A final event of the “Promoting Self-Government Development in Georgia” project funded by the European Union was held in the Europe House on March 15th. The Civil Society Institute has implemented the project over last three years with the regional partners. Attending the event were the Head of the EU Delegation in Georgia, Ambassador Philip Dimitrov; Attach Oliver Reisner; Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure MamukaVatsadze; regional partners, self-government representatives, etc.
At the meeting the guests talked about the notion of self-government and its advantage over other forms of governance. On his part, the Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure has emphasized the significance of regional development in the overall development of the country, while the Ambassador has noted that local self-government must be driven by the interests of local populations. The key components of the “Promoting Self-Government Development in Georgia” project were: creation of institutional mechanisms fostering cooperation among the self-government, public, and non-governmental sector, dialogue of self-governments with the population, and making the general public more active.
The project was implemented in 4 regions of Georgia – Kakheti, Shida Kartli, Guria and Adjara. Within the project framework 151 rural leaders were chosen, who are the defenders and representatives of interests of village/community in the local authorities. They were all trained in the development of leadership skills. In addition, up to 1,000 self-government employees were trained in various topics. Over 100 public meetings were held between the population and self-governments. A cycle of programs on self-government issues was developed for the regional televisions and radios, handbooks were published for the self-government employees, and the local public assemblies were set up including the citizens and civil sector and/or business representatives.
Main objective of the three-year project was to promote the development of self-government through citizen participation in its activities. Individuals working on the project believe that the biggest achievement after three years is that “compared to the launch of the project, we now have more active, more informed citizens (…) most importantly, the citizens have acknowledged that they themselves are self-government, and that self-government – it is us” – says Project Manager Guranda Romanadze in the project video report. Demonstrated also at the event was the movie (video report) – “Self-Government – This Is You” – which illustrates the project activities and results for the last three years.