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Georgia

I. Gov. Zugdidi (GE0087)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Georgia Action Plan 2018-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Zugdidi Municipality Assembly

Support Institution(s): Zugdidi Municipality Town Hall

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Health, Infrastructure & Transport, Local Commitments, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Regulatory Governance, Science & Technology

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: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Commitment 7: I. Gov. Zugdidi

For improving citizen engagement, in addition to regulatory mechanisms, Zugdidi Town Assembly shall, using modern technologies, facilitate enhancement of citizen engagement in the local-government activities, also the introduction and development of the accountability and publicity principles.

Within the framework of this plan, the Municipality Assembly will generate a multifunctional mobile application - I.Gov.Zugdidi. The application will contain:
- Municipality timetable, for example, regular sessions and agenda;
- Dates of holding in the town of various cultural or sport events;
- Tentative start and end dates of implementable infrastructural projects, etc.

The application will enable a citizen to obtain information about the municipal healthcare and social welfare programs, the terms of using a specific and a list of documents to be submitted to the Town Hall for the purpose. The same principle can be applied for getting information about a building permit. The application also provides for introduction of a feedback. Citizens would also communicate to the self-government information about the existing infrastructural problems or other urgent issues. The application will be provided with a function of sending figures and textual data.

Commitment 7: I.Gov.Zugdidi
Lead Agency Zugdidi Municipality Assembly
Other Involved Actors Public Agency Zugdidi Municipality Town Hall
Civil Society/ Private Sector/ International organization
Issues to be Addressed The Zugdidi Municipality Assembly constantly works on raising the awareness of citizens of the local self-government activities. However, frequently, because of time, spatial-territorial or other reasons citizens cannot engage in the self-government activities; they lack information about the municipal services, offices and, generally, on the activities of the self-government bodies.
Main Objective The project aims at rapid and effective delivery of information about activities of the Zugdidi self-government bodies using modern technologies; also increasing accountability and ensuring citizen participatory process.
OGP Challenge Raising integrity in the public sector; improvement of public services.
OGP Principles Transparency Accountability Civil Participation Technology and Innovation
 
Milestones to Fulfill the Commitment New or ongoing commitment Start date End date
Generating the application January 2019 May 2019
Information campaign about the application June 2019 August 2019
Enabling the application September 2019 December 2019
Indicator The application properly operates and is accessible for citizens; the application has a feedback facility.
Risks and Assumptions Limited access of some citizens to the Internet and/or low interest in the use of the application.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

Commitment 22: I.Gov.Zugdidi

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

“For improving citizen engagement, in addition to regulatory mechanisms, Zugdidi Town Assembly shall, using modern technologies, facilitate enhancement of citizen engagement in the local-government activities, also the introduction and development of the accountability and publicity principles.

Within the framework of this plan, the Municipality Assembly will generate a multifunctional mobile application - I.Gov.Zugdidi. The application will contain:

- Municipality timetable, for example, regular sessions and agenda;

- Dates of holding in the town of various cultural or sport events;

- Tentative start and end dates of implementable infrastructural projects, etc.

The application will enable a citizen to obtain information about the municipal healthcare and social welfare programs, the terms of using a specific and a list of documents to be submitted to the Town Hall for the purpose. The same principle can be applied for getting information about a building permit. The application also provides for the introduction of a feedback. Citizens would also communicate to the self-government information about the existing infrastructural problems or other urgent issues. The application will be provided with a function of sending figures and textual data."

Milestones: 

  1. Generating the application
  2. Information campaign about the application
  3. Enabling the application.

Start Date: January 2019

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 Commitment 22 from Georgia’s third action plan (2016–2017), Zugdidi Municipality created the mobile app Zugdidi-INFO, allowing residents to receive regular announcements for Assembly meetings. With this current commitment, the Zugdidi Municipality Assembly plans to develop a mobile application called I.Gov.Zugdidi, which will provide residents with information about planned and ongoing processes in the city, such as municipal events, tentative infrastructural projects, ongoing tenders, and background and contact information of council members. [114] The application will also have a feedback mechanism for users, though this is not clearly defined in the action plan. [115] This commitment is therefore relevant to the OGP values of access to information, civic participation, and technology and innovation. The creation of the mobile app is verifiable, though the “information campaign” for the app under Milestone 2 is unclear.

The I.Gov.Zugdidi app could provide users with information about ongoing government activities in the municipality. Currently, citizens can obtain municipal information by going to the municipality’s official Facebook page, which is updated daily, or by visiting the official municipality website, which is not updated regularly. [116] Also, Zugdidi residents often depend on informal networking to acquire information from the local government. [117] These ways of getting information were discussed during the IRM researcher’s focus group discussion. Participants outlined that the app could help improve current practices.

Since the commitment emphasizes development of a mobile application, its success largely depends on the extent to which citizens are equipped with smartphones and internet access. In fact, the commitment requires such infrastructure. According to an E-readiness nationwide survey in Georgia, the younger generation is more likely to regularly use mobile internet compared to the older generation. [118] This reality limits the scope of potential application users. The survey results were supported by focus group participants, who believe that this application will not be used widely.

Thus, the commitment will have no considerable impact on the status quo. Updated information on upcoming events, news, and infrastructural projects is published on the municipality’s official Facebook page. Therefore, the creation of a mobile application that provides the same types of information represents a minor improvement to the existing practice of disseminating information.

Next steps

The IRM researcher recommends integrating Your Idea to the Zugdidi Mayor into Commitment 20 of this action plan, under its mobile application platform and all the online and distant services that are available in the municipality. Incorporation of all the services on one platform could increase the cumulative impact of Commitment 20.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

22. I.Gov.Zugdidi

Theme VI: Municipalities

Substantial

Zugdidi Municipality launched the mobile application I.Gov.Zugdidi which provides information on the municipal calendar, programs, services, and tourist locations. [80] The application includes a "contact" field but lacks a dedicated feedback mechanism.

Zugdidi Municipality also conducted awareness-raising campaigns (through social media, face-to-face meetings, and its official webpage) to spread information on the new application among local people. [81]

[81] Mariane Kilasonia, Head of Public Relations Department at Zugdidi City Council, interview with IRM researcher, 20 November 2020; Zugdidi Municipality Council Facebook page,

Commitments

Open Government Partnership