Development of Communities along the ABL around the Tskhinvali region with the focus on local administration and development

Project Description

The overall goal of the project is to build capacities of local administration officials in vulnerable communities along the ABL separating the Tskhinvali region from the rest of Georgia. Encouraging more active involvement of women and young people in local administration processes. Develop capacities of local media and influencers to identify local problems and to monitor radicalisation or extremism, and to boost the resilience of societies along the ABL.

The regions of intervention are those regions of Georgia through which passes the administrative borderline (further just ABL) with the Tskhinvali region. The target groups are communities living in municipalities in these regions in areas directly affected by the ABL. Due to the location of these municipalities close to the ABL, they face a number of challenges. Some of them are (I.) security-related – due to the closeness of the barbed-wired fence built by Russian troops occupying the Tskhinvali region, that they tend to move inland deeper into Georgia – so-called borderisation.

Other serious challenges are those of (II.) socio-economic character – brain-drain and movement of population away from these municipalities elsewhere, low social mobility of youth,     loss of traditional Russian market for local agricultural products and many others. Yet another issue to be addressed is a (III.) risk of radicalisation and rise of extremism as an impact of long-term local problems and disinformation campaigns.

The project aims to contribute to addressing these three areas of main problems by (a.) building capacities of local administration in these communities, in order, they are more effective in their functioning and thus could provide better services, better conditions for living, more opportunities for young people and businesses, in order these groups have more incentives to stay and develop. Special attention will be paid to women and young people with targeted actions to activate them in order they are more interested in the decision-making at the local level, so they could energise these communities and bring in a new, different perspective.

Also, (b.) through the work with the local media and journalists to improve the visibility of these communities and municipalities in order they can more effectively attract attention to their specific problems on the one hand. And on the other hand, to present opportunities that are there also plentiful in terms of business opportunities and tourism.     The project will also work with the local media and journalists to help to boost these communities’ resilience against malicious propaganda and disinformation.

(d.) Last but not least, to further increase the knowledge of specific problems faced by communities on ABL, on behalf of the local and central administration as well as NGOs and donors via field research in these communities. Challenges hindering the development of communities on the ABL often differ from those in other parts of target regions. Yet, there is a long-standing lack of analysis and studies focused specifically on these communities, which hinders both effective decision making of local and central governments as well as effective design and implementation of projects in these regions.

Project Activities:

28-30.3. 2022

A series of workshops for local government representatives in ABL communities focused on local media capacity building and local journalism

1.3. 2022

Analytical article by co-author Tomáš Baranec in The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst bi-weekly: South Ossetian Territorial Claims Overlap With “Fear Zones” Already Controlled by Russian Forces

5.-12. 2. 2022

Study trip of representatives of Georgian ABL communities in Slovakia

19.1.2022

Interview with Paata Zakareishvili: We can not renew our territorial integrity without Abkhazians and Ossetians

13.1.2022

Predstavitelia organizácií MESA10 a Kartlosi sa v rámci implementácie projektu „Rozvoj komunít pozdĺž administratívnej hraničnej línie oddeľujúcej región Cchinvali od zvyšku Gruzínska s dôrazom na miestnu samosprávu a rozvoj“ financovaného Slovenskou agentúrou pre medzinárodnú rozvojovú spoluprácu stretli s guvernérom Gruzínskeho kraja Šida Kartli pánom Valerianom Mčedlidze.
Predmetom diskusie bola koordinácia a spolupráca pri úspešnom implementovaní projektu, ktorého cieľom je zlepšiť situáciu gruzínskych komunít na gruzínsko-osetínskej administratívnej línii.
https://www.facebook.com/shidakartlismxare/posts/232090452418708

22.9.2021 Online Coordination Meeting

Online coordination meeting of the project implementing consortium, namely the Project Manager, Field Worker, Representatives of the Partner Organisation from Georgia. The meeting was dealing with the timeline of project activities in the shadows of the COVID19 pandemic situation in Georgia. The aim of the meeting was to plan in detail the next steps, risk assessment, and the methodology for carrying out field research on the needs of ABL communities.

Development of Communities along the ABL around the Tskhinvali region with the focus on local administration and development (SAMRS/2021/GE/1/2)

Ushguli village, Svaneti, Georgia. Photo: Oleksandr Fedoruk/ Shutterstock.com

Ushguli village, Svaneti, Georgia. Photo: Oleksandr Fedoruk/ Shutterstock.com

The Project is co-financed from the Official Development Assistance program of Slovak Republic

Duration: September 01, 2021 – December 31, 2022

Partners: Non-Governmental Organization Bridge of Friendship – Kartlosi, Gori, Georgia

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