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Tbilisi, Georgia Design Report 2018-2020

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Tbilisi joined OGP in 2016. Since then, it has implemented one action plan. This report evaluates the design of Tbilisi’s second action plan.

Table 1. At a glance

Participating since: 2016

Action plan under review: Second

Report type: Design

Number of commitments: 5

Action plan development

Is there a Multi-stakeholder forum? Yes

Level of public influence:  Collaborate

Acted contrary to OGP process: No

Action plan design

Commitments relevant to OGP values: 5 (100%)

Transformative commitments: 0

Potentially starred commitments: 0

Action plan implementation

Starred commitments: N/A

Completed commitments: N/A

Commitments with Major DIOG*: N/A

Commitments with Outstanding DIOG*: N/A

*DIOG: Did it Open Government?

General overview of action plan

Tbilisi’s second action plan responds to issues of limited public access to government-held information, inadequate opportunities for residents to participate in decision-making processes, and limited transparency particularly in large-scale construction projects. To help address these problems, Tbilisi City Hall plans to continue previous commitments to develop the SMART MAP platform, introduce a participatory budgeting mechanism, and create an integrated web application for public services. Two new initiatives aim to introduce a Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy for City Hall and improve access to information through electronic platforms.

During the development of the second action plan, a CSO representative was selected to co-chair the OGP working group together with City Hall, which supported stronger civil society involvement in the co-creation process compared with that of the previous plan. In addition to six working group meetings, City Hall organized 12 public consultations with roughly 300 Tbilisi residents to gather public input on the draft commitments.

Three unfinished commitments from the first action plan were carried forward to the current plan with modifications based on recommendations from the previous IRM report. The other two commitments are new initiatives proposed by the working group members during the co-creation process.

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of implementation cycle.
1. Information and Civic Activities Portal “SMART MAP” To ensure timely implementation of the SMART MAP, Tbilisi City Hall could develop a clear internal management system for the initiative. City Hall could also expand the SMART MAP to include other issue areas relevant to residents and organize public awareness raising to ensure visibility of the tool. Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.
2. Budget Participatory Planning Mechanism

Introduce an electronic participatory budgeting mechanism for citizens to rate budget priority areas and formalize processes for City Hall to provide official feedback to the public in the final budget.

Moving forward, City Hall could clearly define the management for operating the participatory budget mechanism and conduct enhanced public outreach campaigns to promote its use. City Hall could also consider developing policies for formalizing participatory budgeting and provide in advance the actual figures and percentages that might be influenced by the public budget voting. Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

Recommendations

The IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan.

Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations

Ensure higher-level political engagement and greater sustainability of the OGP process
Plan and conduct stronger public relations and awareness-raising activities around the OGP process
Formalize the working group meetings and work and invite other civil society actors that are not currently involved in the OGP process
Clarify the management and distribution of future commitment activities to better ensure their timely delivery
Continue enhancing transparency and civic participation in the decision-making processes, particularly around major urban infrastructure projects

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Filed under: IRM IRM Report

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