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STRIVE for a better future: communities and civil society resilience in Armenia (STRIVE)

Project Description
STRIVE for a better future: communities and civil society resilience in Armenia (STRIVE) aims to improve the resilience, sustainability, accountability, and capacity for innovation of Armenian civil society organisations (CSOs). This will enable them to play a pivotal role in raising awareness, deepening democracy, and serving constituencies in Armenia, especially vulnerable populations.

STRIVE will be strongly grounded in local communities—involving grassroots CSOs and civic groups throughout Armenia. It will be balanced geographically and thematically, focused on community development, women’s rights, people with disabilities, green transitioning, and youth. The Project will help mentioned Rights-Holders become active participants in positive community development initiatives through improved skills, communication, and engagement mechanisms including blended leadership skills training, grassroots-led civic initiatives, and an emergency fund.
CSOs will benefit from overall increased organisational capacity of civil society in Armenia, improved mechanisms for capacity building, peer-to-peer mutual support and networking. The Project will provide targeted financial support to CSOs and civic-initiative groups to implement organisational development and grassroots-led initiatives.
Specific Objective
1. CSOs increase their organisational capacity for internal democratic governance, accountability and transparency, sustainability, and constituency linkages through an innovation-driven approach, allowing them to better respond to the needs of their constituencies and vulnerable groups;
2. Structured mechanisms are expanded in support of mutually beneficial volunteering, community service, and on-the-job learning, enabling CSOs to tap into citizenry dedicated to delivering quality services to the most vulnerable, based on shared values;
3. Enhanced synergies and cooperation among CSOs and other relevant stakeholders help address the shrinkage of civil society space, disinformation, and systemic challenges faced by civil society in Armenia by enabling a strong coherent voice to contribute to and influence public decision-making.
Expected Results
Output 1.1. CSOs and grassroots social and environmental civic groups have increased their key competences and organisational capacity by participating or leading innovation-focused capacity development journeys and applying them to their operations and grassroots civic initiatives.
(Targets: 176 CSOs benefiting from innovation-focused capacity development, targeted financial support, and mentorship circles; 24 civic initiative groups benefiting from financial support to implement social innovation activities; 250 informal civic groups developing social innovation journeys; 1 participatory mapping of CSO needs and gaps; 1 updated OMI curriculum; ToT curriculum for multiplier CSO OMI trainers; standard operating procedures for CSO-led Mentorship Circles; 1 curriculum for civic-action focused social innovation

Output 1.2. Armenian CSOs address urgent and basic needs of severely vulnerable populations using an emergency fund and applying a Do-No-Harm approach.
(Targets: 24 CSOs benefiting from financial support to implement emergency response activities)

Output 2.1. CSOs have developed a coherent strategy for engaging volunteers, featuring detailed volunteering and community services descriptions for engaging volunteers.
(Targets: 120 CSOs participating in volunteering schemes; 1 guideline published on CSO volunteering)

Output 2.2. Value-driven citizens, such as youth and active citizens, become more engaged in civil society volunteering, due to stronger visibility of local CSOs and increased leadership skills.
(Targets: 400 CSOs participating in volunteer fairs; 3,600 value-driven citizens engaged in volunteer fairs; 360 youth benefiting from leadership skills training; 6,600 potential volunteers benefiting from awareness on volunteering, active citizenship; 1 curriculum for youth peer trainers)

Output 2.3. An academic course on the role of civil society is endorsed by Armenian universities, ensuring that a new generation of young professionals have an understanding of civil society.
(Targets: Three education providers participate in the development of an academic course to raise awareness on the role of civil society among future young professionals; 5 educational institutions endorse the course)

Output 3.1. Multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral and cross-region cooperative networks and partnerships among civil society and other key stakeholders are strengthened, at all levels.
(Targets: 400 CSOs participating in CSO forums, roundtables, and joint actions; 5,550 persons (volunteers, CSO members, other visitors) engaged in CSO forums; 540 other key development actors participating in mentorship circles, CSO forums, roundtables, and joint actions; 1 inception report on synergy and joint actions)

Output 3.2. CSOs & media organisations lead evidence-based research and reporting and educational initiatives to fight malign content, increasing media literacy and critical-thinking competences.
(Targets: 8 civil society & media organisation partnerships beneficiating from partnerships and financial support to improve media literacy education and critical thinking; 1 policy brief & toolkit on media literacy)
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Civil society
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