Freedom of Information for Participatory Local Self-Governance
The project aims at promoting transparent and accountable governance practices in Batumi, by fostering effective use of Freedom of Information (FOI) provisions and enhancing citizen awareness about civic participation. To this effect, the grantee will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the existing FOI legislation and internal procedures to identify the system and capacity gaps that impede access to publicly held information. The results will translate into the grantee’s advocacy and capacity building efforts targeting both the civil society actors, as well as Batumi City Hall and City Council, so as to create demand for public information and foster informed citizen engagement in public policy making. To promote the culture and practices of participatory decision-making, the grantee will set up civic initiative groups, comprised of active citizens (including youth), CSOs, and civic advisory boards at the City Hall and City Council, supporting their civic monitoring and advocacy efforts to address local needs. By contributing to increased citizen demand for public information and supporting more effective FOI regulation and practice, the project will also contribute to improved regulatory environment. To this ends, the grantee's actionable recommendations, developed as a result of the initial FOI analysis and participatory civic monitoring efforts, will be submitted to and advocated in front of the City Hall and the City Council. Both women and men residing Batumi will be the end beneficiaries of this action, as improved access to public information and enhanced civic engagement will lead to increased civil society influence on public policy making and more accountable government.
The way forward to reforms in the housing sector: empowering grass-root homeowners associations in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
The Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO) e.V. implements with international partners the project "The way forward for reforms in the housing sector: empowering grass-root homeowners associations in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine ". The three-year project aims, through the establishment of 10 Technical Advisory Centres (TACs) to improve housing management and to promote energy efficiency refurbishment of residential buildings in the partner countries. The opening event will take place in late June 2015 in the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi.
In all countries involved, the housing sector is one of the primary concerns. Especially multi-storey apartment buildings, built as blocks, are in poor condition. The reasons for the large refurbishment backlog are manifold: inefficient housing administration, inadequate financial resources, lack of expertise and political support.
To overcome theseobstacles the project has the following objectives:
- to promote housing management and energy-efficient refurbishment and also barrier-free living in multi-storey apartment buildings
- to understand limitations and opportunities to implement energy efficient measures in the housing stock in AZ, BY, GE, MD & UA
- to support the national housing reforms and to strengthen the civil society organizations' (CSOs) role as watchdog
- to implement capacity-building measures by trainings, workshops, seminars and study tour
- to improve professionalism, organisational as well as institutional capacities of CSOs, in order to respond to calls for proposals
- to improve the interaction between CSOs and authorities at the national, regional and local level
- to encourage the CSOs to actively participate in policy-making processes promoting the ideas of multi-level participatory governance and enabling housing associations to become key stakeholders in development planning
- to strengthen the cooperation between German and international organizations
The project aims to support the residents often being the apartment owners, to organize an effective administration. Although in some partner countries, the residents have to organize the administration by law, in reality residential buildings are often managed by the state administration companies. But the work of these companies is a permanent point of criticism, as they often lack of transparency and qualified personnel.
This results in a great need for a strong system of information dissemination and technical assistance to help homeowners form and operate homeowners' associations (HOAs) and to improve hereby their situation. HOAs need structure and a system of support if they are to be sustainable. For this purpose, it is necessary to establish and to strengthen TACs, which will support relevant target groups in order to improve and increase their knowledge on housing issues.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the field of housing sector (HOAs, social counseling centers, universities, etc.) can participate in a public tendering procedure and receive financial and technical assistance to establish or strengthen TACs.
Tasks and objectives of Technical Assistance Centres (TACs) are:
- to increase the knowledge and awareness of citizens about their rights in the property, principles and activities of homeowners' associations (HOAs)
- to organize and conduct seminars and trainings on topics, such as the establishment and running of HOAs
- to provide training for HOAs accountants
- to support the organization, implementation and participation (if necessary) of HOAs' meetings
- regular telephone consultation hours "Hotline"
- individual consulting and training of local residents
- bundling of proposals from NGOs, HOAs in the development of recommendations for changes in legislation
- dissemination of best practices by HOAs in the partner towns
- to promote the cooperation with international donors and organizations that will help the partner cities with the establishment of HOAs
Tel. +49 30 20605487
Tel. +49 30 20605487
Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO), Berlin
Lviv housing owners and residential real estate managers Association
Foundation for support of homeowners' associations", Charkiv
Property Market Participants - Public Union
Local Democracy Agency Georgia
Civil Society Institute Batumi Branch
Charity Humanitarian Centre "Abkhazeti" Tbilisi Branch Office
Institute for Urban Development
International NGO "Ecoproject"
International Association for Real Estate Management
National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG)
Lviv Regional branch of all Ukrainian organization "Union of disabled people of Ukraine"