In February, the English-language book Armenia 3.0 was published online, authored by EPF Director and with the participation of a number of team members; the book discusses the history and social processes of Armenia in the 20th century. It was created in 2016-2017 based on a series of 9 video lectures, and targets foreigners or diasporans who want to get to know Armenia better, understand the country and participate effectively in – or organize – reforms. “Consequence: Artefact”, a film and spatial exhibition of photographic art and sculptures about the aftermath of the Artsakh wars, which were presented in Artsakh at the end of last year, were presented in Yerevan; many guests were present at the opening, including Armenia's international partners and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.

At the beginning of the year, it was not known what impact the pandemic would have on the world and Armenia. The lockdown policy went into effect in mid-March. EPF faced a number of questions: how to continue working under lockdown conditions in such a way that the quality of work does not suffer. EPF developed a number of rules on new working conditions, adopted the means and methods of working remotely, and made these recommendations widely available within civil society. The new situation demanded a change in tactics from face-to-face contact with beneficiaries to more research-based and textual approaches; EPF organized or conducted several studies, in particular on the status of illegal migrants in the pandemic, commissioned by the International Organization for Migration. Additional advantages were found, such as the fact that remote meetings allow people from different geographical locations to connect online, something that is not fully possible with physical meetings. The rapid change in tactics allowed EPF to maintain its momentum and quality. By autumn, a number of high-quality research and studies undertaken by EPF partners were published, such as “Firdus: The memory of a place” and “Fragments of Armenia’s Soviet Past”, etc.

On the occasion of the Day of Remembrance of the Oppressed during Stalinist purges, on June 14, EPF organized a competition, which enabled the collection in one place of a number of creative works on the repressions of the 20th century - texts, photos, videos, other materials; this collection will be of great importance for all those who want to understand the 20th century in Armenia, in order to properly understand how to work on development issues today. In the summer, EPF acquired consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC). This success would have been impossible without the trust and support that EPF has from the international community concerned about Armenia.

On September 27, the 44-day war broke out, which had a catastrophic impact on the region, Armenia, Artsakh and on Armenians. EPF continued its work during the war, making changes where necessary. EPF undertook activities to explain the realities to the international community, and participated in the activities of the charitable front both as an organization and through its individual team members. In the aftermath of the war, as the pandemic continued, EPF took a number of steps to clarify its strategies in the new situation. First of all, EPF feels responsible to those of its beneficiaries who were directly targeted by the war: the people of Artsakh and others whom the war did not spare. At the same time, it became clear that Armenian statehood has received a strong blow. All the errors that had accumulated during the decades of independence, above all as a result of the activities of corrupt governments, appeared at once, threatening to lead to the collapse of the state. At the same time, the deep imperfections of the new, inexperienced populist government were completely exposed. Before the war, the current government was  not able to prevent it, nor to stop the hostilities quickly during the war, nor to effectively reorganize the state after the war. This places even greater responsibility on civil society, and EPF bears that responsibility to the best of its ability. One of the highlights was the fact that the Swedish Development Agency, Sida, signed an agreement with EPF to assist civil society. The agreement was signed while the war was ongoing. The activities of Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States, the European Union and other states and organizations in Armenia have shown that the international community is not going to back down from its strategy of supporting reforms, is ready to support the strengthening of Armenia's sovereignty and address new challenges via civil society efforts as well. Adding to the consequences of the war - military, political, social, economic, personal - was the widespread social trauma and post-traumatic stress, which became one of the most important targets for EPF to address. In addition to supporting civil society initiatives, EPF also completed and published a number of methodological approaches, namely its approaches to education and gender issues, thus supplementing its range of theoretical and methodological tools, which include its activities in the fields of culture, urban planning, the study of the 20th century, as well as research on values: expressions of democracy and tolerance in the Armenian literature.

Updated on 26 June, 2021