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10 new online platforms have been created to promote Government accountability. Freedom of Information Center of Armenia presented the results of the «Informed Armenia» project

On November 29, 2019, the closing conference of the project “Informed Armenia” took place. The project is co-funded by the European Union, implemented by Freedom of Information Center of Armenia in cooperation with Maastricht-based European Journalism Centre.

Opening speeches were delivered by Mr. Suren Krmoyan, Deputy Prime Minister’s advisor, Mr. Gonzalo Serrano, Head of Cooperation Section at the European Union Delegation, FOICA President Mrs. Shushan Doydoyan.

“I want to highlight today’s event and the presented project, as specific issues of practical application of the Right to Freedom of Information have been studied within the framework of the project. In this respect, I attach great importance to the hard and productive work of the NGOs working in the field of Freedom of Information over the years.

I would like to emphasize the continued support of our international partners in the exercise and protection of the right to Freedom of Information. I would like to emphasize the ongoing investigative work of our media and journalists, which has revealed numerous issues of public importance, resolved many issues”, said Mr. Krmoyan.

“This is a very interesting project with lots of investigations and analyses that have included concrete recommendations presented to the central and local government representatives. It is only with a comprehensive look at things that governments can deliver relevant and user-friendly services to citizens “, said Mr. Serrano from the EU Delegation.

“Freedom of information is a powerful tool for investigative journalists and civil society organizations to control the Government and make it accountable. Through sub-grant projects we have supported 23 organizations to strengthen their capacities so that they can make the Government accountable and work transparent at local and national levels through monitoring. Hundreds of students involved in the project had the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in the fields of information and investigative journalism”, mentioned Mrs. Shushan Doydoyan.

Within the framework of the project “Access to Information and Investigative Journalism for Better Informed Citizens”, FOICA together with 20 CSOs/media organisations from Yerevan and regions has implemented 23 sub-grant projects.
They aimed at monitoring public expenditure in a number of areas of public importance (healthcare, road construction, e-government, etc.) and developing proposals to address existing problems on the one hand, the development of institutional capacity of CSOs working in the field of public interest on the other hand.
During the conference, the beneficiary CSOs presented the results of their projects and their experience in working with the state, demonstrating their usefulness for the implementation of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Extended Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The CSOs have been actively collaborating with public administration bodies and local governments to jointly work out possible solutions to the problems identified and the CSOs’ role in this. As a result, along with dozens of reports, 10 online platforms have launched to promote public oversight and people’s participation in decision-making.
One of the outcomes of the conference was the creation of the Access to Information CSO Network. The goal of the ATI CSO Network is to promote effective enforcement of freedom of information in various areas of public administration, using FOI tools to protect public interest, fight corruption and freedom of expression.
The conference was concluded with an EXPO on Access to information and public oversight.


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