The South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

Armenia: OSCE supports publications on civil society development in Armenia
OSCE-supported publications to promote civil society development in Armenia, titled Armenian Civil Society: from Transition to Consolidation, were launched in Yerevan on 22 of February.

An analytical country report and a policy brief were prepared by non-governmental organization Counterpart International with support from the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The publications were produced as part of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index project to analyze the socio-political and cultural environment of civil society development, ways of self-governance, mechanisms of interaction and the impact non-governmental sector has on citizens’ lives in Armenia.

The publications provide a comprehensive assessment of the main dimensions, key actors, strengths and weaknesses of civil society, and offer ways to strengthen it further. The survey looks at the environment civil society organizations operate in, the extent and diversity of their engagement, internal structures, resources, communication and networks between various civil society actors, and their impact.

“Civil society has an increased role in democratic governance and development,” said Ambassador Sergey Kapinos, the Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. “The assessment presented in the publications will serve as a useful practical tool for the state and civil society organizations in their continued efforts to promote democracy.”

Alex Sardar, the Vice-President of Counterpart International said: “A robust civil society and rule of law are pillars of sustainable development. It is important to reveal the the human potential embedded in non-governmental organizations and other voluntary structures to build a strong participatory society.”

Recommendations offered by the publications include strengthening civil engagement through higher visibility, education and enhanced networking; fostering transparency and internal democratic processes in civil society organizations; developing social capital, co-operation mechanisms, institutional capacities and financial sustainability; addressing challenges of public governance; contributing to corporate social responsibility initiatives; and intensifying links with the Armenian diaspora.


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