29 December 2020

Private-public partnership as a core of local economic development: a case study of Charentsavan community, Armenia

The systematic public-private dialogue and cooperation was not a common practice at local level. In most of cases the interaction between business and local authorities have been in the frame of specific business cases. The relationship between public and private sector could be attributed as more confrontational rather than cooperative. The cornerstone of the M4EG local economic development concept is to build up a participative and inclusive process for setting a shared development vision and motivating all stakeholders to join their efforts towards archiving the goals.

The Local Economic Development officer of the community, Mr Ashot Tserunyan, states that in case of proper communication and formulation of the issues, it is possible to ensure effective and sustainable public-private partnership in the community. Inspired by M4EG initiative Charentsavan community set up a task force comprised of representatives of Charentsavan municipality, businessmen and members of local NGOs. In August 2017 they have established “Together for Economic Development” NGO as a platform for exchange of information and experience. The platform was named “Miasin” (“Together”).

The platform holds the strong vision of creating a community where public and private sectors actively collaborate, support and trust each other to shape a common prospect for the community and effectively improve the quality of the life of the locals. It ensured more participatory process for designing LED plan for the community engaging not only members but also representatives outside the platform.

As to Mr Tseruntyan - “We want to see increased involvement of the business sector in community development, and more intensive interaction between business and other stakeholders”.  As a result, three consultative bodies have been formed to support the local authority and in 2020 members of the platform have established Kotayk Regional Tourism Association to promote tourism sector of the region.

To promote best practice business cases, the platform organized several experience exchange meetings for local producers with the representatives of leading business and business organizations: Union of Advanced Technologies Enterprises, SolarOn, Shtigen (Solar Energy), ArmBerry (Organic agriculture) and so on.

Joint projects were implemented (or are ongoing) with international organizations in field of Youth Cultural Policy and Tourism Strategy, installation of solar panels on public buildings, renovation and repair of infrastructure etc.