Building public confidence and maximising participation of disadvantaged groups in democratic processes through transparent elections in Georgia
The project sought to contribute to the success of the elections in 2008 by providing much needed knowledge of and confidence in democratic structures and procedures among the Georgian electorate, in particular among communities of ethnic minorities and internally displaced persons (IDPs) that often live compact in neglected provincial areas. By acknowledging that the principle of societal participation in governance has to be cultivated as a key component of democratic conduct, especially with regard to these groups, the HBF initiated a project which aimed at addressing the issue.
As recent efforts put into decentralisation processes have so far remained without success, the project sought to address the need of raising public awareness of local rural population, as well as the local authorities. Therefore, viable local media are needed to inform rural populations about electoral processes. There is a shortage of journalists addressing the needs and constraints of the vulnerable groups.
Lack of confidence, inadequate electoral administration including defective voters’ lists as well as complicated procedures, often discourage people from going to the polls. Therefore there is a constant need for the institutions to, at least for the period of elections, inform rural population about their voters’ rights and facilitate their participation in democratic processes.
Georgia - all regions; special target regions with high percentage of Armenian and Azeri population: Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli; Shida Kartli, with focus on town of Gori, where a large portion of IDPs reside after the Georgian-Russian military conflict of August 2008.
- Women’s Political Resource Center (WPRC)
- International Centre for Civic Culture (ICCC)
- Non-governmental organizations and municipalities in the project implementation areas
- Regional media and journalists
- Practitioners and academia working on democratization and human rights
- Help foster access of disadvantaged groups to active political life in Georgia
- Contribute to increased transparency of and confidence in democratic processes in Georgia
- Make the election process more transparent and comprehensible for women, ethnic minorities and IDPs, and thereby mobilise them to participate in election processes at various levels in the run-up to and during parliamentary elections
- Electorate representing ethnic minorities is informed about election procedures and voters’ rights.
- Awareness of the female beneficiaries of the project on participation and decision-making is increased.
- Target groups and their constraints find representation in the political discourse covered by the media.
- Local authorities in the target provinces prepared to observe responsibilities regarding voters’ needs and accountability.
- Enhance knowledge on leadership, coalition building, NGO promotion, women’s rights, etc of the project target groups
- Increased awareness of the Georgian society at large on participation of disadvantaged groups in decision-making
- Voter education programme specifically designed for Armenian and Azeri communities in Georgia
- Participation programme for the regional women community leaders
- PR campaign to represent disadvantaged groups
- Training programme for journalists
- Capacity and confidence building in local communities, including the municipalities in Akhaltsikhe, Batumi, Gori and Kutaisi.
- Summer school for the women community leaders to enhance their leadership skills
Representatives of ethnic Armenia and Azeri minorities in Georgia; women community leaders; journalists from various Georgian provinces; IDP communities
The Georgian electorate, especially female voters and Georgian citizens of various different ethnic background, as well as IDPs.
320.000 € (2007-2009)