Action plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen...: Action plan – Khoni, Georgia, 2023 – 2025
Action Plan Submission: 2023
Action Plan End: August 2025
Lead Institution: Social Service of the City Hall, Department of Sports and Recognizing that investing in youth means investing in a better future, OGP participating governments are creating meaningful opportunities for youth to participate in government processes. Technical ... Affairs of the City Hall, Finance an
9th January 2023
Khoni is one of the first municipalities that tries to support the implementation of reforms aimed at establishing the open and transparent local governance, despite scarce resources. We believe that According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, transparency occurs when “government-held information (including on activities and decisions) is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the pub... More, increased access to modern technologies, empowerment of citizens and promoting civic engagement are the key components for ensuring the social and economic welfare and decent life for our citizens.
In recent years, we have created a number of precedents aimed at increasing the access to information and promoting the Giving citizens opportunities to provide input into government decision-making leads to more effective governance, improved public service delivery, and more equitable outcomes. Technical specificatio..., as well as the delivery of quality public services. We constantly strive to introduce the principles of open governance, we listen to people, hold consultation meetings, and share good experiences of other municipalities. Our citizens/residents share and enjoy the services that are fully inclusive and allow them simplified access to information and services, while holding the local government more accountable to them.
Khoni Municipality is ready to introduce new, ambitious, innovative and long-term open governance initiatives through the active cooperation with civil society. Membership to the OGP Local program provides more opportunities to us to move closer to the model of self-government that promotes open governance.
To achieve this goal, we present the second OGP Action Plan, which consists of three commitments. This plan was developed based on the principle of co-creation. The plan will be implemented and monitored jointly by the members of the inter-sectoral working group, which is comprised of local civil society organizations and community leaders, together with representatives of the City Hall and the Local Council (Sakrebulo).
Open Government Challenges, Opportunities and Strategic Vision
What is the long-term vision for open government in your context and jurisdiction?
The OGP Local gave us a unique opportunity to stimulate and promote the implementation of open governance principles in the Khoni Municipality. We are ready to take on new ambitious commitments and expand the scope of open governance at the local level. In particular, we plan:
- To create a new inclusive mechanism of participation for the A government is not open unless it is accessible to all, and governments are working to ensure people with disabilities are afforded equitable services and opportunities to participate. Technical spec..., in order to increase their access to municipal services and ensure their active participation in everyday social and political life.
- To create a new participatory mechanism and civic space for the youth, in order to improve their skills in everyday social and political life and to create new opportunities for their active participation in local policy making, implementation and monitoring processes.
- To implement a participatory budgeting program as a pilot and to promote active participation of citizens in local budget planning and maintenance of local infrastructure in the Khoni City.
What are the achievements in open government to date (for example, recent open government reforms)?
In close cooperation with civil society, we:
- Developed a strategy for increasing transparency and integrity within the framework of the OGP National Action Plan.
- Improved the delivery of public services by opening a reception center for citizens. We introduced a hotline service that simplified access to information and improved the quality of service.
- Created a Council of Civic Advisors, a OGP participating governments are bringing gender perspectives to popular policy areas, ensuring diversity in participatory processes, and specifically targeting gender gaps in policies to address gov... Equality Council and a General Assembly of a Settlement. The initiatives received from these platforms are reflected in the annual action plans of the municipality and relevant information is provided to the citizens.
- Developed a social engagement strategy based on the opinion poll results. As a consequence, there were new approaches introduced for improving the access to public services, especially for the marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities, displaced persons, women and the elderly.
- Introduced a citizen feedback platform, through which the citizens rate the services offered by the municipality.
- Created a council for people with disabilities. It became mandatory to ensure the participation of people with disabilities in all the projects implemented by the municipality and to take their recommendations into account.
- Introduced the practice of experience sharing. We held a regional forum, facilitated the sharing of good experience, and deepened our cooperation with other municipalities.
What are the current challenges/areas for improvement in open government that the jurisdiction wishes to tackle?
Despite the above-mentioned achievements, the low participation of citizens in the activities of the Khoni Municipality remains a major challenge. The residents of Khoni do not attend the Sakrebulo sessions and do not participate in the planning of local budget. There is an especially low participation of the youth in local decision-making processes. There is no effective youth participation mechanism and space that would help the municipality develop youth-centered policies. On the other hand, people with disabilities still are not able to enjoy their rights properly. There are few opportunities that would allow them to share their problems and initiatives with local authorities in a direct and easy manner, and to be actively involved in decision-making processes, especially in the development, implementation and monitoring of social programs and services envisaged for them.
What are the medium-term open government goals that the government wants to achieve?
In response to the challenges in the municipality and the issues identified during the public consultations, our medium-term OGP Action Plan will focus on the following priority areas:
- Increase the participation of citizens in the process of local budget planning, also, take into account the needs of citizens during the implementation and monitoring of budgetary programs.
- In order to boost the youth engagement, create a new mechanism of participation and a civic space for them, and build the skills of the youth to ensure their active participation in the activities of the municipality.
- Strengthen and mainstream the inclusive mechanism for the participation of the people with disabilities, in order to better reflect their needs in urban development policies, projects and decision-making processes.
How does this action plan contribute to achieve the Open Government Strategic Vision?
There are three commitments in the OGP Local Action Plan of the Khoni Municipality:
- To introduce a participatory budgeting program in the Khoni City;
- To create a mechanism and space for youth participation;
- To strengthen the inclusive mechanism of participation of people with disabilities.
These commitments are directly in line with the strategic vision and priority directions of the municipality.
How does the open government strategic vision contribute to the accomplishment of the current administration’s overall policy goals?
General policy of the current administration of the Khoni Municipality is focused on improving the quality of and access to municipal services and ensuring active participation of citizens in this process, with a special emphasis on vulnerable groups. The aforementioned strategic vision of open governance will contribute to the realization of these goals.
Engagement and Coordination in the Open Government Strategic Vision and OGP Action Plan
Please list the lead institutions responsible for the implementation of this OGP action plan.
- Social Service of the City Hall, Department of Sports and Youth Affairs of the City Hall, Finance
What kind of institutional arrangements are in place to coordinate between government agencies and departments to implement the OGP action plan?
Khoni City Hall undertakes to implement the OGP Local Action Plan for 2023-2025. There was an inter-sectoral working group created under the ordinance of the Mayor, which developed the mentioned Action Plan. The working group is comprised of the representatives of Khoni Municipality and its subordinate legal entities, also those of the Sakrebulo, civil society organizations and international organizations. The working group will act as the main mechanism for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of long-term and medium-term goals, objectives and related activities defined by the Open Government Strategy and Action Plan among municipal bodies and other stakeholders. Procedural regulations pertinent to the activities of the group, including the frequency of meetings, membership, etc. is determined under the relevant ordinance of the Mayor.
What kind of spaces have you used or created to enable the collaboration between government and civil society in the co-creation and implementation of this action plan? Mention both offline and online spaces.
In the first stage, the Khoni Municipality held a public meeting with key actors and stakeholders to discuss the prospect of their participation in the OGP Local. Representatives of the Council of Civic Advisors, the Gender Equality Council, the Council of Persons with Disabilities and development partners, as well as those of the following civil society organizations participated in the meetings: Khoni IDPs Initiative Group, the Disabled Persons Organization (DPO) ‘Phoenix’ and the Regional Initiatives Center ‘Bright Future’.
The municipality held additional meetings with the population in three administrative units. The participants of the meeting were given a week to submit their opinions in writing. The City Hall reviewed the submitted opinions in details, based on which the initial Open Government Strategy and Action Plan was drafted, which was published on the website of the municipality for public comments. There was a forum organized to discuss the feedback received on those documents.
What measures did you take to ensure diversity of representation (including vulnerable or marginalized populations) in these spaces?
We are ready to facilitate the participation of diverse groups in OGP processes, especially the representatives of vulnerable and marginalized groups. In order to protect the rights of marginalized and vulnerable groups living in the municipality, who are underrepresented in the local government, we support the activities of functional platforms for civic participation, such as the Council of Civic Advisors, the Gender Equality Council and the Council of People with Disabilities. These platforms were actively involved in the development of OGP Strategic Vision and Action Plan. The municipality also plans to actively involve them in implementing and monitoring the Strategy and Action Plan in order to ensure that the interests of social groups represented by these platforms are taken into account as much as possible.
Who participated in these spaces?
The process of co-creation was carried out with active consultations with interested parties and the general public. The City Hall conducted these consultations in person, where all the major stakeholders were involved, such as the representatives of local self-government, local non-governmental organizations, Council of Civic Advisors, residents of administrative units, and international organizations. The participants had an opportunity to share their views on how to conduct the process of drafting the action plan and what priority commitments to include in the action plan. On average, 15 people attended each consultation meeting (a total of 5 meetings were held). After the meetings, it was decided to create a working group as the main coordinating mechanism to ensure adherence to the principle of co-creation during the development, implementation and monitoring of the strategy and action plan.
How many groups participated in these spaces?
How many public-facing meetings were held in the Collaboration between government, civil society and other stakeholders (e.g., citizens, academics, private sector) is at the heart of the OGP process. Participating governments must ensure that a dive...?
How will government and non-governmental stakeholders continue to collaborate through the implementation of the action plan?
As mentioned above, the inter-sectoral working group established by the City Hall will be the main coordinating mechanism to ensure cooperation between municipal bodies and non-governmental stakeholders in the implementation of the action plan.
Please describe the independent Monitoring Body you have identified for this plan.
The process of evaluating the implementation of the action plan will be led by the partner organization of the Khoni Municipality City Hall – ‘Khoni IDPs Initiative Group’. However, in order to ensure the independence of this process, other interested parties will be invited to actively engage throughout the monitoring activity. Participation in this process will be open. However, if the interest is high, the municipality will select the optimal number of members of the monitoring group through open competition.
Provide the contact details for the independent monitoring body.
- Khoni IDPs Initiative Group, Founder of the Organization Bachana Basilaia, email@example.com
What types of activities will you have in place to discuss progress on commitments with stakeholders?
The Khoni Municipality City Hall will hold regular meetings with stakeholders every six months to discuss the progress of the Action Plan. In addition, the municipality will proactively publish information on the fulfillment of commitments.
How will you regularly check in on progress with implementing agencies?
The responsible units of the Khoni City Hall will submit quarterly information regarding the progress of fulfilling OGP commitments.
How will you share the results of your monitoring efforts with the public?
The monitoring report will be proactively published on the website of the municipality. In addition, there will be a public presentation and discussion of the report, followed by the working meetings with stakeholders.
Endorsement from Non-Governmental Stakeholders
- Khoni IDPs Initiative Group, Founder of the Organization Bachana Basilaia, Bachana Basilaia