Launch of Public Sector Innovation Week 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Yerevan, 30 January 2018 – Kolba Innovations Lab held the Launch of Public Sector Innovation Week 2018, a concluding week-long campaign to cap off the results in the governance innovation component of the “Innovation for Development” project. The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in Armenia.

The week consists of a series of events and public campaigns that highlight transformative approaches used in the public sector, raise awareness about the topic and engage experts from different backgrounds to contribute to the discussion on how public sector innovation can be accelerated in Armenia. The week includes both public events and closed professional meetings and discussions.

Vassilis Maragos, Head of Unit Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Eastern Partnership from the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission, Davit Harutyunyan, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, Vahe Jilavyan, Deputy Chief of Government Staff of the Republic of Armenia and Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia addressed the guests of the event, highlighting the importance of innovation in public sector in Armenia.

"The EU-funded Inno4Dev project implemented by Kolba Lab resulted in an impressive list of innovative ideas, concrete actions and changes to citizens’ engagement. The project has made the Armenian government much more open to new ways of thinking and tackling core tasks. The EU will stay behind Armenia and its citizens on your modernisation path", - said Vassilis Maragos.

“I hope that this success marks the start rather than the end of our journey of cooperation. Building on the momentum of the past two years, there is a real opportunity to scale up this work to a more systemic level of governance in Armenia. One way to do this is through the global Open Governance Partnership (OGP) movement, of which Armenia has already been significantly engaged.”- mentioned Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.

“It is vital to ensure that digital technologies make public services more effective and easy-to-access for regular citizens. One of those successful examples is the introduction of optimised procedure of childcare allowance and child-birth registration”, - said Davit Harutyunyan, Minister of Justice of RA.

“I’ve joined the Government of Armenia when the internal competition for innovative ideas had been announced and held, and now I can see the results of a small intervention which can bring valuable results.“,- Vahe Jilavyan, Deputy Chief of Government Staff of RA.

In 2016-2017, Kolba Lab together with the Government of RA, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Science and Education announced a call for innovative ideas in the public sector among civil servants, aimed at solving small issues with innovative approaches.  The innovation calls focued on building upon the accumulated knowledge and expertise of civil servants, generating ideas that would optimize internal processes, develop effective feedback and communication mechanisms with citizens, and ensure transparency and accountability of the state bodies. In response to the calls for ideas, more than 60 applications were submitted. Through Kolba Lab’s incubation cycle six ideas received financial support from the European Union for project implementation:

  • Optimization of system for requesting birth allowances – Nane Harutyunyan (Ministry of Justice)
  • State Online Consultant for Information Request (E- Request) – Diana Ghazaryan, Anna Harutyunyan (Ministry of Justice)
  • Chatbot solution on consumers’ rights protection – Lusine Tovmasyan (RA Government)
  • State Consultancy Portal on School admission – Artak Poghosyan, (National Center of Educational Technologies)
  • Career Orientation Tool – Haykuhi Gevorgyan (Ministry of Education)
  • Students’ Voice – Karine Harutyunyan (National Institute of Education)

The second part of the launch event hosted a panel discussion on the topic of “Startups inside the Governance System” and included the participation of Suren Krmoyan, Deputy Minister of Justice of Armenia, David Sahakyan, Deputy Minister of Armenia and Vahe Jilavyan, Deputy Chief of Government Staff as speakers, and Marina Mkhitaryan, Kolba Lab Lead as a facilitator. During the panel, speakers discussed issues like what might public services of the future look like and how can we prepare for them today; what are Armenia’s commitments as part of Open Government Partnership (OGP) Framework and which stakeholders from across society and government should be involved in designing a strategy fit for the challenge and opportunities of the 21st century (civil society, public sector) and so on.

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For additional information please contact: Kolba Innovations Lab, Hasmik Soghomonyan: (+37460)530000 (*224) or Hasmik.soghomonyan@undp.org

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