AN ASSESSMENT OF GEORGIAN CIVIL SOCIETY

Report of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index

2010




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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
FOREWORD
The development of civil society is entering a new stage in Georgia. Inspired by the 2003
Rose Revolution and the widespread and ongoing post-revolution euphoria, and shaped by
the events and processes of recent years (protest demonstrations, elections, the war,
economic crisis) Georgian society is currently re-evaluating its values. A significant part of
Georgian society seems to be disappointed, as years of revolutionary changes have not
brought the results they expected. Thus, there is a need to find new ways to solve existing
problems. Georgian civil society is also affected by this slow progress. In this regard, every
effort to facilitate the re-evaluation of these change processes and to help identify new goals
should be welcomed and supported.

The CIVICUS Civil Society Index project, implemented by the Caucasus Institute for Peace,
Democracy and Development (CIPDD) under the aegis of CIVICUS: World Alliance for
Citizen Participation and with the kind financial support of the Open Society Institute, is one
of the first attempts to analyse and understand the new reality in which Georgian civil society
operates. The project was supported by different, and sometimes opposing, civil society
organisations, and provided for an active dialogue with segments of civil society that are
often excluded from participating (e.g. mass media, business community, political parties).
We hope that the atmosphere of cooperation and good relations generated through this
inclusive project will survive beyond the timeframe of the CSI project and continue to
positively impact the development and consolidation of civil society in Georgia.

This report was prepared by David Losaberidze, PhD, Programmes Coordinator and
Member of the Executive Board, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and
Development.

We wish you an informative and pleasant reading.

Kind regards,

Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD)
Tbilisi, September 2010

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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The CSI Georgia project was implemented by Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and
Development (CIPDD) with the financial and technical assistance of Open Society Institute.
The CIVICUS Civil Society Index project methodology has been developed by CIVICUS:
World Alliance for Citizen Participation.

The project team was assisted by an Advisory Committee
1
which significantly contributed to
the project implementation process. We also appreciate contributions from the following
researchers: George Babunashvili, Tamar Charkviani, Ana Chelidze, Rusudan Chkheidze,
Gia Gotua, Nino Ghambashidze, Tinatin Jishkariani, Ketevan Khapava, Vasil Mamulashvili,
Tina Tkeshelashvili, Zurab Tsiklauri, Merab Tsindeliani, and Sopho Vasadze, who were
actively involved in different activities of the project, collecting and analysing materials for
case studies, research, and focus-group discussions. The following members of CIVICUS
staff took part in the research and preparation of this final report: Tracy Anderson, Yosi
Echeverry Burckhardt, Mariano De Donatis, Andrew Firmin, Megan MacGarry and Mark
Nowottny.

This report is the result of a team effort, rather than the product of an individual author or a
group of authors. We would thus express our particular gratitude to civil society
representatives for their participation in the national workshop and all of the valuable
feedback and recommendations that helped accomplish the project objectives.

David Losaberidze
Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development
Tbilisi, September 2010



1
The CSI Georgia Advisory Committee consisted of: Ramaz Aptsiauri, Manana Ghurchumelidze, Paata
Gurgenidze, Nana Janashia, Emzar Jgerenaia, Lela Kartvelishvili, Ghia Khasia, Tamar Khidasheli, Kakha
Khimshiashvili, Koba Liklikadze, Kamila Mamedova, and Bakur Sulakauri Gurgenidze, Nana Janashia, Emzar
Jgerenaia, Lela Kartvelishvili, Ghia Khasia, Tamar Khidasheli, Kakha Khimshiashvili, Koba Liklikadze, Kamila
Mamedova and Bakur Sulakauri
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD ....................................................................................................................... 2
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................................. 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS ..................................................................................................... 4
TABLES AND FIGURES ................................................................................................... 5
LIST OF ACRONYMS ........................................................................................................ 6
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................... 7
I. CIVIL SOCIETY INDEX PROJECT AND APPROACH ................................ 9
1. PROJECT BACKGROUND ........................................................................................ 9
2. PROJECT APPROACH ........................................................................................... 10
3. CSI IMPLEMENTATION ......................................................................................... 12
4. LIMITATIONS OF CSI STUDY ................................................................................ 15
II. CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA ...................................................................... 16
1. CONCEPT OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA ............................................................ 16
2. HISTORY OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA ............................................................. 17
3. MAPPING CIVIL SOCIETY ..................................................................................... 19
III. ANALYSIS OF CIVIL SOCIETY ................................................................... 22
1. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT ............................................................................................ 22
1.1 The extent of socially-based engagement ............................................. 23
1.2 Depth of socially-based engagement ..................................................... 24
1.3 Diversity within socially-based engagement .......................................... 24
1.4 Extent of political engagement ................................................................ 25
1.5 Depth of political engagement ................................................................. 26
1.6 Diversity of political engagement ............................................................ 27
Conclusion ....................................................................................................... 27
2. LEVEL OF ORGANISATION .................................................................................... 27
2.1 Internal governance .................................................................................. 28
2.2 Infrastructure ............................................................................................. 28
2.3 Sectoral communication ........................................................................... 29
2.4 Human resources ..................................................................................... 29
2.5 Financial and technological resources ................................................... 30
2.6 International linkages ............................................................................... 31
Conclusion ....................................................................................................... 32
3. INTERNAL PRACTICE OF VALUES ......................................................................... 32
3.1 Democratic decision-making governance .............................................. 33
3.2 Labour regulations .................................................................................... 33
3.3 Code of conduct and transparency ......................................................... 34
3.4 Environmental standards ......................................................................... 35
3.5 Perceptions of values in civil society as a whole ................................... 35
Conclusion ....................................................................................................... 36
4. PERCEPTION OF IMPACT ...................................................................................... 37
4.1 Responsiveness (internal perception) .................................................... 37
4.2 Social impact (internal perception) .......................................................... 38
4.3 Policy impact (internal perception) .......................................................... 39
4.4 Responsiveness (external perception) ................................................... 39
4.5 Social impact (external perception) ........................................................ 40
4.6 Policy impact (external perception) ......................................................... 41
4.7 Impact of civil society on attitudes .......................................................... 41
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
Conclusion ....................................................................................................... 42
5. EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT ................................................................................... 42
5.1 Socio-economic context ........................................................................... 43
5.2 Socio-political context............................................................................... 45
5.3 Socio-cultural context ............................................................................... 47
Conclusion ....................................................................................................... 48
IV. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA . 48
WEAKNESSES: ......................................................................................................... 49
STRENGTHS:............................................................................................................ 49
V. RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................................. 49
A. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT ............................................................................................ 50
B. ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ........................................................................ 50
C. VALUES ............................................................................................................... 50
D. IMPACT ............................................................................................................... 51
E. ENVIRONMENT .................................................................................................... 51
VI. CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................................. 51
APPENDICES ................................................................................................................... 53
APPENDIX 1 CSI INDICATOR MATRIX .................................................................. 53
APPENDIX 2 COLOUR CODING EXERCISE: RESULTS ..................................... 55
APPENDIX 3 PARTICIPANT NAMES AND ORGANISATIONAL AFFILIATIONS
...................................................................................................................................... 56
APPENDIX 4. SUMMARIES OF CASE STUDIES .................................................. 60
BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................... 64


TABLES AND FIGURES
TABLE 1: Georgia Civil Society Index dimension scores ........................................................ 8
TABLE I.1.1 List of CSI implementing countries 2008-2010 .................................................. 10
TABLE II.1.1 How do you understand civil society? .............................................................. 17
TABLE III.1.1 Civic Engagement........................................................................................... 22
TABLE III.1.2 Socially based engagement ............................................................................ 23
TABLE III.1.3 Preferred companions for leisure-time activities .............................................. 24
TABLE III.1.4 The level of political engagement .................................................................... 25
TABLE III.1.5 The depth of political engagement .................................................................. 26
TABLE III.2.1 The level of organisational development ......................................................... 28
TABLE III.2.2 Annual budgets of CSOs ................................................................................ 30
TABLE III.3.1 Internal values and code of conduct ............................................................... 33
TABLE III.4.1 Impact of CSOs on the processes within the country ...................................... 37
TABLE III.4.2 Relations between different actors in Georgian society ................................... 41
TABLE III.4.3 The level of public confidence in civil society institutions................................. 42
TABLE III.5.1 External environment of CSOs........................................................................ 43
TABLE III.5.2 Political rights and freedoms ........................................................................... 45
TABLE III.5.3 State effectiveness ......................................................................................... 46

FIGURE 1 Georgia Civil Society Index Diamond ..................................................................... 7
FIGURE I.2.1 The Civil Society Index Diamond .................................................................... 12
FIGURE I.3.1 The Civil Society Index implementation model ................................................ 13
FIGURE II.3.1 Civil society mapping .................................................................................... 20
FIGURE II.3.2: Analysis of social forces ................................................................................ 21
FIGURE AII.1 Validity Colour Code and Description ............................................................. 55

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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
LIST OF ACRONYMS
BCI Basic Capabilities Index
CIPDD Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and
Development
CSI Civil Society Index
CSI OS 2009 CSI Organisational Survey
CSO Civil Society Organisation
EPS External Perceptions Survey
FGP Focus Group Participants
FH Freedom House
HDR Human Development Report
NIT National Implementing Team
NWP CSI National Workshop participants
PS Population Survey
SWR Social Watch Report
TI Transparency International
VGS Values of Georgian Society Survey
WVS World Values Survey

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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The present study aims at assessing the state of civil society in Georgia. This is done by
measuring five dimensions: Civic Engagement, Level of Organisation, Practice of Values,
Perception of Impact and the External Environment in which civil society operates. The
implementation of the project was severely impeded due to unpredicted changes in the
National Implementation Team (NIT), as well as limitations of funding. Another limiting factor
was the question of the reliability of the data collected throughout the project (see Appendix
2: Colour Coding Exercise).
2


The original plan included a study of all segments of civil society. It was discovered,
however, that the persons involved in the study, despite their correct understanding of civil
society, have mainly focused on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs/NGOs) and have
referred to other segments of civil society (such as media, political parties, faith-based
organisations) only to the extent where those have had an impact on CSOs. This illustrates
the generally dominant role that formal CSOs play in people’s perception of civil society.

During the process of the social forces mapping, it was revealed that a majority of CSOs
identify two value groups in the country. These are: a) a retrograde value system, which has
totalitarian origins and mostly favours Northern (pro-Russian) orientation in foreign policy;
and b) a democratic value system, which is perceived as Western (European and Euro-
Atlantic) oriented. A majority of Georgian CSOs consider themselves supporters of the latter.
The strongest power in the country, due to the underdeveloped civil society and business
sectors, is the executive government, particularly the President of Georgia. The Georgian
Civil Society Diamond below illustrates the current state of civil society in Georgia.

FIGURE 1 Georgia Civil Society Index Diamond




2
The validity of sources in Georgia is generally very questionable: data from international and national sources,
as well as from various governmental sources often radically disagree.
8

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
TABLE 1: Georgia Civil Society Index dimension scores
Dimension Score (%)
1 Civic Engagement 20.6
2 Level of Organisation 64.5
3 Practice of Values 64.7
4 Perception of Impact 30.3
5 External Environment 59.6

The CSI data was collected both qualitatively and quantitatively, through various surveys
and literature reviews. However, participants at the CSI National Workshop expressed
doubts regarding the accuracy of parts of the data, particularly the relatively high scores for
the Level of Organisation and Practice of Values dimensions. The low scores for the Civic
Engagement and Perception of Impact dimensions, on the other hand, were identified as
realistic. Participants also severely questioned the score for the External Environment, as
they considered the reality is that there is a significant impediment to civil society
development and activities.

The National Workshop identified the weaknesses of civil society in Georgia, including: a low
impact on society, significantly low levels of organisation and a disenabling external
environment due to the concentration of power with the authorities. The strengths of civil
society mentioned were: organisational experience, the dominance of democratic values
among CSOs and potential for development, should other actors (predominantly
international and donor organisations) increase their involvement (as CSOs at present
primarily exist due to international financial support).

Furthermore, it was identified that the leading aim of civil society was to support and
encourage the formation of strong public demand based on democratic values. Among the
measures needed to attain this goal are the development of policies based on shared values
and active networking. Such measures will contribute to increased public awareness and
hopefully increase the levels of civic involvement and participation in ongoing processes in
Georgia.

A positive development that has recently emerged in the wake of the government’s
diminishing credibility is that authorities have given a clear signal that they would like to
cooperate more with civil society groups on numerous issues. Unfortunately, civil society has
been substantially weakened in the last seven years and is thus no longer usually able to
respond adequately to new challenges.

At various meetings organised within the CSI project implementation process in Georgia, the
majority of participants, regardless of their sympathies or affiliations, pointed out that recent
developments (especially reduction in funding and decreased attention from the
governmental institutions) portend new types of challenges for civil society in Georgia:

• The optimistic scenario foretells an empowerment of democratic institutions within
Georgia and the formation of a sustainable basis for the stable development of
democratic institutions through international support and mobilisation of society as a
whole.
• The pessimistic scenario however suggests further consolidations of authoritarian
rule in Georgia as a potential threat, in conjunction with a deteriorating economy,
high emigration, the domination of police structures and the increasing power of
international criminal cartels (for example, drug and weapons smuggling).

CSOs believe that only the support of further developments of the civil society sector may
lead to the achievement of the optimistic scenario.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
I. CIVIL SOCIETY INDEX PROJECT AND APPROACH
Civil society is playing an increasingly important role in governance and development around
the world. In most countries, however, knowledge about the state and shape of civil society
is limited. Moreover, opportunities for civil society stakeholders to come together to
collectively discuss, reflect and act on the strengths, weaknesses, challenges and
opportunities also remain limited.

The Civil Society Index (CSI) is a participatory action-research project assessing the state of
civil society in countries around the world, and contributes to redressing these gaps and
limitations. It aims at creating a knowledge base and momentum for civil society
strengthening. The CSI is initiated and implemented by, and for, civil society organisations at
the country level, in partnership with CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. The
CSI implementation actively involves and disseminates its findings to a broad range of
stakeholders including civil society itself, government, the media, donors, academics and the
public at large.

The following four sections provide a background of the CSI, its key principles and
approaches, as well as a snapshot of the methodology used in the generation of this report
in Georgia and its limitations.

1. PROJECT BACKGROUND
The CSI first emerged as a concept over a decade ago as a follow-up to the 1997 New Civic
Atlas publication by CIVICUS, which contained profiles of civil society in 60 countries around
the world (Heinrich and Naidoo (2001). The first version of the CSI methodology, developed
by CIVICUS with the help of Helmut Anheier, was unveiled in 1999. An initial pilot of the tool
was carried out in 2000 in 13 countries.
3
The pilot implementation process and results were
evaluated in 2001. This evaluation informed a revision of the methodology. Subsequently,
CIVICUS successfully implemented the first complete phase of the CSI between 2003 and
2006 in 53 countries worldwide. This implementation directly involved more than 7,000 civil
society stakeholders (Heinrich 2008). Georgia was one of the countries that implemented a
shortened version of the CSI methodology between 2003 and 2006.

Intent on continuing to improve the research-action orientation of the tool, CIVICUS worked
with the Centre for Social Investment at the University of Heidelberg, as well as with partners
and other stakeholders, to rigorously evaluate and revise the CSI methodology for a second
time before the start of this current implementation phase in 2008. With this new and
streamlined methodology in place, CIVICUS launched the new phase of the CSI in 2008 and
selected country partners, including some previous and some new implementers, from all
over the globe to participate in the project. Table I.1.1 below shows the list of implementing
countries in the current phase of the CSI.



3
The pilot countries were Belarus, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan,
Romania, South Africa, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Wales.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
TABLE I.1.1 List of CSI implementing countries 2008-2010
4

Albania
Argentina
Armenia
Bahrain
Belarus
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Chile
Croatia
Cyprus
Djibouti
Democratic Republic of
Congo
Georgia
Ghana
Italy
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kosovo
Lebanon
Liberia
Macedonia
Madagascar
Mali
Malta
Mexico
Nicaragua
Niger
Philippines
Russia
Serbia
Slovenia
South Korea
Sudan
Togo
Turkey
Uganda
Ukraine
Uruguay
Venezuela
Zambia

2. PROJECT APPROACH
The current CSI project approach continues to marry assessment and evidence with
reflections and action. The following key steps in CSI implementation take place at the
country level:

1. Assessment: CSI uses an innovative mix of participatory research methods, data
sources, and case studies to comprehensively assess the state of civil society using five
dimensions: Civic Engagement, Level of Organisation, Practice of Values, Perception of
Impact and the External Environment.
2. Collective Reflection: implementation involves structured dialogue among diverse
civil society stakeholders that enables the identification of civil society’s specific
strengths and weaknesses.
3. Joint Action: the actors involved use a participatory and consultative process to
develop and implement a concrete action agenda to strengthen civil society in a country.

This approach provides an important reference point for the work carried out within the
framework of the CSI. As such, CSI does not produce knowledge for its own sake but
instead seeks to directly apply the knowledge generated to stimulate strategies that enhance
the effectiveness and role of civil society. With this in mind, the CSI’s fundamental
methodological bedrocks which have greatly influenced the implementation that this report is
based upon include the following:
5


Inclusiveness: The CSI framework strives to incorporate a variety of theoretical viewpoints,
as well as being inclusive in terms of civil society indicators, actors and processes included
in the project.

Universality: Since the CSI is a global project, its methodology seeks to accommodate
national variations in context and concepts within its framework.



4
Note that this list was accurate as of the publication of this Analytical Country Report, but may have changed
slightly since the publication, due to countries being added or dropped during the implementation cycle.
5
For in-depth explanations of these principles, please see Mati, Silva and Anderson (2010), Assessing and
Strengthening Civil Society Worldwide: An updated programme description of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index
Phase 2008-2010. CIVICUS, Johannesburg.
11

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
Comparability: The CSI aims not to rank, but instead to comparatively measure different
aspects of civil society worldwide. The possibility for comparisons exists both between
different countries or regions within one phase of CSI implementation and between phases.

Versatility: The CSI is specifically designed to achieve an appropriate balance between
international comparability and national flexibility in the implementation of the project.

Dialogue: One of the key elements of the CSI is its participatory approach, involving a wide
range of stakeholders who collectively own and run the project in their respective countries.

Capacity Development: Country partners are firstly trained on the CSI methodology during
a three day regional workshop. After the training, partners are supported through the
implementation cycle by the CSI team at CIVICUS. Partners participating in the project also
gain substantial skills in research, training and facilitation in implementing the CSI in-country.

Networking: The participatory and inclusive nature of the different CSI tools (e.g. focus
groups, the Advisory Committee, the National Workshops) should create new spaces where
very diverse actors can discover synergies and forge new alliances, including at a cross-
sectoral level. Some countries in the last phase have also participated in regional
conferences to discuss the CSI findings as well as cross-national civil society issues.

Change: The principal aim of the CSI is to generate information that is of practical use to
civil society practitioners and other primary stakeholders. Therefore, the CSI framework
seeks to identify aspects of civil society that can be changed and to generate information
and knowledge relevant to action-oriented goals.

With the above mentioned foundations, the CSI methodology uses a combination of
participatory and scientific research methods to generate an assessment of the state of civil
society at the national level. The CSI measures the following core dimensions:

(1) Civic Engagement
(2) Level of Organisation
(3) Practice of Values
(4) Perceived Impact
(5) External Environment

These dimensions are illustrated visually through the Civil Society Diamond (see Figure I.2.1
below), which is one of the most essential and best-known components of the CSI project.
To form the Civil Society Diamond, 67 quantitative indicators are aggregated into 28 sub-
dimensions which are then assembled into the five final dimensions along a 0-100
percentage scale. The Diamond’s size seeks to portray an empirical picture of the state of
civil society, the conditions that support or inhibit civil society's development, as well as the
consequences of civil society's activities for society at large. The context or environment is
represented visually by a circle around the axes of the Civil Society Diamond, and is not
regarded as part of the state of civil society but rather as something external that still
remains a crucial element for its well being.

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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
FIGURE I.2.1 The Civil Society Index Diamond

The CSI research provided exactly the needed framework and opportunity to discuss
existing strengths and weaknesses as well as to develop future plans. This is precisely
because previous research on civil society in Georgia has mainly focused on the
organisational capacity of different CSOs (Nodia, 2005). Further, the perception of who was
or was not part of civil society was rather narrow, and included mainly non-governmental
organisations supported by international donors. As a consequence, important groups, such
as religious organisations, associations of artists and other less formal groups were largely
overlooked. This narrow definition of civil society reflects a broader problem of the
dominance of NGOs on the social landscape of Georgia. Additionally there have been weak
ties between various types of CSOs. As a consequence, very often organisations and
groups are unaware of the activities even of groups operating in the same sector. Often,
groups cohere around the specific issues of their focus. This often hinders cooperation
between groups. This reality made even more acute the need for a common platform for
discussing the problems and challenges that civil society faces.

3. CSI IMPLEMENTATION
There are several key CSI programme implementation activities as well as several structures
involved, as summarised by the figure below:
6




6
For a detailed discussion on each of these steps in the process, please see Mati et al (cited in footnote 5
above).
13

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
FIGURE I.3.1 The Civil Society Index implementation model
1.
Ca|| for express|on
of |nterest
4.
CSI 1ra|n|ng
Workshop
6.
Sett|ng up of AC, and
1st AC meet|ng
S.
1ra|n|ngs of the
Nat|ona|
Imp|ementat|on
1eam (NI1)
7.
Çuant|tat|ve Þr|mary
kesearch (ÞS, LÞS, CS)
8.
Çua||tat|ve Þr|mary
kesearch
9.
keg|ona| Iocus
Groups
11.
Nat|ona| Workshop
10.
2nd AC meet|ng
2.
App||cat|on and
se|ect|on
3.
Þre||m|nary steps
Mon|tor|ng
and
Lva|uat|on
A.
Ana|yt|ca|
Country
keport
8.
Þo||cy
Act|on
8r|ef C.
Ind|cator
Database
Ootpots
Mojot 1ools


The major tools and elements of the CSI implementation at the national level include:

• Multiple surveys, including: (i) a Population Survey, gathering the views of citizens
on civil society and gauging their involvement in groups and associations; (ii) an
Organisational Survey measuring the meso-level of civil society and defining
characteristics of CSOs; and (iii) an External Perceptions Survey aiming at
measuring the perception that stakeholders, experts and policy makers in key sectors
have of civil society’s impact.
• Tailored case studies which focus on issues of importance to the specific civil
society country context.
• Advisory Committee (AC) meetings made up of civil society experts to advise on
the project and its implementation at the country level.
• Regional and thematic focus groups where civil society stakeholders reflect and
share views on civil society’s role in society.

Following this in-depth research and the extensive collection of information, the findings are
presented and debated at a National Workshop, which brings together a large group of civil
society and non-civil society stakeholders and allows interested parties to discuss and
develop strategies for addressing identified priority issues.

This Analytical Country Report is one of the major outputs of the CSI implementation
process in Georgia, and presents highlights from the research conducted, including
summaries of civil society’s strengths and weaknesses as well as recommendations for
strengthening civil society in the country. It is accompanied by a Policy Action Brief, which
makes practical recommendations for policy initiatives in the light of the CSI findings.

Following the guidelines provided by the CSI methodology, CIPDD concentrated on gaining
broad support from civil society and creating consensus around the project implementation
methodology from the project onset. The Advisory Committee (AC) played a crucial role in
this process. Comprised of representatives from different sectors (including ethnic groups,
advocacy NGOs, and environmental activists), the AC also included donors and
representatives from business and the government.. The wide diversity of positive interests
in this group had a significant impact in terms of the quality of discussion and the
establishment of ties between civil society and the project team.
14

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

One of the challenges encountered by the implementation team was to operationalise the
concept of civil society and define its boundaries for the purposes of the project. The
Advisory Committee contributed greatly to the easing of this process. In particular, the
boundary between religious groups and CSOs was a hotly debated topic during the first AC
meeting, as was the question of whether to include political parties in the sampling for future
research. While these debates did not result in consensus, they were very useful in helping
the National Implementing Team (NIT) find workable and inclusive solutions to these
problems..

In accordance with the methodology developed by CIVICUS, three quantitative surveys and
at least five qualitative case studies were conducted for this project. Data from three different
surveys, as mentioned above, was used as the main source for further analysis and
informed the topics for the case studies. Secondary data was also gathered and analysed.

The Population Survey (PS): The majority of the questions addressed in this survey were
derived from the World Values Survey (WVS) 2009, as the CSI methodology allows.
Fortunately, for Georgia, we were able to get the 2009 WVS data which had been collected
in Georgia by the research firm GORBI, under the supervision of Caucasus Research
Resource Centre (CRRC). Findings of the 2009 WVS Georgia data served in the
construction of the Civil Society Diamond. However, some of the questions on which
indicators of CSI research are based were not presented in the current wave of WVS. To
address this problem, an additional survey was commissioned from the social and marketing
research company ACT. However, some technical problems arose regarding whether data
from the WVS or other additional data should be used to construct indices in certain cases.
This problem was addressed in a logical manner by researchers from the CIVICUS CSI
team and the NIT. In both cases, representative samples of Georgia’s population were
selected based on similar procedures.
7


The Organisational Survey (CSI OS 2009): The purpose of this survey is to obtain factual
information and learn about the attitudes of civil society representatives on diverse issues,
including organisational practices, relationships with state authorities, and the evaluation of
their own success. Structured interviews were conducted with top-level representatives from
100 Georgian CSOs. A major problem in the preparation of this survey was the absence of a
comprehensive database of civil society groups in Georgia. As a consequence, a purposeful
sampling of different categories of CSOs was done using the ‘snowball’ method and existing
data. Representatives of each sector of civil society were asked to name other prominent
organisations working in their field. As a result, several organisations from each sector were
selected to participate in the survey. The ability to select a representative sample of a
diverse number of CSOs was one of the strengths of this approach. In addition, expert
evaluations weighting the importance of various groups within civil society were used to
determine the composition of the sample.

The External Perceptions Survey (CSI EPS): This survey served to assess decision
makers’ attitudes and opinions towards civil society activities and their impact. A varied
scope of people answered the questionnaire, including journalists, politicians, intellectuals
and business people (25 persons in total). Although access to some categories of
respondents was difficult (most notably state representatives from different ministries), a
balanced representation of views has been achieved through the inclusion of various elite
groups.



7
It should be noted that no major discrepancies between the two sets of data were found as a result.
15

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
The Case Studies: In addition to quantitative data, the CSI research also included five
qualitative case studies, one per diamond dimension, informed by the quantitative data. The
topics of these case studies were determined through consultations amongst local project
staff and the CIVICUS CSI team. Through this process, problems that are particularly
challenging in Georgia were selected. The majority of the case studies are based on in-
depth interviews with stakeholders, as well as on secondary data. One of the case studies
was based on the analysis of electronic and visual media, particularly focusing on the
content of news programmes broadcasted by the three leading Georgian TV stations (Public
Broadcaster, Rustavi 2 and Imedi TV).

Following surveys and case studies, Regional Focus Groups were also conducted. Ten
focus groups were held in different regions of Georgia, each attended by 13 to 25
participants. During these sessions, the preliminary findings of the research were shared and
used as a framework for initiating further discussions on the state of civil society and drafting
recommendations for further measures to improve the situation. Interestingly enough, no
significant difference in opinions was registered between representatives of various regions,
thus underlining the major similarities in concerns and the social position of various CSOs in
Georgia.

The majority of participants in these focus groups were civil society representatives. There
were, however, a few representatives of local governments, the business sector and
academia. The focus groups revealed once again that as a consequence of the few
opportunities for CSO representatives to come together and discuss their projects,
participants needed more time than planned for to ‘warm up’ and open up to others.

The Second Advisory Committee (AC) Meeting: The findings of the empirical research
were presented at the second AC meeting. Prior to this meeting, the data matrix containing
all the data scoring values was distributed to the members of the AC. In general, the work of
the NIT was positively appraised and some analytical insights were suggested. Validity of
the collected data was evaluated and some values for indicators were identified as
unreliable.

The National Workshop: The data and the civil society diamond were then presented to
various civil society sectors, the media and other stakeholder groups during the national
workshop. Sixty-five representatives attended this workshop. A range of sectors of civil
society were represented, each of them contributing their unique point of view to the
discussions. While civil society in Georgia tends to be rather fragmented around different
social and political issues, a certain balance between the workshop participants was
achieved. Despite the differences, participants mostly agreed with each other in their
interpretations of the research findings. At the national workshop, participants and the NIT
developed an Action Plan for how different actors, including civil society itself, can
contribute to strengthening and consolidating civil society in Georgia. However, voices of
dissent were also given the opportunity to speak during this workshop and their views
examined. The result was a more insightful discussion regarding the problems that civil
society in Georgia faces today.

4. LIMITATIONS OF CSI STUDY
Two limitations regarding this study should be particularly mentioned. One important
limitation is connected to the sampling process. The absence of a sampling frame made
sampling quite complicated. As a solution to this problem, a detailed list of different sectors
of civil society was developed and the sample was selected through the snowball sampling
method within each identified category. The CIVICUS CSI team later approved the choice of
methodology. By using the mentioned method, a wider range of CSOs were included in the
sample and this improved the validity of the research as whole. At the same time, the
16

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
difficulties with this approach are related to the non-random character of the sampling. As a
consequence, the possibilities for generalising the findings of our research are significantly
limited, compared to cases in which more correct statistical procedures were applied.

A second limitation of this study relates to the comparative nature of the research. As
experts noted, some of the indicators do not reflect the realities of civil society in Georgia.
According to them, the framing of the research questions is the main reason for this. In some
cases, due to inadequate research questions, an incomplete picture of the social reality
could be the result. For example, with the question of whether a concrete CSO has a board
or another type of governing body, most of respondents replied in the affirmative. According
to the experts, the reality in most of these organisations, however, is that these bodies exist
on paper (for various reasons), while decision making internally in many organisations is
mostly based on informal structures. While follow-up questions could help to solve these
kinds of problems, answers to these questions cannot and should not be considered for any
comparative analyses.

The obvious contradictions between some of the data are the most striking results of the civil
society assessment. Relations between external actors (the rest of population, the
government, and business community) and civil society, as well as the relationship between
different segments of civil society itself, and even the CSOs’ self-assessment, are often
rather controversial. Although the CSI PS was chosen as the primary source of information,
we also tried to record the (often sceptical) opinions of various civil society representatives,
including the majority of the national workshop participants (NWPs) and experts, and the
arguments (considered to be often inadequate) they put forward to support their views.

A third challenge and limitation to this study lies in the lack of reliability of information,
especially the national statistical data. Information provided by international organisations
was more trustworthy, though sometimes it also seemed contradictory and unreliable.


II. CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA
1. CONCEPT OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA
Thus far, there has been no public debate over the concept of civil society in Georgia
because Georgia, like other post-Communist countries, only began using the term ‘civil
society’ relatively recently. Georgian civil society - non-governmental organisations, mass
media and some political parties – agree overall with CIVICUS’ definition of civil society as
"the arena, outside of the family, the state, and the market, which is created by individual
and collective actions, organisations and institutions to advance shared interests." When
discussing issues related to civil society, CSOs often refer to concepts such as democracy,
participation, the unity of active citizens, freedom of speech, transparency, different civil
actions and the rule of law. It therefore seems that most civil society representatives in
Georgia prefer to use the term "the unity of active citizens" in their definition of a civil society
and during self-assessment. The table below summarises responses received from the
Organisational Survey on the question of how respondents understand civil society.

17

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
TABLE II.1.1 How do you understand civil society?
The unity of active citizens 36.6%
It represents public interest and defends democracy 16.9%
A form of citizens’ association 14.9%
The most responsible part of society 6.0%
People who are aware of their rights 5.9%
The unity of political institutions 4.0%
(CSI OS 2009)

At the same time, liberal values have gained a firm foothold in Georgia. This phenomenon is
characteristic of the post-Soviet period and can be seen as a direct result of strong anti-
Socialist sentiment in the country. That is why part of Georgian civil society does not
consider radical marginal groups, such as political or religious extremists, to be part of civil
society. Moreover, a considerable number of CSOs refuse to recognise even trade unions as
elements of civil society, claiming that they are relics of the Soviet past. Discussions
regarding the challenges facing CSOs often result in an even narrower understanding of civil
society. On the one hand, participants of these discussions define civil society in broad
terms (including parties, church, unions, media and civil society institutions) and positively
assess its role in the state-building process. On the other hand, however, as far as specific
problems of civil society are concerned, they usually speak only about problems of CSOs,
while other civil society segments are discussed only in relation to the CSOs. For this
reason, we decided to focus the report mainly on the problems of CSOs, while other
segments are covered as much as possible using materials we have collected.

2. HISTORY OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA
Georgian civil society dates back to the middle of the Nineteenth Century, provided we
exclude the country’s medieval orders of knighthood, craftsmen unions, merchant guilds,
and, of course, the Georgian Orthodox Church (whose history dates back to Fourth
Century). In the early Nineteenth Century, Georgia was annexed by Russia and became part
of the Russian Empire. The processes that unfolded at that period were similar to those that
developed within Eastern Europe, namely national movements and educational activities
aiming at modernisation in line with the European model, sovereignty and independence or
at least, wide autonomy. The Georgian Society for Promoting Literacy in the Georgian
Nation, which was founded in 1879, is now widely seen as the country’s first-ever modern-
style CSO.

At the turn of the Twentieth Century, Georgian civil society was already quite strong and
functional, and its activities extended to almost all spheres of social life. Together with civil
society in Poland, the Baltic countries and Finland, it formed the most democratic segment of
the Russian Empire. The Bolshevik revolution in Russia and the occupation of the Georgian
Democratic Republic (1918-1921) by the Russian Red Army, however, put an abrupt end to
the development of civil society in Georgia. Instead, a new process - the creation of a quasi-
civil society
8
- was triggered in Georgia after it was annexed by Soviet Russia in 1922.
Similar developments took place in other Soviet republics as well. Various ‘civil society
organisations,’ such as sport clubs, writers’ and art workers’ unions and trade unions,
although they were largely formal, were created in Georgia during Soviet times (1921
to1991), but all of them were under the complete control of the Communist Party and the
secret services and political police of the USSR (KGB).


8
These quasi-civil society organisations were developed by the totalitarian state, for creating a democratic
façade for their own population and the international community. These organisations were supposed to be
formally independent, but in reality, they were serving the political objectives of the government and hindering the
development of true CSOs.
18

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

The reforms that contributed to the end of the USSR in the 1980s and 1990s helped revive
and/or strengthen the banned (political parties, democratic media) or restricted (church,
freedom of conscience) elements of civil society in Georgia. At that time, the existing CSOs
had their principle goal to regain Georgia’s sovereignty and independence and democratise
Georgian society. Unfortunately, Georgia lacked the experience of democratic governance, a
factor that greatly contributed to the ignition of a civil war, political crisis and ethnic conflicts
that have ravaged the country since the breakdown of the Soviet Union. In 1992, the first
post-Soviet and democratically elected government of Zviad Gamsakhurdia was overthrown
in a military coup. Soon afterwards came a civil war and two violent conflicts, in large ethnic
autonomies, with severe social, political, and economic consequences. Russian security
forces played a mostly indirect, but at times direct, role in these events.

As an obvious consequence, civil society activities ceased to develop during this period.
However, and it is questionable if these groups should be considered as civil society, many
paramilitary and nationalistic criminal groups, engaged in activities such as drug and
weapons smuggling, emerged during this period.

Once stability gradually returned to Georgia after Eduard Shevardnadze came to power in
1992, initially as ‘Chairman of the Parliament - Head of The State’ and then in 1995 being
elected president, Georgian civil society also regained some strength partly due to
substantial financial, economic and political support from the West (especially the USA and
the EU). In this new era, a new civil society segment - non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) - came to life in Georgia in addition to political parties and the media.

In recent years, Georgian civil society has gone through several phases of development, as
enumerated below:

1. Birth and early "childhood" – 1992 to 1995: During this period, the government had
more serious problems to deal with than imposing control over independent civil society
groups. Also, civil society was too young and weak to play a significant role in the society
at that time and was not regarded as a threat by the corrupt bureaucracy.

2. "Oasis" years – 1995 to 1999: It was a time of unhindered growth, quantitatively and
qualitatively, of predominantly NGO-type CSOs. The government’s interference in the
third sector continued to be minimal in this period, though NGOs began giving the
authorities some headaches. However, as the government was eager to boost its
democratic credentials in the eyes of the West, it preferred to turn a blind eye to NGO
activities and abstained from stifling dissenting voices.

3. The independence period of the third sector – 1999 to 2003: Civil society’s willingness
and readiness to take part in social processes appeared to increasingly irk the
government. At the same time, Georgian civil society appeared ‘mature’ enough to
mobilise for protest actions and demonstrations to defend its rights.
9
In response, the
government launched a campaign, with the help of pro-government media, to discredit
NGOs and applied financial and political measures to suppress civil society. But the
government’s measures only consolidated civil society and made these groups more
determined to fight for their rights. As a result, after a large-scale rigging of parliamentary
elections by the authorities in 2003, civil society became one of the main driving forces of


9
This is illustrated by the massive protest actions in Tbilisi in November 2001, which were prompted by an
abortive raid by the officers of the state security service on the office of the independent Rustavi-2 TV. The scale
of the protests was so immense that the president was forced to sack the security and interior ministers in order
to appease public opinion.
19

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
a peaceful revolution (known as the Rose Revolution) that ensued (Losaberidze, 2007:
194).

4. Post-revolution period – 2003 to 2008: The role of civil society noticeably increased at
this time. This period saw many representatives of civil society, independent media
institutions and democratic political forces being promoted to key positions in
government. At the time, the government began a successful campaign to defeat the
criminal and corrupt oligarchy that had gained strength in the 1990s. The social capital
and efficiency of the government substantially increased as a result. At the same time,
however, the post-Revolution euphoria paved the way for the so-called ‘dragon
syndrome’, which holds that one must become a dragon to defeat a dragon. The
government’s radical policy/actions revived a sense of estrangement between society
and the establishment. The government’s mistakes, such as the crackdown on a mass
protest rally in Tbilisi in November 2007, the large-scale rigging of the snap presidential
and parliamentary polls in the 2008 winter and spring, and the decision to retake South
Ossetia by force, which led to a direct Russia-Georgia military conflict with disastrous
consequences for Georgia, ruined Georgia’s image as a "beacon of democracy" both at
home and abroad.
10


5. The "turning point" (since 2008): The civil society sector realised that it needed to
develop a new strategy. Georgian civil society was in deep trouble at that time as
electronic media was almost fully controlled by the government, and donor organisations
reduced their support to CSOs and channelled their resources mainly to governmental
programmes. In the course of the last two to three years, this policy has brought about
rather negative consequences. Many civil society activists have left the civil society
sector. Some of them found new jobs in governmental institutions or businesses; others
migrated to foreign countries. Few new activists came to replace those who left.
Although the donors renewed their assistance programs for the CSOs in 2009, civil
society was no longer as strong, united and committed to shared values as it was in
2001. It has lost momentum.

3. MAPPING CIVIL SOCIETY
During the analysis of the research findings, CSO experts, members of the Advisory
Committee and focus group participants (FGPs) identified the following (Figure II.3.1) major
segments that have a significant impact on civil society in Georgia:



10
US president George W Bush dubbed Georgia the "Beacon of Democracy" after the so-called Rose Revolution
in 2003 in Tbilisi, CNN, 10 May 2005.
20

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
FIGURE II.3.1 Civil society mapping
11



As a rule, the Georgian Orthodox Church is largely regarded by civil society experts as one
of the most influential institutions and a guardian of traditional values ("motherland",
"language", "faith") in the country. Next comes several civil society segments that also claim
to be defenders and proponents of traditional values (independent and regional TV
companies, a majority of the Georgian newspapers and other periodicals, radical and
patriotic opposition parties, other "traditional" churches, for instance Armenian Apostolic
Church, and groups representing the interests of ethnic minorities).

On the other hand, there are some actors that promote modern liberal and democratic
values, such as international and donor organisations, an overwhelming majority of CSOs
and several political parties, for instance the Republican Party, though their influence on
society is rather weak, while their activities are usually limited to intellectual discussions
and/or theoretical deliberations.

The government and state-controlled media (main national TV companies: Georgian Public
Broadcasting Company and formally independent Rustavi-2 and Imedi TV channels) are
seeking to maintain a balanced approach between traditional and liberal values, but the
analysis of real social forces and influences, an exercise that was part of the CSI project,
yields a very different picture (see Figure II.3.2 below).



11
The size of the circles correlates with the level of dominance of a particular actor in the public discourse.
Orthodox Church
(Patriarch’s Circle)
Rustavi2 TV
(Government)
TV`Caucasia
Christian
Democrat
s
United
Opposition
Leaders
Public Broadcasting
(Government)
International Donors
(USAID, EU)
TV Imedi
(Government)
Labour
Party
Ethnic Groups
(Armenian Orgs)
Armenian
Church
Print
Media
Republican
Party

Local Donors
(OSGF)
Protestant
Churches

Think
Tanks
Watchdogs
TV Ajara
(AjaraGov)
21

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
FIGURE II.3.2: Analysis of social forces


Similar to the case of the Civil Society Mapping, two large interest groups play important
roles in this social forces analysis. The first group includes "Russian forces": the Russian
government (first of all, prime minister Putin and his retinue), the authorities of breakaway
regions, the Georgian Orthodox clergy, which is closely linked to the Russian Orthodox
Church, and "oligarchs", in other words, Georgian citizens who amassed their fortune in
Russia and have strong ties with that country. The second group, dubbed the "Western
Vector", consists of the diplomatic corps, international and regional organisations (NATO,
World Bank, IMF), most of CSOs, and pro-western political forces. Individually, they cannot
pose any challenge to the dominance of the Russian forces, but as a group they have
enough capacity to counterbalance the "Russians."

The Georgian government, namely the presidency together with the ruling party and state
bureaucracy which are strongly dependent on the president’s office, is the most influential
and powerful institution in Georgia today. On the one hand, the government is trying to
maintain a balanced stance between the Western and Russian forces; on the other hand, as
the most powerful actor, it is determined to defend its own interests.
12




12
As a result of the privatisation process, the biggest part of the Georgian national economy is now controlled by
Russian companies. This aspect is somehow counterbalanced by a large-scale western financial assistance. At
the same time, there are no large private companies and corporations in Georgia. That is why the state (national
budget) remains the biggest buyer in the country. It uses different state structures (financial police, law-
enforcement agencies, and security services) to keep the national economy and the political situation in the
country under its full control.
President’s
Surrounding
(President)
IMF/WB/European
Commission
NATO
USA (State
Department)
Bureaucracy
(Ministry of Interior
Affairs)
Ruling Party (UNM, party
Leadership)
Orthodox Church
(Patriarch’s
Surrounding) Russia
(Petersburg
Group)
EU
Opposition

Civil Society
(Donors)
Abkhazia
Social Groups (Pensioners,
IDPs, Teachers etc)
Ethnic Minorities
Media
(Electronic
Media)
Big Business
(Oligarchs)
22

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
Under such circumstances, Georgian civil society has a rather limited ability to influence
ongoing processes in the country.
13
Although the activities of these organisations, which
include think tanks, watchdogs, professional and sectoral associations, are quite diverse and
cover, at least formally, the entire territory of Georgia, they have minimal influence on
society. As to their ability to influence the government, many civil society representatives
think that pro-government CSOs are unreasonably over-optimistic. According to a Georgian
expert George Tarkhan-Mouravi, whose views were shared by a majority of the CSI NWPs.
On the one hand, the government does not hesitate to give certain civil society groups a free
hand in dealing with some unimportant issues, both on the legislative and practical levels, in
exchange for their full loyalty. On the other hand, however, once political or economic power
sharing (such as civilian oversight of security and police structures, transparency of the
budgeting process, or decentralisation of government) is suggested, government refuses to
even discuss such a possibility.


III. ANALYSIS OF CIVIL SOCIETY
1. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
In this section, we discuss the extent, depth, and the diversity of citizen engagement in
social and political processes, on both formal and informal levels.

From the outset it is important to note that, while the CSI methodology proposes that political
parties be considered as part of civil society, in Georgia, in the opinion of respondents of the
External Perceptions Survey, and members of the Advisory Committee, the ruling party has
never been a segment of civil society. In reality, it seems that the ruling party is part of the
government, as it relies heavily on the government’s administrative, financial and political
resources.
14
For this reason, it was decided to exclude the ruling party from the analysis.

TABLE III.1.1 Civic Engagement
1 Dimension: Civic Engagement 20.6
1.1 Extent of socially-based engagement 4.6
1.2 Depth of socially-based engagement 17.8
1.3 Diversity of socially-based engagement 52.5
1.4 Extent of political engagement 6.2
1.5 Depth of political engagement 14.0
1.6 Diversity of political engagement 28.5

Civic engagement, especially CSO volunteering activities, is noticeably low in Georgia on a
formal level.
15
Even more worrying is the apparent trend toward a decrease in volunteering,
rather than an increase.
16
This tendency is particularly evident with regard to socially-based


13
More than 10,000 organisations are registered in Georgia. But fewer than 10% of them are really functional.
Besides, the overwhelming majority of them depend heavily on donor organisations, which usually provide only
small-scale and non-regular financial assistance.
14
The assessment is relevant to both the Soviet-era Communist Party of Georgia and post-Soviet governing
political groups: Round Table - Free Georgia (1990-92), Citizens’ Union of Georgia (1994-03), United National
Movement (2003 to present), and Aghordzineba Party, that was at the helm of Ajara until 2004. This form of
government is characterised by a single-party system in which one party dominates the government and
parliament (from two thirds to 100% of parliamentary seats). Opposition parties are completely ignored, or the
government creates pseudo-opposition groups that are in fact loyal to the authorities and are needed to provide a
veneer of democracy.
15
By civic engagement, mainly participation in various types of groups (such as political, religious-based,
environmental) is meant. During the research, attention was paid to the number of people participating in the
work of these organisations, as well as to how intensive this participation was.
16
See sub-dimension 1.1 and 1.4 for further discussion of this topic.
23

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
engagement. CSOs are well aware of the problem, and it remains one of their prime
concerns.

1.1 The extent of socially-based engagement
Citizen engagement in social activities is measured by the number of people involved,
formally and/or informally. Citizen participation in general, and socially-based engagement in
particular, is far from active in Georgia. According to the NWPs, one explanation for this may
be that difficult economic and social circumstances, including high levels of unemployment,
drastic worsening of living conditions, and largely unstable social, political and economic
environments, along with the neglect of the interests of wider society by government, have
marginalised large segments of society and prevented the emergence of organised groups
and the implementation of institutionalised activities.

The current political situation in Georgia offers another serious stumbling block to increased
civic engagement. Euphoria and enthusiasm witnessed during the 2003 Rose Revolution
gradually faded away in the post-revolution period, giving way to widespread public
frustration and disillusionment. As a result, civic participation has fallen in the country from
some 10% in 2006 to 8.8% at present (VGS 2006; WVS 2009).

The table below summarises how civic engagement is structured socially as measured in the
CSI project.

TABLE III.1.2 Socially based engagement
Participation Active
members
Passive
members
Volunteers
The Orthodox Church and religious organisations 1.7 3.9 2.0
Arts, music, educational organisations 1.1 1.2 1.1
Sport and recreational organisations 0.6 0.2 0.7
Consumers’ organisations - 0.1 -
(WVS 2009)

Unsurprisingly, the highest level of citizen engagement for Georgians was within the
Orthodox Church and religious organisations. This is because the Georgian Orthodox
Church is one of the most influential and popular institutions in the country. Unfortunately,
available research data does not tell us the exact nature of such participation in church
activities. It is noteworthy that this form of civic engagement has increased sharply in recent
times, from 1.3% to 5.6%.
17
Regardless, it is much higher than civic participation in other
spheres, consumer protection unions, for instance, where it stands at 0.1% (WVS 2009).
According to NWPs, even this figure, however small, seems somewhat exaggerated.

In contrast to institutionalised activities, community participation, which is not institutionalised
as a rule, is higher in Georgia, at 7.1% (WVS 2009). This can be seen as a reflection of the
fact that public confidence in formal structures has never been high in Georgia. In a country
where official structures have always been treated with a fair dose of mistrust, it is mainly the
neighbourhood and community groups and other similar informal associations, such as
within groups of friends, which traditionally enjoy high levels of public confidence and thus
have higher levels of civic participation.



17
The participation in church activities of both of the active (1.7%) and passive (3.9%) members is shown in the
table above.
24

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
1.2 Depth of socially-based engagement
This sub-dimension demonstrates the frequency and the quality of socially-based
engagement beyond the mere number of those engaged. The evidence from the Population
Survey shows that volunteerism is relatively weak in institutionalised structures compared
with the number of members; recorded at 4.7% and 5.3% respectively. This is because, as a
rule, CSO members consider their work paid employment, while volunteering means working
for no pay, a very unpopular idea in Georgia, where a large part of the population lives in
dire financial straits. This can be illustrated by the fact that 33.3% of CSOs surveyed do not
have any volunteers at all (WVS 2009).

The percentage of citizens that engages in various social activities, including sport centres
and formal or informal associations, at least once a month is much higher, calculated at
43.5%. The Population Survey interviews did not ask the exact nature of activities
respondents were involved in, whether, for example, they attended sport tournaments or
entertainment centres as fans, collected donations for low-income families, or volunteered to
organise social events. At the same time, when asked who they prefer to spend their spare
time with, the overwhelming majority of the respondents named relatives, family members
and friends. The table below summarises responses to this question.

TABLE III.1.3 Preferred companions for leisure-time activities
Companions for leisure-time
activities
Every week Every one or
two months
Several
times a
year
Never
Relatives, parents 44.1 25.0 22.5 8.4
Friends 41.5 31.0 14.7 12.8
Fellow churchgoers 14.9 27.7 30.3 27.1
Colleagues 11.3 10.0 8.1 70.6
Fellow members of sport centres,
volunteer organisations
1.6 1.5 4.0 92.9
(WVS 2009)

As already mentioned, the traditional values of patrimonial Georgian society require that
people do not put much confidence in formal relations. It is unclear, however, what the
respondents meant when referring to their relationship with fellow churchgoers. Presumably,
they meant simply going to church and praying together, but this is not clear. Regional focus
group participants pointed out that the lack of thematic diversity in programmes of formal civil
society groups was another impediment to active civic participation. The case study on
young volunteers’ motivation factors in political organisations/parties also indicated this (see
the CSI case study: Volunteerism in Modern Georgia: Case of Political Parties’ Youth
Organisations).

1.3 Diversity within socially-based engagement
Apart from the number of people engaged in social activities and the depth of their
involvement, it is important to identify how representative this engagement is, and how well it
covers all aspects of social reality.

Georgian civil society, mainly CSOs, is relatively representative of the public at large.
Despite the low level of citizen participation, the part of society which is involved in different
social activities represents a wide variety of social groups, at 52.5% (WVS 2009). There
would seem to be no formal discrimination and no particularly excluded groups in civil
society, at least at the level of declaration, in this regard. The structure of representation is
as follows (WVS 2009):

25

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
• Ethnic minorities: Ethnic minorities constitute 13% of Georgia’s total population and
8.3% of the active members of CSOs. The relatively low levels of participation can be
explained by the social passiveness of minorities residing in large cities, though it is
somewhat offset by relatively higher civic engagement of the residents of ethnic
enclaves, such as Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli.
• Age groups: The bulk of CSO members, a high 93.3%, are young and middle-aged
people, aged between 25 to 64, while only 6.8% are older people, although they
constitute 17.5% of the total population. This can be explained by the fact that the
level of civic engagement is usually lower among those who grew up and spent most
of their lives under totalitarian rule.
• Representation by gender: In general, women, who account for 54.5% of the total
population, are underrepresented in civil society, with only 39.4% representation
(WVS 2009). In contrast, however, more than 60% of CSO members are women with
a 29% representation in the governing bodies of CSOs (Gaprindashvili, 2003).
• Representation by region: A majority (some 60% of the more than 10,000
organisations) of CSOs are based in large cities. In reality, however, regional CSOs,
especially in rural communities, are more active. Rural residents, which constitute
49.4% of the total population, make up 54.2% of CSO members. Residents of
provinces (75.5% of the total) also represent a high number of members (79.7%) of
civil society. The capital and centrally based CSOs play a relatively ‘passive’ role,
perhaps because cities provide more diverse alternative opportunities, such as
business, or the public service, for citizens to fulfil their potential and needs than in
rural communities (WVS 2009).
• Social status representation: Finally, 86.4% which represents a majority of civil
society members come from the Georgian middle class, despite this group only
making up 61.5% of the population. However, the lower class is clearly
underrepresented, presumably since struggling for basic needs is more urgent for
lower-class families than participation in the activities of CSOs (WVS 2009).

Although Georgian civil society theoretically does not discriminate on the grounds of social
status, cooperation between different social groups remains weak. Every group has carved
out its own niche and rarely interacts with the others.

1.4 Extent of political engagement
On the one hand, according to available data, political membership has decreased in
Georgia, from 5.4% four years ago to 1.3% at present (VGS 2006; WVS 2009). But
participation in one-off political actions has increased in the same period. It is hard to say,
however, whether this data is reliable enough; NWPs suggested that many respondents
might have been simply afraid to confess to being engaged in political activity. Given the
current political situation, this explanation does not seem implausible.
18


TABLE III.1.4 The level of political engagement
Participation Active members Passive
members
Volunteers
Trade unions 0.3 1.8 0.3
Political parties 0.3 0.6 0.5
Environmental organisations - - -
Professional associations 0.2 0.4 0.2
Charities 0.1 0.1 -
(WVS 2009)



18
See sub-dimension 5.2 for further discussion on the external environment
26

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
Over the last four years, the number of citizens who have taken part in boycotts and protest
demonstrations has risen from 2.2% to 2.8% and from 8.0% to 14.5% respectively, indicating
a growing public discontent with the government’s policies (VGS 2006; WVS 2009). During
the same period, however, the number of strike actions has decreased to almost zero. In
comparison, 4.9% of the Georgian citizens went on strike across the country in 2005 (VGS
2006; WVS 2009). In the current economic downturn, this trend can only be explained by
fear of losing a job, however difficult and underpaid it is.

As to political parties, the majority of the Georgian opposition parties share certain main
features: organisational weakness, patriarchal mentality (though some opposition parties are
led by women), under-representation of ethnic minorities and lower social classes in
governing bodies, vague political programmes and ineffective recruitment systems for new
members. As a rule, for instance, opposition parties recruit/invite new members and
volunteers only prior to elections or protest demonstrations. Party members are instructed to
look for potential sympathisers among their relatives and friends, who are then promised
various benefits in return for their contribution; these include a chance to befriend
‘goodfellas’, offer service to society, raise one’s self-esteem and social status, improve
career opportunities, or to develop a sense of security by becoming a member of a certain
social stratum. Further, new recruits are tasked with monitoring protest demonstrations or
putting up election posters. In one or two years, most of them usually quit the party or
become inactive by not participating in party activities, as their enthusiasm plummets (see
CSI case study: Volunteerism in Modern Georgia: Case of Political Parties’ Youth
Organisations).

CSOs are generally non-partisan. CSOs deliberately avoid contact with any particular party,
as well as with the government, since they are well aware that the majority of the public
disapproves of such relations. At the same time, individual members and employees of
CSOs have quite good relationships with political parties. Some of them are even members
of a party, though they prefer to keep silent about it as they know well enough that their party
membership could make them vulnerable to criticism and finger pointing from opponents.

In conclusion, it can be noted that, while the level of political participation and political
discourse was quite high in previous years, the absence of an adequate response from the
government and consequent disillusionment have led to widespread public frustration and
disenchantment and a relative radicalisation of political activities.

1.5 Depth of political engagement
An analysis of the depth of political engagement further supports the conclusions from the
previous paragraph regarding the high level of social nihilism and social demands exceeding
the existing offers. People are discontented with existing forms of political engagement.

TABLE III.1.5 The depth of political engagement
Membership of political organisations 5.0
Political volunteering 8.2
Individual participation 28.9
(WVS 2009)

The number of citizens involved in more than one political party exceeds the combined
membership of political organisations. This generally leads to the assumption that people are
actively looking for ways to resolve the current problems of society. At the same time, a
number of citizens (28.9%) have opted for individual participation in various protest actions,
indicating that they no longer trust political parties to address their grievances. There is
clearly an increasing critical mass of popular discontent with current governmental policies,
27

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
suggesting that people have lost confidence in institutions and prefer to solve their problems
by other, more radical means.

1.6 Diversity of political engagement
This indicator examines how representative political engagement is and the extent to which it
covers all groups and layers of society.

There are diverse forms of political engagement in Georgia, which is rated at 28.5%
according to the CSI. The level of political activity for different social groups is higher than
their socially based participation. The following numbers drawn from WVS 2009 highlight this
situation:

• Women account for 70% of those involved in various political actions.
• Political activism is higher in urban areas, registered at approximately 80%, than it is
in rural communities.
• Residents of provinces, large cities and ethnic enclaves are the most active, recorded
at 85%.
• More than 95% of the active citizens come from middle class, while the participation
of lower-class residents is almost zero.

Concerning civic engagement in general, three social groups are considered marginal by
civil society or significant parts of the population:

• Orthodox and/or nationalistic small radical groups, which are constantly criticised by
other sections of civil society.
• Members of religious sects (namely the so-called ‘non-traditional’ religions, especially
Jehovah Witnesses), which are disliked, if not hated, by a majority of the population.
But except for small radical groups, people usually do not resort to aggressive
attacks against these sects. As a rule, this confrontation rarely goes beyond political
boundaries, and different political forces often try to exploit the problem for their
advantage.
• Sexual minorities - until recently, this was a taboo subject in Georgia, but of late it
has become a prominent part of public debate. It is noteworthy that almost the entire
Georgian population, except a majority of CSOs, is very aggressive and intolerant
towards these groups (according to NWPs).
19


Conclusion
The extent of social and especially political engagement in Georgia is quite low, which is
manifested by the relatively small number of active citizens, as well as by the depth and the
diversity of their engagement. Existing poor political and social conditions do not provide a
good ground for wider social activism. In these circumstances, informal social engagement is
higher as people do not trust formal and institutionalised bodies. If this trend is to be
sustained, it can be expected that, under certain conditions, society’s frustration will be
turned into some radical forms of activism.

2. LEVEL OF ORGANISATION
This dimension describes the organisational and institutional sustainability of CSOs, as well
as their structure and resources. In particular, it looks into how widely a model of collective
decision making is employed in practice and how realistic it is, how and to what extent CSOs


19
According to World Value Survey 2009 data, homosexuality is considered as absolutely unacceptable by 90
percent of the population.
28

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
cooperate with one another and with other public associations, the current potential and
capability of the human, financial and technological resources of Georgian CSOs, and the
extent of their involvement in international networks. The table below summarises the
aggregated scores for the various sub-dimensions in this dimension.

TABLE III.2.1 The level of organisational development
2 Dimension: Level of Organisation 64.5
2.1 Internal Governance 94.1
2.2 Infrastructure 69.3
2.3 Sectoral communication 83.7
2.4 Human resources 43.0
2.5 Financial and technological resources 91.1
2.6 International linkages 6.1

The question "How organised and capable is civil society?" on the CSI organisational survey
(CSI OS 2009) drew mixed responses from respondents. On the one hand, CSOs are clearly
self-confident and self-assured. On the other hand, many CSO members are doubtful of their
organisation’s competence and expertise; they think that the real capabilities of the CSOs
fall far short of what they claim to have.

2.1 Internal governance
This sub-dimension describes organisations’ structures and the extent of democratic
governance in CSOs. Formally, the internal governance of CSOs is quite adequate, with
94.1% of CSOs having collective governing bodies, such as administrative boards and
executive boards (CSI OS 2009). Moreover, an increasing number of CSOs have set up
external boards or advisory boards, which are made up of more prominent and respectable
figures of Georgian civil society, provided they are not members of the same CSOs for which
they serve as board members. The main task of an advisory board is to outline a long-term
development strategy for an organisation. However, the CSOs in question are stable, full-
grown and long-standing organisations with a dozen or more members, which are hard to
govern by a small group of like-minded people using instruments of direct democracy.

In reality, advisory boards are rather passive. As a rule, they are created to satisfy funding
conditions required by donor organisations, rather than to meet the development needs of a
CSO. Given the fact that a considerable number of CSOs are more than five years old, this
aspect can hardly promote a positive view of the CSOs.
20
In addition, experts of advisory
boards are usually busy dealing with issues of their own organisations and have little time to
consider development strategies for others as well (The Political Landscape of Georgia,
2006).

2.2 Infrastructure
According to the findings in the Organisational Survey, 69.3% of the CSOs are members of
different networks, coalitions and associations. Currently, there are only a few permanent
CSO umbrella organisations in Georgia. These include a network of environmental
organisations (CEEN), which is well known even outside of the environmental field.

There are also coalitions of CSOs that share a common goal to promote and support
government initiatives, such as participation in the election process or social programmes.
The government explicitly or implicitly backs these coalitions. According NWPs and FGPs,
other CSOs, however, see them as less trustworthy and reliable within CSO circles.



20
According to the research results, 79.2% of the polled CSOs were founded in 1906-2004.
29

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
Other forms of coalitions are usually created in the framework of large projects, provided
donor organisations put forward networking as a condition for funding. The lifespan of such
coalitions and networks, however successful they may be, rarely extends beyond the
duration of a project. Afterwards, with scarce opportunities for their continued existence, they
either break up or continue to exist only on paper.

The coalitions are also often politicised, meaning they fall into two groups, namely pro-
government and non-government, and tend to refer to each other as ‘them’ and ‘us.’
However, the government’s attitude towards CSO coalitions is, in general, neutral. From time
to time, governmental circles debate over plans to create a governmental regulatory body to
coordinate activities of CSOs. However, this idea is invariably met with widespread criticism
and scepticism from the CSO community and usually ends up being shelved.
21


2.3 Sectoral communication
In contrast to the above indicator, sectoral communication within Georgian civil society is
much better, both formally and practically. The analysis from the Organisational Survey data
shows that in the three months preceding the CSI OS 2009 data collection, 85.1% of the
CSOs organised meetings and discussions with CSOs from the same sector, while 82.2%
shared various information (documents, reports, data). On the whole, sectoral
communication is estimated at 83.7% (CSI OS 2009).

Such ties depend on ongoing projects and help CSOs improve their performance. For
instance, the USAID-sponsored ‘Citizens Advocacy Programme,’ which ran from 2002 to
2005, was a successful example of cooperation and coalition work among CSOs; however
this cooperation ceased once the project ended.

According the NWPs, the main downside of inter-CSO cooperation initiatives is that they
tend to pay less attention to major target groups and direct beneficiaries and focus instead
on efforts to successfully fulfil their part of responsibilities under a joint project, principally
donor deliverables.

Mutual assistance offered by CSOs, such as think tanks or training providers, to each other
in such spheres as consultancy and training for the personnel of underdeveloped CSOs can,
on the other hand, be seen as a positive side of cooperation. A recent and very positive
trend in sharing information and setting up permanent networks to achieve common goals
has emerged among CSOs. This tendency is usually observed across the same-sector
CSOs and does not rely on donor assistance.
22
If this tendency is consolidated, it may herald
the beginning of a new, significant chapter in the development of civil society in Georgia.

2.4 Human resources
Human resources comprise the basis of any institution. This sub-dimension assesses the
strength of the human resources working for CSOs. According to the Organisational Survey
findings, 43% of surveyed CSOs have sustainable human resources, meaning that more
than 75% of their staff consists of paid workers, as opposed to volunteers (CSI OS 2009). As
mentioned previously, volunteerism is less common in CSOs than paid employment,
23
and
33% of CSOs surveyed have no volunteers at all, while 38% have only a few, from 2 to 20.
However, the term ‘volunteering’ is not always properly understood by CSOs, and most often
‘volunteers’ are actually project beneficiaries, not true volunteers.


21
Such plans were proposed by both the current government and its predecessor.
22
The trend can be illustrated by the creation of the Coalition for Local Self-Government and Democracy in 2009
by CSOs dealing specifically with local self-government problems.
23
See sub-dimension 1.1 and 1.4 for further discussions on this topic
30

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

A major stumbling block to achieving a sustainable human resource base is that, in the early
days, most CSOs were simply groups of like-minded enthusiasts. Many of them are still
small organisations and, save a few exceptions, recruit new members through personal
contacts rather than formal job advertisements. CSO leaders prefer hiring people they know
from previous activities to selecting unknown candidates on the basis of competition.
Recently, nevertheless, relatively large CSOs have increasingly recruited new staff on a
competitive basis (Khapava, 2010).

It is also noteworthy that, since the Rose Revolution, many CSO members have moved from
the civil society sector to governmental institutions and private businesses. As few have
managed to be replaced since leaving, the lack of qualified personnel has had a significant
impact on Georgian CSOs. To make matters worse, donors reduced funding for the civil
society sector, while wages soared in other sectors, mainly in governmental bodies. As a
result, ‘brain drain’ from the civil sector has intensified.
24


During the focus group discussions, CSO representatives cited the above-specified factors
as main drivers behind increasing authoritarian tendencies in CSOs, and the steady
concentration of power in the hands of CSO leadership. This problem will be discussed more
in-depth in the sub-dimension dealing with democratic forms of decision-making.
25


2.5 Financial and technological resources
Below we discuss the problems CSOs encounter with financial and technical resources and
the trends observed in this respect. According to the Organisational Survey findings, 91.1%
of CSOs rated their financial and technical resources adequate: 89.0% for financial
sustainability and 93.1 % for technical resources (CSI OS 2009). Yet CSO self-assessment
reports indicate the following picture of their financial sustainability:

TABLE III.2.2 Annual budgets of CSOs
Increased Unchanged Decreased
Income in comparison with the previous year 26 41 26
Expenditure in comparison with the previous year 22 55 15
Budget over last five years 24 31 37
(CSI OS 2009)

The table shows that over the last five years, 37% of CSOs surveyed reported that their
budgets have shrunk and only 26% said their budget had increased in the past year (2008).
The data corroborates claims by CSOs that their financial sources have steadily decreased
since 2003. FGPs also confirmed that the number of donor organisations, as well as their
lists of priority spheres for financing, has diminished. In addition, regional focus group
participants report a new negative tendency: in view of their limited resources, CSOs
obediently accept all priorities laid out by donor organisations, even implementing projects
outside their sphere of competence, provided they are ranked high among donor priorities, in
order to secure donor funding. For example, gender organisations are often forced to deal
with environmental problems. Since a majority of donors usually favour stable and
experienced CSOs, newly founded organisations have slim chances of survival. Regional


24
In the 1990s, CSOs were largely seen as a better place to work than, say, corrupt state structures, because
unlike the latter, CSOs offered citizens more opportunities to realise their potential without relinquishing their
values and beliefs. Further, at a time of deep economic crisis, monthly wages in CSOs (100-200 USD on
average) greatly exceeded the national average, thanks to western grants. An increase of wages in the state
sector in recent years and the scarce financing from donors combined with a perceived lack of involvement by
the government is felt to have decreased the previous attractiveness of CSOs.
25
See sub-dimension 3.1 for further discussion on this topic.
31

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
CSOs also face problems as donors direct their funds to them through an intermediary,
namely a Tbilisi-based CSO.

International donor organisations remain major financial sources for Georgian CSOs. This is
illustrated by the fact that the share of donor funds is 100% in the annual budgets of 37.4%
of CSOs, more than 70% in the budgets of 54.6% of CSOs, and more than 50% of the
budgets of 58.6% of CSOs. Other financial sources are much smaller in comparison. For
instance, 88% of CSOs have never received any financial assistance from the government
(either central or local), 95% were never funded by private businesses, and 83.2% never
received individual donations. Further, 82.8% of the organisations have no income, apart
from selling their services (CSI OS 2009).

At a first glance, this data seems to be in contradiction to the general budgetary parameters
of these CSOs. The annual budgets of 29.6% of CSOs vary between 250 thousand GEL and
4 million GEL, while budgets of 23.5% of the organisations amount to 50-250 thousand GEL
(WVS 2009).
26
Two factors must be taken into consideration; firstly, CSOs tend to
exaggerate their incomes in order to prove that they are financially sustainable; secondly, as
many CSOs, especially small ones, have ‘gone out of business’ in recent years, donors
redistributed their funds among the remaining, relatively large organisations.

As for technical resources, for years, Georgian CSOs had better technical resources,
including more up-to-date computers and equipment than other sectors, primarily due to
Western grants (Kipiani, 2003). The CSOs were guided by pragmatic considerations:
modern equipment needs more time to become out-of-date and therefore does not require
frequent upgrades (every two or three years). Today 87.1% of the CSOs have access to the
internet and 91.1% are equipped with modern PCs (CSI OS 2009).

However, with the decrease in donor funding mostly affecting projects that focus on
organisational development issues, the high-tech equipment these CSOs possessed has
become increasingly obsolete. In many CSOs, the technology is already five or even ten
years old. As a result, these CSOs are facing difficulty in installing and using new software,
such as the latest versions of Microsoft Office, in their project work. For regionally based
CSOs, the problem is exacerbated by slow internet connections or the lack of internet
access across Georgia’s regions. On the whole, according to estimations by international
organisations, the number of internet users is steadily rising in Georgia; having reached
23.7% of the total population in 2008 (Internet Users, World Bank Data, 2008).
Unfortunately, the share of pirated software is also very high. In 2009, Georgia was ranked
number one in the world in terms of piracy levels (95%), ahead of Zimbabwe - 92%,
Bangladesh - 91%, Moldova - 91% and Armenia - 91% (Business Software Alliance, 2009).
On the one hand, this offers clear evidence of the rapid development of technical resources.
On the other, users more and more often encounter problems caused by incompatibility
between pirated and licensed software, besides the obvious ethical considerations. CSOs
are promoting the rule of law, but use pirated goods in their everyday work. This is
contradictory in one way, but on the other hand understandable, because licensed software
is extremely expensive.

2.6 International linkages
This indicator examines the strength of international links available to Georgian CSOs.
According to the database of the Union of International Associations, the percentage of
international non-governmental organisations operating in Georgia today stands at 6.09% of


26
The exchange rate of the Georgian national currency is rather unstable, fluctuating from 1.4 to 1.9 GEL for one
US dollar.
32

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
the world total.
27
Many international organisations have opened their offices in Georgia in
recent years. They deal with the most urgent problems of the country, such as aid to
internally displaced persons (IPDs) and refugees, and social assistance programmes. The
participation of Georgian CSOs in international networks is another important aspect to be
considered. There is no recent data available regarding the exact level of their involvement.
In 2003 however, Georgian CSOs were affiliated to 766 international organisations, such as
the various United Nations associations and Partners for Democratic Change, and their
activities covered a remarkably broad range of topics. In terms of international affiliation,
Georgia was way ahead of other Caucasus countries, but far behind Eastern European
countries.

Conclusion
We conclude that:

• To a large extent, democratic institutions (elected bodies) of Georgian CSOs are a
mere formality. This is especially the case with advisory boards. According to the
majority of FGPs, there are no forms of direct democratic governance.
• Although Georgian CSOs’ infrastructure is quite well developed compared to other
countries of the region, it still does not meet international standards.
• CSOs are facing serious problems with regard to their human resources, as they
struggle to find replacements for staff lost to the ongoing ‘brain drain’ to other
spheres.
• The long-term technical and financial sustainability of CSOs also leaves much to be
desired. Their once modern and adequate technical resources have become out of
date. To make matters worse, donors have become less interested in funding the
civil sector in recent years and the flow of grants has dried up, while other fundraising
sources are almost unavailable.
• More positively, the level of cooperation among CSOs has increased in recent times,
indicating that they have moved to the next, higher stage of development.
• It would be helpful for CSOs to expand their international contacts and cooperation
with international networks, as their current situation is not equipping them to meet
modern challenges.

3. INTERNAL PRACTICE OF VALUES
The table below summarises the scores for the sub-dimensions used in assessing the level
of the practice of values in civil society. The overall dimension score was 64.7%. However,
while the data findings show a relatively high achievement of the practice of values in
Georgian CSOs, many we consulted felt that unfortunately the reality was bleaker and far
less impressive than this high rate. As with the case of organisational development in the
second dimension above, data on internal practice of values is very controversial. Opinions
expressed by NWPs, as well as the evidence provided by CSOs themselves, suggest that
the data findings reflect the way CSOs perceive the situation rather than the reality.



27
Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development and CIVICUS would like to thank the Union of
International Associations for their collaboration with the CSI project in providing this data.
33

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
TABLE III.3.1 Internal values and code of conduct
3 Dimension: Practice of Values 64.7
3.1 Democratic decision-making governance 82.2
3.2 Labour relations 36.5
3.3 Code of conduct and transparency 87.7
3.4 Environmental standards 80.2
3.5 Perception of values in civil society as a whole 37.0

3.1 Democratic decision-making governance
The sub-dimension assesses the extent of democratic decision-making in CSOs and the
extent to which governance structures ensure or impede this. During the analysis, 82.2% of
the Organisational Survey sampled CSOs claimed to have democratic decision-making
practices in place (CSI OS 2009). A breakdown shows that in 49.5% of the organisations,
decisions are made by an elected chair, while an elected board makes decisions in 25.7% of
organisations. A much smaller group of organisations, a meagre 3%, exercised direct
democracy by giving all members a voice in decision-making. However, NWPs severely
doubted the validity of this data. At best, in their opinion, only about 30% of the CSOs have a
truly democratic decision-making system. Besides, there is usually no regular rotation of
board members; boards and other governing bodies either exist only on paper or are made
up of ‘permanent members’ of an organisation.

Yet another negative tendency has emerged in recent years amid dwindling donor funding
for the civil society sector. Under national NGO legislation (a new amendment of this law
was put in place 2005), organisations have to re-register as CSOs. The official reason for the
amendment was said to be further support of CSO activity. During this process, some CSOs
that were governed by boards in the past officially adopted a one-person governance model
in which an organisation’s leader acts simultaneously as its only founder and director, who
remains the sole decision-maker.
28


It is important to note that ordinary members of these CSOs appear unconcerned with such
developments in their organisations. At a time of growing financial uncertainty and mounting
challenges to sustainable development of their organisations, many seem to think that the
individual leadership of an ‘experienced leader’ is the best way to deal with problems. Of the
survey respondents, 87.7% said they were satisfied with how their organisation was
managed, while only 3.1% assessed the performance of their management team negatively
(CSI OS 2009). It is noteworthy, however, that in small CSOs, a majority of the ordinary
members are, at the same time, part of the management team. For them, "are you satisfied
with management?" is a self-assessment question.

3.2 Labour regulations
As in some above-mentioned aspects of civil society, there is a significant mismatch
between everyday practices and the formal regulatory procedures regarding labour
legislation. In fact, Georgia does not have clear rules to regulate its current labour practices,
although the result is not necessarily rampant discrimination. There exists no significant
formal discrimination on the basis of gender or any other identities within Georgian CSOs.
As to formal regulations, there are many issues that are not regulated by the law at all (CSI
OS 2009). This problem is perceived in various ways, as shown below:



28
Actions of such CSOs mirrored the processes that were unfolding in the country at that time. After 2004 the
constitution was repeatedly amended to expand presidential powers. As a result, some of the very CSOs that
opposed authoritarian tendencies in the government opted for a rather authoritarian model of internal governance
themselves.
34

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
• Only 17.8% of the CSOs said that their formal regulations ensured gender equality in
terms of payment and recruitment policies, though NWPs claimed that the real
number of such CSOs did not exceed 5%. This does not demonstrate widespread
inequality but bears witness to a general absence of CSO internal regulations and
structural development
• Of CSO paid employees, 24.1% are members of trade unions while 89% of the CSO
management staff members are not involved in any trade unions. NWPs doubt the
validity of this data as well. In their view, there are very few trade unions in Georgia
nowadays and none of them represents CSO employees. It is unclear therefore,
which unions these people are members of.
• According to CSO self-assessment reports, 18.8% provide newly recruited staff with
training in labour regulations; according to NWPs, only 1% of CSOs do so.
• Of CSOs surveyed, 85.1% claimed that they had transparent labour standards and
policies. In reality, according to NWPs, fewer than 5% of CSOs have such standards
and policies. According to the NWPs, CSOs are often tempted to declare that they
have no problems in relation to labour standards and regulations in order to meet the
funding requirements of their donors. Quite often, however, after winning a contest to
fill a staff vacancy and quitting a previous job, an applicant may be told that his/her
nomination was annulled at the last moment because another applicant was given
preference. Georgia’s libertarian labour law does not regulate such cases.

3.3 Code of conduct and transparency
According to the research findings, the averaged transparency index is 87.7%,
encompassing existence of a code of conduct (82.2%) and financial transparency (93.1%)
(CSI Data Indicator Matrix (3.3); CSI OS 2009). According to the NWPs, however, only 20%
of CSOs provide unrestricted access to their code of conduct. Furthermore, for an
overwhelming majority of CSOs this code is a dead document. In addition, NWPs expressed
some major doubts about the self-assessments.

• 82.2% of the CSOs claimed that they already had a code of conduct. But according
to the NWPs, this data is obviously unrealistic.
• 79.1% of the organisations that claimed to have publicly available codes of conduct
emphasised that the information was available upon request. This led NWPs to
suspect that in response to donors’ requests these organisations may provide codes
of conduct that are effectively defunct.

According to one of the project case studies, only a few Georgian CSOs have sufficient
knowledge of the principles and forms of accountability (See CSI case study: Forms and
Practices of Accountability in Civil Society Sector of Georgia, 2009). Things are not much
better in international organisations in this regard, though sometimes standards adopted in
certain fields do work. Examples include standards of Humanitarian Accountability
Partnership (HAP), which incorporates five organisations; SPHERE standards to improve
quality and accountability of the humanitarian response to natural disasters (1997);
Interaction PVO standards to enhance the effectiveness and professional capacities of the
member organisations engaged in international humanitarian efforts (among the members
are 10 Georgian organisations) (HAP International, 2007; Codes of conduct, 2009). These
standards, however small in numbers, can be assessed only positively.

Another downside is the lack of transparency in decision-making processes, including in
donor organisations. In several cases, for instance, the winner of a grant competition was
denied funding by the donor, without any explanation, and the money was given to another
CSO, despite the latter scoring fewer points in the competition. The CSI financial
transparency data was also criticised by NWPs. In their view, although 93.1% of the
interviewed organisations claimed that the information about their financial affairs was open
35

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
and freely available, in reality fewer than 20% of them provide access to such information. In
most cases, NWPs felt this openness means that CSOs submit regular financial reports to
their donors and, at best, publish their annual financial reports, which only include general
information about their incomes and expenditures. A simple empirical analysis is enough to
determine that in many CSOs, mainly large organisations, a majority of their members know
almost nothing about the incomes and financial policies of their organisations.

Unfortunately, this is also the case with some international organisations currently present in
Georgia, both service providers and donors. Although they routinely urge local CSOs to
make public their detailed financial information, including disclosure of wages, they are
reluctant to publish even general information about their own budgets, let alone detailed
data. Moreover, local CSOs involved in joint projects with foreign partners often know very
little, if anything, about the project budgets.

It is more difficult still to obtain information from those international organisations that
cooperate with governmental institutions. According to Transparency International - Georgia,
the donors conference in Brussels (2008), which discussed and approved allocation of relief
funds for Georgian Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) displaced by the 2008 Russian-
Georgian war, refused to provide a detailed description of the aid structure. This aid budget,
which distributes about US$3,000 per IDP, is five times bigger than the annual budget for
2009 of the Georgian Ministry of Refugees and Settlement. Further, both the Georgian
government and donor organisations are tight-lipped about how they are going to allocate
US$700 million that has been promised to social development projects (See the CSI case
study: Forms and Practices of Accountability in Civil Society Sector of Georgia, 2009).

Finally, in the view of the NWPs, it should be noted that although Georgian CSOs are well
aware of the principles of accountability, they often tend to ignore them in their practical
work, either out of mercantile interests or due to the lack of common standards.

3.4 Environmental standards
In their self-assessment reports, 80.2% of CSOs surveyed claimed to have established
environmental policies and practices (CSI OS 2009). Based on their empirical analysis,
NWPs concluded that such policies are in reality currently adopted in no more than 20% of
the organisations in the sample.

Few CSOs can be seen to apply environmental standards in their everyday activities. To
begin with, the meaning of these standards remains unclear. As NWPs stated, some CSOs
may think that these standards imply smoking bans (full or partial) in their offices or user
restrictions on printer usage to ensure rational use of paper. At first such practices were
employed mainly by international organisations, but of late, more and more local CSOs have
followed suit. However, little is being done to address other environmental concerns; for
instance, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, or responsible water consumption. One of
the few exceptions in this regard are environmental organisations, since they are focused on
environmental protection and their projects are specifically designed to tackle environmental
problems. It is important to note here that these organisations are perceived to form a
separate community which is distanced from other CSOs which operate in different spheres.

3.5 Perceptions of values in civil society as a whole
This section will focus on how CSOs relate key civil society values, such as non-violence, an
internal democratic mentality, aversion to corruption and tolerance. These values are listed
below with their scores in Georgia (CSI OS 2009):

• Non-violence: According to the research, actors that employ various forms of
violence constitute 35.1% of civil society. Interviews showed, however, that as many
36

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
as 50.5% of CSOs were in favour of violent methods. NWPs agreed that the last
figure was quite realistic and suggested that it seemed to have included both those
who use such methods in practice and those who would be willing to use them.
Among these actors are radical orthodox and/or nationalistic groups, as well as
libertarian organisations. As formulated by CSO representatives at the National
Workshop, some watchdog organisations may also fall into this category. Although
the number of such groups is very small and they are seen as marginal by wider civil
society, opinions on their role and influence are mixed: 38.6% of CSOs surveyed
think that these groups are quite large and influential, 33.3% said that violence was a
common feature in civil society, while 26.3% of CSOs fell somewhere in between.
• Internal democracy: There are relatively high expectations (43.5%) of civil society’s
role in the modelling of democratic decision-making. NWPs estimated this figure
even higher (more than 50%) and stated that this is the least that can be expected of
civil society. Nevertheless, 51.1% of the respondents said that civil society had a very
limited role in the practice of internal democracy, and only 23.9% assessed this role
as significant.
• Corruption: The research demonstrated that the perceptions of corruption among
respondents were noticeably high (14.0%),
29
though NWPs estimated this at around
50%. In their estimation, although taking and giving bribes is rare in CSOs, if it exists
at all, non-financial corruption, such as providing support out of political bias or
personal sympathy, is widespread.
• Intolerance: During interviews, 66.2% of respondents admitted that, to some extent,
intolerance was a real problem (CSI OS 2009). In the late Twentieth and early
Twenty First Century, Georgia saw the rise of nationalistic and radical religious,
Orthodox groups, which targeted small religious denominations, and sects that
spread in the country at that time. After the Rose Revolution, the new government
quickly suppressed these groups. It appears that even ultraliberal, pro-government
groups demonstrated a certain degree of intolerance, equating dissent with treason.

As to civil society’s role in promoting peace and tolerance, NWPs suggested that such
expectations were mere wishful thinking. For instance, in their opinion, although many CSOs
had observed the severe militarisation the country was going through by 2008, and that the
danger of war was looming large, they preferred to remain silent and refrained from reacting
because pacifist ideas were very unpopular in Georgia at that time. This would appear to be
supported by the fact that 50% of survey respondents assessed civil society’s role in
promoting peace and tolerance as limited and insignificant, and only 12.2% said that it was
an essential part of civil society.

Conclusion
The analysis shows that many representatives of CSOs, as well as members of the other
segments of civil society, do not always abide by their declared values and principles. This
could be the result of conformist attitudes or other considerations, indicating the presence of
a range of significant problems within the CSO community.

Based on analysis of the daily practice of CSOs we can state that:

• In recent years, there is an increasing trend of autocratic management, which can be
explained by the need for quick resolution of existing problems.
• Labour rights have been restricted and continue to shrink, which can be described as
an adequate response to existing trends in the country (worsening of the labour
laws).


29
The CSI methodology indicates that the lower the score, the higher the perceived level of corruption.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
• CSOs acknowledge the importance of codes of conduct and transparency of
finances, but in practice these are often ignored.
• Many CSOs acknowledge that they cannot influence public opinion, which
demonstrates increasing destructive and inhuman attitudes, such as violence and
intolerance towards alternative opinions.

4. PERCEPTION OF IMPACT
This section reviews the impact of CSOs on processes within Georgia. It attempts to answer
the following questions:

• How adequately do CSOs address the social and political challenges facing Georgia?
• How responsive are CSOs?
• What is the impact of CSOs on ongoing processes?
• Can they affect public attitudes?
• To what extent do CSOs’ values reflect broad public perceptions?
• What do ordinary people think about CSOs’ activities?

Analysis includes self-assessment and an external assessment of CSOs by outside actors
and experts.

TABLE III.4.1 Impact of CSOs on the processes within the country
4 Dimension: Perception of Impact 30.3
4.1 Responsiveness (internal perception) 33.0
4.2 Social impact (internal perception) 49.5
4.3 Policy impact (internal perception) 40.7
4.4 Responsiveness (external perspective) 20.3
4.5 Social impact (external perspective) 25.0
4.6 Policy impact (external perspective) 23.3
4.7 Impact of civil society on attitude 20.2

The analysis shows that self-assessment results are usually more positively rated than are
the external evaluations. At the same time, effectiveness in both cases is much lower than
one might expect, given the current level of organisational development and the importance
of declared values.

4.1 Responsiveness (internal perception)
This indicator attempts to assess the impact of civil society on major social concerns. To do
this, we must firstly identify the major problems facing Georgian society.

Widespread poverty was cited as the main challenge by 87.9% of people surveyed (WVS
2009). Other problems (only 12.1% together) are rated as much less serious in comparison
with poverty: environmental pollution - 31.0%, inadequate quality of education - 27.8%, and
substandard health care services - 26.7%. On this basis, environmental pollution is
considered as the second biggest problem in Georgia for the purpose of this research (WVS
2009). When CSO respondents were asked to evaluate civil society’s responsiveness to
these problems, the first (poverty) received a score of 22.7%, while the second
(environmental pollution) was scored at 25.8% (CSI OS 2009). In the Organisational Survey,
CSO representatives admitted that in both cases, civil society had very limited powers to
influence decision-making:

• CSOs have no influence (29.9%) or very limited influence (47.4%) on anti-poverty
policies. Only a handful of the respondents (2.1%) believed that CSOs were in a
position to exert strong influence on these policies.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
• Regarding environmental pollution, 36.1% of respondents stated that CSOs had no
influence on policies, 38.1% that they had very limited influence, and 9.3% of the
respondents believed CSOs were in a position to exert strong influence on these
policies.

It is interesting to note that attitudes towards the second problem exhibit higher levels of both
excessive pessimism and excessive optimism than attitudes towards the first. It may be
because the second problem, seen as less serious and less sensitive, is associated with
higher expectation of success and greater perception of the ability of CSOs to influence. As
to poverty, a majority of respondents doubt that CSOs can play any meaningful role in
tackling the problem. Most respondents argued that the best solutions to the problem were
to be found in the realms of economics and business. Nevertheless, Georgian CSOs do their
best to remedy these problems. Sometimes CSO staff continue to work with beneficiaries on
a voluntary basis even after a project is finalised and the donor funds run out; this is
especially the case with large organisations. However, such cases are rare and occur
spontaneously, and their impact is minimal in the long term.

4.2 Social impact (internal perception)
This indicator looks at the impact of the civil society sector on society as a whole, and also
asks CSOs to measure their own effectiveness on the major social issues identified above.
The former was rated at 34% and the latter at 65% (CSI OS 2009).

According to the self-assessment reports (CSI OS 2009), CSOs either do not play any role in
the anti-poverty effort (14%) or play a very limited role (51%). Only 1% of respondents
assessed CSOs’ role as significant, while 32% believed that CSOs played a "certain role".
The CSI research showed similar results for environmental protection: no role at all - 14%,
limited role - 53%, certain role - 32%, and significant role - 1%.

Interestingly, different results were obtained when respondents were asked to assess the
role of their own organisations. The anti-poverty effort was assessed as: no role - 33%,
certain role - 57%, and significant role - 8%. Their assessment of their organisation’s role in
environmental protection was nearly identical. When asked to elaborate on how their
organisation can contribute to the anti-poverty effort, 33.7% of respondents named
educational programmes and awareness raising, while 21.8% emphasised providing support
for poor and marginalised social groups as possible measures. As to environmental
protection, the respondents’ answers were evenly spread across a wide range of activities,
without giving preference to any particular sphere. Two major conclusions can thus be drawn
from the above-obtained results:

• When dealing with the most urgent problems of Georgian society, CSOs see their
role as chiefly limited to civic education and humanitarian programmes, effectively
admitting that they are not key players in this sphere. But in other, less sensitive
areas, CSOs suggest a greater range of activities, indicating that they actually would
have the ability to influence key processes.
• The self-assessment also showed that respondents tended to evaluate the role of
their own organisations as more important than that of the civil society as a whole. In
other words, they appeared confident of the significance of their organisations.

NWPs highlighted an increasing role of CSOs in public life. The main factor behind this is the
fact that social programmes have become a top government priority in the two years covered
by the study (2008-2010). It is in fact the public sphere that, unlike political activity, provides
CSOs with a wider range of opportunities to work, including human rights protection,
monitoring of public finances and conflict-related issues. CSOs ought to exploit these
opportunities to a greater extent.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

4.3 Policy impact (internal perception)
Apart from the social sphere, CSOs impact or attempt to impact the policy-making process in
various fields. How effective is this impact, as perceived by CSOs?

According to the CSOs’ self-assessment, civil society’s policy impact is estimated at 40.7%.
This is an average value calculated from assessments of the general impact of the sector,
the individual organisation’s perceived level of success, and the level of policy activity
pursued by CSOs. Civil society’s general policy impact is measured as 22.2% (CSI Data
Indicator Matrix 4.3.1). In the CSOs’ self-assessment reports the evaluation of the policy
impact ranged from zero to strong: namely, zero (8.1%), minimal (69.7%), certain (20.2%),
and strong (2.0%).

Despite these low scores, 55.6% of CSOs surveyed have attempted to advocate and lobby
for certain policies in the last two years, a clear indication of civil society’s relatively high
level of activity. But this process can be also divided into several stages.
30
Unfortunately, the
consequences of these activities are hard to predict and the information available is often
contradictory.

CSO activities in policy and decision-making, regardless if they are successful or not, often
take the following forms: participation in public discussions (72.3%), consultations with
government (67.3%), and joint projects with other CSOs (60.4%), in other words,
participation in existing programmes. Advocacy, lobbying and joint drafting of projects, i.e.
creation of new programmes in collaboration with the government, are relatively rare (some
18.0% of the CSOs) (CSI OS 2009). Some conclusions from the above-specified results
show that:

• Pro-government CSOs tend to evaluate their capacity for policy impact more
positively. Quite often, they think that their main achievement is to promote and
popularise the government’s programmes and policies. As to the opposition CSOs,
they blame the government for unwillingness to cooperate with them and usually
assess CSO activities more negatively (See CSI case study: Factors Influencing
Impact of Civil Society Over Policy Making, 2009).
• However, CSOs have achieved some success, albeit only in issues that pose no
threat to the ruling elite’s political or economic powers. The proposals that provide for
at least partial redistribution of power and/or resources, or that demand a
decentralisation of government, have not even been discussed, let alone approved
and implemented.

4.4 Responsiveness (external perception)
This sub-dimension looks at the same issue identified in sub-dimension 4.1, but gathers an
assessment from external experts, rather than from CSOs.



30
For two or three years after the Rose Revolution, for instance, teachers’ trade unions, which actively supported
the new government, had quite a strong influence on the implementation of education reforms. Since the end of
2006, however, the government has gradually scaled down consultations with civil society stakeholders and the
trade unions have lost their capacity to influence the processes as a result. Representatives of trade unions insist
that the government’s aim is to marginalise dissenting voices. While earlier some 10 legislative amendments
were adopted and enforced through the consultations, in 2008 the parliament refused even to debate legislative
proposals submitted in full compliance with the legislation (with 60,000 signatures of support from some 50% of
the public schools in Georgia) - an apparent breach of the Constitution.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
The assessment by external experts of civil society’s responsiveness to the general public’s
concerns substantially differs from CSOs’ self-assessment.
31
With regard to impact on
poverty alleviation, which was identified as a major problem, 20.7% of respondents stated
that CSOs were not responsive, while 62.1% assessed their responsiveness as weak. Only
3.4% of the experts believed that CSOs were highly responsive to poverty concerns. As to
impact on the second most important problem, environmental pollution, the experts
assessed CSO responsiveness as follows: 46.7% evaluated CSOs as not responsive, 30%
as weak, and 3.3% as high (CSI EPS 2010).

The conclusions of the external assessment are mostly consistent with the self-assessment
results. The only difference is that, compared with the self-assessment, the external
assessment was generally more critical of civil society’s responsiveness. In particular:

• According to the self-assessment, 47.4% of the respondents assessed civil society’s
responsiveness to poverty as weak: the respective external assessment figure
stands at 62.1%. Experts suggested that the optimistic self-assessment data was
based on ‘wishful thinking’ rather than on reality. The external assessment also
stated that economic growth, rather than the efforts of civil society, was the most
effective way of eradicating poverty.
• Both the external evaluation and the self-assessment produced almost identical
results in regard to environmental protection. The external assessment
acknowledged that civil society’s responsiveness to this problem was better than its
response to poverty.

Regardless of the differences between the two evaluations - internal and external - both
revealed that civil society generally is not responsive enough to the most serious problems
Georgia faces today.

4.5 Social impact (external perception)
The external assessment of social impact (25%) is an average value derived from the
estimates of impact on specific sectors (33.3%) and a general assessment (16.7%) (CSI
EPS). As in the case of responsiveness, the external (expert) assessment and the self-
assessment of the social impact showed slightly different results.
32


The activities of CSOs involved in poverty reduction efforts usually cover education (30.0%),
assistance and support for poverty-stricken and marginalised groups (16.7%), humanitarian
relief and housing (10.0%) (CSI OS 2009). The social impact of these activities was
assessed as insignificant by 63.3% of the respondents and as quite meaningful by 33.3%.
According to the external assessment, environmental CSOs also pursue quite a wide range
of activities, giving priority to humanitarian relief (23.3%) and social development (13.3%).
Other programmes (such as education, food security, employment) were assessed to be
covered by 30% of CSOs. In this case, too, a majority of the respondents (66.7%) evaluated
CSOs’ social impact as weak, while 30% of the respondents felt that their activities produced
noticeable results.

In general, therefore, civil society’s social impact is perceived as very limited, taking into
account that 10% of expert respondents stated that the general impact was next to nothing,
a vast majority of 73.3% said that it was insignificant, and a mere 3.3% felt that it was strong.
In areas where public concerns are the strongest, activities of CSOs lack diversity and their
social impact is low. In the opinion of civil society experts, the real general situation is far


31
See sub-dimension 4.1 for a comparative discussion on this topic.
32
See sub-dimension 4.2 for a comparative discussion on this topic
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
worse than the CSO self-assessment reports (16.7% external perception compares with
34.0% internal perception marks). The NWPs emphasised that CSOs stated priorities
according to donor guidelines and requirements (for instance, civil integration of minorities,
gender equality, etc.), but that these priorities often do not meet the publics’ needs (of which
poverty reduction and social assistance are seen as most important). This problem does not
affect only CSOs; other segments of civil society also often set wrong priorities.
33


4.6 Policy impact (external perception)
This sub-dimension reviews the assessment of CSOs’ impact on policy-making and
implementation by external observers.

The level of CSOs’ political activity is estimated at 33.3%, with achieved results at 13.3%. In
other words, the value experts ascribe to obtained results is about 2.5 times lower than that
of the implemented activities, a clear indication of the perceived inefficiency and
ineffectiveness of CSOs’ political activity (CSI Data Indicator Matrix 4.6.1 and 4.6.2).
According to the external assessment, CSO’s political activities include human rights
protection (26.7%), promotion and lobbying of various policies (20%), implementation of
various programmes in the judicial sphere (13.3%), penitentiary sectors (defence of the
human rights of prisoners) (13.3%), and support to independent media institutions (10%)
(CSI EPS).

With regards to the above-mentioned results, both the external and internal (self)
assessments showed some contradictory results, with 96.6% stating that political activities
by CSOs had netted zero results (CSI EPS).

Conclusions by NWPs, who based their judgement on the USAID Sustainability Index 2008
(prepared by USAID-Georgia), were largely in agreement with the self-assessment findings -
that policy impact amounts to nothing, if advocacy targets systemic (political, economic)
reforms in state structures (NGO Sustainability Index - 2008; USAID-Georgia, 2008). It is
worth mentioning that, in terms of perception, both external and internal assessments
yielded similar results, though the former was apparently more critical of the quality and
quantity of the achieved results when compared with the latter.

4.7 Impact of civil society on attitudes
This sub-dimension looks at whether civil society is achieving a positive impact on the
attitudes of the public. Below is data from the CSI Data Indicator Matrix to illustrate the
relationship between members and non-members of civil society.

TABLE III.4.2 Relations between different actors in Georgian society
Difference in trust between civil society members and non-members 1.8
Difference in tolerance levels between civil society members and non-members 0.0
Difference in public spiritedness between civil society members and non-
members
33.4
Trust in civil society 45.6

As to the level of public confidence in civil society, it varies widely depending on the type of
civil society institution.



33
During one of the focus group discussions participants cited the relocation of the Joseph Stalin Statue in the
former Soviet ruler’s native town, Gori, and ensuing rival actions by pro- and anti-relocation groups as one of the
examples. But they did not say a single word about the recent illegal logging of 20 hectares of forest in the vicinity
of the same town, which went unnoticed by media and political parties.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
TABLE III.4.3 The level of public confidence in civil society institutions
Level of public confidence Very high Quite high Low Absent No answer
Church 62.4 24.5 4.1 1.2 5.5
Charities 6.7 34.4 28.4 9.3 20.1
Environmental organisations 3.5 31.8 33.0 9.7 20.8
Women organisations 3.5 28.1 27.7 8.8 30.9
Trade unions 1.5 16.1 32.1 16.3 31.8
Political parties 1.3 14.8 44.6 27.9 10.2

According to our findings, the Orthodox Church’s authority, which has always been very
high, has increased even further in recent years from ‘very high’ 54.1% in 2006 to 62.4% in
2009 (VGS 2006). Positive attitudes towards political parties, another segment of society
that used to be relatively popular among the general public, has declined from ‘very high or
quite high’ 22.8% to 16.1% between 2006 and 2009 (VGS 2006). In the same period, public
confidence in CSOs has significantly improved. In 2006, for instance, 57.0% of the
population did not trust CSOs; in 2009, the figure is 39.0%. However, as outlined in sub-
dimensions 4.2 and 4.5 above, CSOs still have a very limited ability to influence social
processes (VGS 2006).

Conclusion
The research on these issues suggests that:

• CSOs have a very limited ability to influence both the government and the general
public. As a rule, in the opinion of experts consulted, they use international
organisations as a tool to influence government policies.
• Although the government actively cooperated with CSOs in the immediate aftermath
of the Rose Revolution in 2003, the cooperation has again decreased dramatically
since 2006-2007. Today, cooperation between the government and CSOs is limited
to the participation of pro-government CSOs in governmental programmes.
• Public awareness of civil society's activities remains low. In the opinion of experts
consulted, only the beneficiaries of their programmes usually praise CSOs, even
though their numbers are not very high.

To sum up the analysis from this chapter, CSOs are too weak to cope with the challenges
society faces. Though they identify the main problems, CSOs are unable to solve them.
They are also powerless in policy-making processes. The state does not recognise them as
an equal and serious partner. However, CSOs often overestimate their capabilities and the
impact of their activity.

5. EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
In order to better understand the challenges Georgian civil society faces, and especially the
challenges faced by national CSOs, it is necessary to analyse the current political, social,
economic, and cultural context in which Georgian civil society operates. The government
and certain social spheres continue to stagnate, according to assessments by some
international organisations such as Freedom House, Transparency International, World
Bank, Social Watch and UNDP HDR, as data in this chapter shows. Data obtained from
major international sources were used as the criteria to assess the external environment,
producing an overall score of 59.6%.

• The first sub-dimension assesses the socio-economic context using data from
international sources: the Basic Capabilities Index, Human Development Index,
Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International and the Gini coefficient.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
• The second sub-dimension assesses the political situation in Georgia in accordance
with data from Freedom House on political rights and freedoms, rule of law, media
freedom and level of democracy. We also included the subjective experience of the
legal context and indicators developed by the World Bank, with regard to the
effectiveness of the state.
• The third sub-dimension reviews Georgian society’s system of values, including
interpersonal trust, tolerance and public spiritedness.

TABLE III.5.1 External environment of CSOs
5 Dimension: External Environment 59.6
5.1 Socio-economic context 66.5
5.2 Socio-political context 57.0
5.3 Socio-cultural context 52.8

5.1 Socio-economic context
Attempts to assess Georgia’s current social and economic situation triggered intense debate
among NWPs and FGPs, as they were unable to agree on whether it facilitated or impeded
the development of civil society in Georgia. On the one hand, it was argued that hard social
and economic problems increased motivation for citizens to participate in political and public
life, especially as they have sufficient free time due to unemployment. On the other hand,
people struggling with daily hardship were less inclined to spend their time on political and
social activities because they are busy trying to meet their basic needs.

According to Social Watch, the Basic Capabilities Index for Georgia stands at 89.4% in
2008, placing the country on the 89th place among 176 countries (BCI, 2007). At the same
time, there have been some major reversals in the last two decades, and especially in recent
years, though in some areas, if compared with the total meltdown of the 1990s, the situation
has definitely improved (BCI, 2008).

Between 2000 and 2007, according to UNDP, Georgia’s HDI improved by an average of
0.73% per year (from 0.739 to 0.778). In this case, the country is also in 89th place out of
182 countries, falling behind OECD and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
countries, and Eastern and Central Europe, and has more in common with Latin American
and Caribbean countries (UNDP HDR Georgia, 2009).

Health and education: According to the 2008 Social Watch Report, the relatively high
scores of certain areas of human capabilities, despite the global economic recession, can be
explained by the fact that the situation in these areas was already quite stable beforehand.
The number of children completing fifth grade at school has increased in comparison to
1999, but the general tendency remains worrying: the first grade of school was completed by
only 86.68% of children in 2006, which is a decrease from the extremely high rate of 97.1%
in 1991. In addition, elementary school consisted of eight years of schooling in 1991 and
today consists of five years. At that time, approximately 99% of 13 to 14-year-old pupils did
not have the grade needed to continue to vocational training schools. Today approximately
20% of 10-11 year olds drop out of school after five years (Social Watch Report, 2008).

United Nations literacy data measures as the percentage of people aged 15 to 24 who can,
with understanding, read and write a short, simple statement on their everyday life.
According to this data, Georgia is first in the world in terms of adult literacy rates and one of
the four countries, together with Cuba, Estonia and Latvia to achieve a 100% literacy rate
among citizens age 15 and above (UNESCO Database, 2008). In recent years, however, the
situation has worsened significantly. An ongoing optimisation of the national education
system has, instead of improving the situation, led to the closure of many small rural schools
44

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
and a lack of school bus services in rural communities. As a result, quite a few local children
(5-6% in some communities) can neither write nor read.
34


Three other important indicators of the Basic Capabilities Index are child mortality rates,
survival until the fifth birthday and number of births attended to by health professionals.
Georgia has made some progress on these indicators in recent years. For example, the
infant mortality rates have reduced from 39 to 28 per 1,000 live births between 1990 and
2006, while the mortality of children under five years has dropped from 46 to 32 per 1,000
live births. However, this improvement can be attributed to a dramatic decline in birth rates
rather than significant improvements of the national health care system, as only wealthy
families can afford to have many children (UNICEF, 2008).

The other BCI indicator, the assistance of professional health personnel during child births,
dropped from 96.0% in 1990 to 92.0% in 2006, presumably largely due to the deterioration of
the health care infrastructure over the last two decades in the country, especially in rural
communities (Social Watch Report, 2008a).

Life expectancy in Georgia (currently 71.6 years in 2007) has also decreased in recent
years. This places the country on the 90th place in the world ranking today, situated between
the Philippines and Jamaica. Furthermore, due to a combination of low birth rates and high
mortality rates, the annual population growth fell from 0.6% (1990-1995) to 0.0% (2005-
2010) (Human Development Report - Georgia, 2009).

Other negative developments in the health care system include the first reported malaria
cases since the beginning of the 1920s (1990 - 0 cases, 2003 - 0.1 cases per 1,000
citizens), and also a rise in the number of TB cases (from 53 to 84 cases per 100 thousand
citizens in the period between 1990 and 2005, though these figures represent only
registered cases). There has also been a three-fold increase in the number of maternal
deaths at birth per 100 thousand from 22 in 1995 to 66 in 2005 (World Health Organisation
2005a; 2005b; 2005c). According to Georgian healthcare experts, these negative tendencies
are driven by the following factors: the decline in living standards (with environmental and
social problems), and the lack of health care professionals, who often opt to migrate to other
countries - the so-called ‘brain drain’ - or pursue other activities. For instance, many
pregnant women seek medical advice and assistance only at the last stages of pregnancy in
order to reduce the costs.

Corruption: In 2008, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index rated
corruption in the Georgian public service at 3.9 by the decimal rating system. The rating
placed Georgia between Swaziland and Ghana and indicates an above average position.
The situation in Georgia is still regarded as better than the situation in 20 other Eastern
European and Central Asian countries. Corruption has thus far not increased significantly,
despite the war and the economic and political crises the country has faced in recent years.
Despite this, scepticism towards the government’s anti-corruption policies and its
commitment against corruption in general, persists. People’s perception of high-level
corruption remains high (Transparency International, 2009).

Inequality: Georgia’s Gini coefficient was 40.8 for 2005 (36.9 in 2001, 38.9 in 2003) (Human
Development Report, 2009a). Of the country’s population, 13.4% live on US$1.25 a day,
while 30.4% of the population earns less than US$2 a day. This means that in the period
2000 to 2006, 54.5% of Georgian citizens lived below even the Georgian official poverty line
(Human Development Report, 2009b). Considering the fact that during the Soviet period the


34
Expert estimate from unpublished source.
45

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
standard of living was significantly better than it is now, the situation has radically worsened,
when compared to the 1980s.

Other economic parameters: The country’s foreign debt amounts to 10.8% of GNI (Gross
National Income). This debt level is a relatively good for a country like Georgia, especially
taking into account the significant improvements since 1998 (World Bank Database).
Nevertheless, Georgia is still ranked at 135th in the world in terms of per capita income
($2,313 USD in 2007), which means that the country is now three to five times below the
world average and 15.5 times below the Eurozone figures (Human Development Report,
2009b; World Bank, Statistics for Georgia; Human Development Report - Georgia, 2009).

5.2 Socio-political context
Both international organisations and civil society experts surveyed agreed that the socio-
political context has worsened in Georgia, especially after 2007. The euphoria of the Rose
Revolution gave way to widespread frustration and disillusionment. Progress achieved by
the new government in the first post-revolution year is felt to have stagnated or even
reversed in some areas.

Political rights and freedoms: Georgia scored 20 in the 40-point ranking system for
Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index scoring in year 2009. The data regarding
other aspects related to political freedoms corroborates this (see Table III.5.2 below)
(Freedom House, 2008a).

TABLE III.5.2 Political rights and freedoms
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Political rights 19 21 24 24 25 20
Civil rights 32 32 34 37 37 34
Independence
of the judiciary 4 4 4.25 4.5 4.5 5 4.75 4.75 4.75 4.75
Freedom of
press
47 53 53 54 54 56 57 57 60 60
Independence
of media 3.75 3.5 3.75 4 4 4.25 4.25 4 4.25 4.25
Corruption 5 5.25 5.5 5.75 6 5.75 5.5 5 5 5
Democracy
Score 4.17 4.33 4.58 4.83 4.83 4.96 4.86 4.68 4.79 4.93
(Freedom House, 2009)

The table above shows that the situation significantly improved in many areas immediately
after the Rose Revolution of 2003, but soon worsened again. Press freedoms suffered the
biggest decline. Once seen as a partly free nation (60 marks), Georgia has gradually drifted
closer to being a non-free nation (61 marks and above) (Freedom House, 2008b).

Inefficient government, a pervasive and powerful executive branch and the absence of a
strong opposition are, according to Freedom House, among the major obstacles to the
democratisation processes in Georgia. The election process has become less fair and less
democratic since 2007, while opposition leaders and activists are being persecuted and
harassed to a greater extent. Cooperation between the government and civil society has
weakened, and the government became less transparent. Local self-government in Georgia
is still far from being truly independent. Although the level of mass corruption has reduced as
shown earlier, high-profile corruption continues unabated. This partly explains why
corruption in Georgia has again climbed to its 2000 level (5 score). It is also important to
note that in 2009, Georgia unfortunately lost its status as an ‘electoral democracy’ (according
46

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
to Freedom House), though just a year earlier, in 2008, it was ranked as such alongside 119
other countries (Freedom House, 2009).

The rule of law and individual freedom: The Freedom House Freedom in the World report
puts this indicator at 56.25%. Most worrying here is that the rule of law often is ignored by
government. There is also a wide gap between written laws and everyday practices, and a
tendency towards tougher legislation. For instance, the ‘out-of-court settlement’ and ‘plea
bargaining’ with associated penalty payments have become a considerable source of
revenue in the government budget (Freedom House, 2008a).

Associational and organisational rights: This is given a score of 58.33% by Freedom
House (2009). The table III.5.2 above shows the lack of progress in this field as well.
Although both Freedom House and the World Bank concluded that the situation had
worsened in Georgia in this regard, the trend went unnoticed by civil society as it was
overshadowed by other problems, such as financial, internal management and public trust
(Freedom House, 2008a).

Experience of the legal framework: This was given a score of 40.2% by the Freedom
House Freedom in the World report. The views of CSOs surveyed in the CSI project differ
considerably in their evaluation of this aspect, as 31.3% of respondents believe that the
current legislation places too many constraints on civil society, while 54.5% consider it
generally acceptable, and 14.1% fully approve of the existing laws. At the same time, the
most critical CSOs are much more uncompromising regarding central and local
governments’ everyday decisions and practices in general, which are often in breach of the
laws and impose restrictions on the CSOs (87.0%). Nevertheless, 53.5% of CSOs have no
doubt that Georgian society continues to move down the path of democratisation, while only
14.9% feel that democratic processes have slowed down in the country. Despite the many
criticisms, however, 88.1% of CSOs are willing and ready, if offered by the government, to
take part in governmental programmes (CSI OS 2009).

State effectiveness received a score of 47.4%. There is a broad consensus among
international bodies and Georgian civil society experts that effectiveness and efficiency of
the country’s state institutions has improved significantly in recent years. At the same time,
political instability is said to have risen in Georgia due to recent events, such as the political
crisis of 2007 and the Russian-Georgian war of 2008 (Worldwide Governance Indicators,
World Bank, 2008).

TABLE III.5.3 State effectiveness
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Voice and Accountability 34.1 35.6 42.8 44.7 42.8 40.9 40.4
Political Stability 10.6 7.2 16.8 25 20.7 23.6 16.3
Government Effectiveness 23.2 27.5 40.3 39.3 48.3 55.5 61.6
Regulatory Quality 19.5 20.5 31.7 29.3 44.9 58.7 68.6
Rule of Law 7.6 9 24.8 26.2 34.8 41 44
Control of Corruption 6.3 15 31.1 43.2 51.5 48.8 50.7
(Worldwide Governance Indicators, World Bank, 2008)

As mentioned previously, it is useful to recall that Georgia’s socio-political situation has
worsened in some areas in the last three to four years. The trend should be attributed mainly
to the government’s blunders and to growing nihilism in general society.

Civil society’s attitudes towards state institutions are largely determined by how loyal a
particular group or a specific organisation is to governmental policies. It is evident in the
opinions of FGPs that although active involvement of citizens in democratic processes is
47

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
guaranteed by law, in real life the government often ignores legislation and disregards public
opinion, fuelling nihilism and frustration in society. The government does not have any policy
on civil sector development. Every positive development in this field has been a result of
western pressure so far. The country’s pro-Western course enables the civil society sector to
indirectly influence the government’s policies.

Relations with the business community are even less productive. Georgia’s 12 top rated
companies practice some form of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Although they admit
lacking experience in this field, they understand that participation in social programmes is
essential. Moreover, these companies are involved, to a certain degree, in such programmes
(The Georgian Times, 2009). But their attitude towards CSOs is quite different. The
companies either know nothing about the activities of CSOs, or cast doubt on their
efficiency. That is why they mostly prefer to cooperate with governmental institutions or
international organisations. As a consequence, joint projects between Georgian businesses
and CSOs are extremely rare. Furthermore, companies argue that if the number of foreign-
funded programmes, seen as the main source of income for CSOs, is reduced, cooperation
with CSOs will become pointless and useless (See CSI case study: Local Business,
Corporate Social Responsibility and NGOs, 2009).

5.3 Socio-cultural context
Georgian national culture’s traditional, even to some extent patrimonial, mentality, which
aligns the country with Mediterranean societies, is one of its most distinctive features. Its
main characteristics are the extremely low level of public confidence in state structures and
formal institutions, and the dominance of traditional, informal relations. Another peculiar
characteristic of Georgian society is a quite strong belief in mythical and superstitious
sayings. Georgians are very proud of their centuries-long culture and history, claiming that
Georgian statehood dates back more than 3,500 years and has a long tradition of Georgian
tolerance. For centuries, in Georgians’ words, Georgia used to be an outpost of the civilised
world against barbarian invasions and, some time later, the most far-flung centre of
Christianity, which managed to cooperate quite closely with the Islamic world.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 provided Georgia with a chance to regain its
independence and sovereignty. However, neither the Georgian government nor society in
general appeared able to meet the new challenges facing the country at that time. There
seemed a stark contrast between how the problems of Georgia were perceived by society
(with economic and security problems related to state building processes not well
understood by a majority of the population), and the reality of these problems.. The transition
towards democratic institutions and systems has been a very painful process in Georgia,
being impeded, by such factors as unsophisticated political culture among the political elite
and a lack of civic education among society (WVS 2009).

Interpersonal trust received a score of 18.6%. Only 13% of respondents (WVS 2009)
stated that most people could be trusted, while 44.3% maintained that caution was
necessary, 30.1% thought that only relatives and friends could be trusted, and 8.8% were
certain that nobody should be trusted except next of kin. On the whole, the level of
interpersonal trust is very low in Georgian society.

Tolerance levels scored 47.1%. It is a fact that different social groups are treated differently
by Georgian society. When asked "who do you least want to be your neighbour?" 79.2% of
the respondents mentioned homosexuals. The next were drug addicts (77.5%) followed by
alcoholics (64.6%) and people with HIV/AIDS (37.8%). Respondents demonstrated much
more tolerant attitudes towards people of other religions, races, or ethnic identities. Apart
from traditional mentalities, public attitudes can be seen to be greatly influenced by
government propaganda, which tolerates the traditional values present in Georgian society.
48

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
‘Drug addicts’ and ‘alcoholics’ are perceived as potential criminals by a large part of society,
and this can be seen as the main reason for negative attitudes towards this group, especially
as drug trafficking is a growing problem in Georgia (WVS 2009).

Public spiritedness received a score of 92.8%, a very high level (WVS 2009). According to
these results, 95.9% of respondents disapproved of using deception to get benefits from the
state, 96.7% said it was wrong to travel on public transport without paying, 97.0%
denounced tax evasion, and 98.1% condemned bribery. It is important to note, however, that
words and public statements do not always reflect reality. The overwhelming majority of
citizens are well aware of the essence of public spiritedness and know that violation of these
principles is viewed by society as unacceptable. At the same time, many people may
presumably find it hard to resist the temptation to obtain some benefits by illegal means, if
the right conditions arise. The energy crisis of the 1990s is a good case in point: installation
of illegal household power supply lines, without electricity meters, by local residents reached
an unprecedented level at that time, since the overwhelming majority of citizens simply could
not afford to pay for electricity.

Conclusion
From the above findings, many of them drawn from the research of international
organisations, we may form the following conclusions:

• While Georgia’s overall level of social and economical development is comparable to
some African and Latin American countries, the quality of its human resources (such
as educational level, life style) is close to that of some Eurozone countries.
• The police crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in 2007, the snap presidential and
parliamentary elections in 2008 (assessed as not fully fair and democratic by
international observers, most notably by the Organisation for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)), and the Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008 (which is
thought to have been provoked by Russia but started by Georgia, according to
foreign analysts (Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in
Georgia, September 2009)) are thought to have seriously tarnished the government’s
image both at home and abroad.
• With rare exceptions, relations between CSOs and the business community are in an
embryonic stage. There is still a long way to go before these relations mature and
evolve into full-fledged partnerships.
• In conclusion, it should be mentioned that the high level of public spiritedness, based
on traditional Georgian values, will hardly be reflected in citizens’ daily behaviour
unless favourable conditions for its practical strengthening (a supporting institutional
framework) are created.

We have to mention the obvious discrepancy between the evaluation of the situation in
Georgia by civil society (see earlier sections) and the judgment on the same by the
international community. Georgian CSOs often overestimate their capabilities and values
and present the situation in the country relatively positively. International organisations are
far more conservative in their assessments, which altogether point out the regress in almost
every aspect of the social life in Georgia during last five years.


IV. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF CIVIL SOCIETY
IN GEORGIA
This section reviews strengths and weaknesses of the Georgian civil society sector, and
CSOs in particular, as perceived by the persons involved in this study (participants of focus
49

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
groups and national meetings). We include here only the major arguments. They will be
further discussed in a separate CSI project output, the Policy Action Brief.

WEAKNESSES:
• Despite many positive characteristics, the Georgian civil society sector is not
membership-oriented. It was formed as a Western funded, privileged class, which is
rather detached from the everyday concerns of citizens.
• CSOs are rather far from modern organisational standards. Written regulations and
standards are rare, and these are mostly only formal and rarely applied. There are no
clear and efficient mechanisms for staff rotation.
• In terms of Georgian CSOs’ practice of values, there exist a range of challenges.
Despite statements of democratic mechanisms for internal decision-making, the use
of these mechanisms is very limited in practice. Decisions are made in a non-
transparent way, and often only by small group of managers. CSOs suffer under the
lack of pluralism, as they are highly politicised and divided as "friends" and "foes."
There seems to be a lack of tolerance towards different views.
• Despite some isolated cases of success, the impact that CSOs have on the decision-
making processes in the country is rather limited. Success in creating dialogue with
the authorities concerns only those fields that do not limit their political, economic and
other influences. When it comes to demands for division of power and transparency,
the chances of success are almost non-existent. Moreover, CSOs lack support from
wider parts of society, as civic involvement in civil society is limited.
• The severe social and economic situation hinders speedy growth of the civil society
sector. Furthermore, Georgian officials are often sceptical towards CSOs.

STRENGTHS:
• From the organisational point of view, CSOs, unlike other segments of civil society,
are more developed, particularly in terms of in management, financial and technical
resources.
• CSOs increasingly acknowledge the need for change and consolidation around core
values.
• There are positive trends evident. Firstly, as the authorities’ wish to improve their
image in the international community, and because of their decreasing popularity
among the population, they have resumed expressing interest in and acknowledging
the potential of alternative opinions.
• Secondly, a broad-spectrum of society increasingly demands information and
democratic values, which can be used by CSOs to expand their social basis.


V. RECOMMENDATIONS
The recommendations developed by participants at the CSI national workshop, expressed
here, aim at empowering Georgian civil society, and CSOs in particular, to act in the interest
of the broader public and to increase the sector’s effectiveness and efficiency in these
activities. A more thorough and detailed overview of these recommendations, based on the
analysis of strengths and weaknesses of Georgian CSOs, is provided in the accompanying
CSI Policy Action Brief.

CSOs pointed out two directions for further work. Firstly, actions that aim at ‘awakening’,
activating and encouraging society to participate in social processes; and secondly, actions
to put pressure on the Georgian government to commence/accelerate democratic reforms.
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
In addition, the international community represented in Georgia was confirmed as a strategic
partner of Georgian civil society in order to achieve these two main directions of action.

A. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
General objective: Increase the level of civic engagement in civil society.
Specific objectives:
• Increase CSO transparency and visibility.
• Create support for social groups with poor experience in civic activities.
Suggested activities:
• Assess the needs of CSOs.
• Support transformation of informal networks into formal organisations.
• Develop local volunteering bases.
• Participate in advocacy programmes in cooperation with the media.
• Implement broad civic education programmes aimed at disseminating democratic
values.
Actors: All types of CSOs, with the support of international organisations and other
segments of Georgian civil society.

B. ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
General objective: Develop CSO organisational skills.
Specific objectives:
• Improve human resources and financial sustainability.
Activities:
• Support social entrepreneurship for membership-based organisations.
• Increase accessibly of state programmes and tenders.
• Lobby for the adoption of legislation supporting philanthropy.
• Develop and implement modern organisational standards.
• Participate in donors’ policy-making processes.
• Broaden international connections (including international networks).
• Provide trainings on organisational development.
Actors: Think tanks, donor organisations, training providers, overseas consulting
organisations and the media.

C. VALUES
General objective: Improve the practice of promoted values.
Specific objectives:
• Introduce democratic decision-making practices.
• Revise civil society values and their adaptation to new challenges.
• Limit the influence of intolerant, coercive and corrupt forces.
Activities:
• Provide training, workshops and seminars in the field of civic education.
• Develop and implement realistic standards and action plans.
• Develop behavioural, ethical and professional codes of conduct.
• Involve various social groups in large programmes, particularly focusing on
marginalised groups.
Actors: CSOs, authorities, various stakeholders, professional and open associations and
donor organisations.

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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
D. IMPACT
General objective: Increase the influence of CSOs on social, economic and political
processes.
Specific objectives:
• Achieve rapid impact in the fields where it is possible, such as in less politicised fields
like culture and sports.
• Achieve sustainable impact in the fields which are extremely difficult to influence,
such as human rights protection, change of state fiscal policies in accordance with
real social demands, leading the dialogue in conflict regions, adaptation of health,
education and social policies to the needs of the country.
Activities:
• Develop CSO issue-based networks.
• Develop informational campaigns to disseminate existing views.
• Instigate educational activities - such as civic education programmes.
• Make and lobby for policy recommendations to improve legislation.
• Support fundraising systems for financial security of planned activities.
• Intensify consultations with international and donor organisations.
Actors: CSOs (and broader civil society), authorities, international organisations, other civil
society actors (media, political parties).

E. ENVIRONMENT
General objective: Enhance social, economic and political sustainability; increase joint
working with international organisations; empower democratic institutions.
Specific objectives:
• Improve Georgia’s economic situation.
• Increase civil society awareness.
• Promote institutional development at all levels.
• Develop a more democratic political culture.
• Socially activate the population.
• Implement the rule of law.
• Develop a more ecological culture.
Activities:
• Implement joint projects in different fields, focusing on regional, international, and
conflict areas.
• Popularise multi-ethnic and diversity cultures.
• Support social and cultural integration of different social groups.
• Develop professional training seminars for target groups.
• Develop/empower institutional mechanisms within democratic processes.
Actors: Entire civil society (within and outside Georgia).


VI. CONCLUSIONS
A number of challenges regarding civil society in Georgia have been revealed through the
CSI from 2008 to 2010, although it is important first to make clear the low level of reliability
for some of the data collected, partly due to overrated self-assessments by CSO
representatives. This became particularly visible through the scores in organisational
development (64.5%) and CSOs’ practice of values (64.7%). The members of the National
Workshop (which took place in Tbilisi, March 2010), expressed severe doubts regarding the
accuracy of this data and explained the high scores by the motivation of CSOs to show a
better side of their organisations.

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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
There is also a difference in the perception of the environment. Georgian civil society
describes the existing picture as a much healthier than that suggested by the international
data sets.

Nevertheless, we can make a number of conclusions based on the findings from this study:

• Civil society, particularly CSOs, has been considerably weakened since the 2003
Rose Revolution, as local and international actors have shifted their attention mainly
towards the support of government policies.
• Policies recently implemented in Georgia have set back the transition towards
democratisation considerably. According to a considerable number of indicators, the
situation in the country has continuously worsened since 2000. The situation is
aggravated by the government’s refusal to initiate a dynamic dialogue with civil
society.
• In such an environment, Georgian civil society has degraded to the position it
occupied 10 to 12 years ago, which must force this sector to think of new
developmental possibilities. CSOs, because of their conformist views and low impact
upon the processes within Georgia, have failed to avoid the processes described
above and, thus, they have to rethink and recreate their role within society at large.
• Now, because society increasingly shows discontent towards the policies of the
government, new prerequisites are being created for CSOs to play a more active
role.
• CSOs have some advantage in this respect; despite a number of weaknesses, they
still form an organised power, and in the case of particular policies, they can increase
their authority and influence within society, as well as over the government.
• Furthermore, civil society ought to pay greater attention to the social problems
Georgia faces, as well as to the spreading of democratic values.
• An additional stimulus comes from international organisations, including donor
organisations, the policies of which shift their focus towards the issue of democratic
values.

In order to adequately address new challenges, CSOs should take the following actions:

• CSOs, and all other segments of civil society, should agree on some common values
that would further unite their efforts.
• Common frameworks should be developed, such as sector specific or regional
focuses, which should be supported by a number of CSOs, disregarding their political
and other sympathies.
• Networking among CSOs should be intensified, along with the improvements in
management and in the degree of democratisation within the CSOs.
• Using common frameworks and networking, CSOs should communicate their views
to the wider population as much as possible and support the formation of new public
order and demands for positive changes in the country.

Only if all of these are in place will CSOs be able to increase their positive influence and
impact directly on the government, on society and on processes within Georgia.

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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

APPENDICES
APPENDIX 1 CSI INDICATOR MATRIX
1) Dimension: Civic Engagement 20.6
1.1 Extent of socially-based engagement 4.6
1.1.1 Social membership 1 3.2
1.1.2 Social volunteering 1 3.6
1.1.3 Community engagement 1 7.1
1.2 Depth of socially-based engagement 17.8
1.2.1 Social membership 2 5.3
1.2.2 Social volunteering 2 4.7
1.2.3 Community engagement 2 43.5
1.3 Diversity of socially-based engagement 52.5
1.3.1 Diversity of socially-based engagement 52.5
1.4 Extent of political engagement 6.2
1.4.1 Political membership 1 1.3
1.4.2 Political volunteering 1 1.0
1.4.3 Individual activism 1 16.4
1.5 Depth of political engagement 14.0
1.5.1 Political membership 2 5.0
1.5.2 Political volunteering 2 8.2
1.5.3 Individual activism 2 28.9
1.6 Diversity of political engagement 28.5
1.6.1 Diversity of political engagement 28.5
2) Dimension: Level of Organisation 64.5
2.1 Internal governance 94.1
2.1.1 Management 94.1
2.2 Infrastructure 69.3
2.2.1 Support organisations 69.3
2.3 Sectoral communication 83.7
2.3.1 Peer-to-peer communication 1 85.1
2.3.2 Peer-to-peer communication 2 82.2
2.4 Human resources 43.0
2.4.1 Sustainability of HR 43.0
2.5 Financial and technological resources 91.1
2.5.1 Financial sustainability 89.0
2.5.2 Technological resources 93.1
2.6 International linkages 6.1
2.6.1 International linkages 6.1
3) Dimension: Practice of Values 64.7
3.1 Democratic decision-making governance 82.2
3.1.1 Decision-making 82.2
3.2 Labour regulations 36.5
3.2.1 Equal opportunities 17.8
3.2.2 Members of labour unions 24.1
3.2.3 Labour rights trainings 18.8
3.2.4 Publicly available policy for labour standards 85.1
3.3 Code of conduct and transparency 87.7
3.3.1 Publicly available code of conduct 82.2
3.3.2 Transparency 93.1
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
3.4 Environmental standards 80.2
3.4.1 Environmental standards 80.2
3.5 Perception of values in civil society as a whole 37.0
3.5.1 Perceived non-violence 35.1
3.5.2 Perceived internal democracy 43.5
3.5.3 Perceived levels of corruption 14.0
3.5.4 Perceived intolerance 33.8
3.5.5 Perceived weight of intolerant groups 45.6
3.5.6 Perceived promotion on non-violence and peace 50.0
4) Dimension: Perception of Impact 30.3
4.1 Responsiveness (internal perception) 33.0
4.1.1 Impact on social concern 1 22.7
4.1.2 Impact on social concern 2 25.8
4.2 Social Impact (internal perception) 49.5
4.2.1 General social impact 34.0
4.2.2 Social impact of own organisation 65.0
4.3 Policy Impact (internal perception) 40.7
4.3.1 General policy impact 22.2
4.3.2 Policy activity of own organisation 55.6
4.3.3 Policy impact of own organisation 44.4
4.4 Responsiveness (external perception) 20.3
4.4.1 Impact on social concern 1 17.2
4.4.2 Impact on social concern 2 23.3
4.5 Social Impact (external perception) 25.0
4.5.1 Social impact selected concerns 33.3
4.5.2 Social impact general 16.7
4.6 Policy Impact (external perception) 23.3
4.6.1 Policy impact specific fields 1-3 33.3
4.6.2 Policy impact general 13.3
4.7 Impact of civil society on attitudes 20.2
4.7.1 Difference in trust between civil society members and non-members 1.8
4.7.2
Difference in tolerance levels between civil society members and non-
members
0.0
4.7.3
Difference in public spiritedness between civil society members and
non-members
33.4
4.7.4 Trust in civil society 45.6
5) Contextual Dimension: External Environment 59.6
5.1 Socio-economic context 66.5
5.1.1 Basic Capabilities Index 89.4
5.1.2 Corruption 39.0
5.1.3 Inequality 59.6
5.1.4 Economic context 78.0
5.2 Socio-political context 57.0
5.2.1 Political rights and freedoms 50.0
5.2.2 Rule of law and personal freedoms 56.3
5.2.3 Associational and organisational rights 58.3
5.2.4 Experience of legal framework 40.9
5.2.5 State effectiveness 47.4
5.3 Socio-cultural context 52.8
5.3.1 Trust 18.6
5.3.2 Tolerance 47.1
5.3.3 Public spiritedness 92.8
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia


APPENDIX 2 COLOUR CODING EXERCISE: RESULTS
At the concluding stage of research, members of Advisory Committee were asked to assess
the validity of the results of surveys conducted in the framework of project. In order to help
them in this, a colour coding exercise was used. After careful review of each indicator,
members of AC had to give their assessment based on a four colour scheme.

FIGURE AII.1 Validity colour code and description




The validity of the
sources upon which
the final score is
based is highly
questionable (biased
or outdated) and
should not be taken
into account for
either international
comparison or for the
internal assessment
of civil society within
the country.
The validity of the
sources upon which
the final score is
based is moderately
questionable. They
should not be taken
into account for
international
comparison but are
indicative for the
internal assessment
of civil society within
the country
The validity of the
sources upon which
the final score is
based is rather
dependable and can
be used for some
international
comparison (within a
certain context or
regional logic) and
for the internal
assessment of civil
society within the
country.
The of the sources
upon which the final
score is based is
dependable and can
be used for
international
comparison and for
the internal
assessment of civil
society within the
country.

Below, we list those indicators which were most frequently characterised as highly
questionable (red code) and moderately questionable (orange code).

Dimension: Civic Engagement
1.1.3 Community engagement
1.2.1 Social membership 2
1.2.2 Social volunteering 2
1.5.1 Political membership 2
1.5.2 Political volunteering 2
1.5.3 Political activism 2

Dimension: Level of Organisation
2.4.1 Sustainability of human resources
2.5.1 Financial sustainability
2.6.1 International linkages

Dimension: Practice of Values
3.1.1 Decision–making
3.2.4 Publicly available policy for labour standards
3.4.1 Environmental standards

Dimension: Perception of Impact
4.7.1 Difference in trust
4.7.2 Difference in tolerance

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APPENDIX 3 PARTICIPANT NAMES AND ORGANISATIONAL
AFFILIATIONS
Members of the NIT

• David Losaberidze, Civil Society Expert, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy
and Development (CIPDD)
• Tina Tkeshelashvili, Coordinator, CIPDD
• Ghia Gotua, Researcher, CIPDD
• Manana Svimonishvili, PR Coordinator, CIPDD

Members Advisory Committee

• Ramaz Aptsiauri, UN Association of Georgia
• Koba Liklikadze, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
• Kamilla Mamedova, Community Centre Marneuli
• Bakur Sulakauri, Bakur Sulakauri Publishing
• Lela Kartvelishvili, Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia
• Manana Ghurchumelidze, Free Trade Union of Teachers and Scientists
• Ghia Khasia, Association Atinati
• Tamar Khidasheli, Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association
• Kakha Khimshiashvili, Swedish International Development Aid
• Nana Janashia, Caucasus Environmental NGO Network
• Emzar Jgerenaia, Ilia State University

Participants of the regional focus group meetings

Tbilisi
• Irakli Kavtaradze, Parliament of Georgia
• Zviad Koridze, Freelance journalist
• Oliver Reisner, European Commission
• Malkhaz Saldadze, Open Society Georgia Foundation
• Nino Lejava, Boell Foundation
• Kote Kandelaki, International Centre for Civic Culture
• Giorgi Shamugia, Young Men’s Christian Association
• Paata Beltadze, Amalgamation of Free Trade Unions
• Manana Qochladze, Green Alternative
• Nana Qarseladze, Centre for Strategic Research and Development
• Levan Akhvelediani, International Association Business and Parliament
• Nani Macharashvili, Institute of Political Science

Akhalkalaki (Javakheti)
• Mikheil Kolikidi, Javakheti Civic Forum
• Samvel Khidikian, Union Bridge
• Samvell Darbinian, Businessman
• Vagarshak Shakhpetian, Mercy Corps
• Misha Qadoian, Youth group
• Valeri Stevmakov, Local self–government
• Shalva Gardapkhadze, Local self–government
• Gaioz Khutsishvili, Farmers’ cooperative
• Soso Balakhadze, Farmer
• Tamaz Gogoladze, Businessman
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
• Dali Aghdgomeladze, Women for the Future of Javakheti
• Levon Levonian, Centre for Civic Initiatives
• Apnik Aivazian, Southern Gate newspaper
• Arshak simonian, Youth group
• Shorena Tetvadze, Akhalkalaki University

Batumi (Adjara)
• Givi Mamaladze, Organisation for Protection of Prisoner’s Rights
• Giuli Khimshiashvili, Batumi State University
• Natalia Panjikidze, Progress
• Merab Ghoghoberidze, Labour Party
• Irakli Beridze, Sakartvelo
• Maka Maghradze, Human Rights Centre
• Marika Chkhobadze, Institute of Democracy
• Svetlana Tsutba, Charity Foundation
• Roland Shanidze, Evangelic Church
• Giorgi Makharashvili, Christian Democratic Movement
• Guram Tsitladze, Ministry of Environment Protection of Adjara
• Khatuna Nakashidze, Amalgamation of Free Trade Unions

Ozurgeti (Guria)
• Irakli Dolidze, Guriis Moambe newspaper
• Marika Tughushi, Alioni newspaper
• Nino Nikolaishvili, Alioni newspaper
• Marika Akhaladze, Guria News newspaper
• Shorena Ghlonti, Guria News newspaper
• Eldar Siradze, Freelance journalist
• Tamaz Trapinadze, Georgian Young Lawyers Association
• Nana Tavdumadze, Local self-government
• Rusudan Ratiani, Ozurgeti Information Centre
• Temur Marshanishvili, Young Pedagogue’s Union
• Keti Gobronidze, Ozurgeti Youth Resource Centre
• Irkli Papava, Union for Democratic Development

Rustavi (Kvemo Kartli)
• Tsira Tavshavadze, Georgia Association of Educational Initiatives
• Marika Vardiashvili, Kvemo Kartli MediaGroup
• Irina Nikiphorova, Bolnisi Youth Centre
• Irina Gorshkova, Bolnisi Language House
• Lela Aptsiauri, Local self-government
• Marian Bjhalava, Women’s World
• Giorgi Demurishvili, Public Information Centre
• Shorena Tsiklauri, Red Cross society
• Zaur Tchkoidze, For Future
• Jondo Aduashvili, Farmers’ Union Lore
• Rustam Maidov, Bridge
• Maka Machavariani, Kvemo Kartli Media Group

Telavi (Kakheti)
• Levan Rostomashvili, Centre for Strategic Research and Development
• Natia Giorgadze, Local self-government
• Soso Mikeladze, Business Centre Kakheti
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
• Tina Kanjaleishvili, UNDP office
• Eka Imerlishvili, World Vision
• Gia Purtseladze, Local self-government
• Nana Chipashvili, Freelance journalist
• Giorgi Abdamashvili, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association
• Giorgi Melashvili, Telavi State University students’ self-government
• Natia Dalelishvili, Kakheti Information Centre
• Natia Osibashvili, Kakheti Pride Radio
• Teona Chavleishvili, Regional Development Agency
• Ana chkhetiani, Regional Development Agency
• Maia Kalibegashvili, Kakheti Media Association

Zugdidi (Samegrelo)
• Marina Davitaia, Samegrelo Media Association
• Galina Natsvlishvili, Clinical Psychologist
• Nona Ubilava, Refugee Women for their rights
• Ana Toloraia, Association Atinati
• Madona Jabua, Local self-government
• Maya Chemia, Samegrelo Media Association
• Khatuna Betsvaia, Charity centre Compassion
• Eliso Rurua, Humanitarian centre Abkhazeti
• Nana Jibladze, Medical centre Support
• Rusudan Pachkoria, Centre of Legal Defence
• Nana Todua, Women’s association Merkuri
• Koba Askanava, Centre for Reconciliation between Abkhazs and Georgians
• Shorena Ketsbaia, Movement of refugee women Peace
• Giorgi Gardava, Local self-government

Gori (Shida Kartli)
• Omar Barbakadze, Social worker
• Shorena Elbakidze, Institute for Democratic Development
• Jhana Aduashvili, Network Against Violence
• Saba Tsitsikashvili, Kartlis Khma newspaper
• Eka Qutelashvili, Berika
• Ketevan Bidzinashvili, Step to the Future NGO network
• Thea Tediashvili, Fair Elections
• Nona Askilashvili, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association
• Vasil Guleuri, Care Caucasus
• Zaza Chipashvili, Humanitarian Centre Abkhazeti
• Nino Dalakishvili, Public Defenders Office
• Leila Chavaradze, Women’s Association Mother of Georgia
• Zurab Rusemashvili, Christian Democratic Movement
• Tea Okropiridze, Gori Discussion Club
• David Razmadze, Republican Party

Akhaltsikhe (Samtskhe)
• Lela Inasaridze, Southern Gate newspaper
• Nugzar Atateshvili, Social Development Centre
• Maka Rudadze, Akhaltsikhe Youth Centre
• Lia Chilashvili, Centre for Adult Learning
• Zviad Merabishvili, Akhaltsikhe University students’ self-government
• Guram Chinchveladze, Farmers’ Consultation Centre
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
• Iuri Zarnidze, Local self-government
• Qeti Narimanishvili, Centre for International Education
• Giorgi Andghuladze, Union of Meskehtian Democrats
• Mania Palian, Tolerant
• Shorena Surmanidze, 9th Channel TV
• Zura Kulijanashvili, Sport union Kavkasia

Kutaisi (Imereti)
• Guram Kvantaliani, NGO
• Ana Chelidze, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association
• Miranda Mamiseishvili, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association
• Julieta Gvichiani, Refugee Association Imedi 2010
• Vakhtang Abuladze, Local self-government
• Natia Abuladze, Abkhazintercont foundation
• Tengiz Aslanikashvili, Lawyer
• Paata Sharashenidze, Transparency International
• Sergo Tsurtsumia, Abkhazintercont foundation
• Zaza Chachava, Government of Abkhazia in exile
• Mariam Khakhaleishvili, Local Democracy Agency
• Nino Matskiladze, Kodori 2010
• Nato Jiqia, Education and World
• Khatuna Khurtsidze, Sachino association
• Natia Nemsadze, Sachino association
• Tiko Endeladze, Humanitarian Centre Abkhazeti

Participants, National Workshop

• Zviad Devdariani, Civil Development Agency
• DimitriTsertsvadze, Public Movement Multynational Georgia
• Nanuli Ramishvili, Education and World
• Meri Lobzhanidze, Education and World
• David Tsikarishvili, Kartli XXI
• Giorgi Andghuladze, Union of Meskhetian Democrats
• Lika Ghlonti, TEMPUS programme, EU
• Irakli Machabeli, St Andrew University
• Ghia Khasia, Atinati
• Tamar Charkviani, Ilia State University
• Eka Poladashviili, Media Centre Kakheti
• Ana Chelidze, Ilia State University
• Misha Chitadze, Gori Information Centre
• Giorgi Khutsishvili, International Centre of Conflict and Negotiations
• Mikhail Ananidze, Intelect
• Giorgi Gorgaslidze, Georgia Young Medics’ Association
• Marat Tsitskishvili, Ecological Academy
• Rezo Okuashvili, People’s Newspaper
• Levan Gegelashvili, Caucaus Institute for Economic and Social Research
• Alexander Kalandadze, Civitas Georgica
• Nugzar Asatiani, Alioni newspaper
• Guram Akhalaia, Iavnana Foundation
• Bela Gvelesiani, Gea association
• Lela Papuashvili, Polonia
• Zaur Khalilovi, Foundation for Civic Integration
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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
• Marina Chitashvili, Centre for Social Sciences
• Nino Mgaloblishvili, Young Journalists House
• Nana Sumbadze, Institute of Policy Studies
• Manana Kharadze, Democrat Women’s Club of Marneuli
• Manana Ghurchumelidze, Free Trade Union of Teachers and Scientists
• Sopho Gelashvili, Embassy of Netherlands
• Nodar Sarjveladze, Human Resource Development Foundation
• Khatuna Ghavtadze, Gea association
• Nana Janashia, Caucasus Environmental NGO Network
• Eka Poladashvili, Media Centre Kakheti
• Ucha Vakhania, Generationfoundation
• Vazha Salamadze, Civil Society Institute
• Irina Khantadze, Centre for Training and Consultancy
• Ekaterine Demetrashvili, Amalgamation of Free Trade Unions
• Mariam Khotenashvili, Transparency International
• Rusudan Jamaspishvili, Georgian Young Economists Association
• Lela Kartvelishvili, Evangelical Baptists Church of Georgia
• Shorena Lortkipanidze, International Centre of Conflict and Negotiation
• Eka Abzhandadze, New Generation New Initiative


APPENDIX 4. SUMMARIES OF CASE STUDIES
1. Volunteerism in Modern Georgia: Case of Political Parties’ Youth Organisations
By Ketevan Khapava

According to the data derived from the most recent World Values Survey, involvement in civil
society’s work in modern Georgia is comparatively low. At the same time, the rate of
involvement in the work of political parties is somewhat higher than rates for other activities.
What are the reasons behind these? Also, how can we explain the low level of participation
in volunteer activities in general? These were questions guiding our research. It was
assumed that exploring the motivations of active political party supporters could shed light
on the reasons that make political parties a somewhat more attractive arena of activities
compared with the rest of CSOs. It was assumed that parties appear more attractive as a
means of attaining not only social, but also personal goals. Furthermore, it was suggested
that the unstable membership of political parties could be explained by the inability of parties
to satisfy most of their supporters with tangible social benefits.

Young supporters of political parties involved in campaigns were the focus of research.
According to experts, the contribution of this group is indispensable for the functioning of
political parties in Georgia. As a main method of research, in–depth qualitative interviews
with young party activists were used. Overall, six interviews were done. It was observed that
young people are joining parties mostly as a result of active recruitment work. It was also
found that the political orientations of the parties were not playing an important role in this
process, in agreement with a general thesis according to which ideological boundaries
between political groups in Georgia are rather blurred. While attraction to the personality of a
leader is playing a role, personal motives are important for understanding a decision to
participate in a party’s work. Different motives of this kind are cited including: gaining
professional experience, enlargement of social networks, filling free time and making a
position in civil society more secure. With regard to the dynamics of involvement, research
has proved the hypothesis on the failure of most of party activists to achieve their goals in
the framework of a party. After some period of enthusiastic participation, feelings of
disillusionment and frustration drive activists out of the party.
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As a result of research, a predominant role of personal motives for participation in a party’s
work is identified. While quantitative/qualitative studies are needed to verify this conclusion,
it gives certain weight to rational choice analysis of civil society involvement in Georgia.

2. Local Business, Corporate Social Responsibility and NGOs
By Tamar Charkviani

The last five years are marked by the emergence of discourse of corporate social
responsibility in public–state–business relations in Georgia. Several projects have been
implemented by non-governmental organisations aimed at popularising this concept. In
several instances CSR projects were realised by big companies. At the same time, initiatives
jointly implemented by business and CSOs are rare. Consequently, the aim of this case
study was to explore reasons behind this lack of cooperation. It was hypothesised that CSR
is seen by managers as part of a company’s PR and advertisement strategies. The low level
of legitimacy of civil society makes cooperation with those organisations less beneficial in
terms of social respect and advertisement purposes.

As a method of research, an analysis of media, a desk study and interviews with top
managers of three Georgian companies were used. Among the three big companies
selected for the purpose of the research, two were recognised by business media outlets as
champions in the CSR field. The following general questions guided the process of research:
What is the level of awareness of top managers with regard to the concept of CSR? Which
of the different forms of CSR are recognised by them? Which of these forms are
implemented in Georgia? What is the attitude of managers toward civil society and how do
they evaluate the possibility of cooperation with this sector?

Analysis of data shows that despite a clear understanding of the meaning of CSR as well as
comprehensive knowledge of the different forms of its implementation, the range of activities
in this direction is quite limited. Many existing initiatives serve a purpose of improving
company images and/or developing their human resource bases. Correspondingly, many
forms of CSR implementation are not even discussed by top managers. Also, the level of
awareness about the nature and activities of the civil society sector is very low among
managers. Managers do not see in the immediate future any possibility for cooperation
between business and civil society. They see international donors as ‘natural’ sponsors and
do not see overlapping interests between them, NGOs and big companies. The level of trust
toward civil society is also low, with many of the respondents citing the ineffectiveness of the
NGO sector as a main reason for this. It was concluded that a vicious circle emerges as a
result of this situation - while CSOs do not pay sufficient attention to the interests and views
of business, business abstains from supporting these organisations, with a consequent
deepening of gap between two. As a recommendation, it is suggested that measures aimed
at intensifying dialogue between these two parties should be taken.

3. Forms and Practices of Accountability in the Civil Society sector of Georgia
By Tamar Charkviani and Ana Chelidze

Ensuring accountability is one of the most important problems faced by civil society in
different countries. While most of the NGOs in Georgia claim to be respectful of this concept,
grounds for scepticism are abundant. Critics point out the absence of these mechanisms,
and in many cases the formal character they acquire in local settings. To understand this
problem an explorative study was undertaken. Both vertical and horizontal accountability
were considered in the research. The presence and functioning of the following mechanisms
were explored: 1) democratic governance, including transparency and collective decision
making; 2) financial transparency; 3) existence of internal and external evaluation
mechanisms; 4) openness toward cooperation with different stakeholder groups.
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Three NGOs were selected. Two of those organisations were well established watchdogs,
operating in the areas of human rights defence and environmental protection. The third was
the football federation, an NGO with strong links (including financial) with the government.
The selection thus allowed comparison between donor–funded and state–funded
organisations. The study was undertaken by inspecting documents and the websites of
these organisations as well as through interviews with representatives of top level
management.

One of the problems revealed by the study is an absence of common standards in this area
recognised by most CSOs in Georgia. In watchdog organisations, a quite developed system
of accountability was found to be in place, which could be partly explained by the need to
fulfil formal requirements posed by grant-giving agencies. At the same time, while the
concept of accountability is well embedded in the practice of NGOs, it is poorly reflected in
these organisation’s internal documents. Also, it could be said that practices related to
accountability toward the donors are more developed in these organisations. As for the
football federation, the study revealed important problems in this regard. Among the most
pressing problems, a lack of transparency in financial management and manipulations in
elections of governing bodies were cited. Existence of these problems could be partly
explained by an informal system of patronage linking management of the organisation to the
leadership of the ruling party. As a conclusion, it was suggested that while the practice of
accountability is already present in Georgian civil society and is even well rooted in some
organisations, this concept has not yet acquired the value which it should have in the minds
of civil society activists. Adoption of a common code of conduct might be a step toward
resolving this.

4. Leading Georgian TV News Programmes on Civil Society in Georgia
By Vasil Mamulashvili

According to the results of different surveys, the level of awareness about civil society’s work
is quite low in Georgia. As electronic media is the most important source of information for
the majority of Georgians, we examined the coverage of civil society by news programmes
of leading TV channels. The following issues were covered by our research: the amount of
time dedicated to civil society work; the attitude towards civil society; priorities given to
different kinds of CSOs, and other topics. As a method, content analysis of news
programmes of three major TV stations with national coverage was undertaken.

One of the interesting findings was that more then half of all CSO mentions came in the
context of international/foreign affairs news. There was also a substantial divergence
between three leading TV channels in terms of the time devoted to civil society related
coverage. More then half (approximately 52%) of the mentions were for
educational/research organisations, followed by business associations and human rights
watchdogs (respectively 11 and 10 %). In the majority of cases, research/educational
organisations were represented by experts individually commenting on foreign policy
problems. Even in time devoted to human issues, news from abroad played a pre-eminent
role (60%), mostly mentioning international NGOs. To conclude, the study revealed
inadequate coverage of local CSOs and their activities.

5. Factors Influencing Impact of Civil Society over Policy-Making
By Giorgi Babunashvili

The CIVICUS research has shown that despite the high level of organisational development,
Georgian CSOs exercise little influence on policy-making in Georgia. To understand the
reasons for this, a closer look at the process of cooperation between government and civil
society is needed. In existing literature, personal and political contacts are stressed as
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crucial factors for influencing government decision making in post–Soviet countries. On the
other hand, some scholars argue that organisational capacity is a key for understanding
NGOs impact over policy.

The case study was conducted employing methodologies of both qualitative and quantitative
research. Cooperation between the Teacher’s Trade Union and Ministry of Education
between 2004 and 2008 was the focus of the qualitative case study research. In-depth
interviews were done with representatives of trade unions, former and current officials of the
ministry and experts. Conclusions derived from the case study were checked and compared
using quantitative data from the CIVICUS research.

It was clear from the results that organisational capacity did not play an important role in
sparking active cooperation between the ministry and the union between 2004 and 2007. In
that period, close personal and political links emerged between key figures, strengthened by
previous cooperation between these two groups. While the organisational weaknesses of the
trade union were an obvious fact for both sides, cooperation between two groups went
smoothly in this period. In exchange for the support of state policy, the union gained an
opportunity to influence the decision-making process in relevant fields. However, with a
change of top personnel in the ministry these contacts were dissolved, and the union grew
critical towards the government, and relations cooled. Thus, the results of the study support
the hypothesis on the decisive role of personal/political ties for success in influencing
government policy. This hypothesis was further checked using quantitative analysis.

Different variables from the organisational survey were recoded into three groups, namely
cooperation with government, political attitudes and organisational capacity. A statistical
analysis was performed to explore the relative importance of these factors on policy
influence. It was found that experience of cooperation with government (e.g. having
implemented a joint project with government structures) correlated positively with a high
level of influence on government policy. The same is true with regard to a positive
assessment of political development in the country – organisations with representatives who
hold this opinion are usually better received by policy makers and consequently their impact
is higher then those who express negative opinions.

The study concludes that political positions and personal contacts play decisive roles in
policy cooperation between the government and CSOs in Georgia. According to
recommendations presented in the report, avoiding excessive confrontation with government
should be regarded as an important goal by CSOs. At the same time, international donors
should push for more cooperation between government and CSOs, persuading government
that this kind of cooperation could be fruitful in many regards.

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CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia
World Values Survey, 2005.

Worldwide Governance Indicators, World Bank, 2008,
http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/sc_country.asp (last accessed September
2010).

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FOREWORD
The development of civil society is entering a new stage in Georgia. Inspired by the 2003 Rose Revolution and the widespread and ongoing post-revolution euphoria, and shaped by the events and processes of recent years (protest demonstrations, elections, the war, economic crisis) Georgian society is currently re-evaluating its values. A significant part of Georgian society seems to be disappointed, as years of revolutionary changes have not brought the results they expected. Thus, there is a need to find new ways to solve existing problems. Georgian civil society is also affected by this slow progress. In this regard, every effort to facilitate the re-evaluation of these change processes and to help identify new goals should be welcomed and supported. The CIVICUS Civil Society Index project, implemented by the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD) under the aegis of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and with the kind financial support of the Open Society Institute, is one of the first attempts to analyse and understand the new reality in which Georgian civil society operates. The project was supported by different, and sometimes opposing, civil society organisations, and provided for an active dialogue with segments of civil society that are often excluded from participating (e.g. mass media, business community, political parties). We hope that the atmosphere of cooperation and good relations generated through this inclusive project will survive beyond the timeframe of the CSI project and continue to positively impact the development and consolidation of civil society in Georgia. This report was prepared by David Losaberidze, PhD, Programmes Coordinator and Member of the Executive Board, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development. We wish you an informative and pleasant reading. Kind regards, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD) Tbilisi, September 2010

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The CSI Georgia project was implemented by Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD) with the financial and technical assistance of Open Society Institute. The CIVICUS Civil Society Index project methodology has been developed by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. The project team was assisted by an Advisory Committee1 which significantly contributed to the project implementation process. We also appreciate contributions from the following researchers: George Babunashvili, Tamar Charkviani, Ana Chelidze, Rusudan Chkheidze, Gia Gotua, Nino Ghambashidze, Tinatin Jishkariani, Ketevan Khapava, Vasil Mamulashvili, Tina Tkeshelashvili, Zurab Tsiklauri, Merab Tsindeliani, and Sopho Vasadze, who were actively involved in different activities of the project, collecting and analysing materials for case studies, research, and focus-group discussions. The following members of CIVICUS staff took part in the research and preparation of this final report: Tracy Anderson, Yosi Echeverry Burckhardt, Mariano De Donatis, Andrew Firmin, Megan MacGarry and Mark Nowottny. This report is the result of a team effort, rather than the product of an individual author or a group of authors. We would thus express our particular gratitude to civil society representatives for their participation in the national workshop and all of the valuable feedback and recommendations that helped accomplish the project objectives. David Losaberidze Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development Tbilisi, September 2010

1

The CSI Georgia Advisory Committee consisted of: Ramaz Aptsiauri, Manana Ghurchumelidze, Paata Gurgenidze, Nana Janashia, Emzar Jgerenaia, Lela Kartvelishvili, Ghia Khasia, Tamar Khidasheli, Kakha Khimshiashvili, Koba Liklikadze, Kamila Mamedova, and Bakur Sulakauri Gurgenidze, Nana Janashia, Emzar Jgerenaia, Lela Kartvelishvili, Ghia Khasia, Tamar Khidasheli, Kakha Khimshiashvili, Koba Liklikadze, Kamila Mamedova and Bakur Sulakauri

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

............................................................................ 9 2. PERCEPTION OF IMPACT ................................ 41 CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia ..............................................................4 Environmental standards .........................................................................................................6 Diversity of political engagement ................................... 38 4........................ LIMITATIONS OF CSI STUDY ....................... 30 2................................................ 40 4.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 4 TABLES AND FIGURES ........................................5 Financial and technological resources ......................................... 41 4. 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS.....................................................................................................3 Diversity within socially-based engagement ................................................................................ 16 1.............. 27 2... 27 2.. MAPPING CIVIL SOCIETY ..... INTERNAL PRACTICE OF VALUES ............................................. 28 2.....2 Infrastructure ..... 36 4....... 5 LIST OF ACRONYMS ................... 17 3................... LEVEL OF ORGANISATION ................. 10 3..........................6 International linkages ............................................................................. 24 1....... 35 3......................................................................................................................... 22 1............ 6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..........................................................................1 Responsiveness (internal perception) ...... 29 2.................................................................. 39 4.........................5 Perceptions of values in civil society as a whole .............................................. 33 3................ 37 4.......................................7 Impact of civil society on attitudes .................4 Extent of political engagement ................................................. 37 4............................................................. 29 2.............................................................................. 26 1...................4 TABLE OF CONTENTS FOREWORD........1 Democratic decision-making governance .......................................................................3 Sectoral communication .............5 Depth of political engagement ......................... 16 2..................1 Internal governance ........................................................... ANALYSIS OF CIVIL SOCIETY ................... 22 1.................................................................................2 Labour regulations ............................................................................................................................1 The extent of socially-based engagement ................................................... CIVIC ENGAGEMENT ....... 15 II....................................... 32 3................................................................... 39 4.............................. 2 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................... 32 3........4 Responsiveness (external perception) ......................................6 Policy impact (external perception) ................3 Code of conduct and transparency .................................................................. PROJECT BACKGROUND ................................................ CONCEPT OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA .................................................................................................................................................... PROJECT APPROACH ........... 35 Conclusion ............................................................................ 19 III.................................................................................................................................... 28 2...................................................................................2 Social impact (internal perception)....................... 7 I.............................. CIVIL SOCIETY INDEX PROJECT AND APPROACH .............. 27 Conclusion ............ 34 3......2 Depth of socially-based engagement ..................5 Social impact (external perception) .................. CSI IMPLEMENTATION ....................... 33 3.................................... 31 Conclusion ............................................3 Policy impact (internal perception) ... 25 1........... CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA............4 Human resources ........... 12 4............... HISTORY OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA ............................................................... 23 1..................................................... 24 1................... 9 1......................

........................................................................................... 41 TABLE III..........4 The level of political engagement................................................................. 64 TABLES AND FIGURES TABLE 1: Georgia Civil Society Index dimension scores ...................3..........................................3............................. 17 TABLE III............... 47 Conclusion .................................................. 50 C... SUMMARIES OF CASE STUDIES ....................................... 42 5................................ 53 APPENDIX 1 CSI INDICATOR MATRIX ......................... 43 5.........................................................................2...........................1 How do you understand civil society? ...................... VALUES ................................ 56 APPENDIX 4.................... 20 FIGURE II...............................................................1................................4....... CONCLUSIONS ...... STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA ............................... 43 TABLE III..................................2 Relations between different actors in Georgian society............................................. 30 TABLE III..... EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT ............................2: Analysis of social forces ....................................... 60 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................1 Civil society mapping .........................................1 List of CSI implementing countries 2008-2010 ..... 42 5.2 Annual budgets of CSOs ........ 28 TABLE III.............1..................................5 The depth of political engagement .1 Civic Engagement...............................1 Internal values and code of conduct .... 25 TABLE III................................. 10 TABLE II............................. 42 TABLE III................................................................ 48 WEAKNESSES: ............... 50 D................................ CIVIC ENGAGEMENT ....................................1 The Civil Society Index Diamond ..............................................3 State effectiveness ............................................5..................................... 8 TABLE I........................... 53 APPENDIX 2 COLOUR CODING EXERCISE: RESULTS.......................... 22 TABLE III...... 55 APPENDIX 3 PARTICIPANT NAMES AND ORGANISATIONAL AFFILIATIONS ............ 46 FIGURE 1 Georgia Civil Society Index Diamond ....... 49 V.............. 51 E.................1 Impact of CSOs on the processes within the country ...... 26 TABLE III................................................................................ ENVIRONMENT ........ ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ......3 Socio-cultural context ............................ 33 TABLE III....................................................... 12 FIGURE I......................1........2 Political rights and freedoms .....................1 The level of organisational development ............................................... 13 FIGURE II..................... IMPACT ....5....................3 The level of public confidence in civil society institutions.................................... 7 FIGURE I.....................................2 Socio-political context...................................................................................................................... 23 TABLE III.......................................................1 Validity Colour Code and Description ................1 The Civil Society Index implementation model ........................... 50 B...............2 Socially based engagement .....................................................................................1........................4........... 48 IV.............. 49 A...................................................................................................................... RECOMMENDATIONS .............................1........................................................5.............3...........................................................4.................................................................................... 51 VI..... 37 TABLE III.................................................. 51 APPENDICES.................................2.......................................................1........................................1 External environment of CSOs.......................5 Conclusion ....................... 55 CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .............................................................................................. 45 TABLE III.............................................................................................................................3.................. 45 5.......... 24 TABLE III.........................3 Preferred companions for leisure-time activities .........................1.......................................................................2......................................... 49 STRENGTHS:................................................................................... 21 FIGURE AII...................................................................................1 Socio-economic context .....................

6 LIST OF ACRONYMS BCI CIPDD CSI CSI OS 2009 CSO EPS FGP FH HDR NIT NWP PS SWR TI VGS WVS Basic Capabilities Index Caucasus Institute for Peace. Development Civil Society Index CSI Organisational Survey Civil Society Organisation External Perceptions Survey Focus Group Participants Freedom House Human Development Report National Implementing Team CSI National Workshop participants Population Survey Social Watch Report Transparency International Values of Georgian Society Survey World Values Survey Democracy and CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The present study aims at assessing the state of civil society in Georgia. This is done by measuring five dimensions: Civic Engagement, Level of Organisation, Practice of Values, Perception of Impact and the External Environment in which civil society operates. The implementation of the project was severely impeded due to unpredicted changes in the National Implementation Team (NIT), as well as limitations of funding. Another limiting factor was the question of the reliability of the data collected throughout the project (see Appendix 2: Colour Coding Exercise).2 The original plan included a study of all segments of civil society. It was discovered, however, that the persons involved in the study, despite their correct understanding of civil society, have mainly focused on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs/NGOs) and have referred to other segments of civil society (such as media, political parties, faith-based organisations) only to the extent where those have had an impact on CSOs. This illustrates the generally dominant role that formal CSOs play in people’s perception of civil society. During the process of the social forces mapping, it was revealed that a majority of CSOs identify two value groups in the country. These are: a) a retrograde value system, which has totalitarian origins and mostly favours Northern (pro-Russian) orientation in foreign policy; and b) a democratic value system, which is perceived as Western (European and EuroAtlantic) oriented. A majority of Georgian CSOs consider themselves supporters of the latter. The strongest power in the country, due to the underdeveloped civil society and business sectors, is the executive government, particularly the President of Georgia. The Georgian Civil Society Diamond below illustrates the current state of civil society in Georgia. FIGURE 1 Georgia Civil Society Index Diamond

2

The validity of sources in Georgia is generally very questionable: data from international and national sources, as well as from various governmental sources often radically disagree.

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

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TABLE 1: Georgia Civil Society Index dimension scores Dimension Score (%) 1 Civic Engagement 20.6 2 Level of Organisation 64.5 3 Practice of Values 64.7 4 Perception of Impact 30.3 5 External Environment 59.6 The CSI data was collected both qualitatively and quantitatively, through various surveys and literature reviews. However, participants at the CSI National Workshop expressed doubts regarding the accuracy of parts of the data, particularly the relatively high scores for the Level of Organisation and Practice of Values dimensions. The low scores for the Civic Engagement and Perception of Impact dimensions, on the other hand, were identified as realistic. Participants also severely questioned the score for the External Environment, as they considered the reality is that there is a significant impediment to civil society development and activities. The National Workshop identified the weaknesses of civil society in Georgia, including: a low impact on society, significantly low levels of organisation and a disenabling external environment due to the concentration of power with the authorities. The strengths of civil society mentioned were: organisational experience, the dominance of democratic values among CSOs and potential for development, should other actors (predominantly international and donor organisations) increase their involvement (as CSOs at present primarily exist due to international financial support). Furthermore, it was identified that the leading aim of civil society was to support and encourage the formation of strong public demand based on democratic values. Among the measures needed to attain this goal are the development of policies based on shared values and active networking. Such measures will contribute to increased public awareness and hopefully increase the levels of civic involvement and participation in ongoing processes in Georgia. A positive development that has recently emerged in the wake of the government’s diminishing credibility is that authorities have given a clear signal that they would like to cooperate more with civil society groups on numerous issues. Unfortunately, civil society has been substantially weakened in the last seven years and is thus no longer usually able to respond adequately to new challenges. At various meetings organised within the CSI project implementation process in Georgia, the majority of participants, regardless of their sympathies or affiliations, pointed out that recent developments (especially reduction in funding and decreased attention from the governmental institutions) portend new types of challenges for civil society in Georgia: • The optimistic scenario foretells an empowerment of democratic institutions within Georgia and the formation of a sustainable basis for the stable development of democratic institutions through international support and mobilisation of society as a whole. The pessimistic scenario however suggests further consolidations of authoritarian rule in Georgia as a potential threat, in conjunction with a deteriorating economy, high emigration, the domination of police structures and the increasing power of international criminal cartels (for example, drug and weapons smuggling).

CSOs believe that only the support of further developments of the civil society sector may lead to the achievement of the optimistic scenario.

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

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I.

CIVIL SOCIETY INDEX PROJECT AND APPROACH

Civil society is playing an increasingly important role in governance and development around the world. In most countries, however, knowledge about the state and shape of civil society is limited. Moreover, opportunities for civil society stakeholders to come together to collectively discuss, reflect and act on the strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities also remain limited. The Civil Society Index (CSI) is a participatory action-research project assessing the state of civil society in countries around the world, and contributes to redressing these gaps and limitations. It aims at creating a knowledge base and momentum for civil society strengthening. The CSI is initiated and implemented by, and for, civil society organisations at the country level, in partnership with CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. The CSI implementation actively involves and disseminates its findings to a broad range of stakeholders including civil society itself, government, the media, donors, academics and the public at large. The following four sections provide a background of the CSI, its key principles and approaches, as well as a snapshot of the methodology used in the generation of this report in Georgia and its limitations.

1. PROJECT BACKGROUND
The CSI first emerged as a concept over a decade ago as a follow-up to the 1997 New Civic Atlas publication by CIVICUS, which contained profiles of civil society in 60 countries around the world (Heinrich and Naidoo (2001). The first version of the CSI methodology, developed by CIVICUS with the help of Helmut Anheier, was unveiled in 1999. An initial pilot of the tool was carried out in 2000 in 13 countries.3 The pilot implementation process and results were evaluated in 2001. This evaluation informed a revision of the methodology. Subsequently, CIVICUS successfully implemented the first complete phase of the CSI between 2003 and 2006 in 53 countries worldwide. This implementation directly involved more than 7,000 civil society stakeholders (Heinrich 2008). Georgia was one of the countries that implemented a shortened version of the CSI methodology between 2003 and 2006. Intent on continuing to improve the research-action orientation of the tool, CIVICUS worked with the Centre for Social Investment at the University of Heidelberg, as well as with partners and other stakeholders, to rigorously evaluate and revise the CSI methodology for a second time before the start of this current implementation phase in 2008. With this new and streamlined methodology in place, CIVICUS launched the new phase of the CSI in 2008 and selected country partners, including some previous and some new implementers, from all over the globe to participate in the project. Table I.1.1 below shows the list of implementing countries in the current phase of the CSI.

3

The pilot countries were Belarus, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Romania, South Africa, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Wales.

CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia

CSI does not produce knowledge for its own sake but instead seeks to directly apply the knowledge generated to stimulate strategies that enhance the effectiveness and role of civil society. the CSI’s fundamental methodological bedrocks which have greatly influenced the implementation that this report is based upon include the following:5 Inclusiveness: The CSI framework strives to incorporate a variety of theoretical viewpoints. PROJECT APPROACH The current CSI project approach continues to marry assessment and evidence with reflections and action. The following key steps in CSI implementation take place at the country level: 1. actors and processes included in the project. Universality: Since the CSI is a global project. Collective Reflection: implementation involves structured dialogue among diverse civil society stakeholders that enables the identification of civil society’s specific strengths and weaknesses.10 TABLE I. due to countries being added or dropped during the implementation cycle. Assessment: CSI uses an innovative mix of participatory research methods. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . 4 Note that this list was accurate as of the publication of this Analytical Country Report. As such. Silva and Anderson (2010). Level of Organisation. its methodology seeks to accommodate national variations in context and concepts within its framework. as well as being inclusive in terms of civil society indicators. Joint Action: the actors involved use a participatory and consultative process to develop and implement a concrete action agenda to strengthen civil society in a country. Practice of Values. Perception of Impact and the External Environment.1 List of CSI implementing countries 2008-20104 Albania Ghana Argentina Italy Armenia Japan Bahrain Jordan Belarus Kazakhstan Bulgaria Kosovo Burkina Faso Lebanon Chile Liberia Croatia Macedonia Cyprus Madagascar Djibouti Mali Democratic Republic of Malta Congo Mexico Georgia Nicaragua Niger Philippines Russia Serbia Slovenia South Korea Sudan Togo Turkey Uganda Ukraine Uruguay Venezuela Zambia 2. 3.1. but may have changed slightly since the publication. This approach provides an important reference point for the work carried out within the framework of the CSI. Johannesburg. 5 For in-depth explanations of these principles. With this in mind. CIVICUS. 2. Assessing and Strengthening Civil Society Worldwide: An updated programme description of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index Phase 2008-2010. please see Mati. and case studies to comprehensively assess the state of civil society using five dimensions: Civic Engagement. data sources.

The context or environment is represented visually by a circle around the axes of the Civil Society Diamond.1 below). the Advisory Committee. the National Workshops) should create new spaces where very diverse actors can discover synergies and forge new alliances. but instead to comparatively measure different aspects of civil society worldwide.11 Comparability: The CSI aims not to rank. The CSI measures the following core dimensions: (1) Civic Engagement (2) Level of Organisation (3) Practice of Values (4) Perceived Impact (5) External Environment These dimensions are illustrated visually through the Civil Society Diamond (see Figure I. the conditions that support or inhibit civil society's development. the CSI methodology uses a combination of participatory and scientific research methods to generate an assessment of the state of civil society at the national level. Versatility: The CSI is specifically designed to achieve an appropriate balance between international comparability and national flexibility in the implementation of the project. The possibility for comparisons exists both between different countries or regions within one phase of CSI implementation and between phases. including at a crosssectoral level. focus groups. With the above mentioned foundations. the CSI framework seeks to identify aspects of civil society that can be changed and to generate information and knowledge relevant to action-oriented goals. To form the Civil Society Diamond. and is not regarded as part of the state of civil society but rather as something external that still remains a crucial element for its well being. Some countries in the last phase have also participated in regional conferences to discuss the CSI findings as well as cross-national civil society issues. partners are supported through the implementation cycle by the CSI team at CIVICUS. The Diamond’s size seeks to portray an empirical picture of the state of civil society. Change: The principal aim of the CSI is to generate information that is of practical use to civil society practitioners and other primary stakeholders. Partners participating in the project also gain substantial skills in research. After the training. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . training and facilitation in implementing the CSI in-country. Capacity Development: Country partners are firstly trained on the CSI methodology during a three day regional workshop. as well as the consequences of civil society's activities for society at large.g. Networking: The participatory and inclusive nature of the different CSI tools (e. Therefore. 67 quantitative indicators are aggregated into 28 subdimensions which are then assembled into the five final dimensions along a 0-100 percentage scale. Dialogue: One of the key elements of the CSI is its participatory approach. which is one of the most essential and best-known components of the CSI project.2. involving a wide range of stakeholders who collectively own and run the project in their respective countries.

CSI IMPLEMENTATION There are several key CSI programme implementation activities as well as several structures involved. Additionally there have been weak ties between various types of CSOs. As a consequence. please see Mati et al (cited in footnote 5 above). CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Further. 3. groups cohere around the specific issues of their focus. the perception of who was or was not part of civil society was rather narrow. very often organisations and groups are unaware of the activities even of groups operating in the same sector.1 The Civil Society Index Diamond The CSI research provided exactly the needed framework and opportunity to discuss existing strengths and weaknesses as well as to develop future plans. As a consequence. This narrow definition of civil society reflects a broader problem of the dominance of NGOs on the social landscape of Georgia.12 FIGURE I. and included mainly non-governmental organisations supported by international donors. This is precisely because previous research on civil society in Georgia has mainly focused on the organisational capacity of different CSOs (Nodia.2. associations of artists and other less formal groups were largely overlooked. 2005). This reality made even more acute the need for a common platform for discussing the problems and challenges that civil society faces. important groups. This often hinders cooperation between groups. Often. such as religious organisations. as summarised by the figure below:6 6 For a detailed discussion on each of these steps in the process.

. which brings together a large group of civil society and non-civil society stakeholders and allows interested parties to discuss and develop strategies for addressing identified priority issues. (ii) an Organisational Survey measuring the meso-level of civil society and defining characteristics of CSOs. advocacy NGOs. gathering the views of citizens on civil society and gauging their involvement in groups and associations. CIPDD concentrated on gaining broad support from civil society and creating consensus around the project implementation methodology from the project onset. The Advisory Committee (AC) played a crucial role in this process. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . The wide diversity of positive interests in this group had a significant impact in terms of the quality of discussion and the establishment of ties between civil society and the project team. experts and policy makers in key sectors have of civil society’s impact. Following the guidelines provided by the CSI methodology. and (iii) an External Perceptions Survey aiming at measuring the perception that stakeholders. including: (i) a Population Survey. the AC also included donors and representatives from business and the government. and environmental activists). including summaries of civil society’s strengths and weaknesses as well as recommendations for strengthening civil society in the country. and presents highlights from the research conducted. Advisory Committee (AC) meetings made up of civil society experts to advise on the project and its implementation at the country level.1 The Civil Society Index implementation model                                                 The major tools and elements of the CSI implementation at the national level include: • Multiple surveys. • • • Following this in-depth research and the extensive collection of information. which makes practical recommendations for policy initiatives in the light of the CSI findings. Comprised of representatives from different sectors (including ethnic groups. Tailored case studies which focus on issues of importance to the specific civil society country context. Regional and thematic focus groups where civil society stakeholders reflect and share views on civil society’s role in society. This Analytical Country Report is one of the major outputs of the CSI implementation process in Georgia.13 FIGURE I. It is accompanied by a Policy Action Brief. the findings are presented and debated at a National Workshop.3.

several organisations from each sector were selected to participate in the survey. under the supervision of Caucasus Research Resource Centre (CRRC). CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . some of the questions on which indicators of CSI research are based were not presented in the current wave of WVS. The Advisory Committee contributed greatly to the easing of this process. However. To address this problem. In particular. they were very useful in helping the National Implementing Team (NIT) find workable and inclusive solutions to these problems. as mentioned above. a purposeful sampling of different categories of CSOs was done using the ‘snowball’ method and existing data. relationships with state authorities. including journalists. The ability to select a representative sample of a diverse number of CSOs was one of the strengths of this approach. As a result. Although access to some categories of respondents was difficult (most notably state representatives from different ministries). While these debates did not result in consensus. intellectuals and business people (25 persons in total). Data from three different surveys. Fortunately. as the CSI methodology allows. As a consequence. a balanced representation of views has been achieved through the inclusion of various elite groups. for Georgia. The Population Survey (PS): The majority of the questions addressed in this survey were derived from the World Values Survey (WVS) 2009. was used as the main source for further analysis and informed the topics for the case studies. Structured interviews were conducted with top-level representatives from 100 Georgian CSOs. expert evaluations weighting the importance of various groups within civil society were used to determine the composition of the sample. an additional survey was commissioned from the social and marketing research company ACT. In addition. 7 It should be noted that no major discrepancies between the two sets of data were found as a result. Representatives of each sector of civil society were asked to name other prominent organisations working in their field. In accordance with the methodology developed by CIVICUS. some technical problems arose regarding whether data from the WVS or other additional data should be used to construct indices in certain cases. The External Perceptions Survey (CSI EPS): This survey served to assess decision makers’ attitudes and opinions towards civil society activities and their impact. Secondary data was also gathered and analysed. Findings of the 2009 WVS Georgia data served in the construction of the Civil Society Diamond. and the evaluation of their own success. politicians.14 One of the challenges encountered by the implementation team was to operationalise the concept of civil society and define its boundaries for the purposes of the project. A major problem in the preparation of this survey was the absence of a comprehensive database of civil society groups in Georgia.7 The Organisational Survey (CSI OS 2009): The purpose of this survey is to obtain factual information and learn about the attitudes of civil society representatives on diverse issues. representative samples of Georgia’s population were selected based on similar procedures. In both cases. A varied scope of people answered the questionnaire. we were able to get the 2009 WVS data which had been collected in Georgia by the research firm GORBI. as was the question of whether to include political parties in the sampling for future research. the boundary between religious groups and CSOs was a hotly debated topic during the first AC meeting. including organisational practices. three quantitative surveys and at least five qualitative case studies were conducted for this project.. However. This problem was addressed in a logical manner by researchers from the CIVICUS CSI team and the NIT.

the work of the NIT was positively appraised and some analytical insights were suggested. participants needed more time than planned for to ‘warm up’ and open up to others. the business sector and academia. At the national workshop. In general.15 The Case Studies: In addition to quantitative data. informed by the quantitative data. The topics of these case studies were determined through consultations amongst local project staff and the CIVICUS CSI team. Through this process. participants mostly agreed with each other in their interpretations of the research findings. the media and other stakeholder groups during the national workshop. However. however. as well as on secondary data. Ten focus groups were held in different regions of Georgia. a few representatives of local governments. The focus groups revealed once again that as a consequence of the few opportunities for CSO representatives to come together and discuss their projects. 4. each of them contributing their unique point of view to the discussions. including civil society itself. By using the mentioned method. each attended by 13 to 25 participants. Rustavi 2 and Imedi TV). LIMITATIONS OF CSI STUDY Two limitations regarding this study should be particularly mentioned. Regional Focus Groups were also conducted. Prior to this meeting. can contribute to strengthening and consolidating civil society in Georgia. one per diamond dimension. Validity of the collected data was evaluated and some values for indicators were identified as unreliable. Interestingly enough. particularly focusing on the content of news programmes broadcasted by the three leading Georgian TV stations (Public Broadcaster. Sixty-five representatives attended this workshop. The National Workshop: The data and the civil society diamond were then presented to various civil society sectors. The absence of a sampling frame made sampling quite complicated. One of the case studies was based on the analysis of electronic and visual media. thus underlining the major similarities in concerns and the social position of various CSOs in Georgia. While civil society in Georgia tends to be rather fragmented around different social and political issues. voices of dissent were also given the opportunity to speak during this workshop and their views examined. the preliminary findings of the research were shared and used as a framework for initiating further discussions on the state of civil society and drafting recommendations for further measures to improve the situation. Following surveys and case studies. The CIVICUS CSI team later approved the choice of methodology. One important limitation is connected to the sampling process. a wider range of CSOs were included in the sample and this improved the validity of the research as whole. The majority of participants in these focus groups were civil society representatives. no significant difference in opinions was registered between representatives of various regions. the CSI research also included five qualitative case studies. During these sessions. At the same time. problems that are particularly challenging in Georgia were selected. There were. A range of sectors of civil society were represented. the CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . the data matrix containing all the data scoring values was distributed to the members of the AC. The result was a more insightful discussion regarding the problems that civil society in Georgia faces today. Despite the differences. The Second Advisory Committee (AC) Meeting: The findings of the empirical research were presented at the second AC meeting. participants and the NIT developed an Action Plan for how different actors. The majority of the case studies are based on indepth interviews with stakeholders. a certain balance between the workshop participants was achieved. As a solution to this problem. a detailed list of different sectors of civil society was developed and the sample was selected through the snowball sampling method within each identified category.

and the arguments (considered to be often inadequate) they put forward to support their views.16 difficulties with this approach are related to the non-random character of the sampling. which is created by individual and collective actions. different civil actions and the rule of law. A second limitation of this study relates to the comparative nature of the research. like other post-Communist countries. CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA 1. mass media and some political parties – agree overall with CIVICUS’ definition of civil society as "the arena. CONCEPT OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA Thus far. The obvious contradictions between some of the data are the most striking results of the civil society assessment. most of respondents replied in the affirmative. Georgian civil society . the unity of active citizens. including the majority of the national workshop participants (NWPs) and experts. compared to cases in which more correct statistical procedures were applied. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . While follow-up questions could help to solve these kinds of problems. an incomplete picture of the social reality could be the result. is that these bodies exist on paper (for various reasons). and business community) and civil society. with the question of whether a concrete CSO has a board or another type of governing body. due to inadequate research questions. Relations between external actors (the rest of population. some of the indicators do not reflect the realities of civil society in Georgia. organisations and institutions to advance shared interests. freedom of speech. and the market. though sometimes it also seemed contradictory and unreliable. Although the CSI PS was chosen as the primary source of information.non-governmental organisations. are often rather controversial. the framing of the research questions is the main reason for this. as well as the relationship between different segments of civil society itself. In some cases. II. outside of the family. As a consequence. CSOs often refer to concepts such as democracy. the state. especially the national statistical data. only began using the term ‘civil society’ relatively recently. however. there has been no public debate over the concept of civil society in Georgia because Georgia. the reality in most of these organisations. It therefore seems that most civil society representatives in Georgia prefer to use the term "the unity of active citizens" in their definition of a civil society and during self-assessment. As experts noted. transparency. and even the CSOs’ self-assessment. According to the experts." When discussing issues related to civil society. while decision making internally in many organisations is mostly based on informal structures. The table below summarises responses received from the Organisational Survey on the question of how respondents understand civil society. answers to these questions cannot and should not be considered for any comparative analyses. participation. we also tried to record the (often sceptical) opinions of various civil society representatives. For example. the government. A third challenge and limitation to this study lies in the lack of reliability of information. the possibilities for generalising the findings of our research are significantly limited. According to them. Information provided by international organisations was more trustworthy.

for creating a democratic façade for their own population and the international community.’ such as sport clubs.6% 16. participants of these discussions define civil society in broad terms (including parties. while other segments are covered as much as possible using materials we have collected. media and civil society institutions) and positively assess its role in the state-building process. craftsmen unions. and. to be part of civil society. unions. which was founded in 1879. Georgian civil society was already quite strong and functional. That is why part of Georgian civil society does not consider radical marginal groups.was triggered in Georgia after it was annexed by Soviet Russia in 1922. provided we exclude the country’s medieval orders of knighthood. and its activities extended to almost all spheres of social life. is now widely seen as the country’s first-ever modernstyle CSO. The processes that unfolded at that period were similar to those that developed within Eastern Europe. as far as specific problems of civil society are concerned. a considerable number of CSOs refuse to recognise even trade unions as elements of civil society. namely national movements and educational activities aiming at modernisation in line with the European model. Similar developments took place in other Soviet republics as well.the creation of a quasicivil society8 . liberal values have gained a firm foothold in Georgia.0% 5. however. such as political or religious extremists.1. 2.9% 6. although they were largely formal. writers’ and art workers’ unions and trade unions. wide autonomy. however. Moreover.9% 4. Together with civil society in Poland. Discussions regarding the challenges facing CSOs often result in an even narrower understanding of civil society. At the turn of the Twentieth Century. merchant guilds. but all of them were under the complete control of the Communist Party and the secret services and political police of the USSR (KGB). sovereignty and independence or at least.9% 14. For this reason. the Georgian Orthodox Church (whose history dates back to Fourth Century). Instead. The Georgian Society for Promoting Literacy in the Georgian Nation. Georgia was annexed by Russia and became part of the Russian Empire. On the one hand. church. but in reality. the Baltic countries and Finland.17 TABLE II. it formed the most democratic segment of the Russian Empire. they usually speak only about problems of CSOs. of course. In the early Nineteenth Century.0% At the same time. This phenomenon is characteristic of the post-Soviet period and can be seen as a direct result of strong antiSocialist sentiment in the country. put an abrupt end to the development of civil society in Georgia. On the other hand. These organisations were supposed to be formally independent. they were serving the political objectives of the government and hindering the development of true CSOs. a new process . The Bolshevik revolution in Russia and the occupation of the Georgian Democratic Republic (1918-1921) by the Russian Red Army. we decided to focus the report mainly on the problems of CSOs. claiming that they are relics of the Soviet past. HISTORY OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA Georgian civil society dates back to the middle of the Nineteenth Century. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . while other civil society segments are discussed only in relation to the CSOs.1 How do you understand civil society? The unity of active citizens It represents public interest and defends democracy A form of citizens’ association The most responsible part of society People who are aware of their rights The unity of political institutions (CSI OS 2009) 36. Various ‘civil society organisations. were created in Georgia during Soviet times (1921 to1991). 8 These quasi-civil society organisations were developed by the totalitarian state.

Unfortunately.came to life in Georgia in addition to political parties and the media. of predominantly NGO-type CSOs. to discredit NGOs and applied financial and political measures to suppress civil society.18 The reforms that contributed to the end of the USSR in the 1980s and 1990s helped revive and/or strengthen the banned (political parties. However. Georgian civil society appeared ‘mature’ enough to mobilise for protest actions and demonstrations to defend its rights.non-governmental organisations (NGOs) . initially as ‘Chairman of the Parliament . the government had more serious problems to deal with than imposing control over independent civil society groups. civil society was too young and weak to play a significant role in the society at that time and was not regarded as a threat by the corrupt bureaucracy.Head of The State’ and then in 1995 being elected president. and it is questionable if these groups should be considered as civil society. political. many paramilitary and nationalistic criminal groups. The government’s interference in the third sector continued to be minimal in this period. 2. But the government’s measures only consolidated civil society and made these groups more determined to fight for their rights. Georgian civil society also regained some strength partly due to substantial financial. engaged in activities such as drug and weapons smuggling. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . but at times direct. as the government was eager to boost its democratic credentials in the eyes of the West. Georgia lacked the experience of democratic governance. a factor that greatly contributed to the ignition of a civil war. Soon afterwards came a civil war and two violent conflicts. As an obvious consequence. As a result. and economic consequences. democratic media) or restricted (church. as enumerated below: 1. it preferred to turn a blind eye to NGO activities and abstained from stifling dissenting voices. role in these events. In recent years. civil society activities ceased to develop during this period. in large ethnic autonomies. In 1992. At that time. though NGOs began giving the authorities some headaches. with severe social.9 In response. 3. which were prompted by an abortive raid by the officers of the state security service on the office of the independent Rustavi-2 TV. economic and political support from the West (especially the USA and the EU). At the same time. political crisis and ethnic conflicts that have ravaged the country since the breakdown of the Soviet Union. the government launched a campaign. In this new era. Russian security forces played a mostly indirect. Also. a new civil society segment . The independence period of the third sector – 1999 to 2003: Civil society’s willingness and readiness to take part in social processes appeared to increasingly irk the government. However. with the help of pro-government media. Georgian civil society has gone through several phases of development. quantitatively and qualitatively. emerged during this period. Once stability gradually returned to Georgia after Eduard Shevardnadze came to power in 1992. "Oasis" years – 1995 to 1999: It was a time of unhindered growth. The scale of the protests was so immense that the president was forced to sack the security and interior ministers in order to appease public opinion. Birth and early "childhood" – 1992 to 1995: During this period. the existing CSOs had their principle goal to regain Georgia’s sovereignty and independence and democratise Georgian society. the first post-Soviet and democratically elected government of Zviad Gamsakhurdia was overthrown in a military coup. freedom of conscience) elements of civil society in Georgia. after a large-scale rigging of parliamentary elections by the authorities in 2003. civil society became one of the main driving forces of 9 This is illustrated by the massive protest actions in Tbilisi in November 2001.

The "turning point" (since 2008): The civil society sector realised that it needed to develop a new strategy. It has lost momentum. Post-revolution period – 2003 to 2008: The role of civil society noticeably increased at this time. united and committed to shared values as it was in 2001. members of the Advisory Committee and focus group participants (FGPs) identified the following (Figure II. the large-scale rigging of the snap presidential and parliamentary polls in the 2008 winter and spring. Few new activists came to replace those who left. Some of them found new jobs in governmental institutions or businesses. CNN.19 a peaceful revolution (known as the Rose Revolution) that ensued (Losaberidze. 10 May 2005. Many civil society activists have left the civil society sector. Georgian civil society was in deep trouble at that time as electronic media was almost fully controlled by the government. At the same time. This period saw many representatives of civil society. others migrated to foreign countries. 10 CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . which led to a direct Russia-Georgia military conflict with disastrous consequences for Georgia. MAPPING CIVIL SOCIETY During the analysis of the research findings. 4. however.1) major segments that have a significant impact on civil society in Georgia: US president George W Bush dubbed Georgia the "Beacon of Democracy" after the so-called Rose Revolution in 2003 in Tbilisi. such as the crackdown on a mass protest rally in Tbilisi in November 2007. the government began a successful campaign to defeat the criminal and corrupt oligarchy that had gained strength in the 1990s. The government’s mistakes. civil society was no longer as strong. this policy has brought about rather negative consequences. The social capital and efficiency of the government substantially increased as a result. 2007: 194). CSO experts.3. and donor organisations reduced their support to CSOs and channelled their resources mainly to governmental programmes. At the time. the post-Revolution euphoria paved the way for the so-called ‘dragon syndrome’.10 5. independent media institutions and democratic political forces being promoted to key positions in government. Although the donors renewed their assistance programs for the CSOs in 2009. In the course of the last two to three years. 3. The government’s radical policy/actions revived a sense of estrangement between society and the establishment. and the decision to retake South Ossetia by force. which holds that one must become a dragon to defeat a dragon. ruined Georgia’s image as a "beacon of democracy" both at home and abroad.

3. though their influence on society is rather weak.2 below).20 FIGURE II. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . other "traditional" churches. EU) Local Donors TV Ajara (AjaraGov) (OSGF) Protestant Churches Christian Democrat s TV`Caucasia United Opposition Armenian Church Print Media Labour Party Rustavi2 TV (Government) Think Tanks Public Broadcasting (Government) Leaders TV Imedi (Government) Watchdogs Ethnic Groups (Armenian Orgs) As a rule. and groups representing the interests of ethnic minorities). a majority of the Georgian newspapers and other periodicals.3. On the other hand. "faith") in the country. "language". Next comes several civil society segments that also claim to be defenders and proponents of traditional values (independent and regional TV companies. the Georgian Orthodox Church is largely regarded by civil society experts as one of the most influential institutions and a guardian of traditional values ("motherland". for instance Armenian Apostolic Church. an overwhelming majority of CSOs and several political parties. radical and patriotic opposition parties. while their activities are usually limited to intellectual discussions and/or theoretical deliberations. for instance the Republican Party. yields a very different picture (see Figure II. 11 The size of the circles correlates with the level of dominance of a particular actor in the public discourse. but the analysis of real social forces and influences. an exercise that was part of the CSI project.1 Civil society mapping 11 Republican Party Orthodox Church (Patriarch’s Circle) International Donors (USAID. such as international and donor organisations. The government and state-controlled media (main national TV companies: Georgian Public Broadcasting Company and formally independent Rustavi-2 and Imedi TV channels) are seeking to maintain a balanced approach between traditional and liberal values. there are some actors that promote modern liberal and democratic values.

most of CSOs. there are no large private companies and corporations in Georgia.21 FIGURE II. on the other hand. namely the presidency together with the ruling party and state bureaucracy which are strongly dependent on the president’s office. On the one hand. which is closely linked to the Russian Orthodox Church. party Leadership) Bureaucracy (Ministry of Interior Affairs) Social Groups (Pensioners. they cannot pose any challenge to the dominance of the Russian forces. and pro-western political forces. the biggest part of the Georgian national economy is now controlled by Russian companies. The first group includes "Russian forces": the Russian government (first of all. is the most influential and powerful institution in Georgia today. international and regional organisations (NATO. World Bank. but as a group they have enough capacity to counterbalance the "Russians. At the same time. 12 CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . in other words. This aspect is somehow counterbalanced by a large-scale western financial assistance.2: Analysis of social forces Russia (Petersburg Group) Orthodox Church (Patriarch’s Surrounding) Opposition Civil Society (Donors) Abkhazia Big Business (Oligarchs) Media (Electronic Media) EU IMF/WB/European Commission President’s Surrounding (President) Ruling Party (UNM. Georgian citizens who amassed their fortune in Russia and have strong ties with that country. as the most powerful actor. prime minister Putin and his retinue). IMF). the authorities of breakaway regions. That is why the state (national budget) remains the biggest buyer in the country. Individually. the government is trying to maintain a balanced stance between the Western and Russian forces. It uses different state structures (financial police. two large interest groups play important roles in this social forces analysis. lawenforcement agencies. and "oligarchs"." The Georgian government. and security services) to keep the national economy and the political situation in the country under its full control. the Georgian Orthodox clergy. The second group.12 As a result of the privatisation process. it is determined to defend its own interests. Teachers etc) USA (State Department) NATO Ethnic Minorities Similar to the case of the Civil Society Mapping.3. dubbed the "Western Vector". IDPs. consists of the diplomatic corps.

which usually provide only small-scale and non-regular financial assistance. But fewer than 10% of them are really functional. the ruling party has never been a segment of civil society. III. watchdogs. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT In this section. financial and political resources. religious-based. This form of government is characterised by a single-party system in which one party dominates the government and parliament (from two thirds to 100% of parliamentary seats). in the opinion of respondents of the External Perceptions Survey.5 Depth of political engagement 1. whose views were shared by a majority of the CSI NWPs.1 Extent of socially-based engagement 1.4 for further discussion of this topic. are quite diverse and cover. at least formally. especially CSO volunteering activities. 13 CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Georgian civil society has a rather limited ability to influence ongoing processes in the country.1. transparency of the budgeting process. depth. From the outset it is important to note that. United National Movement (2003 to present).6 Diversity of political engagement 20. On the one hand. environmental) is meant. that was at the helm of Ajara until 2004. is noticeably low in Georgia on a formal level. 15 By civic engagement.4 Extent of political engagement 1. the overwhelming majority of them depend heavily on donor organisations. in exchange for their full loyalty. Citizens’ Union of Georgia (1994-03). professional and sectoral associations. Besides. it was decided to exclude the ruling party from the analysis.2 14. Opposition parties are completely ignored.000 organisations are registered in Georgia. the government does not hesitate to give certain civil society groups a free hand in dealing with some unimportant issues.6 17. TABLE III. while the CSI methodology proposes that political parties be considered as part of civil society.5 6. they have minimal influence on society. once political or economic power sharing (such as civilian oversight of security and police structures. As to their ability to influence the government.1 Civic Engagement 1 Dimension: Civic Engagement 1. many civil society representatives think that pro-government CSOs are unreasonably over-optimistic. attention was paid to the number of people participating in the work of these organisations. rather than an increase. both on the legislative and practical levels. as it relies heavily on the government’s administrative. 14 The assessment is relevant to both the Soviet-era Communist Party of Georgia and post-Soviet governing political groups: Round Table . On the other hand. ANALYSIS OF CIVIL SOCIETY 1. the entire territory of Georgia.6 4. government refuses to even discuss such a possibility. which include think tanks. According to a Georgian expert George Tarkhan-Mouravi. mainly participation in various types of groups (such as political.22 Under such circumstances. 16 See sub-dimension 1. or the government creates pseudo-opposition groups that are in fact loyal to the authorities and are needed to provide a veneer of democracy.13 Although the activities of these organisations. and the diversity of citizen engagement in social and political processes. in Georgia.1 and 1.0 28. on both formal and informal levels.15 Even more worrying is the apparent trend toward a decrease in volunteering. and Aghordzineba Party.Free Georgia (1990-92). In reality.3 Diversity of socially-based engagement 1.14 For this reason.16 This tendency is particularly evident with regard to socially-based More than 10.8 52. During the research.5 Civic engagement. or decentralisation of government) is suggested. however.2 Depth of socially-based engagement 1. it seems that the ruling party is part of the government. and members of the Advisory Committee. we discuss the extent. as well as to how intensive this participation was.

7 1.2 Socially based engagement Participation The Orthodox Church and religious organisations Arts.1 Volunteers 2. 17 CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .17 Regardless. drastic worsening of living conditions. formally and/or informally. even this figure. it is mainly the neighbourhood and community groups and other similar informal associations. it is much higher than civic participation in other spheres.2 0. from 1. According to the NWPs. is higher in Georgia. such as within groups of friends. at 7. According to NWPs. for instance. TABLE III. consumer protection unions. Unfortunately. CSOs are well aware of the problem. Citizen participation in general. WVS 2009). however small. In a country where official structures have always been treated with a fair dose of mistrust.23 engagement.8% at present (VGS 2006. one explanation for this may be that difficult economic and social circumstances.0 1. This is because the Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the most influential and popular institutions in the country. community participation. along with the neglect of the interests of wider society by government. and socially-based engagement in particular.6%. The current political situation in Georgia offers another serious stumbling block to increased civic engagement. seems somewhat exaggerated. civic participation has fallen in the country from some 10% in 2006 to 8. where it stands at 0.1. which traditionally enjoy high levels of public confidence and thus have higher levels of civic participation.7%) and passive (3.6 - Passive members 3. which is not institutionalised as a rule. Euphoria and enthusiasm witnessed during the 2003 Rose Revolution gradually faded away in the post-revolution period.3% to 5.9 1. is far from active in Georgia. In contrast to institutionalised activities. music. It is noteworthy that this form of civic engagement has increased sharply in recent times. This can be seen as a reflection of the fact that public confidence in formal structures has never been high in Georgia. political and economic environments.9%) members is shown in the table above.1 0. As a result. The participation in church activities of both of the active (1.7 - Unsurprisingly. including high levels of unemployment.1 The extent of socially-based engagement Citizen engagement in social activities is measured by the number of people involved.1 0.1% (WVS 2009). available research data does not tell us the exact nature of such participation in church activities. and it remains one of their prime concerns. giving way to widespread public frustration and disillusionment. and largely unstable social. educational organisations Sport and recreational organisations Consumers’ organisations (WVS 2009) Active members 1. have marginalised large segments of society and prevented the emergence of organised groups and the implementation of institutionalised activities. the highest level of citizen engagement for Georgians was within the Orthodox Church and religious organisations.2 0.1% (WVS 2009). The table below summarises how civic engagement is structured socially as measured in the CSI project. 1.

8 27. mainly CSOs.24 1.1 41. in this regard.0 27. CSO members consider their work paid employment. they meant simply going to church and praying together. Regional focus group participants pointed out that the lack of thematic diversity in programmes of formal civil society groups was another impediment to active civic participation. Georgian civil society.3% respectively.3 Preferred companions for leisure-time activities Companions for leisure-time Every week Every one or activities two months Relatives.3% of CSOs surveyed do not have any volunteers at all (WVS 2009). the traditional values of patrimonial Georgian society require that people do not put much confidence in formal relations.3 Diversity within socially-based engagement Apart from the number of people engaged in social activities and the depth of their involvement. volunteer organisations (WVS 2009) 44.5 14. 1. at least once a month is much higher. as a rule. they attended sport tournaments or entertainment centres as fans. Presumably.5% (WVS 2009). however. The structure of representation is as follows (WVS 2009): CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .7 10.3 8. family members and friends.1 4.6 25. when asked who they prefer to spend their spare time with. The table below summarises responses to this question.0 Never 8.7% and 5.7 30.5 Several times a year 22. and how well it covers all aspects of social reality. including sport centres and formal or informal associations.3 1. This can be illustrated by the fact that 33. There would seem to be no formal discrimination and no particularly excluded groups in civil society. This is because. Despite the low level of citizen participation.0 31. The evidence from the Population Survey shows that volunteerism is relatively weak in institutionalised structures compared with the number of members. the overwhelming majority of the respondents named relatives. The percentage of citizens that engages in various social activities. or volunteered to organise social events. a very unpopular idea in Georgia. what the respondents meant when referring to their relationship with fellow churchgoers. calculated at 43. whether. At the same time.2 Depth of socially-based engagement This sub-dimension demonstrates the frequency and the quality of socially-based engagement beyond the mere number of those engaged. The Population Survey interviews did not ask the exact nature of activities respondents were involved in. where a large part of the population lives in dire financial straits.6 92.1.4 12. for example.9 As already mentioned. the part of society which is involved in different social activities represents a wide variety of social groups. is relatively representative of the public at large.1 70. at 52. TABLE III.0 1. The case study on young volunteers’ motivation factors in political organisations/parties also indicated this (see the CSI case study: Volunteerism in Modern Georgia: Case of Political Parties’ Youth Organisations). recorded at 4. at least at the level of declaration. but this is not clear. collected donations for low-income families.5%. while volunteering means working for no pay.5 14.9 11. It is unclear. it is important to identify how representative this engagement is. parents Friends Fellow churchgoers Colleagues Fellow members of sport centres.

3% of the active members of CSOs.2 - 18 See sub-dimension 5. Given the current political situation. Representation by gender: In general. 86.2 0. perhaps because cities provide more diverse alternative opportunities. Rural residents. while only 6.3%. who account for 54. Every group has carved out its own niche and rarely interacts with the others.4% of the total population. however. political membership has decreased in Georgia. make up 54.8% are older people.4% which represents a majority of civil society members come from the Georgian middle class. from 5.3 1. The relatively low levels of participation can be explained by the social passiveness of minorities residing in large cities.5 0. aged between 25 to 64.18 TABLE III.1. This can be explained by the fact that the level of civic engagement is usually lower among those who grew up and spent most of their lives under totalitarian rule. however.25 • • • • • Ethnic minorities: Ethnic minorities constitute 13% of Georgia’s total population and 8. according to available data. 1.1 (WVS 2009) Volunteers 0. In contrast. However. are young and middle-aged people.8 Political parties 0. Although Georgian civil society theoretically does not discriminate on the grounds of social status.000 organisations) of CSOs are based in large cities. Age groups: The bulk of CSO members.4 Charities 0. In reality. presumably since struggling for basic needs is more urgent for lower-class families than participation in the activities of CSOs (WVS 2009).3% at present (VGS 2006.5% of the total) also represent a high number of members (79. more than 60% of CSO members are women with a 29% representation in the governing bodies of CSOs (Gaprindashvili. NWPs suggested that many respondents might have been simply afraid to confess to being engaged in political activity.4 Extent of political engagement On the one hand.5% of the population. The capital and centrally based CSOs play a relatively ‘passive’ role. whether this data is reliable enough.4% representation (WVS 2009). which constitute 49. such as business.4 The level of political engagement Participation Active members Passive members Trade unions 0. But participation in one-off political actions has increased in the same period. women. regional CSOs. however. although they constitute 17. or the public service.3 0.2 for further discussion on the external environment CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Representation by region: A majority (some 60% of the more than 10. such as Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli.5% of the total population. this explanation does not seem implausible. the lower class is clearly underrepresented. 2003). are more active. especially in rural communities.3 0. though it is somewhat offset by relatively higher civic engagement of the residents of ethnic enclaves. for citizens to fulfil their potential and needs than in rural communities (WVS 2009).5% of the total population.6 Environmental organisations Professional associations 0.7%) of civil society.2% of CSO members. a high 93. Social status representation: Finally. despite this group only making up 61.4% four years ago to 1. cooperation between different social groups remains weak. WVS 2009). Residents of provinces (75.1 0. It is hard to say. are underrepresented in civil society. with only 39.

5% respectively.2% to 2. the majority of the Georgian opposition parties share certain main features: organisational weakness. People are discontented with existing forms of political engagement.0 Political volunteering 8. CSOs are generally non-partisan.0% to 14. indicating a growing public discontent with the government’s policies (VGS 2006. raise one’s self-esteem and social status. opposition parties recruit/invite new members and volunteers only prior to elections or protest demonstrations. new recruits are tasked with monitoring protest demonstrations or putting up election posters. the number of strike actions has decreased to almost zero. This generally leads to the assumption that people are actively looking for ways to resolve the current problems of society. or to develop a sense of security by becoming a member of a certain social stratum.8% and from 8.26 Over the last four years. most of them usually quit the party or become inactive by not participating in party activities. TABLE III.5 Depth of political engagement An analysis of the depth of political engagement further supports the conclusions from the previous paragraph regarding the high level of social nihilism and social demands exceeding the existing offers.9 (WVS 2009) The number of citizens involved in more than one political party exceeds the combined membership of political organisations. individual members and employees of CSOs have quite good relationships with political parties. During the same period. this trend can only be explained by fear of losing a job. though they prefer to keep silent about it as they know well enough that their party membership could make them vulnerable to criticism and finger pointing from opponents.9% of the Georgian citizens went on strike across the country in 2005 (VGS 2006. 4. At the same time. WVS 2009). indicating that they no longer trust political parties to address their grievances. WVS 2009). At the same time. In conclusion. the number of citizens who have taken part in boycotts and protest demonstrations has risen from 2. as well as with the government. 1. a number of citizens (28. for instance.2 Individual participation 28. Party members are instructed to look for potential sympathisers among their relatives and friends. CSOs deliberately avoid contact with any particular party. Further. these include a chance to befriend ‘goodfellas’. vague political programmes and ineffective recruitment systems for new members. however difficult and underpaid it is. As a rule. while the level of political participation and political discourse was quite high in previous years. under-representation of ethnic minorities and lower social classes in governing bodies. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . In one or two years. since they are well aware that the majority of the public disapproves of such relations.9%) have opted for individual participation in various protest actions.5 The depth of political engagement Membership of political organisations 5. In the current economic downturn. In comparison.1. patriarchal mentality (though some opposition parties are led by women). it can be noted that. however. Some of them are even members of a party. the absence of an adequate response from the government and consequent disillusionment have led to widespread public frustration and disenchantment and a relative radicalisation of political activities. who are then promised various benefits in return for their contribution. improve career opportunities. offer service to society. as their enthusiasm plummets (see CSI case study: Volunteerism in Modern Georgia: Case of Political Parties’ Youth Organisations). There is clearly an increasing critical mass of popular discontent with current governmental policies. As to political parties.

It is noteworthy that almost the entire Georgian population. more radical means. this was a taboo subject in Georgia. The level of political activity for different social groups is higher than their socially based participation. Residents of provinces. Members of religious sects (namely the so-called ‘non-traditional’ religions. which are constantly criticised by other sections of civil society. it can be expected that. Political activism is higher in urban areas. informal social engagement is higher as people do not trust formal and institutionalised bodies. recorded at 85%. this confrontation rarely goes beyond political boundaries. 1. and different political forces often try to exploit the problem for their advantage. Concerning civic engagement in general.6 Diversity of political engagement This indicator examines how representative political engagement is and the extent to which it covers all groups and layers of society. than it is in rural communities. More than 95% of the active citizens come from middle class. as well as their structure and resources. it looks into how widely a model of collective decision making is employed in practice and how realistic it is. 2. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . people usually do not resort to aggressive attacks against these sects. large cities and ethnic enclaves are the most active.5% according to the CSI. As a rule. registered at approximately 80%. is very aggressive and intolerant towards these groups (according to NWPs). which is rated at 28. In these circumstances. society’s frustration will be turned into some radical forms of activism. by a majority of the population.until recently. except a majority of CSOs. but of late it has become a prominent part of public debate. But except for small radical groups. especially Jehovah Witnesses). as well as by the depth and the diversity of their engagement. homosexuality is considered as absolutely unacceptable by 90 percent of the population.27 suggesting that people have lost confidence in institutions and prefer to solve their problems by other.19 • Conclusion The extent of social and especially political engagement in Georgia is quite low. Existing poor political and social conditions do not provide a good ground for wider social activism. while the participation of lower-class residents is almost zero. LEVEL OF ORGANISATION This dimension describes the organisational and institutional sustainability of CSOs. how and to what extent CSOs 19 According to World Value Survey 2009 data. If this trend is to be sustained. three social groups are considered marginal by civil society or significant parts of the population: • • Orthodox and/or nationalistic small radical groups. under certain conditions. which are disliked. which is manifested by the relatively small number of active citizens. The following numbers drawn from WVS 2009 highlight this situation: • • • • Women account for 70% of those involved in various political actions. In particular. if not hated. Sexual minorities . There are diverse forms of political engagement in Georgia.

According NWPs and FGPs.0 2. On the other hand.3% of the CSOs are members of different networks. see them as less trustworthy and reliable within CSO circles.3 Sectoral communication 83. The government explicitly or implicitly backs these coalitions.1 2. they think that the real capabilities of the CSOs fall far short of what they claim to have. which are made up of more prominent and respectable figures of Georgian civil society. There are also coalitions of CSOs that share a common goal to promote and support government initiatives. 2.3 2. the current potential and capability of the human.2 Infrastructure According to the findings in the Organisational Survey.2% of the polled CSOs were founded in 1906-2004. Given the fact that a considerable number of CSOs are more than five years old. 20 According to the research results.28 cooperate with one another and with other public associations. The main task of an advisory board is to outline a long-term development strategy for an organisation. TABLE III. 79.1 Internal Governance 94. 2006). however. such as administrative boards and executive boards (CSI OS 2009). which are hard to govern by a small group of like-minded people using instruments of direct democracy. experts of advisory boards are usually busy dealing with issues of their own organisations and have little time to consider development strategies for others as well (The Political Landscape of Georgia.4 Human resources 43. the CSOs in question are stable. On the one hand. the internal governance of CSOs is quite adequate.1 The question "How organised and capable is civil society?" on the CSI organisational survey (CSI OS 2009) drew mixed responses from respondents.7 2. CSOs are clearly self-confident and self-assured. Moreover. other CSOs. As a rule. provided they are not members of the same CSOs for which they serve as board members.6 International linkages 6.5 Financial and technological resources 91. 69. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . fullgrown and long-standing organisations with a dozen or more members. Currently. These include a network of environmental organisations (CEEN). this aspect can hardly promote a positive view of the CSOs. financial and technological resources of Georgian CSOs.2 Infrastructure 69.1 The level of organisational development 2 Dimension: Level of Organisation 64. However. with 94.5 2. there are only a few permanent CSO umbrella organisations in Georgia. rather than to meet the development needs of a CSO. which is well known even outside of the environmental field.20 In addition.2. 2.1 Internal governance This sub-dimension describes organisations’ structures and the extent of democratic governance in CSOs. such as participation in the election process or social programmes. Formally. an increasing number of CSOs have set up external boards or advisory boards. The table below summarises the aggregated scores for the various sub-dimensions in this dimension. many CSO members are doubtful of their organisation’s competence and expertise. and the extent of their involvement in international networks.1 2. coalitions and associations. advisory boards are rather passive. they are created to satisfy funding conditions required by donor organisations.1% of CSOs having collective governing bodies. In reality.

it may herald the beginning of a new.1 and 1. on the other hand.23 and 33% of CSOs surveyed have no volunteers at all. this idea is invariably met with widespread criticism and scepticism from the CSO community and usually ends up being shelved. On the whole.3 Sectoral communication In contrast to the above indicator. not true volunteers. reports. such as think tanks or training providers. however this cooperation ceased once the project ended.7% (CSI OS 2009). however successful they may be. while 38% have only a few. and most often ‘volunteers’ are actually project beneficiaries. neutral. This tendency is usually observed across the same-sector CSOs and does not rely on donor assistance. 43% of surveyed CSOs have sustainable human resources. Such ties depend on ongoing projects and help CSOs improve their performance. Afterwards. the USAID-sponsored ‘Citizens Advocacy Programme. A recent and very positive trend in sharing information and setting up permanent networks to achieve common goals has emerged among CSOs.’ However. be seen as a positive side of cooperation. the government’s attitude towards CSO coalitions is.’ which ran from 2002 to 2005. governmental circles debate over plans to create a governmental regulatory body to coordinate activities of CSOs.1% of the CSOs organised meetings and discussions with CSOs from the same sector. as opposed to volunteers (CSI OS 2009). However. and tend to refer to each other as ‘them’ and ‘us. with scarce opportunities for their continued existence. meaning that more than 75% of their staff consists of paid workers. significant chapter in the development of civil society in Georgia. meaning they fall into two groups.4 Human resources Human resources comprise the basis of any institution. For instance.22 If this tendency is consolidated.21 2. Such plans were proposed by both the current government and its predecessor. The lifespan of such coalitions and networks. while 82. sectoral communication is estimated at 83.29 Other forms of coalitions are usually created in the framework of large projects. the main downside of inter-CSO cooperation initiatives is that they tend to pay less attention to major target groups and direct beneficiaries and focus instead on efforts to successfully fulfil their part of responsibilities under a joint project. the term ‘volunteering’ is not always properly understood by CSOs. As mentioned previously. The trend can be illustrated by the creation of the Coalition for Local Self-Government and Democracy in 2009 by CSOs dealing specifically with local self-government problems. they either break up or continue to exist only on paper. to each other in such spheres as consultancy and training for the personnel of underdeveloped CSOs can. The coalitions are also often politicised. sectoral communication within Georgian civil society is much better.4 for further discussions on this topic 22 21 CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . data). was a successful example of cooperation and coalition work among CSOs. both formally and practically. provided donor organisations put forward networking as a condition for funding. This sub-dimension assesses the strength of the human resources working for CSOs. According the NWPs.2% shared various information (documents. The analysis from the Organisational Survey data shows that in the three months preceding the CSI OS 2009 data collection. rarely extends beyond the duration of a project. from 2 to 20. namely progovernment and non-government. 23 See sub-dimension 1. in general. 2. 85. According to the Organisational Survey findings. volunteerism is less common in CSOs than paid employment. However. principally donor deliverables. From time to time. Mutual assistance offered by CSOs.

Many of them are still small organisations and. As few have managed to be replaced since leaving. many CSO members have moved from the civil society sector to governmental institutions and private businesses. The data corroborates claims by CSOs that their financial sources have steadily decreased since 2003. 91. 2010). Since a majority of donors usually favour stable and experienced CSOs. in the early days. the lack of qualified personnel has had a significant impact on Georgian CSOs. since the Rose Revolution. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Yet CSO self-assessment reports indicate the following picture of their financial sustainability: TABLE III.2. An increase of wages in the state sector in recent years and the scarce financing from donors combined with a perceived lack of involvement by the government is felt to have decreased the previous attractiveness of CSOs. regional focus group participants report a new negative tendency: in view of their limited resources. monthly wages in CSOs (100-200 USD on average) greatly exceeded the national average. To make matters worse. because unlike the latter. provided they are ranked high among donor priorities. 37% of CSOs surveyed reported that their budgets have shrunk and only 26% said their budget had increased in the past year (2008). CSO representatives cited the above-specified factors as main drivers behind increasing authoritarian tendencies in CSOs. in order to secure donor funding. In addition. while wages soared in other sectors. CSOs offered citizens more opportunities to realise their potential without relinquishing their values and beliefs. Regional 24 In the 1990s. ‘brain drain’ from the civil sector has intensified. mainly in governmental bodies. gender organisations are often forced to deal with environmental problems.0% for financial sustainability and 93. donors reduced funding for the civil society sector. FGPs also confirmed that the number of donor organisations. say. most CSOs were simply groups of like-minded enthusiasts. at a time of deep economic crisis. CSOs obediently accept all priorities laid out by donor organisations. For example. As a result. Recently.1 for further discussion on this topic. as well as their lists of priority spheres for financing.2 Annual budgets of CSOs Income in comparison with the previous year Expenditure in comparison with the previous year Budget over last five years (CSI OS 2009) Increased 26 22 24 Unchanged 41 55 31 Decreased 26 15 37 The table shows that over the last five years.24 During the focus group discussions.30 A major stumbling block to achieving a sustainable human resource base is that. Further. nevertheless. even implementing projects outside their sphere of competence. 25 See sub-dimension 3. relatively large CSOs have increasingly recruited new staff on a competitive basis (Khapava. thanks to western grants.5 Financial and technological resources Below we discuss the problems CSOs encounter with financial and technical resources and the trends observed in this respect.1 % for technical resources (CSI OS 2009).25 2. recruit new members through personal contacts rather than formal job advertisements. and the steady concentration of power in the hands of CSO leadership. save a few exceptions. newly founded organisations have slim chances of survival. According to the Organisational Survey findings. CSO leaders prefer hiring people they know from previous activities to selecting unknown candidates on the basis of competition. CSOs were largely seen as a better place to work than. has diminished.1% of CSOs rated their financial and technical resources adequate: 89. corrupt state structures. It is also noteworthy that. This problem will be discussed more in-depth in the sub-dimension dealing with democratic forms of decision-making.

This is contradictory in one way. The CSOs were guided by pragmatic considerations: modern equipment needs more time to become out-of-date and therefore does not require frequent upgrades (every two or three years). CSOs are promoting the rule of law. especially small ones. As for technical resources.91% and Armenia . for years. and more than 50% of the budgets of 58. 2003). including more up-to-date computers and equipment than other sectors. the problem is exacerbated by slow internet connections or the lack of internet access across Georgia’s regions.9 GEL for one US dollar. Further.91% (Business Software Alliance. the share of pirated software is also very high. fluctuating from 1.92%.31 CSOs also face problems as donors direct their funds to them through an intermediary.1% of the CSOs have access to the internet and 91. 88% of CSOs have never received any financial assistance from the government (either central or local). firstly. such as the latest versions of Microsoft Office. having reached 23. the number of internet users is steadily rising in Georgia.6% of CSOs. 82. On the one hand. according to estimations by international organisations. At a first glance. the high-tech equipment these CSOs possessed has become increasingly obsolete. secondly. have ‘gone out of business’ in recent years. Georgian CSOs had better technical resources. In many CSOs.09% of 26 The exchange rate of the Georgian national currency is rather unstable.4 to 1. For regionally based CSOs.4% of CSOs.2% never received individual donations. apart from selling their services (CSI OS 2009). ahead of Zimbabwe . users more and more often encounter problems caused by incompatibility between pirated and licensed software. 2009). primarily due to Western grants (Kipiani. as many CSOs. On the other. this data seems to be in contradiction to the general budgetary parameters of these CSOs. According to the database of the Union of International Associations. relatively large organisations. International donor organisations remain major financial sources for Georgian CSOs. but use pirated goods in their everyday work. more than 70% in the budgets of 54.5% of the organisations amount to 50-250 thousand GEL (WVS 2009). World Bank Data.7% of the total population in 2008 (Internet Users.8% of the organisations have no income. CSOs tend to exaggerate their incomes in order to prove that they are financially sustainable. in their project work. For instance. 95% were never funded by private businesses. with the decrease in donor funding mostly affecting projects that focus on organisational development issues.91%. However. This is illustrated by the fact that the share of donor funds is 100% in the annual budgets of 37. the percentage of international non-governmental organisations operating in Georgia today stands at 6.6% of CSOs. the technology is already five or even ten years old. On the whole.6 International linkages This indicator examines the strength of international links available to Georgian CSOs. this offers clear evidence of the rapid development of technical resources. Moldova . and 83.26 Two factors must be taken into consideration. Bangladesh . As a result. 2008). Unfortunately. donors redistributed their funds among the remaining. these CSOs are facing difficulty in installing and using new software. because licensed software is extremely expensive. In 2009. namely a Tbilisi-based CSO. Other financial sources are much smaller in comparison. besides the obvious ethical considerations. while budgets of 23. 2. Georgia was ranked number one in the world in terms of piracy levels (95%).6% of CSOs vary between 250 thousand GEL and 4 million GEL. The annual budgets of 29. Today 87. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .1% are equipped with modern PCs (CSI OS 2009). but on the other hand understandable.

indicating that they have moved to the next. there are no forms of direct democratic governance. Georgia was way ahead of other Caucasus countries. suggest that the data findings reflect the way CSOs perceive the situation rather than the reality. as their current situation is not equipping them to meet modern challenges. the level of cooperation among CSOs has increased in recent times.27 Many international organisations have opened their offices in Georgia in recent years. as well as the evidence provided by CSOs themselves. As with the case of organisational development in the second dimension above. To make matters worse. Opinions expressed by NWPs. There is no recent data available regarding the exact level of their involvement. but far behind Eastern European countries. CSOs are facing serious problems with regard to their human resources. The overall dimension score was 64. it still does not meet international standards. Conclusion We conclude that: • To a large extent. democratic institutions (elected bodies) of Georgian CSOs are a mere formality. Their once modern and adequate technical resources have become out of date. This is especially the case with advisory boards. while other fundraising sources are almost unavailable. donors have become less interested in funding the civil sector in recent years and the flow of grants has dried up. Georgian CSOs were affiliated to 766 international organisations. and their activities covered a remarkably broad range of topics. It would be helpful for CSOs to expand their international contacts and cooperation with international networks. According to the majority of FGPs. higher stage of development.7%. such as the various United Nations associations and Partners for Democratic Change. as they struggle to find replacements for staff lost to the ongoing ‘brain drain’ to other spheres. • • • • • 3. while the data findings show a relatively high achievement of the practice of values in Georgian CSOs. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . In 2003 however. Democracy and Development and CIVICUS would like to thank the Union of International Associations for their collaboration with the CSI project in providing this data. They deal with the most urgent problems of the country. The participation of Georgian CSOs in international networks is another important aspect to be considered. 27 Caucasus Institute for Peace. However. In terms of international affiliation. INTERNAL PRACTICE OF VALUES The table below summarises the scores for the sub-dimensions used in assessing the level of the practice of values in civil society.32 the world total. Although Georgian CSOs’ infrastructure is quite well developed compared to other countries of the region. many we consulted felt that unfortunately the reality was bleaker and far less impressive than this high rate. data on internal practice of values is very controversial. The long-term technical and financial sustainability of CSOs also leaves much to be desired. such as aid to internally displaced persons (IPDs) and refugees. and social assistance programmes. More positively.

At a time of growing financial uncertainty and mounting challenges to sustainable development of their organisations.5% of the organisations.1% assessed the performance of their management team negatively (CSI OS 2009). Of the survey respondents. This problem is perceived in various ways. a majority of the ordinary members are. that in small CSOs. however. some of the very CSOs that opposed authoritarian tendencies in the government opted for a rather authoritarian model of internal governance themselves.2 Labour regulations As in some above-mentioned aspects of civil society. After 2004 the constitution was repeatedly amended to expand presidential powers. At best.3. many seem to think that the individual leadership of an ‘experienced leader’ is the best way to deal with problems.4 Environmental standards 3. As to formal regulations. there is usually no regular rotation of board members. In fact.2 Labour relations 3. Besides. exercised direct democracy by giving all members a voice in decision-making. 87.0 3. Yet another negative tendency has emerged in recent years amid dwindling donor funding for the civil society sector. Georgia does not have clear rules to regulate its current labour practices.28 It is important to note that ordinary members of these CSOs appear unconcerned with such developments in their organisations. During the analysis. part of the management team. organisations have to re-register as CSOs. who remains the sole decision-maker. although the result is not necessarily rampant discrimination.7% said they were satisfied with how their organisation was managed. only about 30% of the CSOs have a truly democratic decision-making system.7 82.2% of the Organisational Survey sampled CSOs claimed to have democratic decision-making practices in place (CSI OS 2009). NWPs severely doubted the validity of this data.3 Code of conduct and transparency 3.1 Democratic decision-making governance 3. The official reason for the amendment was said to be further support of CSO activity. some CSOs that were governed by boards in the past officially adopted a one-person governance model in which an organisation’s leader acts simultaneously as its only founder and director.7% of organisations. there are many issues that are not regulated by the law at all (CSI OS 2009). a meagre 3%.1 Democratic decision-making governance The sub-dimension assesses the extent of democratic decision-making in CSOs and the extent to which governance structures ensure or impede this. It is noteworthy. in their opinion. A much smaller group of organisations. while an elected board makes decisions in 25.5 Perception of values in civil society as a whole 64. During this process. Under national NGO legislation (a new amendment of this law was put in place 2005). boards and other governing bodies either exist only on paper or are made up of ‘permanent members’ of an organisation. However. "are you satisfied with management?" is a self-assessment question. 3.1 Internal values and code of conduct 3 Dimension: Practice of Values 3. there is a significant mismatch between everyday practices and the formal regulatory procedures regarding labour legislation. 82. For them. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .2 37. as shown below: 28 Actions of such CSOs mirrored the processes that were unfolding in the country at that time. There exists no significant formal discrimination on the basis of gender or any other identities within Georgian CSOs.33 TABLE III. decisions are made by an elected chair.7 80. A breakdown shows that in 49. at the same time. while only 3.5 87.2 36. As a result.

only 1% of CSOs do so. according to NWPs. though NWPs claimed that the real number of such CSOs did not exceed 5%. 79. Interaction PVO standards to enhance the effectiveness and professional capacities of the member organisations engaged in international humanitarian efforts (among the members are 10 Georgian organisations) (HAP International. although 93. including in donor organisations. only a few Georgian CSOs have sufficient knowledge of the principles and forms of accountability (See CSI case study: Forms and Practices of Accountability in Civil Society Sector of Georgia.34 • • • • Only 17. 3.1% of the interviewed organisations claimed that the information about their financial affairs was open CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . which unions these people are members of. According to the NWPs. and the money was given to another CSO. the averaged transparency index is 87.2% of the CSOs claimed that they already had a code of conduct.8% provide newly recruited staff with training in labour regulations. encompassing existence of a code of conduct (82. 18. though sometimes standards adopted in certain fields do work. But according to the NWPs. The CSI financial transparency data was also criticised by NWPs. an applicant may be told that his/her nomination was annulled at the last moment because another applicant was given preference. which incorporates five organisations. according to NWPs. In their view. 24. however.3 Code of conduct and transparency According to the research findings. These standards. Examples include standards of Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP). NWPs doubt the validity of this data as well. According to one of the project case studies. This led NWPs to suspect that in response to donors’ requests these organisations may provide codes of conduct that are effectively defunct. despite the latter scoring fewer points in the competition.2%) and financial transparency (93. for an overwhelming majority of CSOs this code is a dead document.1% of the organisations that claimed to have publicly available codes of conduct emphasised that the information was available upon request. SPHERE standards to improve quality and accountability of the humanitarian response to natural disasters (1997). According to CSO self-assessment reports.1% are members of trade unions while 89% of the CSO management staff members are not involved in any trade unions. however. Codes of conduct. In several cases. without any explanation. 2009). In reality. This does not demonstrate widespread inequality but bears witness to a general absence of CSO internal regulations and structural development Of CSO paid employees.1%) (CSI Data Indicator Matrix (3. only 20% of CSOs provide unrestricted access to their code of conduct. after winning a contest to fill a staff vacancy and quitting a previous job. for instance. this data is obviously unrealistic. Things are not much better in international organisations in this regard. the winner of a grant competition was denied funding by the donor. In addition. Of CSOs surveyed.1% claimed that they had transparent labour standards and policies. Quite often. can be assessed only positively. 2007. 85. there are very few trade unions in Georgia nowadays and none of them represents CSO employees. CSI OS 2009). • • 82. NWPs expressed some major doubts about the self-assessments. however small in numbers. Georgia’s libertarian labour law does not regulate such cases.7%.3). It is unclear therefore. In their view. 2009). fewer than 5% of CSOs have such standards and policies. Another downside is the lack of transparency in decision-making processes. CSOs are often tempted to declare that they have no problems in relation to labour standards and regulations in order to meet the funding requirements of their donors. Furthermore. According to the NWPs.8% of the CSOs said that their formal regulations ensured gender equality in terms of payment and recruitment policies.

It is important to note here that these organisations are perceived to form a separate community which is distanced from other CSOs which operate in different spheres.Georgia. both service providers and donors. A simple empirical analysis is enough to determine that in many CSOs. however. At first such practices were employed mainly by international organisations. for instance. One of the few exceptions in this regard are environmental organisations. actors that employ various forms of violence constitute 35. little is being done to address other environmental concerns. publish their annual financial reports. refused to provide a detailed description of the aid structure. local CSOs involved in joint projects with foreign partners often know very little. this is also the case with some international organisations currently present in Georgia. As NWPs stated. is five times bigger than the annual budget for 2009 of the Georgian Ministry of Refugees and Settlement. both the Georgian government and donor organisations are tight-lipped about how they are going to allocate US$700 million that has been promised to social development projects (See the CSI case study: Forms and Practices of Accountability in Civil Society Sector of Georgia. that as many CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . This aid budget. These values are listed below with their scores in Georgia (CSI OS 2009): • Non-violence: According to the research. aversion to corruption and tolerance. the meaning of these standards remains unclear. reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. However. Further. Although they routinely urge local CSOs to make public their detailed financial information. a majority of their members know almost nothing about the incomes and financial policies of their organisations. NWPs concluded that such policies are in reality currently adopted in no more than 20% of the organisations in the sample. 2009). 3. including disclosure of wages. some CSOs may think that these standards imply smoking bans (full or partial) in their offices or user restrictions on printer usage to ensure rational use of paper. Unfortunately. since they are focused on environmental protection and their projects are specifically designed to tackle environmental problems. an internal democratic mentality. mainly large organisations.1% of civil society. In most cases. To begin with. or responsible water consumption. they are reluctant to publish even general information about their own budgets. if anything. let alone detailed data. 3. Few CSOs can be seen to apply environmental standards in their everyday activities.000 per IDP. Interviews showed. It is more difficult still to obtain information from those international organisations that cooperate with governmental institutions. such as non-violence. more and more local CSOs have followed suit. but of late. either out of mercantile interests or due to the lack of common standards. 80. the donors conference in Brussels (2008).4 Environmental standards In their self-assessment reports. Moreover. Based on their empirical analysis.5 Perceptions of values in civil society as a whole This section will focus on how CSOs relate key civil society values. NWPs felt this openness means that CSOs submit regular financial reports to their donors and. which only include general information about their incomes and expenditures. in reality fewer than 20% of them provide access to such information.2% of CSOs surveyed claimed to have established environmental policies and practices (CSI OS 2009). they often tend to ignore them in their practical work. about the project budgets. which distributes about US$3.35 and freely available. at best. Finally. According to Transparency International . which discussed and approved allocation of relief funds for Georgian Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) displaced by the 2008 RussianGeorgian war. it should be noted that although Georgian CSOs are well aware of the principles of accountability. in the view of the NWPs.

As formulated by CSO representatives at the National Workshop. intolerance was a real problem (CSI OS 2009). It appears that even ultraliberal. equating dissent with treason. NWPs estimated this figure even higher (more than 50%) and stated that this is the least that can be expected of civil society. and only 23. as well as members of the other segments of civil society. 51. there is an increasing trend of autocratic management. For instance. indicating the presence of a range of significant problems within the CSO community. such as providing support out of political bias or personal sympathy. which can be explained by the need for quick resolution of existing problems.1% of the respondents said that civil society had a very limited role in the practice of internal democracy. which can be described as an adequate response to existing trends in the country (worsening of the labour laws). Based on analysis of the daily practice of CSOs we can state that: • • In recent years. do not always abide by their declared values and principles. In the late Twentieth and early Twenty First Century. they preferred to remain silent and refrained from reacting because pacifist ideas were very unpopular in Georgia at that time. Internal democracy: There are relatively high expectations (43.3% said that violence was a common feature in civil society. and that the danger of war was looming large. is widespread. 29 The CSI methodology indicates that the lower the score.2% of respondents admitted that. In their estimation.5%) of civil society’s role in the modelling of democratic decision-making. opinions on their role and influence are mixed: 38. After the Rose Revolution. Georgia saw the rise of nationalistic and radical religious. and only 12.2% said that it was an essential part of civil society. This could be the result of conformist attitudes or other considerations.6% of CSOs surveyed think that these groups are quite large and influential. Although the number of such groups is very small and they are seen as marginal by wider civil society. non-financial corruption. Orthodox groups. although many CSOs had observed the severe militarisation the country was going through by 2008.36 • • • as 50. in their opinion.9% assessed this role as significant. NWPs agreed that the last figure was quite realistic and suggested that it seemed to have included both those who use such methods in practice and those who would be willing to use them. As to civil society’s role in promoting peace and tolerance. 66. pro-government groups demonstrated a certain degree of intolerance. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Corruption: The research demonstrated that the perceptions of corruption among respondents were noticeably high (14. This would appear to be supported by the fact that 50% of survey respondents assessed civil society’s role in promoting peace and tolerance as limited and insignificant.29 though NWPs estimated this at around 50%. 33.3% of CSOs fell somewhere in between. Intolerance: During interviews. Conclusion The analysis shows that many representatives of CSOs.0%). and sects that spread in the country at that time.5% of CSOs were in favour of violent methods. to some extent. if it exists at all. some watchdog organisations may also fall into this category. which targeted small religious denominations. although taking and giving bribes is rare in CSOs. the new government quickly suppressed these groups. the higher the perceived level of corruption. while 26. Labour rights have been restricted and continue to shrink. as well as libertarian organisations. Nevertheless. NWPs suggested that such expectations were mere wishful thinking. Among these actors are radical orthodox and/or nationalistic groups.

0 4.5 Social impact (external perspective) 25. inadequate quality of education .7 Impact of civil society on attitude 20. At the same time.9% of people surveyed (WVS 2009). It attempts to answer the following questions: • • • • • • How adequately do CSOs address the social and political challenges facing Georgia? How responsive are CSOs? What is the impact of CSOs on ongoing processes? Can they affect public attitudes? To what extent do CSOs’ values reflect broad public perceptions? What do ordinary people think about CSOs’ activities? Analysis includes self-assessment and an external assessment of CSOs by outside actors and experts.1 Responsiveness (internal perception) This indicator attempts to assess the impact of civil society on major social concerns.1 Impact of CSOs on the processes within the country 4 Dimension: Perception of Impact 30.3 Policy impact (internal perception) 40. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . given the current level of organisational development and the importance of declared values.8% (CSI OS 2009).3 4.7%.1 Responsiveness (internal perception) 33. To do this.5 4.27.26.2 The analysis shows that self-assessment results are usually more positively rated than are the external evaluations. the first (poverty) received a score of 22. Only a handful of the respondents (2. civil society had very limited powers to influence decision-making: • CSOs have no influence (29.37 • • CSOs acknowledge the importance of codes of conduct and transparency of finances. which demonstrates increasing destructive and inhuman attitudes.3 4.8%.31.7%.4.2 Social impact (internal perception) 49. TABLE III. effectiveness in both cases is much lower than one might expect.1%) believed that CSOs were in a position to exert strong influence on these policies. 4.0%. In the Organisational Survey. Widespread poverty was cited as the main challenge by 87. environmental pollution is considered as the second biggest problem in Georgia for the purpose of this research (WVS 2009). and substandard health care services .3 4.7 4. PERCEPTION OF IMPACT This section reviews the impact of CSOs on processes within Georgia.1% together) are rated as much less serious in comparison with poverty: environmental pollution .0 4.6 Policy impact (external perspective) 23. 4. On this basis. When CSO respondents were asked to evaluate civil society’s responsiveness to these problems.9%) or very limited influence (47.4 Responsiveness (external perspective) 20. CSO representatives admitted that in both cases. Many CSOs acknowledge that they cannot influence public opinion. we must firstly identify the major problems facing Georgian society. Other problems (only 12. such as violence and intolerance towards alternative opinions.4%) on anti-poverty policies. while the second (environmental pollution) was scored at 25. but in practice these are often ignored.

57%. Georgian CSOs do their best to remedy these problems. while 32% believed that CSOs played a "certain role". As to environmental protection. including human rights protection. CSOs ought to exploit these opportunities to a greater extent. different results were obtained when respondents were asked to assess the role of their own organisations. 38. CSOs either do not play any role in the anti-poverty effort (14%) or play a very limited role (51%).3% of the respondents believed CSOs were in a position to exert strong influence on these policies. a majority of respondents doubt that CSOs can play any meaningful role in tackling the problem.32%. is associated with higher expectation of success and greater perception of the ability of CSOs to influence. without giving preference to any particular sphere. 33.1%.38 • Regarding environmental pollution.14%.8% emphasised providing support for poor and marginalised social groups as possible measures. It is in fact the public sphere that. Only 1% of respondents assessed CSOs’ role as significant.7% of respondents named educational programmes and awareness raising. The former was rated at 34% and the latter at 65% (CSI OS 2009). Most respondents argued that the best solutions to the problem were to be found in the realms of economics and business. indicating that they actually would have the ability to influence key processes.8%. unlike political activity. When asked to elaborate on how their organisation can contribute to the anti-poverty effort. The main factor behind this is the fact that social programmes have become a top government priority in the two years covered by the study (2008-2010). this is especially the case with large organisations. As to poverty. seen as less serious and less sensitive. and also asks CSOs to measure their own effectiveness on the major social issues identified above. monitoring of public finances and conflict-related issues. However. while 21. The anti-poverty effort was assessed as: no role . limited role . CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Their assessment of their organisation’s role in environmental protection was nearly identical. In other words. and 9. and significant role .2 Social impact (internal perception) This indicator looks at the impact of the civil society sector on society as a whole. CSOs suggest a greater range of activities. Sometimes CSO staff continue to work with beneficiaries on a voluntary basis even after a project is finalised and the donor funds run out.1% that they had very limited influence. • NWPs highlighted an increasing role of CSOs in public life. certain role . 4. they appeared confident of the significance of their organisations.33%. certain role . But in other. effectively admitting that they are not key players in this sphere. Two major conclusions can thus be drawn from the above-obtained results: • When dealing with the most urgent problems of Georgian society. It may be because the second problem. and their impact is minimal in the long term. and significant role .1% of respondents stated that CSOs had no influence on policies. such cases are rare and occur spontaneously. It is interesting to note that attitudes towards the second problem exhibit higher levels of both excessive pessimism and excessive optimism than attitudes towards the first. Interestingly. the respondents’ answers were evenly spread across a wide range of activities. Nevertheless. 36.53%. CSOs see their role as chiefly limited to civic education and humanitarian programmes. The self-assessment also showed that respondents tended to evaluate the role of their own organisations as more important than that of the civil society as a whole. provides CSOs with a wider range of opportunities to work. less sensitive areas. According to the self-assessment reports (CSI OS 2009). The CSI research showed similar results for environmental protection: no role at all .

they think that their main achievement is to promote and popularise the government’s programmes and policies.e. 30 For two or three years after the Rose Revolution. but gathers an assessment from external experts. zero (8. However.4 Responsiveness (external perception) This sub-dimension looks at the same issue identified in sub-dimension 4.3 Policy impact (internal perception) Apart from the social sphere. the government has gradually scaled down consultations with civil society stakeholders and the trade unions have lost their capacity to influence the processes as a result.1%). have not even been discussed.6% of CSOs surveyed have attempted to advocate and lobby for certain policies in the last two years.39 4.3. which actively supported the new government. albeit only in issues that pose no threat to the ruling elite’s political or economic powers. civil society’s policy impact is estimated at 40.7%). lobbying and joint drafting of projects. the consequences of these activities are hard to predict and the information available is often contradictory. in 2008 the parliament refused even to debate legislative proposals submitted in full compliance with the legislation (with 60. in other words. Advocacy.an apparent breach of the Constitution. participation in existing programmes. As to the opposition CSOs.3%). CSOs have achieved some success.1. and strong (2. regardless if they are successful or not. 55. • 4.0% of the CSOs) (CSI OS 2009).2%).4%). let alone approved and implemented. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . consultations with government (67. are relatively rare (some 18. rather than from CSOs.000 signatures of support from some 50% of the public schools in Georgia) . 2009). In the CSOs’ self-assessment reports the evaluation of the policy impact ranged from zero to strong: namely. or that demand a decentralisation of government. had quite a strong influence on the implementation of education reforms. certain (20. Quite often. While earlier some 10 legislative amendments were adopted and enforced through the consultations.7%. however. Civil society’s general policy impact is measured as 22. CSO activities in policy and decision-making. and joint projects with other CSOs (60. they blame the government for unwillingness to cooperate with them and usually assess CSO activities more negatively (See CSI case study: Factors Influencing Impact of Civil Society Over Policy Making. and the level of policy activity pursued by CSOs. creation of new programmes in collaboration with the government. i. minimal (69. Some conclusions from the above-specified results show that: • Pro-government CSOs tend to evaluate their capacity for policy impact more positively. How effective is this impact.3%). Since the end of 2006.1).2% (CSI Data Indicator Matrix 4. The proposals that provide for at least partial redistribution of power and/or resources. teachers’ trade unions. the individual organisation’s perceived level of success.30 Unfortunately. Representatives of trade unions insist that the government’s aim is to marginalise dissenting voices. This is an average value calculated from assessments of the general impact of the sector.0%). for instance. But this process can be also divided into several stages. CSOs impact or attempt to impact the policy-making process in various fields. often take the following forms: participation in public discussions (72. Despite these low scores. as perceived by CSOs? According to the CSOs’ self-assessment. a clear indication of civil society’s relatively high level of activity.

too. humanitarian relief and housing (10.3%) and social development (13. activities of CSOs lack diversity and their social impact is low. The social impact of these activities was assessed as insignificant by 63.0%) (CSI OS 2009). civil society’s social impact is perceived as very limited. giving priority to humanitarian relief (23. The only difference is that.3% felt that it was strong. food security. See sub-dimension 4.7%).1 for a comparative discussion on this topic.7%) evaluated CSOs’ social impact as weak.1%. employment) were assessed to be covered by 30% of CSOs. 4. assistance and support for poverty-stricken and marginalised groups (16. 47. the external (expert) assessment and the selfassessment of the social impact showed slightly different results. the experts assessed CSO responsiveness as follows: 46.32 The activities of CSOs involved in poverty reduction efforts usually cover education (30.7% evaluated CSOs as not responsive. and 3.40 The assessment by external experts of civil society’s responsiveness to the general public’s concerns substantially differs from CSOs’ self-assessment.3% said that it was insignificant. taking into account that 10% of expert respondents stated that the general impact was next to nothing. the external assessment was generally more critical of civil society’s responsiveness. As to impact on the second most important problem. • Regardless of the differences between the two evaluations . In this case. In particular: • According to the self-assessment. rather than the efforts of civil society.2 for a comparative discussion on this topic CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .3% as high (CSI EPS 2010). The external assessment also stated that economic growth.5 Social impact (external perception) The external assessment of social impact (25%) is an average value derived from the estimates of impact on specific sectors (33. 30% as weak.7%) (CSI EPS). According to the external assessment. and a mere 3.both revealed that civil society generally is not responsive enough to the most serious problems Georgia faces today.1% assessed their responsiveness as weak. The external assessment acknowledged that civil society’s responsiveness to this problem was better than its response to poverty.4% of the experts believed that CSOs were highly responsive to poverty concerns.3%). In areas where public concerns are the strongest.4% of the respondents assessed civil society’s responsiveness to poverty as weak: the respective external assessment figure stands at 62. while 62. the real general situation is far 31 32 See sub-dimension 4. Only 3. a vast majority of 73. a majority of the respondents (66. which was identified as a major problem.31 With regard to impact on poverty alleviation. while 30% of the respondents felt that their activities produced noticeable results. In the opinion of civil society experts. Experts suggested that the optimistic self-assessment data was based on ‘wishful thinking’ rather than on reality. environmental pollution. As in the case of responsiveness. The conclusions of the external assessment are mostly consistent with the self-assessment results.3%.3% of the respondents and as quite meaningful by 33. Other programmes (such as education. was the most effective way of eradicating poverty. compared with the self-assessment. 20. environmental CSOs also pursue quite a wide range of activities. Both the external evaluation and the self-assessment produced almost identical results in regard to environmental protection. In general.0%). therefore.internal and external .3%) and a general assessment (16.7% of respondents stated that CSOs were not responsive.

1 and 4. it varies widely depending on the type of civil society institution. other segments of civil society also often set wrong priorities. Conclusions by NWPs.2).6 Policy impact (external perception) This sub-dimension reviews the assessment of CSOs’ impact on policy-making and implementation by external observers. The NWPs emphasised that CSOs stated priorities according to donor guidelines and requirements (for instance. 2008). It is worth mentioning that.41 worse than the CSO self-assessment reports (16.4. etc.33 4.6.2 Relations between different actors in Georgian society Difference in trust between civil society members and non-members 1. the value experts ascribe to obtained results is about 2. which went unnoticed by media and political parties. and support to independent media institutions (10%) (CSI EPS). According to the external assessment. and ensuing rival actions by pro.7 Impact of civil society on attitudes This sub-dimension looks at whether civil society is achieving a positive impact on the attitudes of the public. though the former was apparently more critical of the quality and quantity of the achieved results when compared with the latter. a clear indication of the perceived inefficiency and ineffectiveness of CSOs’ political activity (CSI Data Indicator Matrix 4.6% stating that political activities by CSOs had netted zero results (CSI EPS). with 96.8 Difference in tolerance levels between civil society members and non-members 0.33. promotion and lobbying of various policies (20%).4 members Trust in civil society 45. 33 During one of the focus group discussions participants cited the relocation of the Joseph Stalin Statue in the former Soviet ruler’s native town.6. who based their judgement on the USAID Sustainability Index 2008 (prepared by USAID-Georgia). Below is data from the CSI Data Indicator Matrix to illustrate the relationship between members and non-members of civil society. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .3%. In other words. But they did not say a single word about the recent illegal logging of 20 hectares of forest in the vicinity of the same town. if advocacy targets systemic (political. gender equality.3%.2008. The level of CSOs’ political activity is estimated at 33.3%).0 Difference in public spiritedness between civil society members and non. but that these priorities often do not meet the publics’ needs (of which poverty reduction and social assistance are seen as most important). Gori. both the external and internal (self) assessments showed some contradictory results. USAID-Georgia. This problem does not affect only CSOs.and anti-relocation groups as one of the examples. CSO’s political activities include human rights protection (26.).7% external perception compares with 34. 4.6 As to the level of public confidence in civil society. TABLE III.3%).5 times lower than that of the implemented activities. with achieved results at 13. civil integration of minorities.7%). economic) reforms in state structures (NGO Sustainability Index . penitentiary sectors (defence of the human rights of prisoners) (13. With regards to the above-mentioned results. in terms of perception. implementation of various programmes in the judicial sphere (13. were largely in agreement with the self-assessment findings that policy impact amounts to nothing. both external and internal assessments yielded similar results.0% internal perception marks).

cooperation between the government and CSOs is limited to the participation of pro-government CSOs in governmental programmes.7 34. However.8% to 16. for instance.8 33. CSOs are too weak to cope with the challenges society faces.1% between 2006 and 2009 (VGS 2006). Conclusion The research on these issues suggests that: • CSOs have a very limited ability to influence both the government and the general public. has increased even further in recent years from ‘very high’ 54.1 27.5 28. CSOs are unable to solve them. Today. and especially the challenges faced by national CSOs. as data in this chapter shows. Though they identify the main problems. social.4 28. World Bank.8 44. another segment of society that used to be relatively popular among the general public. Human Development Index.1 16. producing an overall score of 59.3 The level of public confidence in civil society institutions Level of public confidence Very high Quite high Low Absent Church 62.5 above.3 14.7 Women organisations 3. the figure is 39.0% of the population did not trust CSOs. only the beneficiaries of their programmes usually praise CSOs. public confidence in CSOs has significantly improved.1% in 2006 to 62.5 31. as outlined in subdimensions 4.5 4. EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT In order to better understand the challenges Georgian civil society faces. in the opinion of experts consulted. CSOs still have a very limited ability to influence social processes (VGS 2006). • • To sum up the analysis from this chapter.4% in 2009 (VGS 2006). they use international organisations as a tool to influence government policies. even though their numbers are not very high.3 Environmental organisations 3.8 10. As a rule.2 According to our findings. it is necessary to analyse the current political. the cooperation has again decreased dramatically since 2006-2007. In the opinion of experts consulted.0 9. Transparency International.2 and 4. which has always been very high. the Orthodox Church’s authority. • The first sub-dimension assesses the socio-economic context using data from international sources: the Basic Capabilities Index. according to assessments by some international organisations such as Freedom House. They are also powerless in policy-making processes.1 20. The government and certain social spheres continue to stagnate.4 9.6%.9 31. Data obtained from major international sources were used as the criteria to assess the external environment. and cultural context in which Georgian civil society operates. However. In the same period.42 TABLE III. Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International and the Gini coefficient. Although the government actively cooperated with CSOs in the immediate aftermath of the Rose Revolution in 2003.0%.1 1. has declined from ‘very high or quite high’ 22.3 Political parties 1. CSOs often overestimate their capabilities and the impact of their activity. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .4.9 No answer 5.4 24.7 8. Social Watch and UNDP HDR.5 20. economic. Public awareness of civil society's activities remains low. in 2009. In 2006.2 Charities 6.5 16.1 32. Positive attitudes towards political parties. The state does not recognise them as an equal and serious partner. 5.6 27. 57.8 30.8 Trade unions 1.

instead of improving the situation. as they were unable to agree on whether it facilitated or impeded the development of civil society in Georgia. can be explained by the fact that the situation in these areas was already quite stable beforehand. simple statement on their everyday life. The third sub-dimension reviews Georgian society’s system of values. rule of law. On the one hand. 2008). According to Social Watch. Georgia is first in the world in terms of adult literacy rates and one of the four countries. including interpersonal trust. the situation has definitely improved (BCI. At the same time.1% in 1991. At that time. 2009). if compared with the total meltdown of the 1990s. despite the global economic recession. An ongoing optimisation of the national education system has. people struggling with daily hardship were less inclined to spend their time on political and social activities because they are busy trying to meet their basic needs. according to UNDP.2 Socio-political context 5. In this case. The number of children completing fifth grade at school has increased in comparison to 1999. Estonia and Latvia to achieve a 100% literacy rate among citizens age 15 and above (UNESCO Database.6 66.1 Socio-economic context 5. We also included the subjective experience of the legal context and indicators developed by the World Bank. it was argued that hard social and economic problems increased motivation for citizens to participate in political and public life. 2007). Today approximately 20% of 10-11 year olds drop out of school after five years (Social Watch Report. In recent years.5. Georgia’s HDI improved by an average of 0. media freedom and level of democracy. tolerance and public spiritedness. 2008).778). 2008).8 5. placing the country on the 89th place among 176 countries (BCI.5 57.43 • • The second sub-dimension assesses the political situation in Georgia in accordance with data from Freedom House on political rights and freedoms.4% in 2008. which is a decrease from the extremely high rate of 97. with understanding. falling behind OECD and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.68% of children in 2006. but the general tendency remains worrying: the first grade of school was completed by only 86. Health and education: According to the 2008 Social Watch Report. elementary school consisted of eight years of schooling in 1991 and today consists of five years. the situation has worsened significantly. Between 2000 and 2007. together with Cuba. led to the closure of many small rural schools CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . United Nations literacy data measures as the percentage of people aged 15 to 24 who can.1 External environment of CSOs 5 Dimension: External Environment 5. and Eastern and Central Europe. approximately 99% of 13 to 14-year-old pupils did not have the grade needed to continue to vocational training schools. the country is also in 89th place out of 182 countries.739 to 0. the Basic Capabilities Index for Georgia stands at 89. On the other hand. TABLE III.73% per year (from 0. however. According to this data.0 52. with regard to the effectiveness of the state. there have been some major reversals in the last two decades.3 Socio-cultural context 59.1 Socio-economic context Attempts to assess Georgia’s current social and economic situation triggered intense debate among NWPs and FGPs. especially as they have sufficient free time due to unemployment. the relatively high scores of certain areas of human capabilities. and especially in recent years. and has more in common with Latin American and Caribbean countries (UNDP HDR Georgia. In addition. though in some areas. read and write a short.

2003 . though these figures represent only registered cases). 2009). CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . 2005c).9 in 2001.the so-called ‘brain drain’ . Corruption has thus far not increased significantly. survival until the fifth birthday and number of births attended to by health professionals. There has also been a three-fold increase in the number of maternal deaths at birth per 100 thousand from 22 in 1995 to 66 in 2005 (World Health Organisation 2005a. 2009b).6 years in 2007) has also decreased in recent years.000 live births. the annual population growth fell from 0. 2009). The other BCI indicator. while the mortality of children under five years has dropped from 46 to 32 per 1. This places the country on the 90th place in the world ranking today. the assistance of professional health personnel during child births. The situation in Georgia is still regarded as better than the situation in 20 other Eastern European and Central Asian countries.or pursue other activities. 13. Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index rated corruption in the Georgian public service at 3.0. situated between the Philippines and Jamaica. Inequality: Georgia’s Gini coefficient was 40.34 Three other important indicators of the Basic Capabilities Index are child mortality rates.000 live births between 1990 and 2006. Despite this. quite a few local children (5-6% in some communities) can neither write nor read. Of the country’s population. and also a rise in the number of TB cases (from 53 to 84 cases per 100 thousand citizens in the period between 1990 and 2005. as only wealthy families can afford to have many children (UNICEF. 54. Life expectancy in Georgia (currently 71. dropped from 96. 2005b.0% in 1990 to 92.9 in 2003) (Human Development Report. Other negative developments in the health care system include the first reported malaria cases since the beginning of the 1920s (1990 . persists. Corruption: In 2008. despite the war and the economic and political crises the country has faced in recent years. many pregnant women seek medical advice and assistance only at the last stages of pregnancy in order to reduce the costs. 38. For example. However.Georgia. Georgia has made some progress on these indicators in recent years. 2008).000 citizens). presumably largely due to the deterioration of the health care infrastructure over the last two decades in the country.0% (20052010) (Human Development Report .1 cases per 1. especially in rural communities (Social Watch Report. the infant mortality rates have reduced from 39 to 28 per 1. People’s perception of high-level corruption remains high (Transparency International.8 for 2005 (36. and the lack of health care professionals. who often opt to migrate to other countries . scepticism towards the government’s anti-corruption policies and its commitment against corruption in general. while 30. Furthermore.6% (1990-1995) to 0.25 a day. According to Georgian healthcare experts.0 cases. 2009a).4% live on US$1. Considering the fact that during the Soviet period the 34 Expert estimate from unpublished source.9 by the decimal rating system. The rating placed Georgia between Swaziland and Ghana and indicates an above average position. this improvement can be attributed to a dramatic decline in birth rates rather than significant improvements of the national health care system. 2008a).4% of the population earns less than US$2 a day.0% in 2006.44 and a lack of school bus services in rural communities. This means that in the period 2000 to 2006. these negative tendencies are driven by the following factors: the decline in living standards (with environmental and social problems).5% of Georgian citizens lived below even the Georgian official poverty line (Human Development Report. As a result. due to a combination of low birth rates and high mortality rates. For instance.

75 60 2009 4.75 57 4.5. while opposition leaders and activists are being persecuted and harassed to a greater extent. This partly explains why corruption in Georgia has again climbed to its 2000 level (5 score).5 Freedom of 47 53 53 54 press Independence of media 3. especially taking into account the significant improvements since 1998 (World Bank Database).75 60 4 6 4.75 Democracy Score 4.25 5 4.25 4. especially after 2007.5 5. when compared to the 1980s. Georgia has gradually drifted closer to being a non-free nation (61 marks and above) (Freedom House. The data regarding other aspects related to political freedoms corroborates this (see Table III. Progress achieved by the new government in the first post-revolution year is felt to have stagnated or even reversed in some areas.25 5.75 4.5 times below the Eurozone figures (Human Development Report. Inefficient government.5 3.33 4.83 (Freedom House.96 4. which means that the country is now three to five times below the world average and 15.2 Socio-political context Both international organisations and civil society experts surveyed agreed that the sociopolitical context has worsened in Georgia.Georgia. and the government became less transparent.5 4.5. Although the level of mass corruption has reduced as shown earlier. a pervasive and powerful executive branch and the absence of a strong opposition are. 2009). among the major obstacles to the democratisation processes in Georgia.25 5.79 4.5 54 2005 2006 2007 2008 24 24 25 20 34 37 37 34 5 56 4. The euphoria of the Rose Revolution gave way to widespread frustration and disillusionment.75 4 Corruption 5 5.2 Political rights and freedoms 2000 2001 2002 2003 Political rights 19 Civil rights 32 Independence of the judiciary 4 4 4. 5. but soon worsened again. TABLE III. Political rights and freedoms: Georgia scored 20 in the 40-point ranking system for Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index scoring in year 2009.58 4.68 4. Nevertheless.8% of GNI (Gross National Income).17 4. The election process has become less fair and less democratic since 2007. Human Development Report .2 below) (Freedom House.75 57 4. Statistics for Georgia. according to Freedom House. 2008b). Georgia unfortunately lost its status as an ‘electoral democracy’ (according CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Cooperation between the government and civil society has weakened. high-profile corruption continues unabated. It is also important to note that in 2009.313 USD in 2007).75 3.83 4. Once seen as a partly free nation (60 marks). 2009) 2004 21 32 4. Local self-government in Georgia is still far from being truly independent.86 4 5 4. This debt level is a relatively good for a country like Georgia. World Bank.25 5 4. Other economic parameters: The country’s foreign debt amounts to 10. Press freedoms suffered the biggest decline.93 The table above shows that the situation significantly improved in many areas immediately after the Rose Revolution of 2003.25 5. Georgia is still ranked at 135th in the world in terms of per capita income ($2. 2009b. 2008a).45 standard of living was significantly better than it is now. the situation has radically worsened.

2008) 2005 44.6 42.7 25 39. which are often in breach of the laws and impose restrictions on the CSOs (87. TABLE III. and a tendency towards tougher legislation. Associational and organisational rights: This is given a score of 58.2% by the Freedom House Freedom in the World report.6 68.3 26. World Bank.6 7.3% of respondents believe that the current legislation places too many constraints on civil society.8 51.3 61. it was ranked as such alongside 119 other countries (Freedom House. in 2008.2 2006 42.3 29. It is evident in the opinions of FGPs that although active involvement of citizens in democratic processes is CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . There is a broad consensus among international bodies and Georgian civil society experts that effectiveness and efficiency of the country’s state institutions has improved significantly in recent years. The table III. 2009). Despite the many criticisms. political instability is said to have risen in Georgia due to recent events.1 (Worldwide Governance Indicators. The trend should be attributed mainly to the government’s blunders and to growing nihilism in general society.8 2008 40. State effectiveness received a score of 47.8 20.2 43. it is useful to recall that Georgia’s socio-political situation has worsened in some areas in the last three to four years. such as financial.7 As mentioned previously.3 15 31.4%. At the same time. At the same time.7 Rule of Law 7.7 41 48.3 Regulatory Quality 19.5 58. and 14. 2008). 53.2 above shows the lack of progress in this field as well. World Bank. while 54.5. There is also a wide gap between written laws and everyday practices.8 Political Stability 10.5 40. Although both Freedom House and the World Bank concluded that the situation had worsened in Georgia in this regard.1% fully approve of the existing laws.5 20. Experience of the legal framework: This was given a score of 40.7 48.33% by Freedom House (2009). Nevertheless. as 31.5 31. such as the political crisis of 2007 and the Russian-Georgian war of 2008 (Worldwide Governance Indicators.1 35.6 44 50.4 16.0%).5% of CSOs have no doubt that Georgian society continues to move down the path of democratisation.25%. to take part in governmental programmes (CSI OS 2009).6 9 24.2 16.5 2007 40. the trend went unnoticed by civil society as it was overshadowed by other problems. if offered by the government. while only 14. Civil society’s attitudes towards state institutions are largely determined by how loyal a particular group or a specific organisation is to governmental policies. 2008a).9% feel that democratic processes have slowed down in the country.9 34. internal management and public trust (Freedom House. the ‘out-of-court settlement’ and ‘plea bargaining’ with associated penalty payments have become a considerable source of revenue in the government budget (Freedom House. the most critical CSOs are much more uncompromising regarding central and local governments’ everyday decisions and practices in general.3 State effectiveness 2002 2003 2004 Voice and Accountability 34.8 Government Effectiveness 23.2 27.5% consider it generally acceptable. The views of CSOs surveyed in the CSI project differ considerably in their evaluation of this aspect. 88.3 44.1% of CSOs are willing and ready.9 23.8 Control of Corruption 6. though just a year earlier. 2008a). For instance. Most worrying here is that the rule of law often is ignored by government. however.46 to Freedom House).6 55.5. The rule of law and individual freedom: The Freedom House Freedom in the World report puts this indicator at 56.

2% of the respondents mentioned homosexuals. joint projects between Georgian businesses and CSOs are extremely rare.3 Socio-cultural context Georgian national culture’s traditional. the level of interpersonal trust is very low in Georgian society. 30.47 guaranteed by law. Relations with the business community are even less productive.8% were certain that nobody should be trusted except next of kin. Tolerance levels scored 47. Corporate Social Responsibility and NGOs. being impeded. in Georgians’ words. Another peculiar characteristic of Georgian society is a quite strong belief in mythical and superstitious sayings.1% thought that only relatives and friends could be trusted. and 8.6%. There seemed a stark contrast between how the problems of Georgia were perceived by society (with economic and security problems related to state building processes not well understood by a majority of the population). is one of its most distinctive features. As a consequence. The government does not have any policy on civil sector development. is reduced. Apart from traditional mentalities. Interpersonal trust received a score of 18. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . But their attitude towards CSOs is quite different. Although they admit lacking experience in this field. Moreover. fuelling nihilism and frustration in society. The transition towards democratic institutions and systems has been a very painful process in Georgia. Georgia’s 12 top rated companies practice some form of corporate social responsibility (CSR).. races. When asked "who do you least want to be your neighbour?" 79. Its main characteristics are the extremely low level of public confidence in state structures and formal institutions. Respondents demonstrated much more tolerant attitudes towards people of other religions. in such programmes (The Georgian Times.1%. 2009). However. Georgians are very proud of their centuries-long culture and history. or cast doubt on their efficiency. which managed to cooperate quite closely with the Islamic world. informal relations. Georgia used to be an outpost of the civilised world against barbarian invasions and. Furthermore.3% maintained that caution was necessary. to a certain degree. For centuries. Every positive development in this field has been a result of western pressure so far.5%) followed by alcoholics (64. It is a fact that different social groups are treated differently by Georgian society. The country’s pro-Western course enables the civil society sector to indirectly influence the government’s policies. The companies either know nothing about the activities of CSOs. Only 13% of respondents (WVS 2009) stated that most people could be trusted.500 years and has a long tradition of Georgian tolerance. which aligns the country with Mediterranean societies.6%) and people with HIV/AIDS (37. seen as the main source of income for CSOs. by such factors as unsophisticated political culture among the political elite and a lack of civic education among society (WVS 2009). some time later. 2009). claiming that Georgian statehood dates back more than 3. That is why they mostly prefer to cooperate with governmental institutions or international organisations. cooperation with CSOs will become pointless and useless (See CSI case study: Local Business. mentality. 5. or ethnic identities. these companies are involved.8%). and the dominance of traditional. in real life the government often ignores legislation and disregards public opinion. while 44. they understand that participation in social programmes is essential. On the whole. even to some extent patrimonial. The next were drug addicts (77. and the reality of these problems. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 provided Georgia with a chance to regain its independence and sovereignty. companies argue that if the number of foreignfunded programmes. public attitudes can be seen to be greatly influenced by government propaganda. the most far-flung centre of Christianity. neither the Georgian government nor society in general appeared able to meet the new challenges facing the country at that time. which tolerates the traditional values present in Georgian society.

that words and public statements do not always reflect reality. however. The energy crisis of the 1990s is a good case in point: installation of illegal household power supply lines. which altogether point out the regress in almost every aspect of the social life in Georgia during last five years. Georgian CSOs often overestimate their capabilities and values and present the situation in the country relatively positively. many of them drawn from the research of international organisations. 96. • • • We have to mention the obvious discrepancy between the evaluation of the situation in Georgia by civil society (see earlier sections) and the judgment on the same by the international community. as perceived by the persons involved in this study (participants of focus CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . most notably by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)). if the right conditions arise. and 98. There is still a long way to go before these relations mature and evolve into full-fledged partnerships. life style) is close to that of some Eurozone countries. especially as drug trafficking is a growing problem in Georgia (WVS 2009). the snap presidential and parliamentary elections in 2008 (assessed as not fully fair and democratic by international observers. by local residents reached an unprecedented level at that time. and this can be seen as the main reason for negative attitudes towards this group.7% said it was wrong to travel on public transport without paying. relations between CSOs and the business community are in an embryonic stage. and the Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008 (which is thought to have been provoked by Russia but started by Georgia. At the same time. IV. In conclusion. according to foreign analysts (Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia. it should be mentioned that the high level of public spiritedness. September 2009)) are thought to have seriously tarnished the government’s image both at home and abroad. will hardly be reflected in citizens’ daily behaviour unless favourable conditions for its practical strengthening (a supporting institutional framework) are created.48 ‘Drug addicts’ and ‘alcoholics’ are perceived as potential criminals by a large part of society. Public spiritedness received a score of 92. According to these results. a very high level (WVS 2009). without electricity meters. Conclusion From the above findings. we may form the following conclusions: • While Georgia’s overall level of social and economical development is comparable to some African and Latin American countries. many people may presumably find it hard to resist the temptation to obtain some benefits by illegal means. The overwhelming majority of citizens are well aware of the essence of public spiritedness and know that violation of these principles is viewed by society as unacceptable. based on traditional Georgian values. With rare exceptions.8%. The police crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in 2007. It is important to note.0% denounced tax evasion.9% of respondents disapproved of using deception to get benefits from the state. the quality of its human resources (such as educational level. and CSOs in particular. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GEORGIA This section reviews strengths and weaknesses of the Georgian civil society sector. since the overwhelming majority of citizens simply could not afford to pay for electricity.1% condemned bribery. 95. 97. International organisations are far more conservative in their assessments.

privileged class. and these are mostly only formal and rarely applied. RECOMMENDATIONS The recommendations developed by participants at the CSI national workshop. CSOs. which is rather detached from the everyday concerns of citizens. there exist a range of challenges. • • • • STRENGTHS: • From the organisational point of view.49 groups and national meetings). There are positive trends evident. Secondly. Firstly. and secondly. Moreover. CSOs lack support from wider parts of society. actions that aim at ‘awakening’. CSOs pointed out two directions for further work. to act in the interest of the broader public and to increase the sector’s effectiveness and efficiency in these activities. Decisions are made in a nontransparent way. • • • V. and often only by small group of managers. Despite some isolated cases of success. It was formed as a Western funded. as they are highly politicised and divided as "friends" and "foes. the Georgian civil society sector is not membership-oriented. as civic involvement in civil society is limited. the chances of success are almost non-existent. Despite statements of democratic mechanisms for internal decision-making. financial and technical resources. unlike other segments of civil society. the Policy Action Brief. CSOs increasingly acknowledge the need for change and consolidation around core values. They will be further discussed in a separate CSI project output. activating and encouraging society to participate in social processes. is provided in the accompanying CSI Policy Action Brief. A more thorough and detailed overview of these recommendations. the use of these mechanisms is very limited in practice. WEAKNESSES: • Despite many positive characteristics. Furthermore. Written regulations and standards are rare. CSOs suffer under the lack of pluralism. actions to put pressure on the Georgian government to commence/accelerate democratic reforms. and CSOs in particular. the impact that CSOs have on the decisionmaking processes in the country is rather limited. In terms of Georgian CSOs’ practice of values. aim at empowering Georgian civil society. When it comes to demands for division of power and transparency. as the authorities’ wish to improve their image in the international community. economic and other influences. We include here only the major arguments. There are no clear and efficient mechanisms for staff rotation. they have resumed expressing interest in and acknowledging the potential of alternative opinions. particularly in terms of in management. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . a broad-spectrum of society increasingly demands information and democratic values. The severe social and economic situation hinders speedy growth of the civil society sector. and because of their decreasing popularity among the population. which can be used by CSOs to expand their social basis." There seems to be a lack of tolerance towards different views. based on the analysis of strengths and weaknesses of Georgian CSOs. are more developed. expressed here. Success in creating dialogue with the authorities concerns only those fields that do not limit their political. CSOs are rather far from modern organisational standards. Georgian officials are often sceptical towards CSOs. Firstly.

• Support transformation of informal networks into formal organisations. with the support of international organisations and other segments of Georgian civil society. • Lobby for the adoption of legislation supporting philanthropy. • Involve various social groups in large programmes. Activities: • Support social entrepreneurship for membership-based organisations. C. workshops and seminars in the field of civic education. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT General objective: Increase the level of civic engagement in civil society. Suggested activities: • Assess the needs of CSOs. ethical and professional codes of conduct.50 In addition. VALUES General objective: Improve the practice of promoted values. the international community represented in Georgia was confirmed as a strategic partner of Georgian civil society in order to achieve these two main directions of action. • Develop local volunteering bases. Actors: Think tanks. • Develop behavioural. training providers. • Limit the influence of intolerant. • Develop and implement modern organisational standards. • Implement broad civic education programmes aimed at disseminating democratic values. authorities. • Create support for social groups with poor experience in civic activities. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Specific objectives: • Introduce democratic decision-making practices. various stakeholders. • Participate in donors’ policy-making processes. ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT General objective: Develop CSO organisational skills. Activities: • Provide training. Actors: All types of CSOs. coercive and corrupt forces. Actors: CSOs. Specific objectives: • Improve human resources and financial sustainability. A. • Participate in advocacy programmes in cooperation with the media. professional and open associations and donor organisations. • Increase accessibly of state programmes and tenders. donor organisations. Specific objectives: • Increase CSO transparency and visibility. • Develop and implement realistic standards and action plans. • Revise civil society values and their adaptation to new challenges. overseas consulting organisations and the media. • Provide trainings on organisational development. • Broaden international connections (including international networks). particularly focusing on marginalised groups. B.

education and social policies to the needs of the country. expressed severe doubts regarding the accuracy of this data and explained the high scores by the motivation of CSOs to show a better side of their organisations.5%) and CSOs’ practice of values (64. March 2010). • Promote institutional development at all levels. • Develop professional training seminars for target groups. • Increase civil society awareness. • Support social and cultural integration of different social groups. Specific objectives: • Achieve rapid impact in the fields where it is possible. although it is important first to make clear the low level of reliability for some of the data collected. authorities. political parties). ENVIRONMENT General objective: Enhance social. CONCLUSIONS A number of challenges regarding civil society in Georgia have been revealed through the CSI from 2008 to 2010. • Intensify consultations with international and donor organisations.7%). CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . other civil society actors (media. • Implement the rule of law. The members of the National Workshop (which took place in Tbilisi. and conflict areas. Actors: CSOs (and broader civil society). international. increase joint working with international organisations. VI. This became particularly visible through the scores in organisational development (64. • Achieve sustainable impact in the fields which are extremely difficult to influence.such as civic education programmes. • Develop/empower institutional mechanisms within democratic processes. Activities: • Implement joint projects in different fields. empower democratic institutions. adaptation of health. E. economic and political sustainability. change of state fiscal policies in accordance with real social demands. • Socially activate the population. international organisations. • Support fundraising systems for financial security of planned activities. Specific objectives: • Improve Georgia’s economic situation. • Develop a more democratic political culture. economic and political processes. Activities: • Develop CSO issue-based networks. • Develop informational campaigns to disseminate existing views. focusing on regional. • Instigate educational activities . Actors: Entire civil society (within and outside Georgia). leading the dialogue in conflict regions. • Develop a more ecological culture. • Popularise multi-ethnic and diversity cultures. • Make and lobby for policy recommendations to improve legislation.51 D. partly due to overrated self-assessments by CSO representatives. such as in less politicised fields like culture and sports. such as human rights protection. IMPACT General objective: Increase the influence of CSOs on social.

as well as over the government. CSOs should take the following actions: • • CSOs. civil society ought to pay greater attention to the social problems Georgia faces. In such an environment. Using common frameworks and networking. CSOs have some advantage in this respect. as local and international actors have shifted their attention mainly towards the support of government policies. • • • • • • In order to adequately address new challenges. has been considerably weakened since the 2003 Rose Revolution. despite a number of weaknesses. and all other segments of civil society.52 There is also a difference in the perception of the environment. Furthermore. particularly CSOs. including donor organisations. which should be supported by a number of CSOs. have failed to avoid the processes described above and. should agree on some common values that would further unite their efforts. Georgian civil society describes the existing picture as a much healthier than that suggested by the international data sets. The situation is aggravated by the government’s refusal to initiate a dynamic dialogue with civil society. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . An additional stimulus comes from international organisations. they still form an organised power. • • Only if all of these are in place will CSOs be able to increase their positive influence and impact directly on the government. CSOs should communicate their views to the wider population as much as possible and support the formation of new public order and demands for positive changes in the country. new prerequisites are being created for CSOs to play a more active role. Networking among CSOs should be intensified. such as sector specific or regional focuses. CSOs. Common frameworks should be developed. Nevertheless. and in the case of particular policies. on society and on processes within Georgia. we can make a number of conclusions based on the findings from this study: • Civil society. the situation in the country has continuously worsened since 2000. disregarding their political and other sympathies. which must force this sector to think of new developmental possibilities. According to a considerable number of indicators. the policies of which shift their focus towards the issue of democratic values. because society increasingly shows discontent towards the policies of the government. because of their conformist views and low impact upon the processes within Georgia. Georgian civil society has degraded to the position it occupied 10 to 12 years ago. along with the improvements in management and in the degree of democratisation within the CSOs. thus. as well as to the spreading of democratic values. they can increase their authority and influence within society. they have to rethink and recreate their role within society at large. Now. Policies recently implemented in Georgia have set back the transition towards democratisation considerably.

4.1 Peer-to-peer communication 1 2.1 Internal governance 2.3 69.1 Publicly available code of conduct 3.5.6 4.1 CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .2.6 3.2 93.3 Diversity of socially-based engagement 1.2 Social volunteering 1 1.2 Members of labour unions 3.7 85.3.0 91.1.2 43.7 43.3.3 Sectoral communication 2.2 28.4.4.3 4.3 83.2 Depth of socially-based engagement 1.8 5.2.2.0 93.1 18.5 64.7 82.6 Diversity of political engagement 1.6 International linkages 2.1 Social membership 2 1.0 16.1 82.3 Code of conduct and transparency 3.1 69.1 Financial sustainability 2.1 Diversity of political engagement 2) Dimension: Level of Organisation 2.4 Extent of political engagement 1.1 94.5.5 Depth of political engagement 1.1.5 17.2 Transparency 20.3 Community engagement 2 1.3 Community engagement 1 1.1 Equal opportunities 3.1 International linkages 3) Dimension: Practice of Values 3.1 6.1 64.4 14.2 Political volunteering 2 1.3 1.1 Democratic decision-making governance 3.0 43.2 Social volunteering 2 1.1 89.4.6 7.1.9 28.1 6.5.3 Individual activism 1 1.2 Peer-to-peer communication 2 2.8 24.1 Sustainability of HR 2.1 Extent of socially-based engagement 1.3.5 52.0 5.3.1.5.1 Decision-making 3.2.2.2 Political volunteering 1 1.2.0 8.3 Labour rights trainings 3.1 Diversity of socially-based engagement 1.5.1 Political membership 1 1.1 Social membership 1 1.2.2 Infrastructure 2.2 Technological resources 2.6.5 Financial and technological resources 2.3 Individual activism 2 1.5 6.7 82.2 Labour regulations 3.2 3.5 28.1 Political membership 2 1.2.4 Human resources 2.1 Support organisations 2.2 36.4 Publicly available policy for labour standards 3.2 1.53 APPENDICES APPENDIX 1 CSI INDICATOR MATRIX 1) Dimension: Civic Engagement 1.1 Management 2.6.1 17.3.5 52.5 94.8 85.2 82.1 87.1.

0 33.4.0 30.0 50.8 45.2 55.5.6 59.1.5 State effectiveness 5.5 34.2.2 Corruption 5.3 20.8 0.54 3.7 Impact of civil society on attitudes 4.1 Trust 5.3 13.2 Policy impact general 4.8 CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .2 members Difference in public spiritedness between civil society members and 4.3 Public spiritedness 3.4 Environmental standards Environmental standards 3.1 Responsiveness (internal perception) 4.7 23.1 Perceived non-violence 3.2 Perceived internal democracy 3.2 23.4 20.3 Perceived levels of corruption 3.2 80.5.1 Social impact selected concerns 4.5 89.7.2 Rule of law and personal freedoms 5.0 40.6.2.4 Responsiveness (external perception) 4.1 43.6 66.5.3.2.7.3 33.3 Socio-cultural context 5.7 25.3 non-members 4.3.0 56.1.4 52.3.6 78.7.4 Experience of legal framework 5.7.5.2.1 Difference in trust between civil society members and non-members Difference in tolerance levels between civil society members and non4.1 Impact on social concern 1 4.1.1 General social impact 4.1.6 44.3 17.4.3 Policy impact of own organisation 4.2 Socio-political context 5.3 Inequality 5.1 Socio-economic context 5.4 39.0 65.6 Perceived promotion on non-violence and peace 4) Dimension: Perception of Impact 4.3 16.3 33.5 Perceived weight of intolerant groups 3.1.4.5.2 Impact on social concern 2 4.2.5.6 47.2 Social impact of own organisation 4.2.0 33.1 Policy impact specific fields 1-3 4.1 80.0 33.4 Trust in civil society 5) Contextual Dimension: External Environment 5.2 37.3.8 18.1 General policy impact 4.5.2 Tolerance 5.3.1 Impact on social concern 1 4.3 25.6 50.4 45.7 22.0 35.4 Perceived intolerance 3.1.2 Impact on social concern 2 4.2 Social impact general 4.3 Associational and organisational rights 5.6.1 Political rights and freedoms 5.5 Social Impact (external perception) 4.5 Perception of values in civil society as a whole 3.5.1 Basic Capabilities Index 5.2.3.0 59.0 22.2 Social Impact (internal perception) 4.4 Economic context 5.6 Policy Impact (external perception) 4.8 49.5 14.9 47.3 58.0 57.2 Policy activity of own organisation 4.2 1.1 92.3 40.3 Policy Impact (internal perception) 4.

55 APPENDIX 2 COLOUR CODING EXERCISE: RESULTS At the concluding stage of research.4. They should not be taken into account for international comparison but are indicative for the internal assessment of civil society within the country The validity of the sources upon which the final score is based is rather dependable and can be used for some international comparison (within a certain context or regional logic) and for the internal assessment of civil society within the country. FIGURE AII.7.5. we list those indicators which were most frequently characterised as highly questionable (red code) and moderately questionable (orange code).3 Community engagement 1.5.5.2. After careful review of each indicator.4.1 Decision–making 3.1 Political membership 2 1.1 Environmental standards Dimension: Perception of Impact 4. a colour coding exercise was used. Dimension: Civic Engagement 1.1 Validity colour code and description The validity of the sources upon which the final score is based is highly questionable (biased or outdated) and should not be taken into account for either international comparison or for the internal assessment of civil society within the country.2 Political volunteering 2 1.1.2 Social volunteering 2 1. members of AC had to give their assessment based on a four colour scheme. Below.1 Sustainability of human resources 2.3 Political activism 2 Dimension: Level of Organisation 2.1.1 Financial sustainability 2. The validity of the sources upon which the final score is based is moderately questionable.5.1 Social membership 2 1. In order to help them in this.7.2.6.2 Difference in tolerance CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .1 International linkages Dimension: Practice of Values 3.2.1 Difference in trust 4.4 Publicly available policy for labour standards 3. The of the sources upon which the final score is based is dependable and can be used for international comparison and for the internal assessment of civil society within the country. members of Advisory Committee were asked to assess the validity of the results of surveys conducted in the framework of project.

Coordinator. Local self–government • Shalva Gardapkhadze. Youth group • Valeri Stevmakov. Centre for Strategic Research and Development Levan Akhvelediani. CIPDD Manana Svimonishvili. Free Trade Union of Teachers and Scientists Ghia Khasia. Mercy Corps • Misha Qadoian. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Kamilla Mamedova. Institute of Political Science Akhalkalaki (Javakheti) • Mikheil Kolikidi. Union Bridge • Samvell Darbinian. European Commission Malkhaz Saldadze. Civil Society Expert. Freelance journalist Oliver Reisner. Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association Kakha Khimshiashvili. Democracy and Development (CIPDD) Tina Tkeshelashvili. Amalgamation of Free Trade Unions Manana Qochladze. Local self–government • Gaioz Khutsishvili. UN Association of Georgia Koba Liklikadze. Swedish International Development Aid Nana Janashia. Farmer • Tamaz Gogoladze. Caucasus Institute for Peace. Young Men’s Christian Association Paata Beltadze. Association Atinati Tamar Khidasheli. Farmers’ cooperative • Soso Balakhadze. Bakur Sulakauri Publishing Lela Kartvelishvili. CIPDD Ghia Gotua. International Centre for Civic Culture Giorgi Shamugia. Open Society Georgia Foundation Nino Lejava. Community Centre Marneuli Bakur Sulakauri. Javakheti Civic Forum • Samvel Khidikian. Researcher.56 APPENDIX 3 PARTICIPANT NAMES AND ORGANISATIONAL AFFILIATIONS Members of the NIT • • • • David Losaberidze. Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia Manana Ghurchumelidze. Parliament of Georgia Zviad Koridze. Boell Foundation Kote Kandelaki. Caucasus Environmental NGO Network Emzar Jgerenaia. CIPDD Members Advisory Committee • • • • • • • • • • • Ramaz Aptsiauri. PR Coordinator. Businessman CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Ilia State University Participants of the regional focus group meetings Tbilisi • • • • • • • • • • • • Irakli Kavtaradze. Businessman • Vagarshak Shakhpetian. Green Alternative Nana Qarseladze. International Association Business and Parliament Nani Macharashvili.

Bolnisi Language House • Lela Aptsiauri. Organisation for Protection of Prisoner’s Rights • Giuli Khimshiashvili. Charity Foundation • Roland Shanidze. For Future • Jondo Aduashvili. Southern Gate newspaper Arshak simonian. Ministry of Environment Protection of Adjara • Khatuna Nakashidze. Centre for Strategic Research and Development • Natia Giorgadze. Local self-government • Marian Bjhalava. Kvemo Kartli Media Group Telavi (Kakheti) • Levan Rostomashvili. Batumi State University • Natalia Panjikidze. Women for the Future of Javakheti Levon Levonian. Red Cross society • Zaur Tchkoidze. Akhalkalaki University Batumi (Adjara) • Givi Mamaladze. Union for Democratic Development Rustavi (Kvemo Kartli) • Tsira Tavshavadze. Youth group Shorena Tetvadze. Evangelic Church • Giorgi Makharashvili. Georgian Young Lawyers Association • Nana Tavdumadze. Sakartvelo • Maka Maghradze. Centre for Civic Initiatives Apnik Aivazian. Georgia Association of Educational Initiatives • Marika Vardiashvili. Guriis Moambe newspaper • Marika Tughushi. Human Rights Centre • Marika Chkhobadze. Guria News newspaper • Eldar Siradze. Kvemo Kartli MediaGroup • Irina Nikiphorova. Young Pedagogue’s Union • Keti Gobronidze. Freelance journalist • Tamaz Trapinadze. Amalgamation of Free Trade Unions Ozurgeti (Guria) • Irakli Dolidze. Bridge • Maka Machavariani. Alioni newspaper • Marika Akhaladze. Bolnisi Youth Centre • Irina Gorshkova. Institute of Democracy • Svetlana Tsutba. Labour Party • Irakli Beridze. Guria News newspaper • Shorena Ghlonti. Public Information Centre • Shorena Tsiklauri. Alioni newspaper • Nino Nikolaishvili. Local self-government • Soso Mikeladze. Farmers’ Union Lore • Rustam Maidov. Ozurgeti Youth Resource Centre • Irkli Papava. Business Centre Kakheti CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .57 • • • • • Dali Aghdgomeladze. Ozurgeti Information Centre • Temur Marshanishvili. Christian Democratic Movement • Guram Tsitladze. Local self-government • Rusudan Ratiani. Women’s World • Giorgi Demurishvili. Progress • Merab Ghoghoberidze.

Telavi State University students’ self-government Natia Dalelishvili. Republican Party Akhaltsikhe (Samtskhe) • Lela Inasaridze. Care Caucasus • Zaza Chipashvili. Network Against Violence • Saba Tsitsikashvili. Akhaltsikhe Youth Centre • Lia Chilashvili. Charity centre Compassion • Eliso Rurua. Public Defenders Office • Leila Chavaradze. Kakheti Media Association Zugdidi (Samegrelo) • Marina Davitaia.58 • • • • • • • • • • • Tina Kanjaleishvili. Freelance journalist Giorgi Abdamashvili. Regional Development Agency Maia Kalibegashvili. Institute for Democratic Development • Jhana Aduashvili. Regional Development Agency Ana chkhetiani. Samegrelo Media Association • Galina Natsvlishvili. Association Atinati • Madona Jabua. Gori Discussion Club • David Razmadze. Step to the Future NGO network • Thea Tediashvili. Akhaltsikhe University students’ self-government • Guram Chinchveladze. Southern Gate newspaper • Nugzar Atateshvili. Centre of Legal Defence • Nana Todua. Farmers’ Consultation Centre CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Local self-government Gori (Shida Kartli) • Omar Barbakadze. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association • Vasil Guleuri. Kakheti Pride Radio Teona Chavleishvili. World Vision Gia Purtseladze. Kakheti Information Centre Natia Osibashvili. Humanitarian Centre Abkhazeti • Nino Dalakishvili. Clinical Psychologist • Nona Ubilava. Centre for Adult Learning • Zviad Merabishvili. Christian Democratic Movement • Tea Okropiridze. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association Giorgi Melashvili. Berika • Ketevan Bidzinashvili. Local self-government Nana Chipashvili. Women’s Association Mother of Georgia • Zurab Rusemashvili. Humanitarian centre Abkhazeti • Nana Jibladze. Social Development Centre • Maka Rudadze. Fair Elections • Nona Askilashvili. Medical centre Support • Rusudan Pachkoria. Women’s association Merkuri • Koba Askanava. Kartlis Khma newspaper • Eka Qutelashvili. Refugee Women for their rights • Ana Toloraia. Centre for Reconciliation between Abkhazs and Georgians • Shorena Ketsbaia. Samegrelo Media Association • Khatuna Betsvaia. Social worker • Shorena Elbakidze. UNDP office Eka Imerlishvili. Movement of refugee women Peace • Giorgi Gardava. Local self-government • Maya Chemia.

Public Movement Multynational Georgia Nanuli Ramishvili. Education and World David Tsikarishvili. Union of Meskehtian Democrats Mania Palian. People’s Newspaper Levan Gegelashvili. Gea association Lela Papuashvili. Abkhazintercont foundation • Tengiz Aslanikashvili. Kartli XXI Giorgi Andghuladze. Alioni newspaper Guram Akhalaia. 9th Channel TV Zura Kulijanashvili. Media Centre Kakheti Ana Chelidze. TEMPUS programme. International Centre of Conflict and Negotiations Mikhail Ananidze. Sachino association • Tiko Endeladze. Ilia State University Misha Chitadze. Civitas Georgica Nugzar Asatiani. Kodori 2010 • Nato Jiqia. Government of Abkhazia in exile • Mariam Khakhaleishvili. EU Irakli Machabeli. Transparency International • Sergo Tsurtsumia. Refugee Association Imedi 2010 • Vakhtang Abuladze. Polonia Zaur Khalilovi. Ecological Academy Rezo Okuashvili. Iavnana Foundation Bela Gvelesiani. Caucaus Institute for Economic and Social Research Alexander Kalandadze. Union of Meskhetian Democrats Lika Ghlonti. Tolerant Shorena Surmanidze. Local Democracy Agency • Nino Matskiladze. Gori Information Centre Giorgi Khutsishvili. Intelect Giorgi Gorgaslidze. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association • Julieta Gvichiani. Sport union Kavkasia Kutaisi (Imereti) • Guram Kvantaliani. Local self-government • Natia Abuladze. Civil Development Agency DimitriTsertsvadze.59 • • • • • • Iuri Zarnidze. Education and World Meri Lobzhanidze. National Workshop • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Zviad Devdariani. St Andrew University Ghia Khasia. Atinati Tamar Charkviani. Centre for International Education Giorgi Andghuladze. NGO • Ana Chelidze. Sachino association • Natia Nemsadze. Lawyer • Paata Sharashenidze. Ilia State University Eka Poladashviili. Education and World • Khatuna Khurtsidze. Georgia Young Medics’ Association Marat Tsitskishvili. Abkhazintercont foundation • Zaza Chachava. Foundation for Civic Integration CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Humanitarian Centre Abkhazeti Participants. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association • Miranda Mamiseishvili. Local self-government Qeti Narimanishvili.

According to experts. What are the reasons behind these? Also. enlargement of social networks. Gea association Nana Janashia. Furthermore. It was assumed that parties appear more attractive as a means of attaining not only social. six interviews were done. Overall. As a main method of research. Human Resource Development Foundation Khatuna Ghavtadze. Centre for Training and Consultancy Ekaterine Demetrashvili. filling free time and making a position in civil society more secure. Civil Society Institute Irina Khantadze. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . While attraction to the personality of a leader is playing a role. New Generation New Initiative APPENDIX 4. the contribution of this group is indispensable for the functioning of political parties in Georgia. Media Centre Kakheti Ucha Vakhania. research has proved the hypothesis on the failure of most of party activists to achieve their goals in the framework of a party. Institute of Policy Studies Manana Kharadze. SUMMARIES OF CASE STUDIES 1. in–depth qualitative interviews with young party activists were used. Generationfoundation Vazha Salamadze. At the same time. Different motives of this kind are cited including: gaining professional experience. Transparency International Rusudan Jamaspishvili. Evangelical Baptists Church of Georgia Shorena Lortkipanidze. Amalgamation of Free Trade Unions Mariam Khotenashvili. It was observed that young people are joining parties mostly as a result of active recruitment work. After some period of enthusiastic participation. Volunteerism in Modern Georgia: Case of Political Parties’ Youth Organisations By Ketevan Khapava According to the data derived from the most recent World Values Survey. Embassy of Netherlands Nodar Sarjveladze. how can we explain the low level of participation in volunteer activities in general? These were questions guiding our research. personal motives are important for understanding a decision to participate in a party’s work. feelings of disillusionment and frustration drive activists out of the party. Georgian Young Economists Association Lela Kartvelishvili. International Centre of Conflict and Negotiation Eka Abzhandadze. It was assumed that exploring the motivations of active political party supporters could shed light on the reasons that make political parties a somewhat more attractive arena of activities compared with the rest of CSOs. It was also found that the political orientations of the parties were not playing an important role in this process. Centre for Social Sciences Nino Mgaloblishvili. Free Trade Union of Teachers and Scientists Sopho Gelashvili. With regard to the dynamics of involvement. the rate of involvement in the work of political parties is somewhat higher than rates for other activities. it was suggested that the unstable membership of political parties could be explained by the inability of parties to satisfy most of their supporters with tangible social benefits.60 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Marina Chitashvili. Caucasus Environmental NGO Network Eka Poladashvili. Young supporters of political parties involved in campaigns were the focus of research. in agreement with a general thesis according to which ideological boundaries between political groups in Georgia are rather blurred. but also personal goals. involvement in civil society’s work in modern Georgia is comparatively low. Democrat Women’s Club of Marneuli Manana Ghurchumelidze. Young Journalists House Nana Sumbadze.

Critics point out the absence of these mechanisms. While most of the NGOs in Georgia claim to be respectful of this concept. NGOs and big companies. Correspondingly. 2) financial transparency.while CSOs do not pay sufficient attention to the interests and views of business. Many existing initiatives serve a purpose of improving company images and/or developing their human resource bases. They see international donors as ‘natural’ sponsors and do not see overlapping interests between them. a predominant role of personal motives for participation in a party’s work is identified. 3) existence of internal and external evaluation mechanisms. The low level of legitimacy of civil society makes cooperation with those organisations less beneficial in terms of social respect and advertisement purposes. business abstains from supporting these organisations. As a recommendation. two were recognised by business media outlets as champions in the CSR field. and in many cases the formal character they acquire in local settings. It was concluded that a vicious circle emerges as a result of this situation . At the same time. The following general questions guided the process of research: What is the level of awareness of top managers with regard to the concept of CSR? Which of the different forms of CSR are recognised by them? Which of these forms are implemented in Georgia? What is the attitude of managers toward civil society and how do they evaluate the possibility of cooperation with this sector? Analysis of data shows that despite a clear understanding of the meaning of CSR as well as comprehensive knowledge of the different forms of its implementation. including transparency and collective decision making. the aim of this case study was to explore reasons behind this lack of cooperation. As a method of research. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia .61 As a result of research. To understand this problem an explorative study was undertaken. the range of activities in this direction is quite limited. a desk study and interviews with top managers of three Georgian companies were used. The level of trust toward civil society is also low. an analysis of media. it gives certain weight to rational choice analysis of civil society involvement in Georgia. Corporate Social Responsibility and NGOs By Tamar Charkviani The last five years are marked by the emergence of discourse of corporate social responsibility in public–state–business relations in Georgia. it is suggested that measures aimed at intensifying dialogue between these two parties should be taken. Consequently. It was hypothesised that CSR is seen by managers as part of a company’s PR and advertisement strategies. 2. In several instances CSR projects were realised by big companies. Several projects have been implemented by non-governmental organisations aimed at popularising this concept. While quantitative/qualitative studies are needed to verify this conclusion. Local Business. Among the three big companies selected for the purpose of the research. with a consequent deepening of gap between two. Also. with many of the respondents citing the ineffectiveness of the NGO sector as a main reason for this. Managers do not see in the immediate future any possibility for cooperation between business and civil society. Both vertical and horizontal accountability were considered in the research. many forms of CSR implementation are not even discussed by top managers. The presence and functioning of the following mechanisms were explored: 1) democratic governance. 4) openness toward cooperation with different stakeholder groups. grounds for scepticism are abundant. the level of awareness about the nature and activities of the civil society sector is very low among managers. 3. Forms and Practices of Accountability in the Civil Society sector of Georgia By Tamar Charkviani and Ana Chelidze Ensuring accountability is one of the most important problems faced by civil society in different countries. initiatives jointly implemented by business and CSOs are rare.

In the majority of cases. which could be partly explained by the need to fulfil formal requirements posed by grant-giving agencies. In existing literature. the study revealed inadequate coverage of local CSOs and their activities. Factors Influencing Impact of Civil Society over Policy-Making By Giorgi Babunashvili The CIVICUS research has shown that despite the high level of organisational development. 4. Among the most pressing problems. Even in time devoted to human issues. Leading Georgian TV News Programmes on Civil Society in Georgia By Vasil Mamulashvili According to the results of different surveys. As electronic media is the most important source of information for the majority of Georgians. a lack of transparency in financial management and manipulations in elections of governing bodies were cited. operating in the areas of human rights defence and environmental protection. news from abroad played a pre-eminent role (60%). As for the football federation. The third was the football federation. this concept has not yet acquired the value which it should have in the minds of civil society activists. Two of those organisations were well established watchdogs. it could be said that practices related to accountability toward the donors are more developed in these organisations. The study was undertaken by inspecting documents and the websites of these organisations as well as through interviews with representatives of top level management. More then half (approximately 52%) of the mentions were for educational/research organisations. mostly mentioning international NGOs. personal and political contacts are stressed as CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . To conclude. it is poorly reflected in these organisation’s internal documents. the study revealed important problems in this regard. an NGO with strong links (including financial) with the government. and other topics. the attitude towards civil society. One of the problems revealed by the study is an absence of common standards in this area recognised by most CSOs in Georgia. followed by business associations and human rights watchdogs (respectively 11 and 10 %). The following issues were covered by our research: the amount of time dedicated to civil society work. it was suggested that while the practice of accountability is already present in Georgian civil society and is even well rooted in some organisations. priorities given to different kinds of CSOs. content analysis of news programmes of three major TV stations with national coverage was undertaken. a quite developed system of accountability was found to be in place. In watchdog organisations. research/educational organisations were represented by experts individually commenting on foreign policy problems. The selection thus allowed comparison between donor–funded and state–funded organisations. 5. As a conclusion.62 Three NGOs were selected. Also. Adoption of a common code of conduct might be a step toward resolving this. There was also a substantial divergence between three leading TV channels in terms of the time devoted to civil society related coverage. As a method. One of the interesting findings was that more then half of all CSO mentions came in the context of international/foreign affairs news. we examined the coverage of civil society by news programmes of leading TV channels. To understand the reasons for this. At the same time. Georgian CSOs exercise little influence on policy-making in Georgia. the level of awareness about civil society’s work is quite low in Georgia. while the concept of accountability is well embedded in the practice of NGOs. a closer look at the process of cooperation between government and civil society is needed. Existence of these problems could be partly explained by an informal system of patronage linking management of the organisation to the leadership of the ruling party.

The study concludes that political positions and personal contacts play decisive roles in policy cooperation between the government and CSOs in Georgia. In-depth interviews were done with representatives of trade unions. some scholars argue that organisational capacity is a key for understanding NGOs impact over policy. While the organisational weaknesses of the trade union were an obvious fact for both sides. This hypothesis was further checked using quantitative analysis. the union gained an opportunity to influence the decision-making process in relevant fields. former and current officials of the ministry and experts. having implemented a joint project with government structures) correlated positively with a high level of influence on government policy. namely cooperation with government. close personal and political links emerged between key figures. In that period. international donors should push for more cooperation between government and CSOs. persuading government that this kind of cooperation could be fruitful in many regards. Conclusions derived from the case study were checked and compared using quantitative data from the CIVICUS research. In exchange for the support of state policy. avoiding excessive confrontation with government should be regarded as an important goal by CSOs. On the other hand. and relations cooled. cooperation between two groups went smoothly in this period. It was clear from the results that organisational capacity did not play an important role in sparking active cooperation between the ministry and the union between 2004 and 2007.63 crucial factors for influencing government decision making in post–Soviet countries. The same is true with regard to a positive assessment of political development in the country – organisations with representatives who hold this opinion are usually better received by policy makers and consequently their impact is higher then those who express negative opinions. According to recommendations presented in the report. strengthened by previous cooperation between these two groups. However.g. A statistical analysis was performed to explore the relative importance of these factors on policy influence. CIVICUS Civil Society Index Analytical Report for Georgia . Thus. Cooperation between the Teacher’s Trade Union and Ministry of Education between 2004 and 2008 was the focus of the qualitative case study research. Different variables from the organisational survey were recoded into three groups. At the same time. and the union grew critical towards the government. the results of the study support the hypothesis on the decisive role of personal/political ties for success in influencing government policy. political attitudes and organisational capacity. The case study was conducted employing methodologies of both qualitative and quantitative research. with a change of top personnel in the ministry these contacts were dissolved. It was found that experience of cooperation with government (e.

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