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Despite the fact that women represent majority of all registered voters in Georgia (53, 7%), their participation in elections and political processes is very low. Due to their low civic engagement, women’s needs are rarely considered by decision makers and/or election candidates.
In order to increase politicians’ awareness of and sensitivity towards women voters’ priority issues, EWMI ACCESS and CiDA initiated a questionnaire survey in 10 regions of Georgia to identify top problems that women face, and use the pre-election period to present these issues to the election candidates for consideration. 23 regional civil society organizations (members of the Regional Civil Society Network – R-CSN) interviewed 1106 women in 10 regions of Georgia and after summarizing questionnaire findings, presented them to a large audience of CSOs, election candidates and journalists on October 17. Presentation was held in Tbilisi and it received wide media coverage both in Tbilisi and in the regional media. In parallel to the presentation, the regional media interviewed local CSOs (who conducted the survey) to discuss the survey findings and major problems as identified by women in their respective regions.
During post-election period, ACCESS will continue to support regional CSOs to follow-up on these issues and advocate that the elected decision-makers address the needs and priorities of women voters. The most frequently cited problems that women respondents identified through the survey are:
Poor roads and sidewalks with no pavements (posing danger and causing difficulties while commuting with kids and a stroller);
Inaccessibility to drinking water at homes (including lack of water, or water on a schedule that make household chores and cattle grooming extremely hard to manage);
Lack or poorly managed parks and recreation areas, as well as outdoor lighting (children do not have spaces for entertainment);
Poor access to and quality of kindergartens (unavailable spaces for more students at kindergartens and/or inflexible working hours forcing mothers to be late for work and/or leave offices early to pick up their children from kindergartens).
Lack or regular waste collection and disposal services.
The survey’s interesting finding was that 67% of respondents’ state that they would vote for a candidate who addresses women’s problems and interests in his/her electoral program.


Tuesday, 17 October 2017 00:00
Published in Civil Society


On October 18, Georgian Farmers' Association (GFA) with partner organizations: International School of Economics (ISET), Export Development Association (EDA), Civil Development Agency (CiDA) and Association "Atinati" held a presentation of a new project “ Supporting Initiative of Food and Agriculture Sector in small and medium enterprises”

The FASSI's duration has been 2 years and its purpose is to strengthen business-supporting organizations (BSOs) in Food and Agriculture to enable them to further support their small and medium enterprises (SME) in issues such as meeting new regulations, availability of the EU market and improvement of business relationships as inside so outside the country.
The project also considers enhancing the role of the BSOs in development of sectoral strategy and recommendation concerning Deep and Comprehensive Free Trading Area (DCFTA).
"Within the DCFTA, the EU and Georgia have cancelled all import taxes on Georgian products. Agriculture is an important sector in Georgia, where a large part of the population is employed and therefore new opportunities for export will be very important for the field development. This project is very important for Georgian entrepreneurs to be able to export their products to EU and use DCFTA opportunities. "- Carlo Natale, Deputy EU Ambassador to EU Delegation to Georgia.

During the event, together with the presentation of the project, the audience was also acquainted with the report on needs survey of business support organizations which was prepared within the project. In the near future, along with other activities, it is also planned to implement trainings and small grant programs that promote the development of business supporting organizations.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 00:00
Published in Civil Society


Up to 300 representatives of the regional civil society organizations (CSOs) from 10 regions across Georgia attended the interactive training programme in Rural Development Advocacy, organized by the Civil Development Agency (CiDA), with assistance from the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the EU-funded ENPARD programme. One of the final events of this training campaign took place in Tbilisi on December 7, 2017, with 30 civil society activists taking part.
The intensive training programme covered every region of Georgia, aiming to empower civil society organizations to more actively advocate for rural development in their regions. The training participants were introduced to the European models of Rural Development and became more acquainted with advocacy tools. The training programme also focused on the impact of rural development on national policy-making, the role of civil society in this process, and to the practical benefits of rural development for now and in the future.

Civil society representatives from Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kakheti, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Guria, the Autonomous Republic of Ajara and Tbilisi engaged in networking and exchanged personal experience of rural development know-hows in their regions.
Some specific attention at the training was provided to the LEADER approach, the European model of rural development which offers space for people to involve in decision-making and provides effective tools for reducing urban-rural inequality and improving the quality of life in rural areas. With the support of the EU-funded ENPARD programme, LEADER has been already piloted in eight regions of Georgia.
The training participants agreed that LEADER is an effective mechanism that can benefit rural areas and expressed interest to learn more about the concrete results of its piloting in Georgia.
The European Union (EU) will continue supporting regional civil society organizations in their efforts to engage in rural development, take part in shaping rural development policies and promote government accountability.
The EU is supporting rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 102 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty. The first phase of ENPARD in Georgia focused on developing the potential of agriculture. The second phase focuses on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities. More information on ENPARD is available at:

Sunday, 10 December 2017 22:19
Published in Civil Society


On October 9, presentation of Information Campaign on visa-free regime with the European Union/Schengen Area -Europe is home was held at Information Center on NATO and EU. The aim of the regional information campaign is to raise awareness of the local population in the regions, especially in the villages and municipalities located along the occupational line, conflict zone and ethnic minority settlements.
Within the frames of the first phase, trainings of the trainers will be held for the representatives of the Regional Civil Society Network (R-CSN). The second phase of the campaign includes the informational meetings on visa-free regime with the local population, with the participation of the representatives of the Regional Civil Society Network in the regions of Georgia. During the meetings, population will be provided with informational materials in Georgian, as well as in Armenian and Azerbaijani languages. The presentation of the videos, developed within the frames of the campaign will be conducted at the meetings.
The campaign is organized by the Non-Governmental organization CiDA and the Regional Civil Society Network (R-CSN), in partnership with the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and Information Center on NATO and EU, with the support of the European Union, Open Society Foundations and Liberty Bank JSC.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 00:00
Published in Civil Society