Tbilisi. 19 September, at the Rooms Hotel Tbilisi, Network of Centers for Civic Engagement hosted a presentation of State Grant Funding-Existing Situation and Perspectives. The event was organized by “Network of Centers for Civic Engagement”, in the framework of the project “Georgian Civil Society Sustainability Initiative”.
As a part of this project, within the support of Civil Society Institute, the Network of Centers for Civic Engagement and the Green Caucasus conducted monitoring of the process of grant issuing by public institutions. The monitoring period covered grants, issued in 2016-2017. Core objective of this event was to examine the actual situation as it stands in terms of state grant funding in Georgia and to discuss possible perspectives in this sense and to present monitoring outcomes.
The director of the Network of Centers for Civic Engagement, Nina Khatiskatsi and Civil Society Program Officer of EU Delegation Georgia, Dominika Skubida welcomed the audience. “We note that the scale and scope of funding for Civil Society in Georgia remains still insufficient to meaningfully improve the sustainability of the sector. Enhancement of enabling environment for diversification of funding, including support for refining state granting system, is therefore our main priority aimed at this objective. We welcome therefore the commitment of the Government of Georgia under the Open Government Partnership Action Plan to increase efficiency and allow local governments to use granting mechanism” - said Dominika Skubida.
The first part of the event was dedicated to present the major findings of the monitoring conducted by both organizations. More specifically, some of the crucial aspects have been emphasized: how clearly the particular details related to grant issuance are defined beforehand and to what extent the state agencies fulfill their commitments, considering each stage of providing grants; as well as the experience of granted CSOs in terms of administering state funds. It is worth mentioning that neither monitoring, nor the reports intend to evaluate the quality of the grant projects or its’ content. The legal environment related to the state grant funding was reviewed during the second part of the event. Levan Paniashili, the representative of Civil Society Institute, talked about CSOs’ State Grant Funding Reform Concept, elaborated by CSI expert team. One of the primary aspects he mentioned were the challenges, which reveal the importance and the need of mentioned reform. Moreover, the speaker analyzed current situation in regard to the reform concept and shared the key findings and recommendations of the document, along with its reflection in the legislation.
The representatives of the public institutions, media, local CSOs and international organizations attended the presentation. They had an opportunity to address speakers with questions and get involved in the follow up discussions, after the presentations. In addition, the call for applications for the second cycle of the sub-granting competition on the State Grant Funding Monitoring was announced. The participants were able to receive detailed information about the term and conditions.
Project “Georgian Civil Society Sustainability Initiative” was developed and is implemented by the consortium, led by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in cooperation with four Georgian Civil Society Organizations: Civil Society Institute (CSI), Center for Training and Consultancy (CTC), Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG) and Education Development and Employment Center (EDEC). The project is funded by the European Union and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Project aims to improve working environment for CSOs in Georgia, to support their capacity building, accountability and transparency and to strengthen their ties and cooperation with other actors.