Mobilizing Civil Society for Governance Reform

With the support of Black Sea Trust (BST) of the German Marshall Fund, from April 2019 EPF embarked upon a small-scale project on addressing the culture of violence via the capacities of civil society to help the state agencies dealing with education, defense, police, social issues, etc. to start changing their policies to reduce societal violence. EPF has involved independent experts and civil society actors to conduct studies and develop practical manuals on non-violence and crime prevention in the spheres of education, social affairs, law enforcement, etc. The collected data will be also used for providing recommendations for the crime prevention strategy and will be actively communicated with sectoral agencies.

As a part of this project, EPF announced call for application in 4 main directions: roots of violence in secondary education; hazing and violence cases in closed institutions (penitentiary institutions, army); criminal slang and behavior with a focus on Soviet heritage and its implications on modern Armenian society; study of social roots of violence and of the influence of poverty on it. Results of all four studies will be summed up in one strategic document and will be communicated with the relevant stakeholders, policy-makers, particularly with National Security Council. Development of these topics in cooperation will become a channel for civil society to provide its expertise and build long-lasting communication and cooperation systems between the stakeholders (civil society and government agencies), which is the main goal of the project. EPF will also cooperate with the stakeholders to pilot trainings or presentations of manuals to the relevant personnel of the institutions mentioned above. By the end of the project, it is envisaged to have 3 manuals for social workers, secondary education workers/parents, penitentiary institutions/army personnel; 4 study reports on roots of violence in Armenia with a focus on social, educational spheres and closed institutions; 4 sets of policy recommendations for state institutions (MoES, MoLSA, MoJ, Police, MoD) and one set of strategy development recommendations for the NSA on violence and crime prevention.