After traveling to Yerevan to attend the international conference "The Role of NGOs in the Public Policy Process" and after listening to the needs identified by local participants, the League submitted in August 2007 a concept paper recommending that local Armenian nongovernmental organizations be coached on effective advocacy skills.
After many conversations in March of 2008, Peter Vosbikian and Charles Talanian confirmed a donation to the League to create and implement "Coaching NGOs in Armenia for Effective Advocacy." After a fact-finding trip Coaching NGOs in Armenia was born to expand on existing skill sets for an effective cross-sector coalition building in the Vayotz Dzor and Syunik marzes in Southern Armenia. Eight applications were received and six participants from six NGOs were selected. From the Syunik marz, Voghji for Supporting Disabled in Kapan and Kajaran and the Kapan Women Regional Association which promotes gender equality among young women. From the Vayots Dzor marz, the Fund Against Violation of Law, Vayk Branch, which supports democracy and peace building initiatives; Huys-98 (Hope-98) which works on social, cultural, health issues; the Fund Against Violation of Law, Yeghegnadzor Branch, which works to address legal, health, and youth issues; and the Armenian Young Women's Association, Yeghegnadzor Branch, which focuses on advocacy, service delivery, and education.
Coaching NGOs in Armenia had three interrelated elements for working in coalitions: leadership, coalition building, and grassroots advocacy. Three trainers, accomplished members of the League of Women Voters, professionals in their fields volunteered their time to carry out the three coaching sessions. The project was led by Ms. Zaida Arguedas and Mrs. Hripsime Nazaretian of the NGOC Center was hired to be local contractor, interpreter, and trainer. All the sessions took place in Yeghegnadzor and were held at the local office of the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
The successful experience culminated in the creation of a coalition titled “Clean Community Coalition” to protect the environment in the Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions and to promote healthcare and health improvement through research, garbage cleaning systems, awareness raising and advocacy.
See also "Clean Community Coalition Study Tour - 2009"