From 3 to 10 September 2021 ACTED in coordination with Nationwide Movement ‘Yuksalish’ and with the support of the ‘National Association of Local Authorities of ‘NALAG’ in Georgia organised a Study Tour under the project ‘Transparent and inclusive governance through innovation and collaboration between civil society and local authorities’ funded by the European Union.
The aim of the Study Tour was sharing from hosting organizations the best practice of CSOs working with local authorities, information on advisory councils, local government systems and legislation, municipal Councils of Georgia, Institution for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) research findings regarding local governance, civil monitoring practices, Civitis Georgia experience in CSO engagement in transformation and local governance, Ministry for Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia (MRDI), CRRC Georgia on citizen participation in policy formation at local level, Working of Telavi and Marneuli Municipalities on citizens participation and mobilization, example of Tbilisi Public Service Hall where the participants have been introduced with all digitalization process of the work of Public services and how the citizens are receiving public services.
Overall, in the future the study tour will provide a unique opportunity for increased CSO engagement, and opportunities “to gather best practices and ideas that will contribute to and feed the design and operation of Public Councils in their localities. Following the study tour, participants will be required to jointly develop an advisory document, describing the models observed during the tour and providing recommendations for their local contexts. The study tour was also an occasion to reinforce understanding and dialogue between prominent CSO and LA representatives, which is expected to facilitate future collaboration”. With the continued support of NALAG, the study tour will provide the opportunity to cooperate with international organizations, local authorities and is being organized in one of the member countries of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Georgia. In addition, participants will have a better knowledge of best practices on CSO engagement with local authorities, state bodies and in creating a good environment for cooperation; public participatory mechanisms and public control, platforms. In addition, the study tour will provide the chance to understand participatory mechanisms of cooperation with local authorities, their role, active participation in public life and decision-making processes; as well as the opportunity to exchange views on how to improve the capacity of Public Councils in developing, facilitating and implementing the citizens/government dialogue and interaction.