Collaboration for Changes
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Coordination Meeting of the Social Organizations Operating in Kakheti Region

 

December 19-20, 2012, Lopota

The Coordination meeting, organized by the Community Development Centre, was held in the framework of the project “Promotion of Income Generating Activities and Regional Development through Cultural-Educational Programs”.

 

Aim of the meeting:

 

  • Exchanging of the information on the activities and experience of the social organizations working on various projects of development in Kakheti region;
  • Discussing weak and strong sides of civil activities in Kakheti region;
  • Development of recommendations involving so called mediatory, local and donor organizations: what should be done in Kakheti region from the point of view of civil sector development.

 

Their own activities were introduced at the meeting as by social organizations operating in Tbilisi working with local partners in Kakheti, so by some local organizations. Comparison of local expectation/needs and matching of the services rendered was the aim of such format.

Some donor organizations were attending the meeting. They reviewed their experience obtained in Kakheti in the framework of their grant programs.

 

Agenda:

 

Introduction of the organizations working on development of the community and small-entrepreneurship in Kakheti region

 

  • Presentation of the programs of Community Development Centre – Anna Margvelashvili
  • CSRDG – Community Development Network Program – Nino Vasadze
  • World Vision – Regional Development Program for Children Welfare – Nana Atuashvili
  • CENN – Civil Initiative for Coordination in Kakheti Region – Kakha Sukhitashvili
  • “Nukriani” Community Union: demonstration of the film “We are Learning” – Maia Bidzinashvili
  • Civil Opinion Research and Development Centre – Telavi - Liza Sopromadze
  • Civil Development Association of Georgia - Lagodekhi – Alexi Chankotadze
  • Georgina Society of Nature Protectors - Telavi – Kakha Sukhitashvili

 

 

Working/grant experience of donor organization in Kakheti region

  • Eurasia Cooperation Fund -  Zaal Anjaparidze
  • G-Pac  - Tamuna Koberidze
  • dvv international  - Lika Katsitadze

 

Discussions with the representatives of donor organizations.

 

Working on evaluation and recommendations in Task Groups;

Discussing recommendations of the Task Groups.

 

Open Session  - Exchanging and Sharing of Information, Novelties

  • Sovlab – Laboratory for Researching the Soviet Past – Irakli Khvadagiani
  • TRAM - Project: Promoting Telavi Cultural Development – Anna Riaboshenko

 

Community Development Centre was introduced by Anna Margvelashvili. The Centre established by “Caucasian House” in 2010 was based on the regional program, operating in Kakheti from the year 1999.

 

In December, 2012 the Community Development Centre will become two years old. The organization was established in 2010 by “Caucasian House” on the basis of a regional program operating in Kakheti from 1999.

 

Promotion of integration of regions and villages of Georgia in common cultural and social space, winning a victory over estrangement, improvement of the quality of life of local people is the objective of Community Development Centre. We think steady results in this direction can be achieved on the basis of furthering one’s own responsibility and development of the community relying on civil awareness.

 

Our wish is to involve communities in the regions of Georgia more actively in the process of self-development; they should be expressing more civil activities and solidarity which shall be possible the level of activity and education is increased among local residents.

 

We believe that programs for adult education and culture in the regions and villages will promote establishment of better human capital, strengthening of local civil groups and cultural-educational organizations so that they can be more efficient in development of their own community.

 

Capacity development of local representative groups is one of the most important moments as these very local groups can better resolve the problems locally. This is the alphabet of decentralization and regionalism; otherwise perfect democracy cannot be imagined.

 

The Centre, together with the Community Unions “Nukriani” and “Napareuli” and “Kakheti” Media Centre, with the purpose of integration of cultural and social spaces, is implementing three basic programs: Program for Development of Local Capacities and Community; Program for Development of Cultural-Educational Institutions and Services and Program for Promotion of Income Generating Activities.

 

During the mentioned period the partner organizations were provided with a number of consultations and trainings; rendered practical assistance in planning of different events and collecting of additional funds. Joint meeting were held, where the mentioned organizations were better get acquainted with each other, sharing their experience and preparing for networking.

 

In the framework of the program the organizations were provided with small institutional assistance which was the pre-condition for their future working.

All three organizations improved performance of their Financial Divisions, thus making their activities more transparent. Transparency and accounting are one of the main objectives for them. At this stage our partners are independently managing their finances with more or less success.

 

The Centre pays great attention to cultural-educational events through which it involves passive community into common activities. From this point of view festivals of “Folk Craft, Culinary and Arts” became traditional in the village of Nukriani. The mentioned festival, except diversification of cultural life, brings economical profit and, correspondingly, the village has positive attitude to the festival. In 2012 the village organized its fourth festival.

 

With the purpose of income generation in the target communities, popularization of the idea of small enterprises and promotion of their development locally, encouraging establishment of folk arts workshops was carried out on the basis of generalization of Nukrinai workshops’ experience and the Community Development Centre has become one of the most strategic directions. With the help of this program we try to promote employment and self-employment. We think that permanent re-training of adults and adaptation of them to contemporary challenges reduces risk of poverty.

 

In 2011-2012 Community Development Centre was cooperating with two social plants – with the workshops of the Ukraine and Napareuli – in order to support the activities related to women employment and income generating in villages. Community Development Centre was systematically providing consultations (in the issues of marketing, quality, etc.) to these workshops and, in the case of necessity, the Centre was considering also consultations of designers. In the workshops of the both of the villages, basically, women are involved. Encouraging trainings (small business management, marketing strategy, etc.) was held in Yerevan for them with the purpose of experience sharing. Six exhibitions-markets were organized for the mentioned workshops during two years which promoted increasing of income of the workshops. And improvement of sales is being directly reflected on organizational development and stability of the workshops. Turnover of the workshops is increasing each year and we think that this is also the result of properly planned communication and marketing strategy by the Community Development Centre.

 

In the framework of the same program direction, the project “Start-Up Business” should be mentioned. The project is being carried out in municipalities and villages (town of Gurjaani and villages of Nukriani and Napareuli) and in the framework of which 60 women, selected on the basis of a competition, attended special training in business basics. They were provided with the assistance and consultations on drawing up of business-plans and, finally, an independent panel selected and financed 23 business ideas. Later 23 small plants were registered and the women, on the basis of permanent consultations and monitoring, keep on managing and developing small businesses.

 

On behalf of the Centre for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG) Nino Vasadze submitted the network program of community development with basic accent on Kakheti region.

 

CSRDG is functioning from 1995 and from 1998 it was already in the regions of Georgia. At the moment its activities are spreading all over Georgia. Grants accepted from donors represent its main source of financing, though business activities also are contributing (about 12-15%) the budget.

 

The first direction of CSRDG activities is institutional strengthening of local, regional and national level organization, more precisely, development of social entrepreneurship with the accent on community organization of regional and village levels. This means grant competitions, financial assistance and, also, IT and consultancy support.

 

The second direction is related to promotion of self-governance effective performance on the national level, facilitation of transparency and involvement of citizens in the processes of accounting and budgeting. Approach means monitoring on the part of community, obtaining of information, analyzing, providing with recommendations and controlling their implementation and, also, monitoring of involvement of the population in the process of budgeting.

 

Village development network program covered six municipalities of Kakheti, more concretely, 25 communities (villages or groups). The organization itself divides its activities into 2 major groups: the first – technical, i.e. informational support of community centers and the second – financial support. First of them implies transferring to local leaders the knowledge and skills/contacts necessary for their effective activities and personal growth and the second one, in the process of performance, gives them the opportunity to learn practically and obtain new experience. In the framework of the Program micro-grants will be allocated which has double meaning – on the one hand, it means resolution of local problems and, on the other hand, learning management, monitoring, communication with population and community through practice.

 

The following are the concrete results achieved by the Program in Kakheti: human resources are increased – there are leaders on the sites, the problems are regulated and other problems of the community are regulated or events are implemented on the basis of finances acquired on their own initiative and without outside help.

 

It should be mentioned that according to the results of community survey (2007, 2010 and 2012), the level of recognizability and community satisfaction is increasing. According to the survey of the year 2010 80% of interviewed people knows about the activities of the community centers and 40% out of them knows the activities very well, as to satisfaction – about 76% is very satisfied.

 

Overcoming of distrust, inaction and Soviet mentality is the biggest challenge in working with the community for CSRDG. Generally, the population feels itself more comfortable in the role of a passive player and tries to avoid civil responsibility. Usually, the population has serious doubts against development related programs and their implementers. They are identifying them with political parties, pre-election campaign and other religious, sectarian groups. Earning the population’s confidence is quite difficult and requires long period of working with a concrete community (several months, even a year) and great patience and effort of the Program team.

 

Despite current data and achievements, stability of the community centers is still main challenge. At this stage CSRDG is cooperating with 8 community organizations in Kakheti.

 

World Vision is in Georgia since the year 1994.  In 2008, activities of the organization, together with Imereti and Samtskhe-Javakheti, involved Kakheti in the framework of the Development Program. The program was introduced at the meeting by Nana Atuashvili.

 

Kakheti Region Development Program is being implemented in 24 villages of Telavi, Kvareli and Gurjaani municipalities. It should be mentioned that duration of the Program is 12 years and, thus, chance of positive changes is quite real. Improvement of the state of health of children and youth through education and development of agriculture is the main objective of the projects implemented and planned in the framework of the Program. Below is given the model which World Vision is using from 1990:

 

• works in the direction of poverty elimination

• strengthens the capacities of a community

• is directed to the welfare of children, their families and community

• is long-term and sustainable

• strengthens cooperation between interested parties

• is community oriented

 

The general principles, being used as guide by the Regional Program, are based on:

 

• elaboration of common vision related to community development between the interested parties

• strengthening of community members through increasing of involvement

• implementation of children oriented programs

• establishment of long-term partnership relation

 

Difficulties, typical in the course of Program implementation, apply to:

 

• less motivation of a community members

• failure to establish long-term partnership relations

• less vision

 

CENN Civil Initiative in Kakheti Region was introduced by Kakha Sukhitashvili and Koba Kobaladze, the expert.

 

 

CENN is implementing several projects in Kakheti. Initially the conversation touched on several innovations, including, implementation of drip irrigation system with the purpose of gathering in harvest several times in a year. In the village of Pirosmani, which is basically resided by eco-migrants and where the population uses cisterns and reservoirs for water, gathering in two harvests became possible and, after trainings, the gathered in the third harvest through green house which cost them just GEL 250.

 

The Project Sustainable Forest Management was commenced two months ago by CENN in Kakheti and 6 other regions (Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kvemo Kartli, Racha-Lechkhum-Kvemo Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti) and it will work three more years. As there is no relevant policy for forestry in the country, the organization attaches great importance to the Project implementation and aims to promote successful implementation of forestry reform in Georgia, development of the capacities of public structures and civil sector. Water meadows of the river Alazani is the priority working direction in Kakheti region. At this stage there are identified several problematic packages: provision of the village of Pirosmani with wood resource; establishment of plantations; creation of micro-protected areas on the territory of Alazani water meadows. Facilitation of conservation of the species inhabiting Kakheti and given in the Red Book of Georgia is planned. Considering the fact that the forests of Georgia represent the 0.13 percent of the World forest, the project implementers think the project to be important as the indicator is quite high for such small country.

 

Basic difficulties three problems:

Community inactivity, absence of local initiatives and non-acceptance from the part of local self-governance  

 

Maia Bidzinashvili introduced the film of Nukrinani Community Union

“We Are Learning”   

 

The film is following the way of development of the organization from its establishment step-be-step. Shooting of the film became possible in the framework of the grant-program of the Association of Adult Education of Georgia which was supported financially by dvv international. The film was very important for the organization for self-perception – it was demonstrated in all municipalities of Kakheti despite certain cases of resistance .

 

The Centre of CSRD was introduced by Lizi Sopromadze. Ms. Sopromadze is also a GIPA lecturer for local self-governance. 

 

Despite short activities carried out in Telavi, the organization has great motivation. Everything commenced after GIPA projects implemented in Telavi municipality. Kind of “opposition” of theory and practice turned out to be important for the students and even lecturers. Notwithstanding preliminary inclination, they met a lot of challenges and wonderful environment in place.

 

They implemented the project Research of Telavi Municipality Budgetary Processes (financed by GIZ).

 

Current projects of the organization:

Facilitation of Citizens Involvement through Advocacy in Telavi Municipality in Resolving Local Issues - East West  Management Institute;

 

Facilitation of Advocacy Campaign in Kakheti – MOLI project – HEKS EPER. This cattle breeding project is current in Sagarejo, Dedoplistskaro and Signagi and its approach means not direct assistance to peasant-farmers, but strengthening of the small businesses which are “serving” peasants, for instance, veterinary service.

 

Life starts from village – is the moto of the newly founded organization, which also defines the method of the organization’s activities: define, plan, implement and evaluate together with the village population!

 

The current project being implemented by the Centre - Facilitation of Citizens Involvement through Advocacy in Telavi Municipality in Resolving Local Issues. The project commenced on September 1 and it will be effective 8 months. It involves 14 villages.

 

At the moment the Centre is facing the following challenges:

  • low quality of the population’s trust
  • difficulties in changing of habits
  • political goodwill of the authorities
  • new role of local authority

 

Association of Civil Development in Georgia – the first non-governmental organization in Lagodekhi municipality, founded on November 14, 1998 – Alex Chankotadze

 

Community and Self-Governance in Lagodekhi Municipality was the topic of his presentation.

 

Association of Civil Development in Georgia aims to facilitate improvement of the level of civil education and development of civil initiatives with the purpose of establishing social welfare, civil society development and rile of law.

 

Basic program objectives of the program are directed to promotion of development of self-governance and community.

 

The organization distinguishes the following fact among its activities: more than 100 recommendations have been prepared and issued 60% of which have been considered by self-governance; about 70 different kinds of problems have been regulated in the framework of various projects.

 

 

For your information: Association of Civil Development in Georgia has implemented 28 major projects in 5 municipalities in Kakheti.

 

The organization thinks annual investigation of community problems to be very important. The investigation reveals priority problems of each community and each district in order to submit them to the local authority.

 

For this reason the Association has set up the Public Hall involving community centers, active people, interested persons, mass media representatives and social organizations.

 

The Association thinks that the society should be involved in the municipality’s activities prior to making a decision. For this reason the Public Hall shall revoke a draft decision from the municipality, including, the budget, and review them at its meetings. Then they will provide the municipality with conclusion and recommendations.

 

The Association is going to activate this direction through facebook.

 

Positive relationship with non-commercial non-governmental legal entities was also mentioned, particularly, Sport and Youth Issues Service is considering annual programs of community centers upon their joint discussion.

 

The attention was attracted to the project “Let’s Manage Together” financed by Open Society – Georgia. In the framework of the project the problems of Lagodekhi municipality youth were surveyed so that to develop united long-term strategic plan of problem resolving, involving youth groups (representatives of government, non-governmental organizations, ethnic minorities).

 

On the basis of the survey 876 young people of various age were interviewed and there were revealed 46 active and initiative young people. 70 young people were involved in the survey according to the villages. As the result, there were found several problems facing the youth (no opportunity of employment, no entertainment places, alcoholism, no opportunity to obtain any informal education). The problems were notified to a corresponding service. Which is most important to mentions was the fact, that the vision of the Association coincided with youth’s request and they would submit an application on annual basis, requesting founding of youth centers where they do not exist.

 

Georgian Society of Nature Friends (Telavi) was introduced by Kakha Sukhitashvili

 

The organization, founded in the year 2000, is working on more specific issued of environment protection. The following are its strategic directions: facilitating conservation of biodiversity, increasing environmental awareness of the society, promoting eco-tourism in Kakheti region. The speaker was speaking about possible participation of the organization in eco-tourism, that he thinks of development of eco-tourism in Pankisi gorge together with the donor – German Association of Nature Friends, particularly, he wants to establish a camp for eco-tourists in the village of Duisi. It was mentioned that the intention was risky, though the project of bringing together Georgian and Kist children in Pankisi gorge in 2011 gives the Association great hope.

 

The Association thinks the idea of establishing geo-tourist (geographical) centre in Telavi to be absolutely new. The similar centre was developed by National Geographic in 2010. The director of the above mentioned camp is to visit Telavi in summer to organize trainings in geo-tourism.

 

The idea of the centre means showing of all regional sightseeing in the radius of 20 km.

 

Works of Donor OrganizationsGrant Experience in Kakheti Region

 

 

EurAsia Partnership Foundation was introduced by Zaal Anjaparidze 

 

The mission of the organization is to give the citizens opportunity to influence changes for social and economical improvement through implementation of practical programs in order to improve their lives and lives of the people around them. This is a wide mission in itself and involves many projects. In 1998 the Fund financed 20 NGOs only in Kakheti (USD 350,000), which was directed to strengthening of civil section in places. The speaker spoke about the network of “open schools” from 2003 – 7 schools supported democratic transparent management relying on absolutely new principle, when Supervisory Boards did not have any legal status. In Kakheti these projects were implemented by Civil Society Organizations (CSO) “Patara Kakhi” and “Association of Parents and Children”.

 

In the period preceding the Rose Revolution Kakheti was also included into self-governance facilitating program and the population support centers were set up in Telavi and Gurjaani. These centers are still functioning as non-governmental centers.

 

“Open Door” program financed 3 organizations: Civil Development Association, radio “Hereti” and newspaper “Kakhetis Khma”. All these projects proved to be very successful.

 

2009-2011  - Media Independence Support Program – media was financed in Kakheti. There was held a cycle of journalist investigation and they disseminated the information through their channels. On the one hand, they brought to life dying genre of journalistic investigation and, on the other hand, they supported growing of population involvement.

 

Promotion of civil monitoring is one of the basic programs called “Monitoring and Co-Participation for Changes”. It means that monitoring of as central, so local authorities on the part of non-governmental, non-elite organizations through active involvement of local communities, will equip communities with the skills necessary for such purpose. Understanding of the budget processes; reading of the budget; program monitoring; observation; effective dialogue with the authorities – the program had outstanding results in Kakheti.

 

Analysis of the policy, methods of advocacy, ways of monitoring – these are the issued delivered in the course of training of the regional organizations.

Besides, trainers were trained in civil monitoring and advocacy in 6 regions. The Civil Development Association has a qualified trainer of these issues. This organization can render corresponding service to Kakheti.

 

The Fund’s project on integration of ethnic minorities covered Ossetian population of Lagodekhi and Akhmeta. The Association trained women in Alvani village and supported their reintegration. As the result, a part of Ossetian population changed their minds and did not leave the country after the war.

 

“Youth Idea” was named to be a long-term project. Mini-grants are developing independent managerial skills in youth. Youth is the Fund’s target group in 24 municipalities in order to develop in them volunteers’ character. Through small grants (USD 500-600) the youth is selecting projects themselves and issue grants for resolution of definite problem in the community. 18 projects of this kind were financed in Dedoplistskari and 8 – in Akhmeta.

 

The Fund’s pilot program is related to facilitation of organizational development of NGOs. Resulting from acuteness of the problem, enhancement of the program is being planned, as the problem is real. The competition for the grant (USD 5,000) related to organizational development is carried out twice and deliverables are also simplified.

 

Problems and challenges which the Fund is facing in Kakheti:

 

1. Institutional and financial sustainability of organizations – absolute majority of them depends on donor financing. Very small amount of the organizations can exist without donor assistance.

 

2. The analysis of Kakheti projects shows that there is lack of innovative ideas – the Fund receives very small number of good projects from Kakheti. Aslo, the people can not transform good idea into a good project.

 

3. Unfortunately, cooperation between media and NGOs is very weak, which hinders NGOs in making good presentation of themselves before local society and acquainting them with themselves, services, gain their trust, which is quite small. Correspondingly, recognizability of their activities is very poor.

 

4. Leaders turnover is a general problem for all regions. The leaders are going to public services, where they have steady remuneration. This situation weakens non-governmental sector as the adequate replacement cannot be found so far.

 

5. Low civil awareness of the local population.

 

6. The position of the local authority is also a problem – so called Alienation Wall. There is some progress which is related to serous efforts of CSOs.

 

 

“We do not see a qualified opponent in NGOs”, - this is the argument of the authority representatives. We should destroy this argument by introducing a qualified opponent on the other side of the table.

 

 

 

Program of East-West Management Institute (EWMI) „Development of Public Policy, Advocacy and Civil Society in Georgia” (G-PAC) was introduced by Tamuna Koberidze

 

EWMI G-PAC is a four-year initiative. It shall be completed in August, 2014. It is financed by USAID. The aim of the project is development of successful reforms in public policy in Georgia and increasing of the role of civil society in implementation of the above reforms and better protection of society’s interests. For this reason it offers various grants, consultations and trainings to NGOs.

 

EWMI G-PAC grant programs serve increasing of participation of civil society in public policy development and advocacy processes and strengthening its function of an observer. It tries, through grant programs, consultations and trainings tailored on real needs, strengthen contacts between civil society and authority, civil society and media and civil society and citizens in order to support strengthening, sustainability and independence.         

 

Within two years 67 grants have been allocated to 2,631 people in total. 53% of the assistance goes to the region.

 

EWMI G-PAC’s priorities are not similar to EurAsia Cooperatinon Fund. The priority is maximum results from pointed strike. Thus the quality of project writing is not considered. Of course, there is a system of internal assessment, but revision is directed so that any program is financed if it shows sound idea, is interesting and effective.

 

We are assessing the idea anyway if even it is translated by Google, mentioned the speaker. Our approach is cooperation and possibility to get some consultation at the last minute of deadline. We are carrying out advocacy, but many people still can not understand its meaning.

 

Directions: supporting analytical organizations for preparation of policy documents for further advocacy so that the developed recommendations are really implemented. The application is assessed according to how the organization thinks of the process of cooperation with Governmental structure. The policy document should reflect the country’s priorities and it should be developed by the party which is a specialist, decision-maker and implementer as on local so national levels. The priorities of EWMI G-PAC are based on social research: agriculture, economy, employment. Research is the subject of interest especially in these spheres.

 

EWMI G-PAC is also issuing the grants for civil advocacy. Involvement, awareness and impact are required from the projects.

 

Program: partnership – for changes is announced in January with the cost USD 60,000. The project should be 18 months of duration – joint measures from branch cooperation. On the basis of cooperation with research organizations, at least, 4 organizations will be able to participate in the program.

 

Art for advocacy – this program was appealed basically by art organizations. The aim of this program is not art for art, but advocacy and increasing of perception through art.

 

The issue raised through art should be followed by action, together with the information. The project should be persuasive and represent priority for the country.

 

Open door grant program “Act Now” is in progress. An application can be submitted any time. Maximum grant amount equals to USD 20,000.

 

The grants are allocation to as organizations so physical entities.

 

Focusing on concrete problems in the submitted ideas is problematic. The majority wants to deal with global problems.

 

The program emphasized the initiative of promotion of networking in the whole Georgia, particularly, SIDA is the organization, which will be a facilitator for cooperation in the given format. The initiative means holding of similar meetings, awareness, etc. The program was implemented in Western Georgia previously by “Atinati” and SIDA – in Eastern Georgia. The site cso.ge will be enhanced and become a resource-base of civil sector.

 

The program also implies additional service for the grantees through trainings and mentoring. The grantees having won once shall have the opportunity to participate in internal competition.

 

For improvement of environment of non-governmental sector there is also a program “Introduction of Changes to Tax Code”. Work is in progress with the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and, also, on local level.

 

The problem is focusing on needs and considered advocacy without printing unnecessary “trash”. Establishment of coalitions and partnership is complicated.

 

Georgian subsidiary of the Institute of International Cooperation of Public Universities Association of Germany (dvv international) was introduced by Lika Katsitadze

 

dvv international is implementing projects in Georgian from 2002. Basic sources of financing – Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ), European Union.

 

Objective of the project – Development of adult informal education system for promotion of a person’s professional and personal growth and full integration into the society.

 

In 2006-2009, in the framework of the project European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), there was implemented the project “People’s Universities in Samtskhe-Javakheti – Chance of Integration for National Minorities”. Adult Education Centres were set up in Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki. In 2009-2011, in the framework of the project “Promotion of IDPs in Samegrelo and Kvemo Kartli”, there were set up Municipality Development Centres in Koda, Shaumin, Senaki and Jvari.

 

The following were the concrete aims of the above centres:

-         facilitation of development of concept for education locally during the whole life

-         increasing of chances for improving personal and professional competencies and employment

-         availability of quality, short-term informal education

-         integration of vulnerable population and increasing of their capacities and potential

-         co-participation of local self-governance in informal education of population

 

From 2002dvv international is implementing projects in Kakheti in several directions: professional education, technical assistance, community mobilization, health protection, community/adult educational centres. dvv cooperates also with Nukriani – it assisted in development of women workshops.

 

The speaker mentioned that the small grant program (in the limits of EUR 12,000) “Innovation in Adult Education”, which was being carried out by the Association of Adult Education of Georgia during three years, will be implemented directly by the donor and from the year 2013 the museums, as the centres for adult education, will be the target locations.

 

The following was named as difficulties faced by dvv in the region: community mobilization, lack of leaders, instability of projects, low civil awareness, project coverage, lack of networking.

 

Fund and project of TRAM (Transform Art Module): Promotion of Telavi cultural development was introduced by the Fund founder, Anna Riaboshenko. The Fund was founded in 2007. It is joining together art workers of Georgian and neighbouring countries.

 

Anna was working for the Fund Open Society – Georgia and in 2007-2009 she was cooperating with the Fund Art and Culture Network Program as a mentor; she was the regional program coordinator up to 2012. Then, resulting from the Fund’s interests, she returned to TRAM.

 

Basic area of Fund’s working relates to synthesis of art theory, philosophy and quality. TRAM works in Kakheti region with this very reason.

 

Soviet Past Research Laboratory was introduced by Irakli Khvadagiani 

 

Studying Soviet totalitarian past, political, legal and moral responsibility of the Soviet inheritance is the purpose of the organization. The organization, through its activities, want to create discussion space for the society.

 

The first plenary question was related to assessment of the meeting by the participants:

 

Zaal Anjaparidze – EurAsia Cooperation Fund – personally I and perhaps many others think that the information was very important. Now we know the problems of local civil sector about which I had only superficial understanding, where to look for the new opportunities, how to assist them. Now I know that there is much more potential of development of entrepreneurship than I though earlier. We shall think of taking more measures in this direction in the regions. At the same time, I have listened to the comments related to the Fund’s procedures, which we shall consider for the future.

 

Besides, through the meeting now I know what the other donor or local organizations are doing so that we can avoid overlapping and duplication of the projects. Overlapping is not bad to some extent from the point of view of strengthening each other, though awareness is the conditions for planning of better strategies.

 

It is desirable if we enhance the traditional advocacy methods with new methods which are newly developed and are strengthening in the most rapid manner – application of a social media and activation of civil journalism.

 

As the successful example of on-line advocacy, the SIDA project “My Street” was named. Real problems were regulated in Rustavi in the framework of the project and on the basis of cooperation with the municipality. Dissemination of this example would be desirable and useful for other regions, town or cities.

 

Koba Kobaladze – CENN – mentioned that advocacy in different directions is important, particularly, in the direction of veterinary diseases, as people are dying as the result of them, and also in the direction of gathering harvest without plowing.

 

Nana Atuashvili – World Vision – mentioned that this was the first time for her when NGOs and donor organizations were openly speaking about problems and future plans as well.

 

Meeting with the NGOs operating in the region was very interesting. I have met many people whom I did not know. Personal contacts can be very useful.

 

It was mentioned that the following should be considered: the region is small. Each organization should think what can be done, but in the way there are not worked one and the same issues on applying one and the same approaches.

 

Second plenary question: What kind of new opportunities has brought to the sector current political circumstances, what are the new challenges and prospects?

 

Levan Rostomashvili – CSRDG – the new authority has rear information on the NGOs. It would be desirable to invite the representatives of self-governance and introduce ourselves in, for instance, the Centre of Democratic Involvement and let them know what we are doing.

 

The conversation also mentioned the idea of meeting of majority deputies with NGOs, which was like by the majority of the participants.

 

Zaal Anjaparidze – EurAsia Cooperation Fund – provided the participants with two types of information:

 

1) Last year the Fund organized meeting of NGOs with the Chairman of Parliament. The new Parliament shows readiness for establishment of a new system of relationship with majority deputies. The amounts shall be allocated for construction of regional offices so that they have more and active contact with the population;

 

2) Working on joint working document of the NGO group, which will be signed by the Chairman of the Parliament, is in progress. The document implies that the NGOs shall have wide-range right for having relationship with Parliamentary committees. They, in their turn, shall allocate a person responsible for relations with NGOs and providing them with the information. The quota for attending will be allocated during the Parliament hearings. It might become the guarantee for increasing the relation between the civil sector and authority. A memorandum shall be drawn up and reviewed once per year from the point of view of the quality of compliance with the conditions.

 

Though, it was also mentioned that there is no structured approach towards the NGOs from new government so far. In relation to these issues the speaker mentioned the Ministry of Environment Protection and, also, the Ministry of Education.

 

It was mentioned that attendance of civil society at the meetings of majority deputies and population is very important. It happens very often that the non-governmental sector is separated from the population, which is extremely dangerous.

 

 

Tamuna Koberidze - G-PAC – in her opinion, NGOs should be involved in the processes in due time, till the new political power gets accustomed that no one is controlling them. G-PAC is trying to establish some link between the government, business and NGOs. In 2013, each 3-4 months a group of governmental structures and corresponding branch NGOs will be established, which group will gather in informal environment. Unlike the government, the business sector seems more problematic and there is felt no motivation from them to go beyond one-time-only assistance.

 

Strategic cooperation of the business and non-governmental sector is more interesting for us.

CSI is working on recommendations related to introduction to the Tax Code of the changes on diversification of the financing sources, so that the sector does not depend only on financing from international donors. What we lack is enthusiasm as the non-governmental sector was developed differently in our country.

 

Koba Kobaladze  - CENN – mentioned that creation of a bln fund for agriculture development establishes certain perspective for development of regions and inclusion of NGOs. As there is earlier experience when millions were spent on useless equipment, inclusion of NGOs into the processes of the NGOs can become the guarantee that the mistakes shall not be repeated. He recommended to pay special attention to the measures directed to protection from hail.

 

Kakha Sukhitashvili’s information was related to elaboration of strategy for Kakheti regional development by GIZ, which is the completion phase. Directions of the strategy: social sphere, economics, environment protection. There was revealed a problem: in the process of looking for information 50% of the NGOs operating in Kakheti did not provide us with any information. The strategy is being developed in the framework of the program of regional development. The Ministry is involved in it and it will accept the document. Soon the document will become available and good resource for NGOs.

 

Irina Khantadze - CTC – her comment was related to the processes of development of such strategies, as the process is the most important when it involves interested and active people. If there is no such process then legitimacy of the document causes doubt. Besides, when there is no regional arrangement in Georgia, when the governor means nothing – he has no resources and is not a decision-making person, how the regional development plan will work despite its historic, geographic and cultural existence.

 

Nino Vasadze - CSRDG -  a plan, which does not consider local specifics, needs and does not involve local population, never works.

 

Thus, there has been revealed the opinion that the new political situation gives more opportunity of planning and involving in the process of problem identification. Request of the NGOs operating in Kakheti should be addressed to GIZ – to involve the non-governmental sector in higher extent which needs unification.

 

The conversation also mentioned the issue of adult informal education

 

Irina Khantadze – in recent years, resulting from the existing situation, the above was not urgent in donors’ policy and it was difficult to finance the idea. But, generally, I think establishment of the centers for adult informal education will be quite good. They will be the sources for civil education. They can carry out various educational activities in the place, but it is very difficult for them to find financing resource if they do not have any concrete donor. Such centers are extremely important for society development. I would give the example of Finland after its separation from Russia. This country is the best example of big success.

 

The possibility of financing such centers would be found. Perhaps it can be joint effort together with the municipality or/and donors’ attention to such centers.

 

Maia Chavelashvili – Gulgula Community Union – grant program of the Association of Adults Education of Georgia was the first example of training. As the result of GEL 5,000 worth project 6 people were employed. Such projects should be announced so that we can participate in them. As the dvv representative mentioned, GE: 5,000 may be even small amount for the museum, it can have great importance for a concrete village.

 

Thea Gulua – Adult Education Association of Georgia – from 2005 the Association is uniting the community organizations, which strive for community development through informal education. Small grant program of the Association was financing about 4 community projects. Such approach has strengthened the Association as the institution and its member community organizations where able to see where they are and why. When supporting Community Educational Centers or establishing them according to the German model, their sustainability was always the subject of concern. In this relation the topic of the Association advocacy is revision of the municipalities as one of the financing resources.

 

Alexi Chankotadze – Association of Civil Society Development – it is always pleasant when new adult education centers are being set up by even dvv international, but the Association member education centers are implementing this work independently. “Leliani” is one of such organizations, which become known for the donor as a member of the Association and it is good. Sometimes such type of organizations may not be recognized adult education center, but they can have qualification and expertise and be implementing informal education and courses. Encouraging of such type of measures, which was the Association used to do, was very good. Special financing in this direction is very important for the people, who are granted the opportunity to study at the place and get novelties in his/her life.

 

 

Recommendations of Task Forces:

 

The following recommendations were suggested by the first group:    

 

  • development of a list of the NGOs operating in Kakheti regions and its uploading to the web-page;
  • launching a facebook group of the NGOs operating in Kakheti region;
  • designing of a web-site about the projects of the NGO-s operating in Kakheti region – such site will be informative for potential donors and partner organizations (now we have to think: how can we make this web-site recognizable so that the society feels its necessity);

-         designing of a web-page by the Community Development Center.

 

besides:

  • field and thematic visits;
  • harmonization of schools and NGOs = harmonization of teachers – practical involvement of students – students are taking the information home;
  • SWOT analysis of coalitions.

 

Expositions, for instance, documentation for popularization, can be set up in a media-café:

 

  • make films on the operating organizations;
  • organize presentations for new ideas of the organizations;
  • encourage cooperation of non-commercial and non-governmental legal entities established by NGOs, self-governance and authority;
  • introduce cases – let the organizations speak about their own weak sides themselves;
  • organize meetings of NGO groups;
  • thematic meetings of CSO/ thematic sessions;
  • make a society map / NGO calendar.

 

The following recommendations were suggested by the second group:

 

It is desirable to have:

 

  • the database of the NGOs operating in the region, where placing of information on new organizations can be possible;
  • coordination network;
  • map of organization, facebook page or blog.  

 

The measures which should be jointly implemented:

 

  • meeting, at least, once a year;
  • preparation of an electronic report;
  • meetings in various municipalities;
  • training /practical field tours to Kakheti; 
  • concept development;
  • advocacy/lobbying resulting from the spheres of activity of the organiazations represented in the Association;
  • thematic meetings/issued during the year and summarizing of findings at the annual meeting (with whom and how the organizations are working according to the territories and communities).

 

“Civil Society” was named as the general topic for coalition performance of the organizations.

 

It should be mentioned that in the course of such meetings it would be better to introduce a concrete case or project and then discuss its weak and strong sides, what was done and what could not be done. Besides, the participants requested to organize presentation of a project if its launching coincides with the meeting, as the expertise of others will facilitate success of the project.

 

In the end the Community Centre declared that it would collect the information on the organizations working in Kakheti region as it is one of the items of their strategy.

 

 

 

Facilitation | Tamar Tsirekidze

Protocol | Thea Gulua

December 19-20, Lopota


 

 



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