Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Supports Projects Encouraging Citizens’ and Young Specialists’ Participation in Governance

18/01/2019 - 08:46
Democracy and Human Rights

The EU-funded Innovation for Development (Inno4Dev) programme is supporting decentralised governance and active citizenship through organising contests, realising the winning initiatives, and setting up a constructive environment for government-citizen dialogue.

The EU-funded Innovation for Development (Inno4Dev) programme is supporting decentralised governance and active citizenship through organising contests, realising the winning initiatives, and setting up a constructive environment for government-citizen dialogue.

Facts & Figures

Implementing organisations in Armenia: UNDP’s Kolba Lab

CRIS number: 363088

EU Budget: € 299 900

Duration:  28 months | October 2015 – February 2018

Location: All regions | Republic of Armenia

Objectives

  • Increase participation of citizens in governance and development processes;
  • Provide public servants with a platform enabling more effective and efficient government processes and services;
  • Enhance interaction between government and citizens.

 

Results

  • Has organised public events in the format of “Kolba Cafés,” engaging citizens in the discussion of various topics from behavioural science to social start-up marketing.
  • Has supported the government with various cutting-edge approaches under the banner of public sector innovation, such as holding innovation challenges within key government offices or organizing a pop-up innovation lab in the Ministry of Justice.
  • As part of Social Innovation Camp on Healthcare, more than 100 applications were received. Three social projects entered Kolba Lab’s incubator.
  • Established annual Public Sector Innovation Week (#PSIWeek) to showcase achievements and test out ideas for the future.

 

Testimony

“We received many innovative submissions in response to our contest announcements,” says Kolba Lab Lead Marine Mkhitaryan. “One was to do better in connecting the student to the job market. The suggestion we received was to make the thesis graduating students write relevant to the industry’s requirements. Instead of rummaging the theoretical materials from the 70’s the student, who wants to work for a company will research and write on a current applicable topic proposed by said company and thus get an employment opportunity.”

An interesting result of winning one of these open contests is a mobile app “Matcheli Vayrer (Accessible Places)” designed for people with disabilities to know the inclusive spaces in Yerevan. Varduhi Aramyan, the author of the idea, says:

“Anyone, who sees a space with wide doors and accessible elevators can mark it as “inclusive” on our map. Our team is in constant contact with its users to work on the app’s improvement. Soon people with disabilities will be able to check the arrival of inclusive public transport online, instead of having to call the dispatcher.”

The overall philosophy of Inno4Dev is to encourage the citizens’ participation in Armenia’s political life. Mkhitaryan says:

“Social solutions have to be human-centric; the assumption was that people, who have the issue know best how to solve it. We have to recognise just how much citizens have changed since the establishment of democracy in Armenia.”

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