Improving Inter-Community Decision-Making in Consolidated Communities through Civic Innovations

31 Jan 2018

Project Title: Improving Inter-Community Decision-Making in Consolidated Communities through Civic Innovations (CivInCoD)
Lead Applicant: Regional Research Institute of Social-Economic Policy NGO
Co-Applicant: “Equal Opportunity Endowment” Foundation (EOEF)
Co-Applicant: “Yeritasard Koty (Young Koty)” NGO
Co-Applicant: “Armenian Young Women’s Association” (AYWA)
Co-Applicant: “Development Solutions Institute” Foundation (DSIF)

Aim of the project
The project is aimed at solving civic engagement issues in order to strengthen inter-community cooperation in consolidated communities of Vayots Dzor and Tavush marzes trough usage of innovative decision-making tools. In this process a range of cross-cutting issues will be solved related to democratization, including support to electoral processes, enhancement of the role of non-state actors and their capacity building, and equal participation for women in decision-making, political processes, and entrepreneurship.

Target groups and beneficiaries
The beneficiaries of the project are the consortium members of this project/5 CSOs, representatives of 7 consolidated communities of Vayots Dzor and Tavush marzes, including 43 settlements (former municipalities).
The direct beneficiaries of the project are 140 young people and women from the above mentioned consolidated communities, 15 representatives of the CSOs implementing the project (3 people form each CSO), 70 representatives of the local authorities – 225 people in total.

This project will establish 7 informal youth councils, referred to as Civic Active Groups (CAG), comprising 140 members representing 43 settlements: 1 CAG in each consolidated community will be composed of 20 members. The target group of the project will be at least participating in the project consortium: 3 representatives from each CSO, 140 CAG members educated as trainers and equipped with the necessary knowledge to implement civic activities in the framework of the project and beyond, as well as 10 representatives from the local authorities of each of the 7 consolidated communities (1-2 representatives from each of the 43 settlements within those consolidated communities).
The indirect beneficiaries of the project are the residents of consolidated communities of Vayots Dzor and Tavush marzes – around 20,000 active residents.

Main activities
The project main activities are:

  • Establish 7 Civic Active Groups composed of young people and women of the communities – 1 CAG in each consolidated community.
  • Develop capacity building documents for CSOs including development strategy, accountability methodology, and organizational management regulation.
  • Organise trainings for trainers’ (ToT) for 7 CAG members.
  • Develop “Civic Education and Public Engagement” manual, that will as a material for trainings and a guide for CSOs.
  • Develop an application for smart phones entitled “Public Opinion” (PO) fostering civic engagement.
  • Produce animated films presenting all activities implemented by the project in more publicly available way. 
  • Create GIS maps of 7 consolidated communities to ensure the visualisation of the resources and to facilitate decision-making processes.

Expected outcome and positive change brought by the project

  • Civic Engagement Effect: New intervention activities on local decision-making through visualisation and digital society will have positive effect due to PO smart app, GIS interactive maps, info-graphics, CivInCoD network, and animated films.
  • Cooperation and Partnership Effect: We believe that when boundaries between communities are eliminated, cooperation and partnership will emerge. The project aims to produce products for various stakeholders such as investors, communities, academics, and policy makers.
  • CSOs Strengthening Effect: Capacity building of consortium CSOs through adoption of new approaches and regulations like development strategy, accountability methodology, and organizational management regulation, will provide them with a new role in local decision-making and participatory governance.
  • Dissemination Effect (Case Study): All the products created by the project: (1) IT tools, (2) CSO capacity building documents, (3) ToT groups and (4) training materials, along with experienced groups, will be essential products in future consolidating processes. Final beneficiaries of consolidated communities will be able to apply existing deliverables and experienced skills for development.