Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) in a consortium with SOCIES Expert Centre NGO (Socies), Boon TV Foundation (Boon TV), Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan NGO (YCCD) and Sose Women Issues NGO (Sose), hereinafter, DATA partners, is implementing the “Data for Accountable and Transparent Action” (DATA) program co-created with and supported by United States Agency for International Development. The program started in June 2020, and it will be implemented through May 2022.
The recent political change in Armenia and the government’s subsequent proclamation of a bigger transparency have unlocked new opportunities for civil society’s contribution to the policy process. However, the evidence- and data-based policy recommendations are not something that most of the Armenian CSOs are used to delivering to the public and government. There is a need to strengthen CSOs’ ability to build links with their constituencies, improve their strategic communication and cooperation within the sector and have a greater impact on policy.
The DATA program will contribute to an improved evidence-based policy making cycle by enhancing CSOs’ capacity to use sound, robust data; analyze and communicate it effectively; and generate expertise and support from other stakeholders. This will strengthen the capacity of local CSOs to become successful actors in building a more engaged, prosperous and well-governed Armenian society.
The DATA program will (1) improve the capacity of CSOs to identify, analyze, and effectively communicate evidence to policy makers; and (2) promote inter-sectoral cooperation through establishment of networks engaging CSOs and government in evidence-based policy development.
The DATA program will commence with (a) engaging stakeholder and partner groups into a conversation that will help define gaps in the “value chain policy process” in Armenia that local and international technical expertise should address; and (b) waging extensive outreach in regions to inform as many as possible CSOs and other actors about the program and its benefits. Parallel to this, DATA partners will invite international technical expertise to increase their own capacities in “value chain policy process,” and help create capacity-building methodologies and tools for sustainability and replicability of the effort. The second half of the program will see DATA partners providing capacity building, accompaniment and coaching to DATA beneficiaries, in particular, to members of the supported four network consortia (NC).
Throughout the program, DATA partners will (a) facilitate the engagement of multiple organizations with specific skill sets, including grass-roots, academia, think tanks, media/communication entities, into NC; (b) enhance their skills through training and accompaniment based on their functions and needs; and (c) pilot a “value chain method,” i.e. add value to the raw materials (research data) through multiple stages of production (analysis) to create a final product (policy recommendation), and then ‘sell’ the finished product to customers (decision-makers). Apart from supporting NCs, DATA program will offer smaller-scale internships and fellowships to a much larger group of beneficiaries, who will also contribute to the achievement of DATA objectives.
DATA program will help foster the culture of bottom-up data-driven decision making in Armenia by demonstrating how sound data originating at the grass-roots level makes the argument stronger, facilitates more effective advocacy, and contributes to better policies.