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Georgia

Participation for Disabled Individuals (GE0083)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Georgia Action Plan 2018-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Akhaltsikhe Municipality Town Hall Kutaisi Municipality City Hall

Support Institution(s): USAID-funded Good Governance Initiative in Georgia (GGI);

Policy Areas

Infrastructure & Transport, Local Commitments, Marginalized Communities, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Georgia Transitional Results Report 2018-2019, Georgia Design Report 2018-2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: No IRM Data

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Commitment 3: Improving the full-scale engagement and participation of people with disabilities in the political and social life of Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi municipalities

The protection of rights of people with disabilities (PWDS) is the priority task of the GoG. Frequently, the full-value engagement and participation of the PWDS in the political and social life is interfered with the absence of necessary infrastructure, because of which they fail to attend sessions and meetings held in administration buildings. Said challenge is particularly felt at a local level. The Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi municipalities attach great importance to the adequate and inclusive engagement of population in the decision-making or service receipt process. The municipalities mentioned here ensure adaptation of their administration buildings to the PWDS needs.

Commitment 3: Improving the full-scale engagement and participation PWDS in the political and social life of Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi municipalities
Lead Agency Akhaltsikhe Municipality Town Hall
Kutaisi Municipality City Hall
Other Involved Actors Public Agency
Civil Society/ Private Sector USAID-funded Good Governance Initiative in Georgia (GGI);
Issues to be Addressed The full-value engagement and participation of the PWDS in the political and social life is interfered with the absence of necessary infrastructure in the Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi municipalities.
Main Objective Ensuring full-value engagement and participation of the PWDS in the political and social life in the Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi municipalities.
OGP Challenge
Improvement of public services; creating safer communities
OGP Principles Transparency Accountability Civil Participation Technology and Innovation
  
Milestones to Fulfill the Commitment New or ongoing commitment Start date: End date:
Analysis of the municipality administration building facilities regarding the Georgian legislation requirements New Fourth quarter 2018 December 2018
Identification of needs and development of TOR (terms of reference) necessary for adapting the building New First quarter 2019 March 2019
Adaptation of the building to PWDS needs New Second quarter 2019 December 2020
Indicator The municipality administration building has been adapted and PWDS have a possibility of adequate engagement in the political and social life of the municipality.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

Commitment 18: Improving the Full-Scale Engagement and Participation of People with Disabilities in the Political and Social Life of Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi Municipalities

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“The protection of rights of people with disabilities (PWDS) is the priority task of the GoG. Frequently, the full-value engagement and participation of the PWDS in the political and social life is interfered with the absence of necessary infrastructure, because of which they fail to attend sessions and meetings held in administration buildings. Said challenge is particularly felt at a local level. The Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi municipalities attach great importance to the adequate and inclusive engagement of population in the decision-making or service receipt process. The municipalities mentioned here ensure adaptation of their administration buildings to the PWDS needs."

Milestones: 

  1. Analysis of the municipality administration building facilities regarding the Georgian legislation requirements
  2. Identification of needs and development of TOR (terms of reference) necessary for adapting the building
  3. Adaptation of the building to PWDS needs

Start Date: September 2018

End Date: December 2019

Editorial note: For the full text of this commitment, please see https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/georgia-action-plan-2018-2019/.

Context and Objectives

Under this commitment, the municipalities of Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi aim to make their administration buildings more accessible to people with disabilities (PWDs). The lack of infrastructure adapted to the needs of PWDs remains a major challenge across Georgia and impedes their inclusion in society and their ability to receive municipal services. [100] For example, as stated by an interviewed United States Agency for International Development Good Governance Initiative (USAID GGI) representative, a person in a wheelchair cannot attend the council meeting because they are often not able to physically enter the plenary hall. [101] According to Georgian law, [102] the development of appropriate infrastructure for PWDs at local facilities falls under the self-government responsibilities. Consequently, with this commitment, Kutaisi and Akhaltsikhe municipalities, with the support of GGI, plan to perform infrastructural analyses of their administrative buildings, identify needs, develop terms of reference (ToRs), and ultimately adapt buildings to the needs of PWDs.

This commitment could provide better opportunities to PWDs to independently enter municipal buildings, receive services, and participate in local government. However, as the infrastructural adaptation of the buildings does not by itself ensure an increase in participation, this commitment is not directly relevant to OGP values and, specifically, the value of civic participation.

Overall, this commitment’s planned activities are specific enough to be verified. While this commitment addresses an important contemporary issue in Georgian municipalities—namely the physical accessibility of government buildings [103]—it does not provide any institutional mechanisms to encourage greater participation of PWDs. Therefore, the commitment is limited in scope and scale and thus could have a minor potential impact.

Next steps

While this commitment potentially addresses an important issue in Georgia, the IRM researcher recommends continuing it outside the framework of future OGP action plans, due to the lack of direct relevance to open government. If carried forward, the commitment could be expanded to include additional support to persons with disabilities for their participation in council meetings, public consultations, and other assemblies. These supports could include sign language interpretation and other aides to enhance understanding and capacity to actively participate.

[100] IDFI, Statistical Analysis of PWDS in Georgia, 2018, https://bit.ly/2FJX74i.

[101] Mariam Gorgadze, Deputy Chief of Party and Mikheil Darchiashvili, Governance Manager at USAID Good Governance Initiative, at USAID Good Governance Initiative, interview with IRM research, 14 May 2019.

[102] Organic Law of Georgia, “The Local Self-government Code of Georgia,” Article 16, https://bit.ly/32vsx66.

[103] Darchiashvili and Gorgadze interview, May 2019.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

18. Participation of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the political and social life of Akhaltsikhe and Kutaisi municipalities

Limited

Supported by USAID GGI, both municipalities performed infrastructural analyses of their administrative buildings, but only Akhaltsikhe developed terms of reference (ToR). Kutaisi did not take further steps, as its administration decided to move to an entirely new building with infrastructure already adapted to PWDs. In Akhaltsikhe, USAID GGI contracted an external expert who delivered the ToRs and the budget, but Akhaltsikhe has not started to implement its ToR. [73]

Kutaisi City Hall’s 2021 municipal budget includes a program that provides for proper infrastructure of municipal administrative buildings for PWDs. Also, ramps will be arranged in Kutaisi, and adapted for PWDs. [74]

[73] Gorgadze and Darchiashvili interview, November 2020.
[74] Information provided to the IRM by Kutaisi City Hall during the pre-publication review of this report, 28 April 2021.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership