What we do

Democracy in Armenia is developing considerably. Constitutional changes in Armenia in 2015 transformed the country from a semi-presidential republic, in which the president enjoyed wide powers, to a representative parliamentary democratic republic. Armenia now enjoys a multi-party system with various political parties and alliances. The current ruling party however, dominates the system leaving little room for meaningful participation from both opposition parties as well as from young aspiring politicians.

Despite some progress, several barriers still exist that prevent young people from actively engaging in politics in Armenia. One major challenge is the limited access to political decision-making processes, which leave young people feeling excluded and unrepresented. Additionally, there are few opportunities for youth leadership and mentorship, making it difficult for young people to develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the political arena.

Furthermore, low voter turnout among young people is a significant issue, with only around 35% of young people turning out to vote in Armenia’s parliamentary elections in 2018 (according to IFES). This is due in part to a perception among young people that their voices are not being heard by the political establishment and that the political system is not responsive to their needs and concerns.

To address these challenges, NIMD has started working in Armenia together with partner OxYGen to create a new generation of politically aspiring youth who are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to become effective leaders and advocates for democracy and civic engagement in Armenia, promoting a culture of democracy, participation, and youth leadership.

Democracy Education

In 2023 NIMD and OxYGen started developing the Armenian Multiparty Democracy Academy (ARMDA). A programme designed to provide a safe space for individuals from diverse social and political backgrounds to engage in dialogue and exchange ideas on issues of common interest. 25 graduates will make up the first cohort of the Academy, graduating in 2024. They have been selected from various regions in Armenia, there is an equal gender balance, as well as, a focus on encouraging participants from different ethnic groups and those with a disability to join the programme.


  • Through the programme we hope to promote multi-stakeholder dialogue, build trust and cooperation among politically aspiring youth from different backgrounds in Armenia through training and coaching, debates, political and civic initiatives.
  • To equip participants with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes through an in-depth training programme on democracy, political systems, and leadership to become effective leaders and advocates for democracy and civic engagement in their communities and at the national level.
  • To create a strong network of politically aspiring youth with diverse social and political background working on the basis of mutual trust and cooperation for sustainable youth political participation and leadership in Armenia.

Meet The Team

Armen Sahakyan
Country Director, NIMD Armenia
Armen Sahakyan joined the team in 2024. He comes from the Westminster Foundation for Democracy where he served as the Armenia Country Representative / Project Director. Armen has over seven years of experience in leading grassroots political advocacy efforts in the US. His other professional experiences include consulting for the World Bank Group, teaching at Bloomfield College, and working at the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the UN. A specialist in international political economy, Armen received his M.A. from Johns Hopkins University SAIS and B.A. from Bloomfield College.
Rutger Groothuis
Programme & Knowledge Advisor
Rutger Groothuis is the focal point for NIMD Armenia in the Hague.

Who we work with

OxYGen is an independent advocacy and development foundation driven by its vision of an Armenia free of poverty and suffering, in which women and men can exercise their rights and influence decisions that impact on their lives.
We are grateful to receive funding for the Democracy School from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.