With one community selected and three more to apply for innovation grants, Armenian communities are entering the new phase of the Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) Facility
Yerevan, 28 January 2022 – The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) selected four local authorities from Armenia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine under the “Call for Interest: Portfolios for Municipal Transformations”, also known as the “Portfolio Journey”.
The Selection Committee, consisting of the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) and UNDP Regional Hub, endorsed one Armenian municipality – Areni, Vayots Dzor region, – for the Portfolio Journey. Three more, Alaverdi, Ashtarak, and Charentsavan, were endorsed to be part of the Innovation Grant for Urban Imaginaries 2022 cohort with the opportunity to apply for innovation grants amounted to EUR 60,000 through mentoring activities.
Areni will be the first to pioneer the portfolio approach among the M4EG network in Armenia. This would entail a 2-3 year-long learning journey with UNDP and the Chora Foundation on how to design and dynamically manage a local transformation portfolio. The overall thematic focus of the forthcoming portfolio would be of a “makeover” to create a more responsive, resilient and sustainable space where residents will have more economic opportunities and foster an attractive and vibrant community with an embracing mindset.
“We are thrilled to engage deeper and support the selected communities in their development journey. Our partnership with Chora Foundation will enable developing and activating Portfolio for Areni community development, alongside working with local authorities of Alaverdi, Ashtarak and Charentsavan to develop and implement innovative projects aiming at new job creation at the newly consolidated community level. M4EG is a relevant and timely mechanism that seeks to shoulder local communities’ recovery and economic development after the compound crisis,” said Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.
Beyond this “deep” engagement, all municipalities in the M4EG network can benefit from learning, training, and knowledge exchange activities focused on developing innovative growth strategies that are highly contextualized and built on local ecosystems. This entails a new forthcoming generation of local economic development plans, and an Urban Learning Programme, both of which will be available for all members.
On 12 November 2021, the EU and the UNDP have launched the new Mayors for Economic Growth Facility (M4EG) in Armenia. The facility aims to boost equitable and green development in the Eastern Partnership region. In November, UNDP and the EU started a selection process under the M4EG network to select municipalities to run the portfolio journey.