USAID/Armenia intends to award up to three cooperative agreements for civil society-led programs aimed at strengthening civil society engagement in and oversight of selected, high priority reforms implemented by the Government of Armenia (GOAM).
This Program Description is based on GOAMs expression
of interest in USAIDs assistance for implementation of the USAID/GOAM draft Development Objective Cooperation Agreement (DOAG) commitments (to be signed) and is designed to complement the GOAMs reform goals as described in Armenian Development Strategy (ADS) for 2012-201 5. The results of this program will contribute to USAID/Armenias draft Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) for 2013-2017 goal:
A more engaged, prosperous and well-governed Armenian society. The overall objective of this program is to ensure that key government reforms reflect the interest and needs of Armenian citizens and other stakeholders, citizens are engaged in the reforms process, and civil society can hold the responsible government institutions accountable for implementation of these reforms.
To meet this objective USAID/Armenia is expected to fund up to three Civil Society programs in three policy reform areas, namely decentralization, transparency and accountability, and social sector.
Each program will be implemented by a consortium of civil society organizations for a period of up to five years with an approximate budget of $ 3. 5 million per consortium.
While each consortium will pursue common results related to citizen engagement, advocacy, access to information and sustainability of the sector, the activities and approaches may be different due to the nature of the reform on which the consortium is focused.
Each consortium, while expected to cooperate with the other two, where appropriate, will focus on one reform area.
By focusing attention around the reform areas civil society actors will develop more sustainable capacity to (1) engage citizens and articulate their interests, (2) monitor government institutions, officials and policy reform processes, and (3) increase citizen access to independent and reliable information about selected reforms.
In addition, the program will promote civil society-led initiatives to strengthen and sustain the CSO sector by advocating for improvements to the legal enabling environment and promoting transparency within the sector.
By awarding these programs directly to Armenian civil society organizations, USAID hopes to develop the capacity and leadership of civil society to continue to advocate on behalf of civil society long after USAID funding ends.