European Union External Action

Access to Information and Investigative Journalism for Better Informed Citizens

17/01/2018 - 11:47
Civil Society and Media

The national budget is one of the most important government tools to implement its government policies. However, many Armenian citizens - and particularly young people – do not know how the national budget is spent.

This project seeks to ensure that journalists and civil society organisations produce and share easy-to-understand information, news articles and contributes to a real debate about budget allocations and spending in Armenia.

The national budget is one of the most important government tools to implement its government policies. However, many Armenian citizens - and particularly young people – do not know how the national budget is spent. This project seeks to ensure that journalists and civil society organisations produce and share easy-to-understand information, news articles and contributes to a real debate about budget allocations and spending in Armenia.

Actions in Brief

Freedom of Information Center will start the project by training national and regional civil society organisations and sharing with them necessary knowledge/skills so they could be able to fully assist Armenian citizens in gaining more access to reliable information whenever they need. We believe free access to information is a step forward for shaping politically and socially conscious population, especially in the regions of Armenia. The knowledge/skills taught during the trainings will help CSOs to get informed about the EU’s assistance to Armenia, and particularly in which sectors and how the EU supports development projects in Armenia. This can include state projects in the sectors of public healthcare, transportation, environment, energy efficiency, etc. During the trainings CSOs will be introduced to the methodology for monitoring State budget.

Further, we will finance 10 CSOs so they could cooperate with government bodies on a project of their choice, covering budget allocation issues in the mentioned spheres. Through these 10 projects they will recommend government to use more efficient and effective ways of planning and/or spending budget resources, which are allocated to State budget by the EU. We are sure this joint collaboration between civil society (especially the youth) and government on reasonable and effective budget expenditure will positively impact the economic and social wellbeing of the society in Armenia. 

With the assistance of a Maastricht-based European Journalism Center, our project also aims to train young journalists to get them more engaged in investigative journalism and be able to present to Armenian citizens interesting and well-researched stories on various topical issues, including how the national budget is being planned and whether it is spent purposefully. This kind of journalistic storytelling will serve the public interest by raising awareness and consciousness of an average Armenian and thus will hold the government accountable to the Armenian population. Overall, the project will run for 20 months and will help Armenian population, especially in the regions, to get more access to information, therefore be more informed about budget expenditure and their rights to hold the government accountable for inefficient budget spending.

 

Duration:  22/12/2017 - 14/09/2019 (20 months)

Total Project Budget:   EUR 390,000.00   

EU Contribution: EUR 343,200.00  

Location:    Republic of Armenia

Implementing Partners:   Freedom of Information Center of Armenia (FOICA), Maastricht-based European Journalism Center

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