01.05.2003 • Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the Problems of Protecting Democratic Principles in Armenia: Participating Process

The Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (IDHR) is an independent, non-governmental organization registered under the Association Law of the Republic of Armenia (1999). Its main objective is to promote sustainable democracy and human rights in Armenia within regional perspectives. We believe that this is the main guarantee for a free, dignified, and prosperous living and development of Armenian society as a whole, as well as, the possibility for fulfilled participation in the large family of humanity.
IDHR in close cooperation with active and intellectual forces, as well as ensuring wide participation of society, from June 2001 initiated the organization and implementation of active participation of broad sectors of the society in the process of development of a comprehensive national Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (The RA Government in 2000 has developed an Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (IPRSP), which is called to serve a basis for the final development of the PRSP). According to the decision of the PRSP Steering Committee adopted on October the 1st, IDHR was selected as one of the organizations in charge of the participatory process and public awareness campaign on PRSP content, discussions and development.
IDHR believes that it is important to ensure that the main problems of the society and public life are integrated in the public discourse and that the public becomes aware of and participates in the development of public discourse. Therefore within the framework of the above-mentioned program/process IDHR has initiated and organized a series of discussions, meetings, surveys and publications among which the recent publication has been published.
This booklet which has been published in cooperation with the government of Armenia, aims at supporting the promotion of new ideas and at generating various viewpoints and approaches through research and scientific methodology on the particularities of Poverty and ways of its eradication in Armenia. Through comparative analyses in particular it aims at introducing the changes during the preparation of PRSP, the main suggestions and principal inquiries of IDHR on PRSP, the main results of the public participation in PRSP, the prospects of development, as well as new principles of poverty classification, monitoring and evaluation.
IDHR wishes, that this booklet prepared and published by its initiative, become a useful tool for the development of the principles of the comprehensive PRSP, and stimulate the organization of constructive debates on the above-mentioned issues.
IDHR is especially interested in emphasizing those viewpoints relating to the poverty problems, which were not properly paid attention till now. In the previous booklets the reflection was made on the systemic nature of poverty; on the problem of correlation of poverty and the values of human rights and democracy; on the peculiarities of poverty in rural and urban places; and on the issues of interconnection between the local governance problems and poverty, on the problems of employment market formulation and employment problems; on the major issue of investment policy’s orientation; on the role of scientific educational and cultural policy in the strategy for overcoming the poverty in the RoA.
This booklet will support the state bodies and working groups involved in PRSP process to make a wider choice among the variety of opinions.
IDHR gives importance to such proactive participation in the process of defining and solving of the main problems of the society, in the same time urges the authorities to listen to the suggestions and viewpoints represented in these booklets.
Effective and sustainable programmes, which serve the interests of society as a whole, should be developed with combined efforts. This is the precondition for the development of a civic and participative democratic state.
The Institute for Democracy and Human Rights - IDHR
Yerevan, 2003



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