Supporting participatory urban development and start a solid relationship of decentralised cooperation with an Armenian town.
These are the main aims of the project launched by the City of Thiene with the City of Ijevan, Armenia, in cooperation with ALDA, the Association of Local Democracy Agencies.
The project is co-financed by the Veneto Region under the “Direct Initiative 2011 – Decentralised cooperation for development” for the promotion of human rights, culture of peace, development cooperation and solidarity.
Ijevan is a city of about twenty thousand inhabitants, the capital of Tavush region in the north-east of Armenia, near the border with Azerbaijan.
The project will develop over a year and includes study visits and training courses in the two cities.
“Citizen’s participation in local government is one of the pillars of democracy and good governance-says Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA – and if in Europe this is a consolidated phenomenon, the situation is very different in many of the Eastern countries, which are still facing the transition from post-Soviet European to democracy. If we want democracy found fertile ground there, too, we must work hard with citizens to encourage them to participate. To reach this goal, ALDA promote this twinning project and will open in a few days, October 28, in Armenia his thirteenth Local Democracy Agency, with the support of the Council of Europe, in addition to the one opened five years ago in Georgia and the other eleven active in the Balkans. “
The project will establish an exchange of good practices, to develop, in the near future, citizens’ participation and democracy. Environmental sustainability and sustainable development are other issues at the heart of future cooperation, which could spread to the management of waste and the public awareness on environmental issues.
The project is divided into three activities aimed at increasing the participation of the citizens of Ijevan and the instruments used to facilitate the dialogue between local authorities and civil society.
The first activity will be a training session in Ijevan, starting on the 26th of October, managed by expert of Thiene Municipality and ALDA.
The second action will involve an expert of ALDA in a lab with about thirty representatives of local authorities and civil society organisations of Ijevan on issues of active citizenship and cooperation between local authorities and civil society in urban development.
The last action will be a study visit in Thiene of a delegation of representatives of the Armenian community (next March), during which will be illustrated the practical activities and initiatives of the Italian town, such as the Urban Center, a reality that could also be replicated in the Armenian city. The visit aims to create a network between authorities and civil society organisations, which will be the basis for a durable cooperation.