OGP-Armenia National Action Plan 2018-2020
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an initiative assuming multilateral cooperation and having a clearly designed agenda and commitments. The initiative was called upon to bring together representatives of governments and civil societies to work together and design the agenda for inclusive development of the Government, as well as to make the system of governance transparent, accountable, innovative and participatory.
All the governments face challenges, for the solutions whereto the existing methods are not sufficient; hence, alternative and effective methods and models should be engaged and applied.
The "Open Government Partnership" initiative not only creates a significant dialogue between stakeholders but also ensures a process of revealing and discussing regional issues with the member states of the initiative.
The Republic of Armenia joined the OGP initiative on 17 October 2011 and has so far implemented three Action Plans. The commitments included in the OGP Action Plans covered social, legal, financial, community, mining, and other sectors. Undoubtedly, this process was accomplished with its whole significance and served as an incentive for a healthy democracy in Armenia.
Since joining the OGP initiative, we can state for sure that the effectiveness of the public administration system and access to information has been improved, responsibility for accountability has increased and society more responsible in the decision-making process has been shaped in Armenia.
Attaching importance to the OGP's overall progress, in 2016, the OGP member countries and Armenia joined the Declaration aimed at the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In 2017, Armenia launched the process aimed at the Sustainable Development Goals, and on 17 July 2018, the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia presented the First Voluntary SDG Report of Armenia at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The OGP initiative is definitely a well-established and supporting mechanism for the best implementation of the 17 SDGs. These two processes are further enhancing and consolidating the international community for tackling the challenges of the 21st century in the areas of ecology, economy, society, and equitable rights.
The Velvet Revolution has taken place in April 2018 was a turning point for the Armenian people. Democracy won in Armenia and that victory is irreversible. The people of Armenia proved that they are the carrier of fundamental conceptual values of democracy and justice. Today, fighting against corruption, establishing the rule of law, the transparency, and accountability of governance, strengthening the democratic institutions and civil society, creating equal competitive conditions for economic and political actors are among the primary objectives of our Government.
The Government Programme of the Republic of Armenia, adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia in June 2018, affirms the political will to overcome the obstacles for the development of Armenia, through the high commitment for the fight against corruption, for the rule of law and fair competition. The Programme is also aimed at enhancing economic growth, promoting exports, developing human capital, and overcoming poverty through balanced activities in the economic and social sectors, as well as stable improvements in public administration and environmental governance.
With great willingness, the Government of Armenia undertakes to fulfill the OGP principles, i.e. to further reinforce the culture of the citizen-state co-operation, ensuring the active participation of the citizen in the system of governance, the decision-making process, and the elaboration of policies.
STEPS UNDERTAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT
The commitments assumed under the Second and Third OGP Action Plans and not fulfilled within the prescribed time limits, continued and were mainly accomplished even after the expiry of the implementation period of those Plans. The Government of the Republic of Armenia has already implemented three Action Plans which have essentially improved the most vulnerable and closed sectors important for the State and citizens, improving the provision of public services, effective management of public resources, promotion of public confidence, as well as creation of safe communities. Progress is indisputable in sectors such as mining, healthcare, education, local self-governance, freedom of information, public procurement reforms, law-making activities, access to information, social access, State Budget, and so on.
The progress of the initiative was evaluated and appreciated by both the local and international partners:
- In September 2015, the Office of the Government of the Republic of Armenia was granted the Golden Key Award by the Freedom of Information Centre non-governmental organization, for best implementation of the commitments of the National Action Plan of Armenia within the scope of the Open Government Partnership international initiative.
- In October 2015, Armenia was granted a high award, receiving the Regional Champion title in the region (Asia-Pacific) within the scope of the global forum of the OGP initiative held in Mexico City, United Mexican States. During the award ceremony, Armenia introduced the Creation and introduction of community management information systems within municipalities of the Republic of Armenia initiative. The initiative wasreferred to as “Smart Municipality” during the competition. The project is aimed at raising the level of effectiveness of the activities of local self-government bodies in Armenia and improving, through open governance, the provision of public services to the people of the communities.
ACTION PLAN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
On 19 February 2018, the session of the working group coordinating the works of the Open Government Partnership initiative in Armenia was held within the Staff of the Government of the Republic of Armenia. The start of the OGP/Armenia Fourth Action Plan and the schedule for the development of the new Action Plan were among the items on agenda. The Government of the Republic of Armenia had published the main criteria, guidelines, and format to be followed when drafting the Action Plan commitments.
All the interested bodies, non-governmental organizations, and citizens could submit their specific recommendations deriving from the OGP principles to the Staff of the Government of the Republic of Armenia via email@example.com.
In March 2018, the Government launched the Action Plan awareness-raising campaign. The OGP Armenia team visited Gyumri, Armavir, Vanadzor, Lernapat community and Ijevan. The OGP Armenia team met with representatives of regional non-governmental organizations, educational and media organizations. It presented the mission of the Open Government Partnership and the achievements of past years.
The process of awareness-raising on launching a new OGP Action Plan and of collection of proposals from the public administration bodies was carried out by the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. As a result, 42 proposals were collected.
On 7-11 May 2018, 75 member states of the OGP were celebrating
the Open Government Week, within the framework of which events relating to the issues of open government, transparency, accountability, and participatory governance was held. On 10 May, within the scope of the Open Government Week international initiative, a meeting with students of the Faculty of Journalism of Yerevan State University was organized jointly with the Freedom of Information Centre (FIC). The aim of the meeting was to present to the future journalists the seven years' experience of the membership of Armenia to the Open Government Partnership international initiative and the achievements thereof, as well as to inform them about the launch of the new Action Plan. On 22 June, a discussion of the Working Group, organised by the FIC was held, the aim of which was to consolidate the forces of the civil society in the stage of elaboration of the new Fourth OGP Armenia Action Plan, as well as consider the new formats for the civil society-government co-operation.
On 30 June, a session of the OGP Working Group was held, during which the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia (OGP Co-ordinator in Armenia) and members of the civil society discussed and reaffirmed the course of the OGP-Armenia actions.
On 9 July 2018, the OGP Working Group met with Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Open Government Partnership initiative Joseph Powell and Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator Shreya Basu, who were on a working visit to Armenia, and discussed the mechanisms for achieving more effective cooperation ahead of the drafting of the new Plan.
The Government of the Republic of Armenia, with the support of civil society partners, is calling for ideas for the purpose of supplementing the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Fourth Action Plan. Through the tool of crowdsourcing, all citizens could submit proposals, irrespective of restrictions on profession and age. For disseminating the process among servants and collecting more in-depth proposals, the tool was, upon the initiative of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, also put into circulation and disseminated among public servants of the subdivisions of all public administration bodies.
At the same time, regional meetings were held, which were organized with the support of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, “Freedom of Information Centre” NGO, and “Armavir Development Center” NGO.
“Freedom of Information Center” NGO:
Tavush, Lori, Aragatsotn, and Ashtarak — meetings with the local NGO representatives, pedagogues and active citizens; presentation of the OGP process.
On 17-18 September 2018, an outgoing working session was held in Aghveran with the participation of the OGP group members and international experts.
“Armavir Development Center” NGO:
Meetings were held with local NGOs and intellectuals, as well as 12 meetings with the public servants of state institutions were held in the 10 marzes (provinces) of the Republic of Armenia. A total of 170 participants took part in the town hall meetings held in 4 marzes of the Republic of Armenia - Armavir, Ararat, Aragatsotn, Kotayk, and in the capital of Yerevan. There were 4 sector-specific proposals that were discussed, as a result of which the advice and proposals received through feedback helped improve the goals of the commitments.
For summarising the proposals (47) received from the public administration bodies (42) and through crowdsourcing, meetings were held, as a result of which the proposals were classified as
- not complying to the OGP values
- less ambitious for the OGP values
- improving the OGP values
- ambitious for the OGP values
The commitments of the draft of the Fourth OGP-Armenia Action Plan were discussed and approved during the session of the working group held on 17 October 2018. Six out of the eleven commitments of the Action Plan are the proposals submitted by citizens and NGOs.
- doc Open Government Partnership-Armenia 2018-2020 Arm
- docx Open Government Partnership-Armenia 2018-2020 Eng
- doc Open Government Partnership-Armenia 2018-2020: Amended Arm
- docx Open Government Partnership-Armenia 2018-2020: Amended Eng
- docx Open Government Partnership-Armenia 2018-2020: Government's final report Arm
- docx Open Government Partnership-Armenia 2018-2020: Government's final report Eng
- pdf Open Government Partnership-Armenia 2018-2020: IRM report Arm
- pdf Open Government Partnership-Armenia 2018-2020: IRM report Eng