Armenia: Reason for optimism emerges from CIVICUS CSI report
Posted by civilsocietyindex on December 8, 2010
CIVICUS is pleased to announce that the second Analytical Country Report of this phase (2008-2010) of the Civil Society Index has been completed. The report, entitled Armenian Civil Society: From Transition to Consolidation, is one milestone marking the completion of the CSI in Armenia. Counterpart International Armenia implemented the project with the support of international organisations USAID/Armenia, UN Volunteers and OSCE and others.
The report, based on a variety of research sources including three quantitative surveys, shows that civil society in Armenia is moving towards consolidation. While the “Level of Organisation”, “Practice of Values” and “External Environment” dimensions of what is known as the CSI diamond are all fairly balanced, the “Civic Engagement” and “Perception of Impact” dimensions score below average (37.4% and 32.8% respectively). Further findings attribute the lag in Civic Engagement to weak levels of citizen participation, particularly for socially-based engagement (11.9%). Similarly low scores in the perceived impact achieved by civil society reflect civil society’s weak impact on social attitudes (15.2%).
In terms of their organisation, Armenian CSOs have in many cases successfully established formal management systems, membership networks, growth and communication access. Likewise, the “Practice of Values” dimension suggests that despite the concerted efforts made by Armenian CSOs to promote their internal values, more effort is needed to make these practices and values a reality. The “External Environment” dimension for Armenian civil society suggests that state-civil society and private sector-civil society partnerships prosper where symbiotic linkages have propelled them out of the corrupt environment which has plagued Armenian civil society for a long-time.
Although the space for Armenian civil society faces issues of corruption, weak social capital, political patronage and clientelism, the report argues that there is significant room for optimism about the future of civil society in Armenia. In particular, the government’s willingness to work with civil society signals a determination by the country as a whole to work together towards developing a larger space for civil society in the country.
CIVICUS would like to commend the National Implementing Team (NIT) in Armenia for the hard work they put into compiling the report and implementing the project.
To access the full report, please click here