The Armenian diaspora (7 million Armenians living in more than 100 countries) is of great importance to the Armenian government, which seeks to maintain strong relations with the Armenian diaspora, supporting and encouraging repatriation, supporting the integration of returned Armenians and to explore the potential of the Armenian diaspora worldwide. Despite these efforts, the Armenian repatriates and expatriates are still faced with difficulties in finding access to direct and effective public service information.
“The idea of government and tech-Startups teaming up to tackle Public Sector challenges was a welcomed concept. Thanks to the program and what we learned from it, I think it will be easier in the future for other agencies in Armenia to employ similar public-private partnerships.”
– Sara Anjargolian, Chief of Staff at the Office of High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Republic of Armenia Government
The Outcome of Collaboration
Partnering with the Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs and Impact Hub Yerevan, a Collaborative Innovation process was kicked-off to develop innovative solutions that the Office of Diaspora Affairs will integrate in their service delivery as an official tool to interact, reach and serve the needs and worries of the diaspora and repatriates, in terms of providing precise, efficient, timely, and direct quality information needed. Out of more than 25 applications, 10 Startups were selected to explore the feasibility of their innovation in the service delivery context of the Office of the High Commissioner.
After a sprint workshop and evaluation process, four Startups participated in a four-month Collaborative Innovation program to further develop their innovative solutions based on the needs and input of the Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs. At the end of the program, the Office of the High Commissioner selected the Startup TeachSurfing to continue the joint work on the Connect Armenia Platform that enables the Armenian Diaspora to access professional, educational and networking opportunities in Armenia based on automated and intelligent matchmaking system. Furthermore, a knowledge library shall be put in place so repatriates to Armenia have a better image about their first months in Armenia. The collaboration with Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs helped to deepen their knowledge about the needs of the diaspora.
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