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End of Commitment Report – Ensure equal access to public service for the vulnerable groups and improve response to their needs in Ozurgeti Municipality


Name of Evaluator

Dea Tsartsidze



Ozurgeti, Georgia

Action plan

Action plan – Ozurgeti, Georgia, 2021 – 2021


Ensure equal access to public service for vulnerable groups and improve response to their needs in Ozurgeti Municipality.


In response to the above-mentioned status quo, Ozurgeti Municipality will: Conduct a comprehensive study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable groups of the population and the extent to which local government efforts and public services have responded to their needs. The study also covers the access of vulnerable groups to public services. Prepare a detailed analysis assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable groups of the population and the extent to which efforts by local authorities and public services have responded to their needs. Access of vulnerable groups to public services will also be assessed. Develop and approve recommendations to improve access to public services for the vulnerable population and the municipality’s response to their needs. Develop and approve an action plan to implement the approved recommendations for improving the access of the vulnerable population to public services and the response of the municipality to their needs. In addition, the results will be publicly published.


The new reality shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic has created considerable difficulties for governments at both central and local levels to conduct their activities effectively. Many states have faced significant challenges in terms of efficient and continuous delivery of public services and adequate response to the population’s needs. During the pandemic, it became even more difficult to respond appropriately to the needs of all segments of the population, especially vulnerable groups, and provide them with equal access to public services. Ozurgeti Municipality is no exception in this regard. Although the Ozurgeti Municipality has taken steps to develop public services, the delivery of public services that equally respond to the needs of all segments of the local population and ensure their equal access to public services remains a significant challenge for the municipality.

Section 1.
Commitment completion

1.1 What was the overall level of progress in the commitment implementation at the time of this assessment?


Provide a brief explanation of your answer:

At the time of assessment, all predefined milestones were fully completed. Although, the commitment has not been completed during the predetermined timeline. With USAID GGI’s support at the initial stage, the municipality has conducted two research. 1) The first research aimed to identify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women. 2) Second research aimed to identify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on marginalized communities and the availability of public services in the municipality. Based on the findings of both studies, recommendations were developed and approved by the municipality. As part of the next stage, the local government developed and approved the action plan to enhance the municipality’s reaction to the needs of a marginalized community. The action plan was developed based on these recommendations. It includes four main priorities, 11 objectives, and 33 activities, including indicators to measure the achievement of the results.

1.2 Describe the main external or internal factors that impacted implementation of this commitment and how they were addressed (or not).

Completion of action plan coincided with local self-government elections. Therefore, it did delay the completion of commitment implementation within the predetermined dates. However, municipal efforts and USAID GGI technical support enabled the implementation of the commitment, in particular, to conduct research, prepare recommendations, and develop an action plan. Notably, the restrictions of COVID-19 have also hindered the process; for example, independent researchers had to obtain information remotely, which affected the quality of the data collection.

1.3 Was the commitment implemented as originally planned?

Most of the commitment milestones were implemented as planned

Provide a brief explanation of your answer:

Following the stakeholders’ assessment, several changes were initiated in the action plan implementation process with the purpose of achieving better results.
1. Instead of a comprehensive study, two different research were conducted. According to the municipality, the first research was more dedicated to assessing the impact of COVID-10 solely related to women that triggered the initiative new study with a wider scope to cover all the marginalized communities. Therefore, another research, with USAID GGI’s technical support, was initiated.
2. To achieve better results, the action plan for improving access to services for marginalized communities was considered and approved as part of the Municipalities’ program budget for 2022.
3. In addition, certain activities from the Action Plan were also included in the action plan as part of the Council on Gender Equalities agenda for 2022.

Section 2.
Did it open government?

2.1.1. – Did the government disclose more information; improve the quality of the information (new or existing); improve the value of the information; improve the channels to disclose or request information or improve accessibility to information?

Not Applicable

Degree of result:

– Select –

2.1.2. – Did the government create new opportunities to seek feedback from citizens/enable participation inform or influence decisions; improve existing channels or spaces to seek feedback from citizens/enable participation/ inform or influence decisions; create or improve capabilities in the government or the public aimed to improve how the government seeks feedback from citizens/enables participation/ or allows for the public to inform or influence decisions?


Degree of result:


Explanation: In narrative form, what has been the impact on people or practice.

As a result of the commitment, the information about the impact of COVID-19, the needs of local marginalized communities, and the government responses to the needs have been improved. Moreover, concrete marginalized communities were identified in the municipality, and their needs were studied. Based on this information, 4 key priorities, 11 objectives, and 33 activities were identified to be addressed by the municipality. The action plan includes specific steps to improve the services and make them accessible to the marginalized communities’ needs. It also significantly facilitates citizen engagement, as the actions that the municipality plans to take are solely based on the information from the local marginalized communities. Therefore, early results of this commitment can be assessed as a significant improvement of the status quo.

In addition, the action plan is approved by Ozurgeti Municipality Council (Sakrebulo). Furthermore, the Council of Gender Equality monitors the implementation of the Action Plan. Moreover, the program budget for the year 2022 considers expenses for action plan implementation.

2.1.3 Did the government create or improve channels, opportunities or capabilities to hold officials answerable to their actions?

Not Applicable

Degree of result:

– Select –

2.1.4 Other Results

Not Applicable

Degree of result:

– Select –

2.2 Did the commitment address the public policy problem that it intended to address as described in the action plan?


Provide a brief explanation of your answer:

Regardless of all successful examples of public service improvements on central or local levels, it is still challenging to deliver public services that equally address the needs of all local groups and ensure their equal availability within the municipality. Also, there is no such policy, practice, or mechanism on the municipal level that could enhance the municipality’s reaction to the needs of marginalized communities and provide them with applicable or equally available public services. In addition, these issues are mainly prioritized in the decentralized strategy for the period of 2020-2025 and the Public Administration Reform. Thus, the commitment directly addresses the community’s needs and existing public policy problems; as a result of the implementation of the commitment, the municipality could establish the policy planning and implementation practice that would be based on participatory approaches.

Section 3.
Lessons from

3. Provide at least one lesson or reflection relating to the implementation of this commitment. It can be the identification of key barriers to implementation, an unexpected help/hindrance, recommendations for future commitments, or if the commitment should be taken forward to the next action plan.

  • Public servants’ training: one of the key challenges of the commitment implementation is raising the awareness of public servants. It is recommended to conduct regular training sessions on the importance of citizen engagement and access to services and the participatory mechanisms defined by the Georgian Local Self-Governance Code. The permanent training sessions not only for the public servants that are directly involved in the policy planning stage but for all public servants. It is important in the long-term perspective to use the policy instruments developed in the framework of this commitment and apply them systematically after completing the action plan. It will enable us to independently identify the beneficiaries’ needs, assess the quality of municipal services’ availability, develop action plans, etc.
    • To achieve long-term outcomes and establish practices and engagement-oriented sustainable local policy, it is necessary to establish the practice and further facilitate the action plan implementation. Further, the planned activities should be identified and considered during the program budgeting to allocate enough financial resources for successful implementation.

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