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Project Title:
Improvement of Transparency and Accountability in the Mining Sector & Promotion of EITI (ITAMSPE)

Project time period:
July 2018 – October 2019

Funding Agency:
Financed through Transparency International with funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Project Description:
The project aims to provide training on a variety of topics related to EITI standard for MSG, interested civil-society organizations (CSOs), community youth clubs (CYCs) and most active and promising local groups and activists. It aims at strengthening participants’ capacity for involvement in EITI implementation and monitoring mechanisms intended to ensure transparency in the management of the extractive industry and bridge the knowledge gaps among the participating groups.

Project Background:
For years, promoting transparency in the Armenian extractive sector has remained largely an unresolved issue. There has been little official information in the public domain regarding mining operations and revenues. Recently, however, there have developments to attempt at greater transparency and accountability. One of these is the Government of Armenia’s move to join the EITI.
To create favorable conditions for the effective implementation of the EITI in Armenia, it is necessary to improve key stakeholders’ awareness about the EITI process, and conduct capacity building activities of local CSOs, particularly at the community level, and MSG members to engage on the EITI principles and requirements, and such general issues as mining revenue management, institutionalization of the EITI, necessity for transparency in the extractive industries etc. In addition, the EITI Armenia’s Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) has set as its objectives to promote a culture of responsible mining in the country. This objective requires greater capacity in understanding of performance standards and community and civil-society oversight.
The proposed project ties with EITI requirement 1.3.Civil society engagement, EITI Protocol on participation of civil society and 1.4 Multi –stakeholder group and Decision–Making Protocol for the EITI Multi-Stakeholder Group.

Target Beneficiary Groups:
— The direct beneficiary groups are: EITI MSG members, EITI MSG CSO groups, interested CSOs, most active local groups and activists, and CYCs.
— The indirect beneficiaries are public at large, especially mining regions population, national policy stakeholders, and civil society organizations at large.

Project Objectives:
The overall objective of the project is to build the capacity of EITI Armenia MSG, CSOs, CYCs and local groups and activists to engage on EITI process, improve their awareness about the EITI principles and standards and general issues connected with ensuring transparency in the mining sector, such as EITI requirements, budget analysis and monitoring, mining industry operations, revenue management laws, contracts and taxation, etc. The project will aim to boost the capacity of the most active and promising civil society leaders in Armenia to actively participate in EITI processes. The tailored training will address several major challenges related to CSO capacity-building around EITI in Armenia, including (i) increasing coordination of CSOs participating in EITI to ensure continuing exchange of best practices, (ii) training on EITI principles and criteria and its promotion, (ii) EITI validation processes, (iv) understanding and addressing issues such as the impact of different fiscal and contracting arrangements for extractives, international best practices on licensing, and model revenue management laws ; and (v) concepts related to budgetary management of mining revenues and EITI.
Expected results include more informed MSG, CSOs, and youth centres on the EITI principles, criteria and implementation and promotion process; developed understanding among CSOs of the essential elements of mining industry and the related fiscal and contracting arrangements for mining, international best practices on licensing, and revenue management laws; strengthened capacity of CSOs to communicate with the broader population about the EITI and its implementation in the country; improved coordination among CSOs to play a more effective role as stakeholders in the EITI implementation processes; strengthened coordination among CSOs at the regional / global level.
The project may also help to create coordination channels between CSOs and national and local stakeholders and among CSOs at the regional/ global level.
Training materials generated by the project will continue to be available on the CRM website for use by stakeholders of the EITI socialization process in Armenia.

Project Components:
There are two key components to the project will build on the training needs assessment provided to AUA Center for Responsible Mining by Transparency International. The project will offer a series of trainings for the EITI Armenia MSG, interested CSOs, local groups and activists, and CYCs. The project will also develop training videos.