Established in March 2000, the International Center for Human Development (ICHD or the Center) is one of the best-known think tanks in the Caucasus. In 2007 ICHD became a member of the Policy Association for an Open Society (PASOS), a network of policy centres in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The annual turnover of the Center (as of 2009-2010) totals over 1.5 million USD. The Global Think Tank Index ranked ICHD among the top 25 think tanks in Eastern Europe in 2008 and among the top 30 in Central and Eastern Europe in 2009.
The ICHD conducts research on topics like anti-corruption, migration, economic planning, and Armenia-diaspora relations. It was the main Armenian think tank involved in Armenian-Turkish track-two diplomacy initiated in early 2000 and supervised by the Center for Global Peace at the American University (with the financial support of the US State Department). The ICHD has implemented the following Armenia-Turkey related projects.
2001-2003: Leadership Development and Capacity building in the Caucasus; training for 100 individuals in Yerevan, Vienna, Paris, New York, Prague, Saint Petersburg and Athens
- 2001-2002: Virtual Agricultural Wholesale Market (VAWM), exhibition (Gyumri) and website launch
- 2002-2003: Regional Economic Working Group; two conferences in Istanbul
- 2003-2004: Business Leaders; conferences and workshops in Shirak, Lori and Istanbul
- 2003-2004: Marketing Network of the Caucasus, MANEC; business consultancy website launch
In 2009, the ICHD organised a series of fourteen town hall discussions across Armenia on the future of Armenian-Turkish relations (detailed information in Armenian is available online). The project was supported by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation.
Following the town hall meetings held in 2009, from April 2010 onwards, ICHD held six town hall meetings in Armenia taking up issues of public interest and concern to both Turkey and Armenia.
For more information on the townhall meetings and the Bridge project activities which will continue until December 2010 see here.
The ICHD has two publications on Armenian-Turkish relations:
Armenian-Turkish Track 2 Diplomacy Projects: Assessment of Best Practices
This publication discusses the successes and failures of Track Two Diplomacy projects between Armenia and Turkey since 2001 and suggests a list of recommendations for interested stakeholders.
Available online at www.ichd.org/download.php?f=374&fc=Download
Unsilencing the Past
Published in Armenian by the ICHD, David Philips’ Unsilencing the Past is a personal account of the Turkish-Armenian track-two projects initiated by the US State Department in early 2000. The main emphasis is on the biggest and most spoken-about project of that period, the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC). The presentation of the Armenian translation of the book in Yerevan took place on 4 February 2010.
TARC was founded in 2001 July in Geneva, with oversight of its activities entrusted to David Philips, a State Department official with experience in track two diplomacy in Turkey and Cyprus. The core of the commission's work consisted of meetings and heated discussions on border opening, and economic and cultural relations. It was the issue of the Armenian genocide, however, that proved most divisive, undermining progress at nearly every turn.
Members of TARC were:
Gunduz Aktan (Ankara), Ustun Erguder (Istanbul), Sadi Erguvenc (Istanbul), Ozdem Sanberk (Istanbul), Ilter Turkmen (Istanbul), Alexander Arzoumanian (Yerevan), David Hovhannissian (Yerevan), Van Z. Krikorian (New York) and Andranik Migranian (Moscow).
The Armenian version of the book is available at www.ichd.org/download.php?f=387&fc=Download
For a review of the book, go to the ESI website.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ICHD is former Prime Minister Armen Darbinyan.
Tevan Poghosyan the ICHD's Executive Director since its establishment in 2000.
In 2001 Poghosyan also became executive director of the Armenian Atlantic Association. In 2002 he started lecturing on Conflict Management and Leadership at the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University. From 1997 to 1999 he served as Director of the Nagorno Karabakh Public Affairs Office in the US. From 1996 till 1997 he worked at the Central Bank of Armenia. Poghosyan graduated from the Political Science Department of the American University of Armenia in 1996 and from the Computer Science Department of Yerevan State Engineering University in 1994. The Armenian-Turkish border, Poghosyan recently remarked, "is more than about Turkey-Armenia; it will be a route opening up to the region."
International Center for Human Development
19 Sayat Nova Ave., Yerevan 0001, Armenia
Tel: +374 10 582638, +374 10 528321
Fax: +374 10 527082
ESI Interview with Tevan Poghosyan
Key dates in Armenia-Turkey relations 2008-2010
Politics: Institutions and people
NGOs and foundations
Academic Institutions and scholars