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Establishing structured approach towards training of Environmental Inspectors in Armenia and Azerbaijan


The project implementation was initially delayed due to the following two major reasons:

1. As part of joint work programme of EECCA RECs and OECD EAP Task Force, project activities should have been started in parallel and under the guidance of the Secretariat of OECD EAP Task Force, however due to objective reasons REC Caucasus has been informed that Secretariat was not able to start their part of activities on time due to late provision of funds from donor.

2. Significant restructuring process started in REC Caucasus in the end of 2009. New institutional structure was approved by the RECs Board of Directors and introduced in January 2010. Due to changes, contracts with the previous staff members were terminated, but new programme staff has not been hired. Moreover, several internal and external audits started in organisation in 2010. Therefore implementation of some projects, including this one, was postponed. Due to those facts the Project implementation process started with significant delays and relevant project reports were not submitted to the donor in accordance to contractual requirements.

Launching of the project and as well as preparatory meeting with State Environmental Inspectorate of Armenia and Azerbaijan were conducted in Baku (September 10, 2010) and Yerevan (September 14, 2010).

Discussion on identification of initial methodology for needs assessment conducted with national authorities, process of identification of competence profiles and major focus areas for possible trainings started. Several consultation with OECD EAP Task Force secretariat, partner of the project, have been also conducted to finalise methodology for capacity needs assessment exercise and identification of targeted areas. Relevant questionnaires were developed on the basis of the Guidance for the Organization of Trainings within State Environmental Inspectorates of EECCA countries, elaborated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and sent to all stakeholders on December 2010. Filled questionnaires were submitted to REC Caucasus till January 17, 2011. The filled in questionnaires have been analyzed by the Project Team in close cooperation with the Ministries of Environment. The working group have been conducted in Armenia and Azerbaijan for the preparation of training need assessment report in March 2011.

REC Caucasus, with consultative and methodological support of the OECD, aims to fill the existing gaps by implementing training needs assessment (TNA) for the staff members of the Inspectorate (based on the methodology suggested by OECD and approbated in Georgia), develop a coherent multi-year training program and training materials (based on “Toolkit for Better Environmental Inspectorates”) and organize trainings for SEI employees, which will provide them with practical and up-to-date knowledge and skills necessary to successful performance of SEI. The Project introduces a structured approach towards trainings for the employees of the State SEI of Armenia and Azerbaijan and also establishes a mechanism of information exchange that will help SEI employees to continuously learn about new developments.

Project expected results:

Professional knowledge and skills gaps are identified through training needs assessments (TNA)
Gaps are addressed through conduction of trainings session and knowledge transfer.
The structured approach with strong mechanisms of training provision for SEI is established.

The project is prepared in frame of OECD EAP Task Force and EECCA RECs joint work program under the Program Area 2. Environmental Policy Reform, project JP/2.2.4. “Training Programs for Inspectorates” and aims to promote a structured approach towards training of environmental inspectors and facilitate networking among specialized institutions in the EECCA region and with similar institutions in OECD and CEE countries.

Individual capacity (or competence) can be defined as a set of standardized requirements for an individual to properly perform specific duties within an organization and encompasses both knowledge and skills. A continuous improvement of employees’ individual capacity is essential for any enforcement authority, including State Environmental Inspectorate (SEI), to achieve its objectives and maintain high standards of service to the general public. There is a clear need to change the current approach to training of the individuals within SEI and make it more coherent and structured, based on a clear understanding of incentives to enhance performance.

The Project involves staff Environmental Inspectorate, including its representatives in every administrative division of the Republic of Armenia and Republic of Azerbaijan.