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“Marketing” Assistance Programs to the Diaspora

By on January 16, 2005

The Armenian Diaspora has at times expressed frustration due to a lack of concrete information about the scope or effectiveness of assistance funding in Armenia.  As the Diaspora pressures the Government of Armenia for greater accountability of how international funding is being spent in Armenia, individual donor agencies and implementing organizations have come under similar pressure to more openly disclose their budgets and justify their expenditures.  This phenomenon has created a new market for information about assistance programs in Armenia.

In response, the U.S. Government instituted an increasingly pro-active outreach strategy regarding its assistance efforts.  This strategy included the production of written materials, video programs, an interactive website and meetings with Diasporans in both the United States and Armenia.  These products helped to dispel some common misconceptions about the nature of U.S. Government assistance and have helped streamline the Embassy’s internal assistance coordination.

With new calls for better public diplomacy efforts worldwide and the promise of an increasingly active Diaspora-Embassy relationship in the context of U.S.-Armenia relations, pro-active public relations efforts regarding assistance programs appear to have found a natural market within the Diaspora and have found a natural home in U.S. Embassy, Yerevan.

This is excerpted from a 2005 presentation to the World Bank about ways the U.S. Government is trying to better “market” its assistance programs to diaspora communities, using as a case study the efforts at U.S. Embassy Yerevan to better communicate with a broader public audience.

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Aaron Sherinian
Washington, DC

I am a Communicator, Dad and Global PR guy who is inspired by the fascinating people in my life. I love the challenges that a new world of communications means for those of us who work across borders and time zones to try and create powerful conversations that will make the world a better place.

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