ArmeniaNow.com - Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 February 28, 2003 



Toward an Informed Public: Information Analytical Centers to be expanded in 10 cities


Eurasia 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 training.

Information-Analytical Centers will serve as information dissemination means, will enable automated data entering, budget tracking and accurate voter list preparation.

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 activities.

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 Association and
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 greatly facilitated
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 John Ordway.

The Ambassador mentioned the Eurasia Foundation project as a highest priority and a step to fostering democratic process.

"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 work.


Marching Orders
  Marching Orders: Click to enter
Marching Orders: Click to enter

 

  Inside
 

To Uphold and Execute: The duties and privileges of the Presidency

Full story

 
 
 
 

Decision 2003: Disabled exercise independence during Presidential Elections

Full story

 
 
 
 

Set in Stone: New book links "worry-bead" exiled to their histories

Full story

 

  Photo of the week
  Photo of the week: Talk Time
Click on the photo above to enlarge
 
 
 
 

In the Name of the Father

At Wednesday's rally in support of Stepan Demirchyan, one demonstrator on a terrace at the Institute of Manuscripts expressed his support with a historic campaign poster from another Demirchyan era: "Trust Karen Demirchyan".

 

 





Copyright ArmeniaNow.com 2002-2017. All rights reserved.

The contents of this website cannot be copied, either wholly or partially, reproduced, transferred, loaded, published or distributed in any way without the prior written consent of ArmeniaNow.com.