Participants to a public roundtable discussion on the topic of local finances in Armenia heard how the calculation of standard expenditure needs for local authorities based on geographical features and socio-demographic characteristics of the local population can improve local public services and make local governance more efficient.
This new methodological approach to designing systems for local finances based on standard expenditure needs was presented to Armenian participants based on examples from Italy and Lithuania. This methodology, widely recognised as an example of best practice, has also been applied on a pilot basis to a representative sample of consolidated communities in Armenia and the preliminary results were also presented in the context of the roundtable.
Following a lively discussion involving representatives of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, local organisations, consolidated communities, civil society and the international donor community, participants recognised the value an approach to equalisation based on standard expenditure needs and expressed a desire to delve deeper and find out more.
In light of the comments and requests expressed in the course of the roundtable, a series of focus group discussions will be organised with stakeholders to discuss the different criteria, variables, and services to be applied when establishing standard expenditure needs in Armenia.
The “Democratic Development, Decentralsiation and Good Governance in Armenia” project is financed by the Austrian Development Agency and implemented in the context of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia 2019-2022.