TI Georgia monitored the use of administrative resources during the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections. The monitoring included:
a.interviews with the leaders of various political parties participating in the elections, representatives of Georgian and international NGOs involved in election monitoring, and state institutions involved in election administration;
b.analyzing the allocation of state funds during the pre-election period based on official documentation;
c.analyzing political advertising and coverage of political candidates through selected media outlets;
d.analyzing election legislation and the decisions of the Central Election Commission; and
e.observing the pre-election activities of the ruling party.
The misuse of administrative resources has been cited as a problem in Georgia in every election since 2003. After the presidential election in January 2008, TI Georgia has made specific recommendations about how to reduce the use of administrative resources during election campaigns. Unfortunately, despite the need and the advocacy work done by both domestic and international organizations on this issue, the Election Code was not modified to limit the use of administrative resources in advance of the parliamentary elections. Rather, legislation has been made more liberal instead of more restrictive. Public officials were still allowed to engage in pre-election campaigning activities, with few exceptions indicated in the law, and election candidates were granted the right to use material-technical resources funded from the state and local budgets as long as these resources are equally accessible for all of them.
The goal of this project was to support the establishment of transparent and efficient procedures in everyday work of local government units, strengthen human capacities and support citizen involvement in public decision making. Target group: Local councilors, district administration office, the general public.
With funding from the European Union, EPF began the Strengthening the Media’s Role as a Watchdog Institution in Georgia project, focused on increasing public access to high quality, professional, independent information.
Main activities of the project are the following:
• Perform a media landscape study through surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviewing.
• Link the Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters (GARB) with a media association in a new EU member state and undertake activities aimed at institutional development of the GARB.
• Conduct trainings for media and legal professionals on the specifics of investigative journalism, media legislation, access to information.
• Establish the Georgian Media Legal Defence Centre (GMLDC) to provide free legal aid for journalists, media outlets, and lawyers and to advocate for legislative changes.
• Hold TV and public discussions involving all stakeholders to encourage broad, inclusive dialogue on the state of the media in Georgia.
• Conduct targeted grant competitions on investigative journalism.
EPF’s Caucasus Research Resource Center has undertaken a study of the Georgian media landscape consisting of a survey of public attitudes to the media in Georgia, a series of focus groups with media consumers, in-depth interviews with media professionals, and media monitoring of Georgian TV news. The results of the study were presented at the “European Union-Georgia” Civil Society Human Rights Seminar on Media Freedom and Internally Displaced Persons organized by the European Commission Delegation to Georgia in November, 2009. The report provided a comprehensive picture of the current situation in the Georgian media and served as the basis for a vibrant discussion at the seminar.
Source: Eurasia Partnership Foundation. Read more about this project here.
The project sought to:
1. improve future IDP resettlements by bringing the experiences and concerns of already rehoused IDPs to the attention of government figures, donors, implementing agencies and the media;
2. advocate for better provision of aid to already relocated IDPs.
This project’s aim was to support the establishment of Information Freedom Centers (IFC) to promote dissemination of public information and serve as vehicle for citizen participation. Target group: councilors, NGO, general public.
The project was one of the most important and influental in the anti-corruption sphere in Georgia. it had a long duration period with several phases, with strong support from many different international donors with large sclae funding. The project aimed at the promotion of accountable government structures through the implementation of the legislation on the access to information and, at the same time, through the promotion of financial transparency in the public institutions funded from the state budget by using FOI as an instrument. The following activities were implemented within the framework of the project: 1. Implementing freedom of information principles in real life by strategic litigation and monitoring access to information; 2. Monitoring and advocacy through the project “Georgian Government under Sunshine”, which includes the following elements: support of the establishment of public broadcaster; monitoring of the President’s reserve fund; monitoring of the Government’s reserve fund; monitoring of the reserve fund of Adjara autonomous republic; 3. Assistance to the development of the local NGO sector addressing corruption and transparency actions in Adjara and Kutaisi; 4. Round tables and trainings for judges and freedom of information officers; 5. Creation of data bases of freedom of information officers in Georgia; 6. Creation of an online guidebook on Freedom of Information; 7. Elaboration of recommendations for the promotion and development of freedom of information legislation and practice in Georgia.
During October 2007 – May 2008, Transparency International Georgia implemented the project Promoting Civil Society Monitoring of Secondary Healthcare Reform with funding from the Eurasia Partnership Foundation. The proposal was designed to follow on the heels of the government’s initiation of hospital sector privatization and had two main objectives: promote the effectiveness of the healthcare system in Georgia and improve the capacity of civil society to monitor the reform of secondary healthcare in Georgia.
The goal of the project was to assist the Council of Europe in establishing the National Association of local authorities in Georgia. The association was established in December 2004 during the conference of 800 municipalities. Target group: local municipalities, elected mayors, councilors, associations of local governments.
Goals of the project: To monitor spending of allocated budget and grant funds for road rehabilitation, to make legislative, economic and technical expertise of grant agreements, tender procedures and etc. Focus was placed on the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze highway, Adjara domestic roads and a 10 mln. Grant Program.
The project strove to increase public awareness of the energy sector in Georgia and to disseminate information throughout the country about the reforms carried out in this sector. In order to accomplish these goals, TI Georgia:
– conducted intensive trainings for journalists on the energy sector in Georgia to develop understanding of this complicated sector. In total 10 trainings were conducted;
– produced tri-annual newspaper inserts that included comprehensive articles on energy sector related issues for distribution throughout the country; and
– produced and disseminated monthly reports documenting (a) issues of concern in the energy sector, (b) the government’s activities and achievement of intended results, (c) transparency of the sector, and (d) the effect of international energy developments on Georgia and Georgia’s relations with energy supplier countries.
The goal of the project was to support implementation of the state program “Village Support” by training the LG trustees in territorial units in participatory methodologies, so that they will be able to conduct participatory needs assessments and problem prioritization in their communities. Also, during the project the special training for CBO and local NGO representatives on civil monitoring was organized, so they will be able to monitor the activities of LG trustees in local communities.
Among the goals of the project:
1. To improve domestic monitoring mechanisms – analysis of relevant legislation in force and activities of the Chamber of Control; by organizing round-tables for relevant stakeholders; elaborating recommendations and drafts as to introduce them into relevant legislation;
2. To improve transparency and accountability during grant related relationships – analysis of relevant legislation “Law on the Grants””; by elaborating and lobbying recommendations and drafts as to introduce them into relevant legislation;
3. To contribute to effective CSOs monitoring of priority areas being identified within the framework of the Coalition – through the identification of relevant donors providing financial assistance; the perfectionining of legal system amd national monitoring mechanisms; assistance to IDPs; rehabilitation of national infrastructure.”
TI Georgia’s project “Informed Citizens and Accountable Government”” strove to foster communication between majoritarian parliamentarians and their constituencies and promote public awareness of and input into the legislative process. To achieve these goals, TI Georgia, in cooperation with majoritarian MPs and their district office (bureau) representatives, conducted public meetings in three-month cycles in 57 districts in Georgia. At these meetings citizens received information about parliamentary developments over the last three months and its future plans. They also had the opportunity to inform their majoritarian MPs about their main concerns at the local level and share with him/her their opinions about Parliament’s work. As part of the project, TI Georgia also assessed majoritarian bureaus and administrative barriers to their work and conducted trainings for bureau staff to increase their competence.”
As part of the project training workshops for newly elected local council members were organized across the country. Local councilors were trained in several topics: roles and responsibilities, local budgeting, transparency etc. Target group: newly elected local council members.
The purpose of the project was the elaboration of an analytical report “Analysis of 50-day Program of the Government of Georgia”.
The project aimed at enabling Georgian parliamentarians to make informed decisions about draft laws by providing them with the advice of lower level specialists and by actively involving civil society in the legislative process and also at improving the transparency of information given by the parliament, thus better informing citizens about the work carried out by the parliament.
The goal of the project was to asses the stage of development of local governance in Georgia and work out policy recommendations to be discussed on the National Conference.
The project intended to support the forming of a Coalition of 7 NGOs focused on rising and improving monitoring, transparency and accountability. The goal of the TFAG Coalition is to analyze, evaluate and monitor projects funded within the foreign aid package allotted to Georgia after the August 2008 armed conflict; to provide wide coverage of monitoring reports and to advocate for the elaborated recommendations.
On May 2008 TI Georgia conducted a monitoring of the polling and counting procedures in the region of Kvemo Kartli. The organization deployed its monitors to 110 polling stations in the following five election districts: Marneuli, Gardabani, Bolnisi, Dmanisi, and Tsalka, thus covering 40% of the polling stations in the region with 51% of voters in those five districts. The monitoring targeted precincts with the highest numbers of registered voters in the respective districts and ones where the majority of registered voters were ethnic minorities.
In 56 out of the 110 polling stations monitored by TI Georgia the monitors noted significant breaches of election legislation. The problems ranged from poor the qualifications of the Precinct Election Commission (PEC) members carouseling the voting, ballot stuffing, other duties. A total of 137 appeals have been compiled involving election violations in all 110 precincts.
Among the most frequently observed violations were: Precinct Election Commission members agitating voters in the polling station in favor of the ruling party, voters marking ballot papers outside polling booths, voters being allowed to vote without presenting ID cards or upon presenting other persons’ ID cards, proxy voting, inconsistent application of inking, Precinct Election Commission members following voters into polling booths, voters entering polling booths in groups of two and more, the presence of unauthorized persons during polling and counting procedures, and the correcting of summary protocols. In addition to these problems, the electoral process was marred by the refusal of Precinct Election Commissions to register TI Georgia’s and other election day monitors’ appeals.
The goal of the project was to involve the socially vulnerable part of the population in the local decision making process and tomcreate legal guarantees for their participation. Target group: vulnerable people, mayors, elected officials.
The project intended to study foreign models of railway privatization highlighting best practices and elaborating recommendations. As a result of the project the Report “Georgian Railway: Challenges and Perspectives”.
As part of the project the social and economic situation in Georgian regions was analyzed. Other activites within the project included publishing brochures, organizing workshop for statisticians, and conducting a survey on education. “Public guides” on every region prepared citizen’s guide to state budget were published in 1998 and 1999. Target groups: IC staff, elected council members.
The purpose of the project was the elaboration of an analytical report “Expanding the EITI Agenda to Transportation of Hydrocarbon Resources” covering 3 countries Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine.