Foundation has announced a competition to establish
Information-Analytical Centers in 10 additional
cities throughout Armenia, following the success
of its initial program. The US State Department
allocated up to $220,000 for this purpose.
The winning cities will receive computer hardware
and software, as well as administrative and technical
Information-Analytical Centers will serve as
information dissemination means, will enable automated
data entering, budget tracking and accurate voter
Twenty nine of the country's 57 urban areas had
already participated in Eurasia's program and
currently enjoy the capacity to process the budget,
revenue and expense streams electronically, not
having to deal with old paper folders. Additionally,
cities are empowered with information on the municipality's
At a February 12 press conference Eurasia Foundation
presented the expanded project while also summarizing
its overall work in building municipals' capacity.
Representatives from Community Finance Officers
Information System Development and Training Center
also presented the results of their multi-year
effort of increasing the professional level of
municipal workers through technical assistance,
including software supply and training.
With the financial assistance from Eurasia Foundation,
GTZ and the Urban Institute the following software
had been developed for the municipalities.
City electronic maps by AUTOCAD mapping software
the inventorying of municipality assets. The Population
Register system provides automated database on
electorate, pensioners, pre-school age children,
households, dwellers, etc. The Budget software
transfers municipal budgeting into an automated
system, enabling budget forecasting, planning
and control. The Office Work system ensures quick
and effective search of required documents, strict
performance control, personnel analyses, etc.
For each software application the Urban Institute
sponsored training programs and on-the-job training
for the municipal staff.
The experience of 29 cities showed significant
improvement of local tax collection due to accurate
taxpayers' database; greater public participation
in local government and better budget execution
due to its transparency.
"We are particularly pleased with cooperation
with Eurasia Foundation, because they did a terrific
job in promoting democracy," said US Ambassador
The Ambassador mentioned the Eurasia Foundation
project as a highest priority and a step to fostering
"Democracy begins at local levels,"
Ordway said, adding that the local governments
are those who work directly with their citizens,
and create cooperation between public and government.
Artashes Kazakhetsyan, country director of Eurasia
Foundation said the involvement of new cities
into the program may eventually enable a country-wide
network of Municipal Information-Analytical Centers.
The idea of establishing information centers
at city halls was initially implemented in Charentsavan
and Ashtarak with a goal to serve as an equipped
center enabling information dissemination to the
public about municipal activity.
It also sought to increase the level of public
involvement in the local decision making process
as well as increased effectiveness of municipal