Forum of Mountain Community-Based Organizations
Reaching out to and strengthening remote communities in Georgia’s mountain regions is the main purpose of the project carried out by the Center for Civic Activities (CCA) with financial support from EWMI ACCESS. With the active engagement of local communities, CCA identifies key problems in these regions and advocates for solving them. A few months ago, CCA helped establish the first community-based organizations (CBOs) in these regions to directly engage local citizens in addressing their concerns and priorities.
On October 26-27, CCA organized a joint forum of these CBOs in Akhmeta region to enable them to interact directly with one another and join efforts for advocacy. CCA also invited relevant government agencies and international organizations to inform the CBOs about their ongoing and planned activities and learn about the local problems as viewed by citizens.
On the first day of the Forum, the CBOs got to know each other and shared their experiences of community and advocacy work. They also developed a list of the most pressing issues and agreed on a common strategic action plan.
On the second day, the CBOs and activists received detailed information about grant programs and other resources available to local CBOs, citizens, and entrepreneurs. In particular, the CBOs met with representatives of the Embassy of Japan in Georgia, Open Society-Georgia Foundation, Enterprise Georgia, and the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia who shared useful information on available funding mechanisms and principles. A representative of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development of Georgia presented the 2019-2023 State Strategy on Development of the High Mountainous Regions of Georgia and spoke about civic engagement opportunities during the implementation of the strategy. A representative of the Agency of Protected Areas discussed ways to engage local residents in the management of protected areas. CBOs also had the opportunity to speak about their problems and priorities and agree on a communication mechanism with the government.
As a follow-up to the forum, CCA will assist the participating CBOs in maintaining direct communication with the government agencies and strengthen citizen engagement opportunities in implementation of the 2019-2023 State Strategy on Development of the High Mountainous Regions of Georgia. CCA will also assist the CBOs in developing and submitting grant and business proposals to the relevant government agencies and international donors.