Call for Partnership

Call for Partnership

Published: Sep 6, 2021 Reading time: 9 minutes

Call for Partnerships to advocate for long-term solutions addressing the inclusive employability of the vulnerable population affected by COVID-19

About the implementer

People in Need (PIN) is the lead organization of the project titled “Eastern Partnership Covid-19 Solidarity Programme” funded by the European Union. PIN - is a Czech non-governmental organization that provides relief aid and development assistance while working to defend human rights and democratic freedom. Throughout its existence, PIN has become one of the biggest non-profit organizations in Central Europe. By now, it has administered projects in more than 40 countries over the past 25 years. People in Need has been working in Armenia since 2003, implementing projects in the field of civil society, emergency preparedness and response, economic development, education, sustainable livelihood, and being actively involved in promoting social inclusion.

PIN recognizes the critical role local civil society organizations (CSOs) play in service delivery, community mobilization, awareness-raising, policy engagement, and advocacy for the protection of human rights and civic freedoms during and after the pandemic. Throughout the programme, PIN supports CSOs in mitigating the negative impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable population that supports vulnerable population including people with disabilities, youth, vulnerable women, and displaced people. 

About the project

As part of the European Union (EU) COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for Eastern Partnership, PIN, Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) and AFEW- International (AFEW) joined forces to undertake a set of interventions in Eastern partnership countries to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to longer-term socio-economic resilience of vulnerable groups in Eastern Europe. To achieve this overall goal, the consortium recognizes the critical role of local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in service delivery, community mobilization, awareness-raising, policy engagement and advocacy. The action supports these key actors to achieve the overall goal via a set of interrelated activities that aim to address institutional barriers to their development.

The objective of the Call

The general objective of this Call is to empower local CSOs to influence longer-term policy developments with a focus on inclusive employability for the targeted vulnerable groups. The call, therefore, seeks to support CSOs working on the improvement of the national and local employment policies to address the unemployment, poverty and social exclusion of vulnerable population affected by Covid-19 crises and support their longer-term recovery and resilience. There are two specific objectives of this Call.

The first objective is to strengthen the capacities of the CSOs to be able to achieve the envisioned advocacy change through the development/improvement of the advocacy strategy, long-term coaching, and trainings.

The second objective is to identify and address the advocacy needs of beneficiaries through the implementation of the CSOs advocacy strategies.  

Thematic area of the intervention 

The recorded economic growth in Armenia was disrupted in 2020 due to a severe COVID-19 outbreak and the conflict around Nagorno Karabakh. According to the World Bank report these hardships led to a sharp economic contraction, increased poverty, and shrinkage of labor market. The slow pace of vaccination increases uncertainty in infection control and hinders economic recovery. It is estimated that the recovery will be slow, and a quick return to pre-COVID levels is unlikely. In a situation of economic and political uncertainty, the protection of society’s most vulnerable members is becoming increasingly important.

The pandemic has devastating impact on vulnerable households that was only partially mitigated by the government’s COVID-19 response. Further policymaking and specific support measures are needed to sustain well-being of the vulnerable groups of population hard hit by the crisis. Among those are women, youth, disabled people and people displaced due to recent armed conflict.

The most important source of income in Armenia traditionally has been income from paid jobs. However, during the recent calamities there was a sharp decline in labor demand. According to the UNDP survey results , Armenia recorded a much greater negative impact of pandemic on the reduction of working hours compared to other countries in the region, reaching 24% in second quarter of 2020.

Rapidly increasing unemployment has a greater impact on women and youth. As per the recent research every third young employed person aged 18 to 24 lost their job since the spread of COVID-19, rating three times more compared to all other respondents. Job reductions in SMEs have impacted women more than men and women-led SMEs were hit harder. Social enterprises supporting home-based non-registered businesses with engaged vulnerable groups of women, such as single parents, women with disabilities, women subjected to domestic violence were also heavily affected by COVID-19. Current situation created additional obstacles for vulnerable women to work in order to earn a living, support their families, and improve their self-esteem.

Displaced people from Nagorno-Karabakh experience additional challenges linked to their uncertain situation and temporary residence, physical and mental distress caused by the conflict. This makes it more difficult for them to obtain permanent decent job, due to lacking skills in seeking employment, computer illiteracy, and limited psycho-social support. These constraints exacerbate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on them while reducing their ability to cope with hardships. As per the needs assessment of displaced people in Syunik and Vayots Dzor , the Government has taken measures to enhance employability of the displaced people, but gaps still exist.

Access to the mainstream labor market of disabled people was insufficient and required improvement even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent dramatic developments require greater efforts to promote access to labor for disabled people at high risk of exclusion to the open labor through various education and employment initiatives. Special efforts should be made to ensure favorable policies and specific measures in regard to pandemic to protect this target group from discrimination, and promote necessary adjustments to services that support accessibility of information, ease of communication, and administrative and legal procedures regarding inclusive employment.

During the recovery phases identifying the gaps in inclusion policies and advocating for respective revisions will help prioritize areas of immediate need and improve employment chances of the most vulnerable. 

Scope of the partnership

This partnership is envisioned for a period of 10 months. Within the partnership, selected CSOs will benefit from:

  • Individual support in developing an advocacy strategy. Partners will have a chance to work individually with experienced coaches on the development of their own advocacy strategy and action plan. Coaches will not only help organizations with the development of the strategy but will provide ad hoc support throughout the time period of the partnership.
  • Tailor-made advocacy trainings. During the partnership period, a series of practical trainings, with experienced trainers will be organized for selected CSOs. The trainings will be organized based on specific needs identified by partners themselves and can cover different advocacy and communication skills (such as campaigning, constituency engagement, lobbying or working with different types of media).
  • Financial support to implement the advocacy activities - Partners will have a chance to receive financial support for the implementation of advocacy activities planned in their respective strategies, the maximum amount available 4000 EUR per strategy. Such activities can entail research activities and preparation of policy documents (such as studies, policy reports or policy briefs), dialogue with decision makers through organization of events (such as conferences, roundtables or workshops), social media campaigns, visuals/infographic, awareness raising and advocacy campaign activities.

Coordination and networking of selected partner CSOs will also be facilitated by PIN.

Beneficiaries of the Advocacy Campaign 

Unemployed, women, youth, people with disabilities, and displaced people in all regions of Armenia.

Eligible fields for advocacy intervention 

  Employment legislation and policies

  • national legislation
  • policies on national and local levels

Community support to inclusive employment, including but not limited to

  • support to piloting community-based cash for work programs
  • support services for disabled person accommodation
  • community people voice for the promotion of inclusive employment

Inclusive education and vocational training, including but not limited to

  • education in school
  • VET
  • higher education

Labor market programs for vulnerable populations, including but not limited to

  • state-funded programs
  • local government initiatives that support vulnerable groups
  • support to hiring employers

Employment inclusion through digitalization, including but not limited to

  • online job opportunity related information
  • IT literacy
  • access to the internet
  • IT for people with special needs

Psycho-social support for entering the labor market, including but not limited to

  • counselling programs
  • facilitation of access to psycho-social services to avoid stigmatization, increase self-esteem, etc.
  • support unemployed youth integration into employment

Eligible applicants and partners  

CSOs can apply independently or in a consortium.

The eligible applicant has to

  • Be legally registered as a CSO in Armenia
  • Be able and willing to dedicate time for advocacy capacity and activities;
  • Partnership with the public and/or private sector is possible; however, the grant recipient has to be a CSO. 

Evaluation criteria 

Selection process 

Proposals will be evaluated in a two-stage process. Submitted applications will be pre-assessed by a Grant Selection Committee (GSC) comprised of internal and external stakeholders. Representatives of applicant organizations, gaining 70 points or above will be invited to an interview that will be assessed in line with the above-mentioned evaluation criteria.

The complete application forms must be submitted before October 11, 2021, via the email: please state in the subject line: C19 Advocacy application. 

What to submit 

Applications can be submitted in Armenian or English.

  • Application form (in MS Word and PDF signed);
  • Registration certificate of the organization;
  • CVs of the key personnel and people who will be involved in the capacity development process.

Questions regarding this call for partnership can be submitted to the email mentioned above till September 14, 2021.

An info session will be held on September 17, at 14:00 via ZOOM platform. 

Topic: Info Session on the EU COVID19 Solidarity Programme Call
Time: Sep 17, 2021 14:00 Yerevan
Meeting ID: 854 6847 6731
Passcode: 193301
Find your local number:

Any concerns or feedback related to the partner selection process can be submitted to the PIN Armenia office at 33 Sayat-Nova, apt. 83, Yerevan, Armenia or via e-mail: 

Author: People in Need