On 18 September 2018, the first meeting of the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” (CCD) project Steering Committee took place.
Members of the project consortium, the projects Steering Committee members and observers, representatives of the project sub-grantee coalitions, as well as Mr. Paulius Strelciunas, the CCD project task manager and an International Aid/Cooperation Officer at the Cooperation Section of the Delegation of the European Union in Armenia were present at the meeting.
According to Paulius Strelciunas, the first meeting of the Steering Committee was a great opportunity to see the progress of the programme, what problems it has encountered, and stressed that it would be possible to find certain guidelines for the future during the meeting. “To tell the truth, when we signed this grant agreement, we had great hopes and expectations, and after the April events this year we have greater expectations from this project. We can see that the activities have gained much momentum over the past two months. At the same time, we find that there is always room for improvement,” noted Paulius Strelciunas.
Mr. Emin Yeritsyan, the President of the Union of Communities (Municipalities) of Armenia and Coordinator the Local Self Government Issues of the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” Project, attached importance of the Steering Committee’s meeting as it is important for partners to engage and analyze the results and the success of the program. “I should express my satisfaction with the actions that have been undertaken during this period because the program creates additional values and has quite a multiplicative effect. It can be said that it was quite demanded for its targets, actions and goals,” Emin Yeritsyan said.
Mr. Karen Zadoyan, the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” Project Manager and the President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association, presented the project, its objectives, target sectors, the activities already carried out and the results achieved. He noted that the project was launched on 15 December 2016. Project duration is 34 months. The total budget of the project is EUR 2.222.256 million of which the EU contribution is EUR 2.000.000. “The overall objective of the project is to enhance the influence of civil society organisations on the improvement, monitoring, and changes of public policies in Armenia. The specific objectives are to build civil society organisations’ capacities in 4 areas: evidence-based public policy development; coalition building; carrying out public oversight; constructive and strategic policy engagement with local and central government partners,” Karen Zadoyan noted.
He also talked about the project achievements in the period of 15 December 2016 until 31 August 2018, as well as about the targeted sectors, the practice of operating of CSO incubators, as well as the process of subcontracting and further actions.
The participants discussed questions and presented their suggestions as well.
The Project Manager informed that the next meeting of the Steering Committee will be held on 20 March, 2019.
The “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union by a Consortium of civil society organisations, which are the Armenian Lawyers’ Association (lead organisation), Agora Central Europe (NGO based in the Czech Republic), the Armenian Centre for Democratic Education-CIVITAS, the International Centre for Human Development, the SME Cooperation Association and the Union of Communities of Armenia.
The project aims to enhance the influence of civil society organisations (CSOs) and CSO coalitions/networks on public policies in Armenia. This will allow organisations that are already working in sectoral coalitions to access additional resources, new groups of civil society experts to come together and encourage place their causes on the local and national policy agenda, to identify common concerns and priorities and approach government bodies with constructive and strategic policy engagement initiatives.