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Eastern Partnership - Georgia

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Freedom of Information for Participatory Local Self-Governance

Project Manager: Natia Apkhazava

Donor Agency: Europe Foundation

Region: Batumi Municipality

Project Duration: 01.05.17 - 01.02.18

Project Overview

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.