implementation.
He also actively cooperates with various civil society organisations. Arman is an independent expert of the online grant system of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, a member of the Civil Development and Partnership Foundation (CDPF) Board of Trustees, as well as a member of the "STRONG CSOs” project Steering Committee.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Arman provided pro bono consulting on “Effective Tools of CSOs’ Media Policy”. The materials of the meeting are available here: Tools for effective media policy
Freelance expert and researcher
Tatevik Margaryan is a freelance expert and researcher with expertise in civil society organisations and Organisational Development. Previously, she worked with Civic Development and Partnership Foundation as Deputy Director and Organisational Development and Training Specialist, and a number of other organisations as Trainer, Sociologist, Programme Coordinator, etc. Tatevik has about 15 years’ experience in the areas of human resource management, organisational assessments, proposal writing, project management, research and analysis, as well as provision of training and consulting for civil society organisations.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Tatevik Margaryan provided pro bono consulting on the organisational policies and procedures.
The materials of the meeting are available here: CSO policies and procedures.
“STRONG CSOs” project
Mr Jarek Zarychta is the team leader at the “STRONG CSOs” project. Since 1994 Mr Zarychta has been constantly working for the European Union, Department for International Development of the British Government and USAID funded programmes all over Europe and in Ukraine.
He has worked as an expert, trainer, project coordinator and project manager/team leader in dozens of projects of different type, range, scale and budget, supporting the development of civil society organisations, small and medium enterprises and local administrations.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Jarek provided pro bono consulting on project development. The materials of the meeting are available here: Highlights of project development.
OxYGen Foundation for Protection of Youth and Women’s Rights
Viktorya Mirzakhanyan has more than 8 years of experience as a finance officer.
Currently she works at OxYGen Foundation for Protection of Youth and Women’s Rights as Finance Manager. Previously she has worked for OXFAM in Armenia, Civic Development and Partnership Foundation and other civil society organisations. She has experience in annual financial planning and management, working with multi-donor project budgets, budget monitoring, taxation reporting, etc.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Viktorya was engaged as a pro bono expert on CSO financial management. The materials of the meeting are available here: CSO financial management
“STRONG CSOs” project
Lead Trainer and Coach
Zoran Krtinić has over 12 years of experience as a trainer, capacity builder and EU projects specialist. As an experienced and certified EU projects trainer and facilitator, he has designed and delivered numerous training programmes in Western Balkans and Northern Africa for the EU, UNDP, OSCE and other international institutions.
Zoran has over 10 years of experience in programming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects, supporting in designing, implementing and evaluating cross-border cooperation programmes and assessment of project proposals.
In addition to his grant schemes and grant projects preparation expertise, Mr Krtinić is also recognised as a procurement expert providing support to grant beneficiaries and the EU Delegation to Serbia in public procurement procedures.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Zoran provided pro bono consulting on the following topics: "How to conduct effective training sessions", "Theory of change", "Managing for Results -Indicators", "Public Procurement According to the EU Rules-PRAG", “Monitoring in Theory and Practice”, as well as “Budget preparation for EU-funded projects”.
The materials of the meeting are available here:
Tatevik Avetisyan has been leading PR Unit and projects at Deem Communications since 2011. She brings over 12 years of practice in PR and communications by combining her experience with humanitarian organisations in Armenia and internationally.
Tatevik brings professional insights from her experience with local and international businesses, as well as international humanitarian organisations. Currently, she is communications expert in “Support to EU Communication on Reforms in Armenia II” project. Tatevik is a visiting lecturer at the American University of Armenia.
She enjoys sharing, teaching, traveling and connecting ideas and people to reveal their full potential.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Tatevik provided pro-bono consulting on “Communication and Visibility of EU-funded projects”.
Armenian Association of Social Workers
Mira Antonyan is Associate Professor, Candidate of Sociological Sciences at the Chair of Social Work and Social Technologies of the Department of Sociology of Yerevan State University. She has authored more than 40 guidelines, research studies and scientific publications.
During her professional career she promotes and supports the professionalisation of the services of social work in Armenia. Ms Antonyan is an expert in the fields of child welfare and rights protection (alternative care, juvenile justice, institutional reforms of services), social services, and community development. In her capacity as a social field expert she is actively involved in the process of the reforms of the RA social policy.
Ms Antonyan is one of the founders of the social work profession in Armenia, the Armenian Association of Social Workers and its incumbent president. From 2013 through 2016 she was a full member of the executive board of the European branch of the International Association of Social Workers. Currently she leads the Children’s Support Centre Foundation of the Fund for Armenian Relief.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Mira Antonyan provided pro bono consulting on "The role of CSOs in the context of the current reforms of the social protection system". The materials of the meeting are available here: CSOs' role in the social protection system.
Eurasia Partnership Foundation
Sylvia Svazyan began working with Eurasia Partnership Foundation in July 2005. Before joining the EPF Armenia Office she has worked in different international organisations and projects including Tacis Projects, UNDP, MDF Kamurj, Raiffeisen Investment AG (an Austrian Investment Bank). She also worked as a journalist for National Radio for three years. She graduated from Yerevan State University with a degree in History and from American University in Armenia, Department of Political Science and International Relations.
Within the framework of “STRONG CSOs” project Sylvia was engaged as a pro bono expert on human resource management.
Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Coordinator
Armen Chilingaryan has more than 24 years of service in various key governance and management positions at different state-run and non-governmental organisations from local to national and international levels. Armen has vast experience in disaster management, particularly development and coordination of disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response projects, conduction of related analytical work such as vulnerability and capacity, needs assessments, monitoring/evaluation and other different profile researches, development of contingency plans and strategies/policies, provision of consultancies, design of training modules and courses, organisation and facilitation of training sessions, workshops and conferences.
In addition, Armen organised and participated in search and rescue operations both in Armenia and Georgia, as well as organised humanitarian aid distribution and logistics in time of disasters. Armen is familiar with setup of disaster management system in the former Soviet and Eastern European countries.
Finally, Armen has particular experience in representation and relationship building, building and promotion of national and international networks, coordination and collaboration with governmental and inter-governmental agencies, working with local and international NGOs.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Armen provided pro bono consulting on the concept of Smart City, disaster risk reduction and resilient cities.
Freelance educator, expert
Zaruhi Lavchyan is a freelance educator, author and expert in the youth field, with a background in local and international open youth work, intercultural learning and dialogue, project management. Zaruhi is currently a member of the Armenian National Pool of Trainers and the Trainers’ Pool of the Council of Europe, actively involved in the development of youth policy, non-formal education, community development in Armenia.
Zaruhi has vast experience in training trainers on national and international levels. She is involved in educational methodological developments and coordination of several online courses. For the past 2 years Zaruhi has been coordinating the educational work and the massive open online course of the “Community Development through Social Entrepreneurship” EU-funded project aimed at establishing and strengthening the social businesses in the rural regions. Zaruhi’s professional interests also include anti-discrimination, organisational development, policy dialogue, cooperation, and civic participation.
Within the framework of the “STRONG CSOs” project Zaruhi provided pro bono consulting on the opportunities offered by the European structures supporting youth work and youth educational activities.