Improving Georgia’s Governance and Transparency at the Federal, National and Local Levels

MSI’s USAID-funded Good Governance in Georgia (G3) program addresses the democratic and social challenges facing local- and national-level governance.

The project works closely with federal ministries and agencies, and national and local governments to improve efficiencies, transparency, public outreach and citizen services.

MSI experts have worked with the Ministry of Justice, the Civil Registry Agency, the Civil Service Bureau, the Chamber of Control of Georgia, the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, the Data Exchange Agency and the National Agency for Public Registry on strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, public outreach and communication. In the capital city of Tbilisi, project staff also contributed to comprehensively updating maps and personal and business addresses.

G3 is also working with national and local governments to adopt anti-corruption protections, ensuring greater transparency in budgeting and resource allocation, instilling ethical norms and building internal audit capacity. The team is also working with the Civil Service Bureau to deliver a public administration training curriculum to civil servants in advance of formal civil service reform.

In 10 targeted municipalities, G3 is also working to improve the operations of municipal councils and executive bodies. The goal is to increase citizen awareness of municipal matters and participation of civil society organizations in developing local policy options, increasing citizen awareness of municipal matters and improving service delivery.

In addition, MSI experts help to provide a series of regional trainings on civic engagement, accountability and transparency to municipal officials, councilors and civil society organization staff. Working with local organizations, the project also provides grants to support civic engagement through public council and budget hearings, town hall meetings, call-in radio shows, and debates where citizens and local government officials can collaborate.

In anticipation of the upcoming local and national elections, MSI’s G3 program created public forums, known as Centers for Civic Engagement (CCEs), which provide free access to gathering spaces, library resources and Internet access. The centers allow citizens, civil society organizations, political party representatives and media a safe haven to research, hold meetings and host public forums, round tables and town hall meetings. These centers are entirely independent of the national and local governments; however, local government officials can be invited to join in collaborative events, which is consistent with the project’s goal of advancing democratic dialogue.

The program continues through February 2014.