First University Program For Non-Profit Management Kicks off In Armenia

Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in Armenia and the American University of Armenia (AUA) signed an agreement to launch the country’s first university program for training of non-profit management professionals in Armenia.

The highly anticipated three-year project named BRIDGE for CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) is led in partnership with Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) and financed by the European Union.

The program is dedicated to employees of civil society organisations and for those who want to acquire professional education in the non-profit sector in Armenia. BRIDGE for CSOs will equip students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills in CSO management. Thirty representatives from Armenia’s civil society sector have already signed up to participate in the project in September 2018.

“We are going to cover nine most important areas that are needed for NGO managers, all the way from HR management, to fundraising, to financial management, to English for NGOs, we believe that is important too,” said Sergey Tantushyan, Director of Extension at the AUA.

The program will involve teachers from the diaspora with experience in the field of civil society. “Through this activity, we will strive to bring talent and change makers from the diaspora and Armenia closer together,” said Executive Director of AGBU Armenia Talar Kazanjian in a promotional video for the BRIDGE for CSO’s program.

According to the 2016 CSO Sustainability Index For Central And Eastern Europe and Eurasia led by USAID, the two major problems of Armenia’s civil society organizations are the lack of funding and service delivery capacity.

Arsen Stepanyan, BRIDGE for CSOs Project Team Leader explains how the program will tackle those issues.

“We are addressing those two issues by developing professional non-profit managers who can learn it in university format with a good quality education.”

The pilot program will start in September 2018 for a period of three months. The initiators of the program expect that it will become self-sustainable and continuous, and that it will be added to the range of educational programs offered by local universities.

Ani Paitjan