Armenia

Country at a glance
Policy framework
General situation across all policy areas
Social policy specific situation
Good practice

Country at a glance (2016)

Population (mio)
3,026
Geographical size (sq km)
29,743
Capital city
Yerevan
EU relation
EU-Armenia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (1999),
part of the EU European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) – since 2004,
EU Eastern Partnership (EaP) country – since 2009

 

Source: , European External Action Service (EEAS) data

Policy Framework

Armenia Development Strategy (ADS) for 2014-2025 (Annex to the RA Government Decree No. 442‐N of 27 March 2014)

Programme of the Government of the Republic of Armenia 2016

National Strategy of the Republic of Armenia on Human Rights Protection (approved by the Order of the RA President No. NK-159-N of 29 October 2012) and 2017-2019 Action Plan for implementation of the Human Rights National Strategy (approved by the RA Prime Minister on 12 May 2017)

Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Armenia (signed in 1996, in force since 1999)

General situation across all policy areas

Main challenges across all policy areas

The overarching goal of the RA Government’s long‐term strategy is permanent increase of welfare of society. The main objective of the ADS for the period of 2014-2025 is increase in employment through creation of quality and well‐paid jobs.

The RA Government has declared the following priority areas for the reforms:

– Strengthening external and internal security;

– Ensuring long-term and sustainable economic growth;

– Modernising systems for state and local self-governance;

– Enhancing social infrastructures and improving the quality of provided services.

 

Main approaches to address challenges across all policy areas

The strategic objectives of the RA Government include, inter alia:

– to modernise the system of state administration;

– to further develop democratic institutions;

– to reinforce the systematic fight against corruption;

– to fight against poverty;

– to develop human capital and reduce unemployment;

– to establish social justice;

– to ensure equal and fair conditions and conditions promoting business for all those who create added value;

– to promote public-private partnership;

– to develop and popularise energy-saving technologies;

– to improve environmental protection;

– to ensure qualitative growth of the healthcare and education sectors;

– to make social support more targeted.

Social policy specific situation

Significant social trends

Social protection is one of the priorities of the state policy of the Republic of Armenia. The objective of the state policy for social protection is to expand the capabilities of the population to face certain risks or meet certain needs. It is implemented through concrete and targeted policies for social assistance, social security and insurance, which aim to reduce poverty, mitigate inequality, ensure decent old‐age, expand the opportunities of vulnerable groups of population and provide certain social guarantees to them, as well as improve the demographic situation.

Key challenges specific to social policy

  • Need for further development of monitoring/evaluation mechanisms and tools of social protection field;
  • Lack of accessible and equal opportunities for persons with disabilities as well as scarcity of rehabilitation programmes and services for disabled persons;
  • Need for further development of electronic services within pension system (improvement of information database, accessibility of online services);
  • High level of informal employment.

Main approaches to address social policy challenges

The main social policy approaches/objectives declared in 2016 Government Programme are:

(1) Introduce new programmes aimed at ensuring improvement of the socio-demographic situation, including employment;

(2) Introduce approaches ensuring social hierarchy in tariff policy for natural gas and electricity;

(3) Expand electronic services in the field of social protection, pay lump-sum childbirth benefits based on online applications, submission of applications for payment of pension and benefits from any territorial administration, irrespective of the place of residence;

(4) Radically reconsider the approaches to and methodology of the assessment on the insecurity of families based on the principled approach of directing programmes towards the ensuring of employment of each family member with full working capacity and social assistance provided by the State;

(5) Transform boarding institutions into child and family support centres in order for full exercise of the right of the child to live in a family;

(6) Create opportunities required for the implementation of certain programmes and services in the field of social protection through delegation; apply, through an experiment, the new model for definition of disability and implement individual rehabilitation programmes for persons with disabilities according to the assessed needs thereof;

(7) Introduce an electronic system for monitoring and evaluating programmes implemented and services provided in the field of social protection;

(8) Envisage a flexible basis for the formation, alteration or termination of working relations, especially for small and micro enterprises, as well as ensure the basis required for multifaceted introduction of volunteer work.

Target groups

Population of Armenia as a whole.

Good practice

Name of the good practice

Introduction of Integrated Social Service System

Policy areas

  • Social protection and social security
  • Governance structures and systems

Description of the practice

Currently an integrated social service system is implemented in the area of social protection. The delivery of integrated social services stems from assessed social needs of the applicant (citizen or family) with adequate social services offered by both public and non‐ public organizations (NGOs) under cooperation agreements, including public and local social programs. Local social programmes are designed by community heads with the support of territorial centres for complex social services (TCCSS) based on assessment of the community social needs.

Governance & funding

According to the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia approved in July 26, 2012 (Decree n. 952-N), the integrated social services system has been introduced in Armenia which is one of the most important reforms in social protection sector.

Innovation

Case managers profile has been introduced as the main and essential innovation in piloting integrated social services without infrastructural changes requirement and without additional recurrent costs (but a re-distribution of functions within existing staff).

Challenges of implementation

  • Capacity development
  • Lack of resources to be provided
  • Public awareness raising
  • Changes in mentality

Outcome(s) and impact

Main outcomes include:

Introduction of case management methodology with a full package of social services based on individual need;

Integrated delivery of social services via case management practices;

Development and implementation of Territorial Social Plans;

Integrated data exchange on the regional and central levels;

Integrated processing of monetary payments within a single state body.

The TCCSS’s function following the “one stop shop” principle. Eighteen TCCSS‐s were opened within the framework of implementation of the integrated social service system. They are located in renovated buildings and are equipped with adequate information technologies and computer hardware. TCCSS‐s host the territorial agency rendering social services, the territorial department of state social security service, the territorial public employment agency and the medical‐social expertise department. Applications are collected at the common reception of the TCCSS using a unified paper flow system, which ensures provision of more accessible social services to population.

Main partner(s)/ stakeholders

Government of Armenia (Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Territorial Administration, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Health) in partnership with international organisations (WB, USAID, UNICEF), local self-governance bodies, local and international NGOs, volunteers

Contact

Ms. Anahit Martirosyan
Head of International Cooperation and Development Programmes Department
anahit.martirosyan@mlsa.am

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia
Government Building 3, Republic Square, 0010 Yerevan