December 26, 2011

Completion of the 2011 World Values Survey-Armenia Data Collection Project

Prepared by Nicholas Kitzman

CRRC-Armenia has recently completed data collection for the 2011 World Values Survey (WVS). The survey results will give researchers, social scientists, policy-makers, and the general public an insight into the values, beliefs and motivations of the Armenian population. The WVS has carried out representative national surveys in 97 societies containing almost 90% of the world’s population. However, this is the first time WVS has been conducted in Armenia since 1997. Thus, contemporary Armenian views will be comparable to values throughout the world.

The survey included a standardized questionnaire and representative national sample of 1,100 Armenians to measure the values of Armenians on a number of issues. With over 250 questions on economic, political and social life, the WVS survey in Armenia aims to stimulate debate about changes since the last survey in1997, as well as to also give researchers and social scientists empirical data that can be compared to other countries.

As CRRC-Armenia staff continues to analyze the data, feel free to stop by our Yerevan office to take a first-hand look at the variety and depth of information gathered.
Here is a snapshot of some preliminary results.
2011 WVS- Armenia Survey:
  • When asked to pick from a list of worldwide problems, a majority of respondents reported “people living in poverty in need” as the most serious problem (75.4%), followed by “environmental pollution” (10.1%);
  • Of the respondents who noted that they consider it important to encourage tolerance and respect for others in children, 57.8% said they would not want to live next to someone who practiced a different religion, and 94.1% said they would not wish to live next to a homosexual person;
  • 26.3% of male respondents described the republic of Armenia to be “not-at-all democratic” compared with only 16.2% of female respondents;
  • If elections to the National Assembly were to be held at the time of the interview (September 2011), the two political parties that respondents would vote for the most would be the Armenian Republican Party (24.5%) and Prosperous Armenia (20.5%);
  • 27.9% of male respondents reported that they felt they had a wide choice and control over their own lives while only 15.3% of women felt the same.

November 28, 2011

Lecture on Global Nuclear Technology Transfers and its Implications for the Caucasus

CRRC-Armenia, Yerevan State University and American University of Armenia organized a public lecture on “Global Nuclear Technology Transfers and its Implications for the Caucasus” conducted by Dr. Matthew Kroenig (Georgetown University, USA). The lecture was hosted by American University of Armenia on November 18, 2011.

The lecturer presented research from his recent book, Exporting the Bomb, in which he examines the historical transfer of sensitive nuclear materials and technology. In contrast to many analysts that consider nuclear transfers from an economic point of view, Dr. Kroenig argued that state decisions to provide nuclear assistance are the result of a coherent, strategic logic. He examined the most important historical cases, including France's nuclear assistance to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s; the Soviet Union's sensitive transfers to China from 1958 to 1960; China's nuclear aid to Pakistan in the 1980s; and Pakistan's recent technology transfers. After analyzing nuclear transfers in a global perspective, Dr. Kroenig discussed the implications of his research for nuclear smuggling in the Caucasus. The lecture was followed by a question-answer session and discussion.

The lecture was attended by different researchers, scholars and students.

Dr. Matthew Kroenig received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He currently specializes in nuclear deterrence and is a professor at Georgetown University, as well as a special advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense. He is the author of the book Exporting the Bomb: Technology Transfer and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons (Cornell University Press, 2010), coauthor of The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and coeditor of Causes and Consequences of Nuclear Proliferation (Routledge, 2011).

November 4, 2011

Social Cohesion Research Data Presentation

On October 19th, 2011, the presentation on the survey of the level of social cohesion in Armenia was held at the Erebuni Hall, Erebuni Plaza, Yerevan, Armenia. The presentation was opened by Ms. Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator/Resident Representative, and Mr. Vache Terteryan, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Territorial Administration, and hosted more than 50 people from different institutions. Hans Gutbrod, Regional Director, CRRC, presented the data with accents on challenges in socio-economic environment, apathy, distrust, opportunities, etc. The presentation was followed by a Q/A sessions that provide an arena for a lively discussion on the matters of a general concern.

The survey was conducted by CRRC-Armenia within the frames of UNDP "Enhancing Dialogue and Trust Building in Armenia" project and is the first comprehensive study on social cohesion in contemporary Armenian society. The nationwide survey captured 3170 records with adults over 18 years. Through quantitative and qualitative survey methods, CRRC-Armenia tried to outline the ways and patterns to improve the situation of social cohesion and to provide practical recommendations to those institutions that decide on the policies towards the change in the sphere. The survey revealed the potential in Armenian families, neighborhoods and local communities, and its main message is that whatever reforms are undertaken they should be targeted at local community’s level.

As UN residents coordinator Dafina Gercheva stated: "This research is only the very initial step. UNDP expects that it will trigger a countrywide discourse and more research. To that end, we will share the available database with the government, think tanks, universities and research centers across Armenia. UNDP expects this exercise to influence decision-making processes at all levels with the ultimate aim to equip national and local authorities with comprehensive social cohesion strategies.”

October 25, 2011

Armenian Economic Association Workshop Hosted by CRRC-Armenia

On October 24, 2011 CRRC-Armenia hosted a workshop in the scope of the conference organized by Armenian Economic Association. During the workshop presentations on “Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium” and “Factor-Based Dynamic Models” were delivered consecutively by Ashot Mkrtchyan and Karen Poghosyan from Central Bank of Armenia.

The workshop was attended by economists and other interested parties.

Webinar on Global Marketing Information Database (GMID)

On October 18, 2011, CRRC–Armenia organized a webinar on Global Marketing Information Database (GMID), conducted by Ms. Ecaterina Bondarenko from Euromonitor International.

The online presentation was on the information of Passport GMID of Euromonitor International (EI). EI presents objective data for different regions and 80 countries. It is providing market research for business and other type of organizations. Ms. Bondarenko presented Passport GMID in detail and answered the questions all interested participants.

October 24, 2011

Gender Parity and Economic Inclusion of Women in the South Caucasus

Prepared by CRRC-Armenia fellow Urban Jaska

Recently the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development issued a report on Measuring gender parity in 141 economies, entitled Women, Business and the Law: Removing barriers to economic inclusion. As the results show, there have been no dramatic changes in gender parity in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia since 2009. However, the comparison among the countries reveals bigger differences.

Here are some of them. Particularly, female labor force participation in Armenia remains at 69%, higher than in Azerbaijan (65%) and Georgia (59%). Female labor force participation hasn't changed in any of the countries in comparison with 2009.

Constitutional rights of women are similar in all countries but while in Armenia and Azerbaijan, there is a non-discrimination clause covering gender or sex in the constitution, Georgia knows no such clause.

There are differences also among the three South Caucasus countries regarding working hours and industry restrictions. In Armenia women can work in the same industries as men and with same night hours, moreover, pregnant women and nursing mothers can work the same number of hours as men and other women. In Azerbaijan all this is not possible, while in Georgia pregnant women and nursing mothers cannot work the same number of hours as men and other women.

Parental benefits also differ among the countries. Particularly, in Azerbaijan there is a mandatory minimum length of 14 days of unpaid maternity/paternity leave, while in Armenia and Georgia such policies have not been implemented yet. Laws in Armenia nad Azerbaijan oblige the employer to give the employee the same job when she/he returns from maternity/paternity/parental leave, while Georgian women don't benefit from such legal protection. Laws penalize or prevent the dismissal of pregnant women in Armenia and Azerbaijan, with Georgia being a negative exception.

While Azerbaijani legislation includes laws mandating nondiscrimination in hiring practices on the basis of gender, in Armenia and Georgia no such laws exist. Of the three countries, only Armenia has laws protecting employees from sexual harassment in the workplace and only Armenia and Georgia have laws establishing the public provision of childcare, or state subsidizing childcare for children under the age of primary education. In Armenia and Azerbaijan, but not in Georgia employees with minor children have additional legal rights to a flexible or a part-time work schedule.

There are other interested data to reveal in the full report, which can be found here.

August 10, 2011

Life in Transition: Surveys Keeping Track on Armenia

This June 2011 marked the publication of the Life in Transition Survey II (LiTS II) (click link for full report) by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank. Both institutions are international finance agencies which support market economies in developing countries. Armenia was one of twenty-nine countries to participate in this survey results of which were released soon before CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB).
LiTS II builds on the initiative to gain insight into the lives of those in countries that continue to transition into market economies and democratic governments. Questions in LiTS II focus specifically on attitudes and values, governance and public service delivery, corruption and trust, and gender differences in social integration.
The first survey was held in 2006 when economic growth was more prevalent. The second installation of the survey happened to be conducted just after the global economic crisis, when countries were in recovery. This crucial difference of economic atmospheres may create starker differences within the data collected and compared between surveys. An entire portion within the survey is devoted to crisis impact and subsequent coping methods, in which Armenia was recorded as being “significantly” more affected than the average rate within the transition area.
The chart below was created from country assessment reports to take advantage of the opportunity provided by LiTS, which added five western European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) for the second installation to encourage comparison. The chart places South Caucasus countries’ data next to that of the Western Europe country average within several different categories. In this set, LiTS recorded Armenia as having the highest rate of households affected by the global crisis, which corresponds with low percentage findings in the category of life satisfaction.

Interesting to note is that the LiTS II results were released not long before those of CRRC’s annual Caucasus Barometer 2010. The CB is a nationwide survey administered throughout the region, which captures social, political, and economic information. In the case of Armenian trust levels, both surveys used a scaling questionnaire to capture the participant level of trust for specific institutions. The chart below shows CB results stacked up against findings from LiTS. The institutions that harbored the most difference between results were those of police and religious institutions.
Both surveys allow for a deeper look into Armenian life. While the LiTS survey has a section dedicated to ‘gender differences in social integration’, the CB allows one to analyze data by age, gender, settlement type, etc. through the Online Data Analysis (ODA) tool (click for direct link). For example, when calculated (click for online calculation), one can see the percentage of female respondents of the total thirty percent (twenty-two percent in LiTS) that reported some to complete satisfaction with their lives. With these two tools at one’s disposal a better understanding Armenian life in transition can be achieved.
Prepared by Leslie Diaz

July 27, 2011

Survey Presentation by CRRC Regional Director Hans Gutbrod in Yerevan

CRRC Regional Director Dr. Hans Gutbrod conducted two presentations for international community on July 25, 2011 in Yerevan, Armenia, based on the surveys conducted by CRRC.

The first presentation was on "Armenia 2011 Media Public Opinion and Preference Survey" at Congress hotel. The survey is a part of USAID funded Alternative Resources in Media (ARM) program. The study portrays Armenian media landscape through the eyes of an average Armenian, as well as a media professional; it provides data on media preferences, media-related attitudes and a range of insights into specific topics, such as perceived level of media independence, media consumption patterns, alternative media and so on.

Alternative Resources in Media (ARM) program aims at enhancing and improving access to pluralistic and unbiased information in Armenia via traditional and alternative media through the use of new information technologies. The ARM program is jointly implemented by Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Internews Network (USA), Internews Media Support NGO and Yerevan Press Club. The program is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Deputy USA Ambassador in Armenia John Maher and Head of USAID Democracy and Governance Office Stephen Brager were among the guests of the presentation.

More information on Alternative Resources in Media survey is available at

In the afternoon Dr. Gutbrod conducted another presentation at USAID on the main findings of Caucasus Barometer 2010, implemented in the countries of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) in fall 2010.
Caucasus Barometer (previously known as Data Initiative Program) is a program of CRRC, implemented annually starting from 2004. It aims to collect information on public perception, concerning social, political and economic issues. This survey gives a unique opportunity to make cross country comparisons, as well as monitor the changes in public perception in separate countries throughout years.
For more information on Caucasus Barometer please visit

July 13, 2011

To Cut the Knot. A Gordian Solution to the Turkish-Armenian Question

On July 8, 2011 CRRC-Armenia organized a public lecture on "To Cut the Knot. A Gordian Solution to the Turkish-Armenian Question", delivered by Dr. Robert Nalbandov from Angelo State University.

During the lecture Dr. Nalbandov presented his paper "To Cut the Knot. A Gordian Solution to the Turkish-Armenian Question". The paper is yet under development and is on the debate on the recognition and naming of the massacres of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 as genocide. It presents a novel and radical approach to the solution of this century-long political problem by transferring insecurity and fear of Pressure Dilemma to an external security guarantor, the European Union, with its highly normative human rights framework.

Dr. Nalbandov is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Security Studies, Angelo State University, has taught international relations for almost 10 years at various universities. Dr. Nalbandov has BA in English Linguistics from Tbilisi State University; MPA from the Georgian-American Institute of Public Administration; MA in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; and PhD in Political Science from the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. He has extensively published on the topics of civil wars, international relations theories, human rights and foreign policy.

More Information to Accompany the Forbes Economic Ranking of Armenia as '2nd Worst'

In the first week of July, when outdoor café populations are blooming and tourist season is in full swing in Yerevan, Armenia was announced by Forbes magazine, as second worst out of 177 economies in the world. Click here for the full article. Forbes is a biweekly American business magazine. Ratings for this list were based on ‘three-year average statistics for gross domestic product growth and inflation,’ IMF estimates for 2012, and ‘whether the country is importing more than it exports.’

This is the second year of the World’s Worst Economies list publication. The Armenian media cite the global economic crisis as the harbinger for low ratings, since its effects hit the country fully only several years ago. Hence, a swing of the Armenia’s average numbers in a more negative direction for the Forbes’s evaluation.

Democratic Republic of Congo
Sierra Leone
Though Georgia and Azerbaijan were on neither list for better comparisons, more comprehensive world lists give a slightly different picture. This is the case for the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation’s 2010 Economy Ranking. In this list of 183 countries, Armenia, at 48, ranks above Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, and even Turkey.

Transparency International was referenced in the Forbes article through its Global Corruption Perception Index. This citation’s relevance is founded within the claim that suffering economies often face the issue of internal corruption. Ironically enough, Forbes did not specifically mention Armenian corruption factors, despite its 2.6 score.

Corruption Perceptions Index Results: Transparency International (1-10 scale, 10 = least corruption)

For Armenia, the factor of corruption is being surveyed and measured through different outlets. Here is Life In Transition: Country Assessments section for more information on Armenia by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Such progress is evidenced when in April Armenia was commended by the International Monetary Funds (IMF) Executive Board for ‘continued implementation of sound policies’ for previous awarded monies that had ‘helped underpin a steady recovery from the global financial crisis.’ These words of encouragement came while announcing a disbursement of aid whose sum totaled close to US$60 million. Click here for full article.
As early as October 2010 the IMF had reported an economic growth in Armenia of at least 4% despite it having high imports, which in large part was attributed to an economic upturn in Russian. (Click here for full article.)
In the end, such information surrounding the Armenian struggle for stability, however disheartening, does come with reassuring predictions if one digs a bit deeper. While organizations such as CRRC and its international counterparts readily work to improve the Armenian situation, the move towards better yearend results in the future will be slow, but rest assured steady.

July 6, 2011

Conference on Social Protection and Social Inclusion in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia

The South Caucasus Social Protection and Social Inclusion regional conference was held in Tbilisi, Georgia on May 19th and 20th. Both the CRRC-Armenia and CRRC-Azerbaijan offices presented country reports on these issues.

Supported by the European Commission (EC), the reports provide overviews of the economic systems, labor markets and education systems in the South Caucasus. The research outlines demographic trends, and examines the modernization of the social protection systems in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Moreover, they address issues of poverty, pensions and healthcare.

Attendees of the conference, organized by the EC as well, were mostly Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian government officials from relevant ministries and agencies, as well as NGOs and research organizations.

The country reports (in English) can be downloaded from here. You will find them useful reference documents on all the issues of social protection and social inclusion in the three countries. Executive summaries are available in Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani as well as in Russian.

June 23, 2011

Foreign Policy Perceptions in Turkey - New TESEV Report

TESEV’s Foreign Policy Programme recently published a report entitled ‘Foreign Policy Perceptions in Turkey’, which analyses Turkish attitudes towards international relations with several countries, including Armenia. The main finding of their survey regarding attitudes towards Armenia is that Turks are more supportive of undergoing various kinds of rapprochement with Armenia than they are of fully re-establishing diplomatic relations and opening the border.

Turkish perspectives on re-establishing diplomatic relations and rapprochement vary greatly depending on region. The greatest level of support for re-establishing diplomatic relations with Armenia comes from those residing in South East Anatolia, with 59% of respondents expressing their support. The most opposition comes from those residing in the Black Sea region, with 60% of respondents expressing their opposition.

Respondents from South East Anatolia also express the greatest support for economic, political and cultural rapprochement with Armenia; 62% of respondents support economic rapprochement, 60% support political rapprochement and 60% support cultural rapprochement. Respondents from South East Anatolia appear to support across the board reconciliation with Armenia, while those from other regions are more mixed in their attitudes.

Regarding attitudes towards European Union membership, 69% of respondents want Turkey to join while 26% are opposed to joining. The main reasons for supporting EU membership are the easing of visa restrictions and economic benefits. Worth noting is that respondents, by a large number, feel the greatest obstacle to EU membership is Europe’s Islamophobia.

When asked about the United States, over half (52%) of respondents feel the US is unfriendly towards Turkey, the primary reason for this being that the US thinks only of its own benefits. Despite this, more than half (53%) of respondents feel the future of relations between Turkey and the US will be positive.

Turks have very strong opinions on foreign policy in the Middle East. Respondents feel that Israel is the greatest threat to peace and stability in the region (23%), followed by the US (12%) and terrorism (7%). Many Turks feel that Turkey could be a model for other countries in the Middle East, politically (72%), economically (80%) and culturally (82%). Three quarters of respondents support Turkey playing a role in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Akgün M., Gündoğar S.S., Görgülü A., Aydın E.E. 2011. 'Foreign Policy Perceptions in Turkey', TESEV.

Follow this link for the full report.

May 27, 2011

Caucasus Barometer 2010 Presentation

On May 25, 2011, CRRC-Armenia Country Director Heghine Manasyan presented the results of Caucasus Barometer 2010 research results, conducted in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia simultaneously among 6000 households. Caucasus Barometer collects data on household attitudes on economic, social, political and other vital issues in the South Caucasus. These surveys have been carried out since 2004, giving a unique opportunity to compare the data through years and across South Caucasus countries.

The participants of the presentation were welcomed by the Deputy Director of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Nerses Yeritsyan. He highly valued the importance of information, its collection and analysis. Mr. Yeritsyan emphasized the role of NGOs like CRRC that very often directly or indirectly greatly serve the interests of the society, collecting and providing valuable information.

The presentation was mainly attended by researchers, NGO and government representatives, policy analysts and other interested parties. It was followed by question and answer session. The questions were mainly about the methodology of the survey and further opportunities to analyse the existing data.

Public Lecture by IMF Armenia Representative Guillermo Tolosa

CRRC-Armenia, Department of Economics of the Yerevan State University and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative Office in Armenia organized an open public lecture on May 19 on "Global, Regional Developments and their Impact on Armenia", conducted by IMF representative in Armenia Guillermo Tolosa May 19, 2011.
Mr. Tolosa presented the recently issued IMF’s World Economic Outlook and Regional Economic Outlook, elaborating on the relevance of international trends to Armenia. The lecture was followed by a question-answer session and discussions.
The lecture was attended by researchers, students, business people and journalists.

April 28, 2011

Series of Presentations on 2010 Armenia Corruption Survey of Households

CRRC-Armenia organized series of presentations on the results of Corruption Survey results among Armenian households during 2010. The survey was conducted in the scope of USAID program Mobilizing Action Against Corruption (MAAC). The survey has been conducted since 2008 annually on the whole territory of Armenia, measuring the perception of corruption among the population and aimimg to help the Armenian Government and civil society to improve anti-corruption policy.

Series of presentations on the results of the latest survey have been presented in 3 major cities of Armenia - Yerevan, Vandazor, and Gyumri for general public and different NGOs. Separate presentations were organized for Armenian public officials and media in Yerevan on April 20 and 21, 2011, respectively.

As a result, the survey results were reflected in media. Majority of media articles focused on the results concerning the corruption level in different governmental organizations, the growing concern among the population about corruption and economic situation in the country, and some of them making parallels among these results and the anti-corruption programs, offered recently by the Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan.

April 8, 2011

South Caucasian Countries have not Become more Democratic since 2008

Economist Intelligence Unit has published third edition of Democracy Index (first edition in 2006 and second in 2008), representing the situation as of November, 2010, reflecting the situation in 165 countries.

The index measures five indicators: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. The countries are divided into four groups - full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.

As it is stated in the report, now the half of the world population is living in a "democracy of some sort", while only 12% in full democracy and one third of world population under authoritarian regime. Compared to 2008 results, there has been some decline in democracies all over the world. The world financial crisis has had negative impact on the process of democratization.

Norway, Iceland and Denmark have the highest scores for democracy. Georgia (103rd) and Armenia (109th) are included in the groups of the countries with hybrid regimes with 4.59 and 4.09 points consequently, whereas Azerbaijan (135th) is in the group of the countries with authoritarian regimes with 3.15 points, lacking far behind its South Caucasian neighbors.

Georgia has the best result for electoral process and pluralism (7.00) and the worst result for functioning for government (2.14). Armenia's best result is for civil liberties (5.59) and the worst result for functioning of the government (3.21). For Azerbaijan the best result is for civil liberties (4.71) and the worst result for functioning of the government (1.79). Thus, we have an overall picture for South Caucasian countries: all three republics need improvements for the functioning of the government.

Armenia's overall score (4,09) has not changed, compared to 2008 results, though its position compared to other countries has improved from 119 to 103. This may be explained by the fact that other countries have worse results and consequently, worse rates. Azerbaijan's overall score has declined from 3,19 to 3,15, though Azerbaijan's rank among other countries has not changed. Finally, Georgia's overall score has declined from 4,62 to 4,59 and its rank has improved from 104 to 103. Thus, the changes for all South Caucasus republics are negligible.

The more detailed full report is available at Economist Intelligence Unit official website.

All data numbers and picture are from the report of Economist Intelligence Unit "Democracy Index 2010"

March 31, 2011

2010 Armenia Corruption Survey of Households: Report Becoming Available

CRRC-Armenia is about to go public with the results of the 2010 Armenia Corruption Survey of Households. Conducted in November 2010 with 1,528 respondents nationwide, it is the third annual survey implemented within USAID’s Mobilising Action Against Corruption Activity in Armenia.

The final stage of the project will be the dissemination of survey results. An analytical report in Armenian and English presents findings for 2010 in comparison to survey data from 2009 and 2008. It contains information on general corruption perceptions, personal experiences, corruption-related individual behavioral patterns, perceptions of governmental and non-governmental anticorruption activities, and other issues.

CRRC-Armenia is planning a total of 7 public presentations for various auditoria during the month of April. The presentations are tentatively scheduled as follows:


Tentative Date

Vanadzor: for a mixed group made up of the general public, NGO and business community, youth, local government and media representatives


Gyumri: for a mixed group made up of the general public, NGO and business community, youth, local government and media representatives


Yerevan: for the general public, NGOs, private sector groups, profit and non-profit organizations


Yerevan: for representatives of universities and research centres, including Yerevan State University, the American University of Armenia, the National Academy of Sciences, and other universities and research centres


Yerevan: for high school and university students in cooperation with Jinishian Memorial Foundation


Yerevan: for officials from the Government of Armenia and from different governmental structures


Yerevan: for journalists


The electronic version of the analytical report, dataset, survey instruments and some presentations materials are available at CRRC-Armenia website

March 29, 2011

Carnegie Research Fellowship Program

CRRC is happy to announce the Carnegie Research Fellowship Program (CRFP) for the 2011-2012 academic year. The program offers exceptional research opportunities in the United States for scholars from the South Caucasus. The Carnegie Research Fellowship Program (CRFP) is administered by the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER) in collaboration with the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS (American Councils) and the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC).

Specifically, scholars in the social sciences and the humanities may apply for individual, non-degree research opportunities at universities and institutes in the United States. The program is directed at advanced researchers that already have a demonstrated track record in research. The research period lasts up to a full semester (4 months), starting either September 2011 or January 2012.

Individuals who are eligible to participate in the fellowship program:

  • Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
  • Applicants whose proposals relate to the following themes: The South Caucasus: Life in Transition.
  • Advanced graduate students, university faculty and scholars at any stage in their careers who have not recently conducted research projects at U.S. institutions.
  • Scholars who hold a "Kandidatskaya" degree or higher, or who are working towards a "Kandidatskaya" degree at the time of application.
  • Scholars who have publications (advanced graduate students may cite papers presented at academic conferences) in a particular field.
  • Scholars who have a level of proficiency in written and spoken English that is sufficient to conduct independent research and engage colleagues.
  • Scholars who are able to receive and maintain a United States J-1 visa.
  • Scholars who are able to begin the CRFP in the United States in September 2011, or January 2012.

NCEEER, the American Councils, and the CRRC do not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, and disability. For more information please visit NCEEER website.

Applications need to be submitted in a hard copy to CRRC-Armenia office (52 Abovyan Str., room 305, Yerevan, Armenia). Deadline for applications is April 29, 5 p.m., 2011. We suggest applicants to study details in the guidelines and the application form closely, and in good time, to avoid disappointment. We will be accepting applications in the social sciences and the humanities. All costs for the scholars are covered, including round-trip airfare.

The Carnegie Research Fellowship presents an extraordinary chance to researchers that can advance their work through a period of self-directed study in the US. Note that the application process is very competitive, since a concise research proposal is expected.

If interested in the fellowship program, have a look at guidelines, application and privacy policy.

March 18, 2011

Comparitive study of Armenian and Turkish civil society

Counterpart International-Armenia partnered with the Third Sector Foundation of Turkey(TUSEV) to develop another comparative study, which compliments the CIVICUS CSI country analytical reports of Armenia and Turkey. The study was conducted in the framework of the Cross Border Cooperation Initiative supported by The Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

The CSI assessment combines multiple indicators to provide a visual display of five following key dimensions:

1. Civic Engagement: 'The extent to which individuals engage in social and political initiatives.'

2. Level or Organisation: 'The degree of institutionalisation that characterises civil society.'

3. Practice of Values: 'The extent to which civil society practices some core values.'

4. Perceived Impact: 'The extent to which civil society is able to impact the social and policy arena, according to internal and external perceptions.'

5. External Environment: 'The above four dimensions are analysed in the context of "external environment", which includes the socioeconomic, political and cultural variables within which civil society operates (CIVICUS Civil Society Index, 'Armenian Civil Society', Analytical Country Report, 2010. pp. 6.).

The five key dimensions are plotted in order to produce the 'Civil Society Diamond diagram'. Armenia's 'Civil Society Diamond diagram' looks like this:

The 'Civil Society Diamond diagram' for Turkey's presented in the above-mentioned report looks like this:

The dimensions of each country measured by the CSI compare:

Both Armenian and Turkish civil society are plagued by low levels of civic engagement and perceived impact. However, both countries have better scores in level of organisation, practice of values and external environment. The countries share common weaknesses and common strengths. The shared weaknesses include, among others, low levels of citizen participation and weak internal governance. Common strengths include the interest of international players in the region and formal internal governance mechanisms in place in each country (Counterpart International and Third Sector Foundation, ‘The Two Diamonds’, 2010. pp. 4-5).

- CIVICUS Civil Society Index, 'Armenian Civil Society', Analytical Country Report, 2010.

- 'The Two Diamonds: Comparative Study of the State of Civil in Armenia and Turkey', Counterpart International/Armenia and Third Sector Foundation/Turkey, 2010.