EWMI ACCESS Funds New Citizen Engagement Projects in Georgian Regions
In February 2018, EWMI ACCESS identified the winners of its Citizen Outreach Grants program. This small grants competition targeted Georgian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to work on local issues and ensure wider civic engagement in their project activities. In total, 60 project proposals were submitted, and the grants review committee selected the following four projects for funding:
- “Center for Civic Activities” (Gurjaani) will work in the Pankisi Gorge and Tusheti to empower and engage citizens in local decision-making processes. The project will educate local communities about existing citizen engagement opportunities and will facilitate citizens’ engagement locally (enable citizen’s attendance to Sakrebulo meetings, support their initiatives to form a Citizen Advisory Council, counsel their efforts to develop petition(s) and mobilize communities to support the petition). Informal discussions between community members and local government representatives, especially in remote communities of Pankisi and Tusheti, on issues of local importance will be organized on a regular basis. The project team also will support citizens’ advocacy efforts, as they develop.
- “Step Forward” (Batumi) will advocate for introducing rehabilitation programs for children with hearing impairments in the Khulo, Shuakhevi, Khelvachauri, Keda, and Kobuleti municipalities of Ajara. The project will organize a pilot summer camp for the target children and engage the parents to advocate for institutionalizing a summer camp for rehabilitation purposes. The project team will work with Ajara Government to discuss state funding schemes for similar rehabilitation programs for children with hearing difficulties.
- “Young Scientists’ Club of Ozurgeti” (Ozurgeti) aims to establish effective citizen engagement mechanisms in the Ozurgeti and Lanchkhuti municipalities and foster citizen participation in local decision–making. The project team will work with various stakeholders, including a local self-government of Ozurgeti municipality, to design and establish an online citizen-petition platform. The project team will also pilot the municipal service satisfaction survey in Lanchkhuti and propose local government to set specific indicators for ensuring satisfactory municipal service delivery.
- Kakheti Regional Development Foundation (Akhmeta) targets Kist, Chechen and Georgian youth in Pankisi Gorge and offers extra-curricular educational and networking opportunities as well as a summer camp for cultural exchange and diversity learning. The project team will also support youth initiatives, whatever they may be and will provide in-kind grants for their realization. The project will collaborate with a local radio station to prepare shows and programs on topics of importance to local youth.
The projects are expected to start in March. EWMI ACCESS congratulates the winners.