Empowered CSOs for environmental sustainability: Promoting environmental governance through empowerment of non-governmental capacity development
Empowered CSOs for environmental sustainability: Promoting environmental governance through empowerment of non-governmental capacity development
Problem Statement

Involvement of civil society organizations in environmental decision making in Armenia is fragmented and situational. The environmental movement in Armenia progressed in stages, conditioned by the level and type of CSO involvement in addressing environmental issues.
In the period of economic revival, environmental groups in Armenia “resumed” public activeness. But those were not easy times in terms of limited funding aid and public support. Currently, with growing complexities of environmental issues, public participation becomes even more acute from the standpoint of environmental governance. Within the context of enhanced public participation in decision making, environmental groups are expected to act as catalysts internally and externally, but are they prepared to fulfill such a social demand?
As one of major civil society development players in Armenia for about 20 years, the “NGO Center” has made its contribution to the empowerment of environmental NGOs within its sub-sector development. The project builds on successes and lessons learned, and focus on further strengthening of internal and external capacities of local environmental groups and organizations, with a special emphasis on strategic, program management, advocacy and resource mobilization knowledge, skills and systems.

Primary objective of the project: Advancement of public participation in environmental governance in Armenia

Specific objectives of the project:
(1) Empowerment of Armenian environmental civil society organizations towards their strategic, cooperative and advocacy role in environmental decision making;
(2) Promotion of dialogue and networking among environmental civil society organizations and stakeholder institutions/sectors;
(3) Promote public participation in environmental planning on local level through development of Local Environmental Action Plans.

Putting forward the above mentioned objectives the organization expects that civil society structures, having strengthened their capacities in several fields, such as need assessment, advocacy, as well as having received practical skills on development and implementation of Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs) and having distinct strategic goals and objectives to contribute to the protection of environment, will be able to participate in decision making procedures through advocacy campaigns and negotiations. In its turn the 2nd objective aims to mobilize and bring together different CSOs with capacities and decision makers of relevant field round the table, where they can present the identified needs to the decision makers and discuss possible solutions of the latter. In addition to this the target CSOs, who participated in development of LEAPs, project proposal writing and fundraising trainings together with the project expert will lead the process of development of LEAPs in pilot communities. The target NGOs will ensure availability of different funds/financial resources by applying the knowledge and skills obtained during project proposal writing and fundraising trainings.

LEAP is an integrated system of environmental planning and action, which implies cooperation between all segments of the society including, authorities, business and civil sectors for the purposes of identifying and addressing the environmental challenges faced by the community. Stakeholder Committee composed of representatives from all major institutions in the community, including businesses, civil society organizations (CSOs), academic and scientific institutions and government agencies works for months to come up with a common strategy regarding the priorities of further development of the local community, thus ensuring effective public participation and representation of all the stakeholders in the process. This process transforms into Action Plans, which serve as a unique guidance on handling socio-economic problems of local communities.
LEAP involves developing a community vision, assessing environmental issues, setting priorities, identifying the most appropriate strategies for addressing the top problems, and implementing actions that achieve real environmental and public health improvements. LEAP is founded upon meaningful public input in local governmental decision-making and provides a forum for bringing together a diverse group of individuals with different interests, values, and perspectives.
The adoption and implementation of environmental policies on a local level would enable local distinctive features to be taken into consideration. The Second National Environmental Action Plan envisages determination of format and principles for developing environmental action plans for the provinces and communities of the Republic of Armenia with support of international funding. Therefore the more participatory the action plans are developed at local level and in more communities the better will be the public participation in decision making at national level.

Project major activities:
(1) organizational capacity assessment – initial and final, which will provide individual approach for each organization and provision of trainings based on identified specific needs;
(2) training on organizational management, civil society, environmental public policy, advocacy and LEAPs (Local environmental action plans);
(3) strategic planning technical assistance aimed at elaboration of NGO strategic plans, technical assistance aimed at development of strategic plans of NGOs, which will ensure development of strategic plans by NGO representatives themselves with the direct assistance of the expert, which leads to the development of sense of ownership;
(4) LEAPs development technical assistance, where 20 representatives of NGOs will participate and will obtain practical skills in this field with the aim of development and implementation of LEAPs in their communities;
(5) series of open dialogue meetings, executive study retreat aimed at information, experience exchange and exploration of cooperation perspectives.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
“NGO Center” Civil Society Development NGO
Country:
Armenia
Area Of Work:
CapDev
Grant Amount:
US$ 47,445.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 13,027.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 33,632.00
Project Number:
ARM/EU-NGOs/OP5/Y3/2013/01
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed

Partnership

REC Caucasus; USAID/Counterpart Int.

Grantee Contact

Ms. Arpine Hakobyan
Phone: +374 322 4 33 15
Email: arp-hak@mail.ru
 

Address

9/2a Nzhdeh St.
Vanadzor , Lori , 2001

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Hovhannes Ghazaryan
Phone:
+374 60 530000+116
Fax:
(+374 10) 543811
Email:
Ms. Svetlana Harutyunyan
Phone:
+374 60 530000+117
Email:

Address

14 Adamyan St.
Yerevan, 0010

Country Website