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LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENGAGEMENT PROJECT IS LAUNCHED

CSO ADVOCACY FORUM TOOK


PLACE IN TBILISI

CARE SUMMED UP TRANS


BORDER PROJECT IN TBILISI

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OCTOBER 7, 2014
MEETING WITH STUDENTS

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On October 7 Executive Director of CiDA Zviad Devdariani


held a meeting with the students of International Black Sea
Univerity. Students from all faculties have been invited to
attend the meeting.
Devdariani talked about the organization activities, about
current and implemented projects in the field of civil
society, poverty reduction, migration and civil society
integration.
Devdariani has introduced the detailed information
regarding the aims and objectives of CiDA and expressed
his readiness for future cooperation with the students.

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OCTOBER 10, 2014


FIRST STEP TRAININGS
Within a campaign Woman and Migration CiDA begun
trainings circle in 50 villages of five regions of Georgia in
August. To prepare trainees CiDA held number of trainings
for consultants in Rustavi, Gori, Kutaisi and Zugdidi.
The aim of the First Step trainings is to raise awareness in
migration issues for the people living in rural areas. With the
help of the consultants, women who are willing to go abroad
for working will have enough information and knowledge
what problems they may face in a foreign country, they will
be aware about illegal migration problems.
EU funded project "Georgia - Personalized Assistance for Migrants"
(GPAM) is implemented by Civil Development Agency CiDA and
aims at supporting Georgia to better manage migration processes.

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OCTOBER 17, 2014


CSO ADVOCACY FORUM TOOK PLACE IN TBILISI

On October 16-17 civil society experts from the United Kingdom, the United States, Kosovo,
Albania, and Georgia gathered to exchange ideas and share best practices at a forum on civil
society advocacy in Tbilisi. The conference was organized by the East-West Management
Institute (EWMI) in the framework of the Policy, Advocacy, and Civil Society Development in
Georgia (G-PAC) project with co-organization by Civil Development Agency (CiDA).
Marc Lassman, Project Director considers that one of the best successes of the GPAC project
is the appearance of a number of regional organizations and their activities within the
project, which enables to reach more success in advocacy field in the regions of Georgia.
Trying to raise the level of advocacy in the country was the main goal of the GPAC project,
Lassman stated "our idea was to try to gather international activists, activists who work on
national issues in Georgia and activists who work on regional issues in Georgia to talk about
the advocacy campaign, advocacy tools, what works, what does not work, what kind of
international practices can be adopted in Georgia. Our hope is that the level of advocacy
within the country becomes more effective, more evidence based and more creative,
Lasman added.
The forum provided a platform for Georgian NGOs and international experts to exchange
ideas, share best practices in conducting advocacy campaigns, and strengthen their local
and international networks. Panel topics at the forum included: successful strategies in
international advocacy campaigns, successful advocacy examples in Georgia, mobilizing
citizen support, raising alternative funding sources, engaging the media, and working with
the government.
I am very happy to be here and I am really attracted by the presentations and discussions
presented today. I have presented the mechanisms and advocacy tools we use during our
campaigns. My organization works on women's issue and our goal is to empower women
and girls in Kosovo in all fields, no matter to which ethnic or religion group they belong. I
hope that my experience will help my Georgian friends carry out different campaigns in the
country, Igo Rogova, Executive Director of the Kosovo Women's Network said.
Regional NGOs presented some successful examples of advocacy that have been carried out
in their regions through the project. Shota Gaprindashvili, from Chiatura, introduced how
the Union of Chiaturians protected public health and the environment. Industrial activities in
Chiatura threatened the local environment and public health. Gaprindashvili and his NGO,
with the support of EWMI G-PAC, began a campaign to prevent locals from expecting
threats. They mobilized the community through petition drives and public events, identified
the solution and engaged local government to ensure greater accountability. The outcome
was pretty successful as the government and companies repaired local roads and
ecosystems damaged by mining activities, built a 3 km bypass road to reduce hazardous
materials transport through Chiatura, cleaned water reservoirs and installed a water
pollution prevention system.
The other successful advocacy example is about eco migrants who have suffered due to
natural disasters in the mountainous regions of Georgia and neglect from the government.
NGO Borjgali based in Adjara tried to resolve their problem as a result of close cooperation
with the government. They allocated funding for eco-migrant housing and included
Borjgali's plan for assisting eco migrants in the regional disaster management strategy. In
addition, the Ministry of IDPs started accepting applications for assistance from eco
migrants. The Eco-migrant Center was created which provides job training for eco migrants.
Besides the successful campaigns, the discussion touched upon the image of NGOs
currently in Georgia, what people think about them and whether they trust their activities.
Executive Director of CiDA Zviad Devdariani stated that the tendency is positive recently,
which was shown in recent surveys about the trust of NGOs.
We learn how to relate to people to whom we offer services within out projects. In past
years, if we were sitting in the offices and writing projects and then we introduced it to our
potential beneficiaries, people seemed confused and passive. They did not realize well
enough why they should have gotten involved. Now we go with them, ask what they need
and then carry out a project according to their requests. We should realize very well what we
call them are they only clients whom we offer some service or are they people who work
with us and frame the outcome together? It is obvious that peoples' trust towards us [the
NGO sector] is in direct relation to their involvement, Devdariani stated at the forum.
G-PAC is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by EWMI.

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OCTOBER 18, 2014


ZVIAD DEVDARIANI PARTICIPATED IN
UNITED CONFERENCE

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Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation and


Consultations (ACICC) in cooperation with the European
Network UNITED for Intercultural action hosted the
conference What Divides Europe? Bridging traditional
Values and Fundamental Rights in Bakuriani on 13-18
October 2014.
75 young leaders over 30 countries participated in it.
Official opening of the conference took place at Europe
House in Tbilisi, where donors, representatives of
diplomatic missions and international organizationwere
invited.
Zviad Devdariani, Executive Director of CiDA took part in
the conference. He facilitated the group where national
minorities issues have been discussed. Devdariani
presented results of the survey carried out by CiDA which
was about an access to justice for ethnic minorities.

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CAMPAIGN "WOMEN AND MIGRATION"


CONTINUES
With the aim of raise awareness about women's migration, CiDA
representatives handed information flyers to the population
gathered in the center of Rustavi to celebrate Rustavkalakoba.
Flyers include all the necessary information which will be helpful
for women migrants willing to go in Turkey or in Greece. CiDA
staff introduced and explained the reasons of the campaign the
organization carries out in the country.
EU funded project "Georgia - Personalized Assistance for Migrants"
(GPAM) is implemented by Civil Development Agency CiDA and aims at
supporting Georgia to better manage migration processes.

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OCTOBER 23, 2014


CiDA ORGANIZES TRAINING FOR
FARMERS



JOIN - 6

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Within the project Local Actors Join for Inclusive Economic


Development and Governance in the South Caucasus
(JOIN) CiDA organized trainings in the six municipalities of
two regions of Georgia: Kvemo Kartli and SamtskheJavakheti.

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The famers participating in the training were familiarised


with the cattle-breeding requirements laid down in the
Municipal Development Plans developed as part of the
JOIN project; the new veterinary legislation and the current
situation in this field; fodder production; cattle food
standards and accessibility and improvements in cattlebreeding legislation. Farmers from Akhalkalaki, Bolnisi and
Marneuli received information about the latest
technologies of tomato production. The presentations were
followed by discussions. At the end of the meeting, the
trainers distributed leaflets on agricultural and veterinary
issues which would improve the farmers' work.

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JOIN is a three year project implemented by CARE sterreich and


CARE International in the Caucasus together with the partner
organizations NGO CiDA in Georgia and CARD in Armenia. JOIN is
funded by Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) through
Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

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OCTOBER 28, 2014


LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENGAGEMENT PROJECT IS
LAUNCHED
On October 28 Director of CiDA Zviad Devdariani and Executive Director of
ISFED Nino Lomjaria held a press conference at which they announced the
launch of a new project Supporting Additional Forms of Citizen
Involvement in Local Government.
This project aims to encourage citizens, representatives of the NGO sector,
local government bodies and local community representatives to jointly
review the current mechanisms through which they can become involved in
local government processes and then prepare a new draft law which will be
presented to parliament in December.
Nino Lomjaria told the media that since the new government came to power
certain reforms have been made to local government, but they have not had
positive results because fundamental issues have not been addressed. She
announced that a working group is already discussing how to achieve the
maximal involvement of citizens in the local government process. At the end
of these discussions, the working group will present a draft law to the
Georgian parliament for its consideration. In addition, civil society
organisations are planning to hold public discussions in more than 200
communities, villages and cities throughout the country.
Zviad Devdariani emphasized his interest in the decentralization process
taking place in Georgia and noted that local government reform was one of
the most important promises made by the current authorities. He said that
several changes have been made in the laws concerning local government
but these have not had much practical effect.

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Surveys show that public trust in local government bodies and level of
engagement with them have not improved, and this project will seek to
address this problem. NGOs are beginning information meetings in all
regions of Georgia. Overall, it is planned to hold more than 200 consultative
meetings during the project implementation.

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This project is implemented by the Open Society Georgia Foundation with


the support of partner organizations including CiDA.

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News about the project and its activities can be found on its website,www.droa.ge and
on the social network Facebook: .

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OCTOBER 29. 2014


CARE SUMMED UP TRANS BORDER PROJECT IN TBILISI
On October 29, CARE International in the South Caucasus with the support of CiDA
held a conference where the organization summarized its projects and activities
carried out between 2011-2014 years in Georgia and Armenia.
The conference participants discussed the trans border project Local Actors Join for
Inclusive Economic Development and Governance in the South Caucasus (JOIN). JOIN
was implemented by CARE International in the Caucasus together with implementing
partners in Georgia-Civil Development Agency (CiDA) and in Armenia-Centre for
Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD). The project was funded by the Austrian
Development Agency and CARE Australia.
JOIN aimed to contribute to poverty reduction in the border regions of Georgia and
Armenia through improved cooperation between government, civil society and the
private sector in the socioeconomic field by promoting an enabling environment for
pro-poor socioeconomic development through participatory planning, improved
cooperation and exchange of market relevant among local governments, civil society
organizations and the private sector.
The project followed three main areas of activity: facilitating joint, inclusive and
participative planning process in the project's 12 target areas to create development
plans that focus on each area's strengths and take into account the needs of
marginalized groups as well as of the different needs of men and women; making
available in the target regions market-relevant information and training in business
skills through the establishment of Business Development and Information Centers
based on sustainably operating models; facilitating the flow of information between
the target regions and the capitals to help address local development needs.
In order to be able to incorporate its planning into nation development strategies,
JOIN focused on the smallest unit of governance in the national system of each
country of the target countries Georgia and Armenia. In Georgia, JOIN worked at the
level of municipalities, which typically contained tens of villages and tens of thousands
of people. In Armenia, work was carried out at the level of the town, which contained
several thousand people. Overall, two regions of Georgia Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe
Javakheti and three regions of Armenia: Tavush, Lori and Shirak have been project
targeted places.
The major outcome of the project was elaborating a supporting strategy and an action
plan for the information-consulting centers under the Ministry of Agriculture in
Georgia. Herewith, the information centers were equipped with office furniture and
techniques; development action plans of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Jvakheti regions
were drafted and agro-business grants were issued- 7 in Armenia and 4 in Georgia.
The conference was attended by representatives of local and international
organizations as well as officials from the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia and
Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development. The first part of the conference
dedicated to development planning at the municipal and regional levels and the
second part touched upon the involvement of private sector and civil society in
development planning.
Gocha Tsopurashvili, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia stated that the
government inherited a poor heritage from the previous government in terms of
agriculture. He promised that the ministry will shortly represent a 5-year action plan in
the field of agriculture that will be focused on regional development and
decentralization. Such projects have huge importance for our country's development
process. Usually, donor organisations' contributions are having very productive
results. I wish, we had more similar projects in other regions of Georgia, he said.
,, Regional development is one of the most important issues. It is unimaginable to
develop economically strong country without a strong village. This is why, I would like
to thank all of you who made contribution in project's implementation, Deputy
Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Tengiz Shergelashvili stated at
the conference.
Partnership and Governance Coordinator of CARE Juba Maruashvili says that the
importance of the project is because of its location and area, as this is a transboundary project between Georgia and Armenia, active involvement of both sides
have been decisive in order to achieve success. In his interview with The Messenger,
Maruashvili highlighted on some challenges they have faced during the project
implementation. More precisely, one of the major challenges was improvement of the
quality of coordination with donor organisations and locally based institutions, as
there were working other donor organizations at the same time. According to him,
despite the serious attempts, it has been hardly managed to maintain coordination
between the donor organizations which would make the mutual activities more
successful.
Head of CiDA Zviad Devdariani stressed that the project was very challenging as it
included various activities in two countries, which face similar and sometime
dissimilar difficulties in the field. He admitted that Armenia is among Georgia's top ten
trade partners and there is an option for more promotion of the partnership. However,
Devdariani emphasized that none of the activities of the NGOs or various projects
would be fully helpful if there is no governments' involvement for resolving
agricultural and some other state-related stoppages.

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