Georgian Flag

Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance

Speeches Shim

Over the past decade, USAID/Georgia has prioritized programming that promotes and supports institutional and procedural reforms, contributing to significant increases in government effectiveness. Georgian public administration institutions remain models for the region, but citizen participation and trust in many democratic institutions lag behind, threatening Georgia’s democracy and its progress to self-reliance and Euro-Atlantic integration. Under its 2020-2025 CDCS, USAID/Georgia will transition from focusing on broad institutional and procedural reforms to supporting citizen-responsive governance that ensures that all levels of government are accountable and responsive to the citizens they serve. USAID programs will empower greater civic participation to enhance the responsiveness of political parties, increase civil society oversight over political processes, and expand civic education. USAID programs will also strengthen the accountability and accessibility of governance institutions by increasing public administration effectiveness, increasing capacity of municipal governments, and improving equal access to target services. In addition, USAID programs will enhance the rule of law by strengthening judicial system independence and effectiveness, improving equal access to justice, and increasing citizen and institutional oversight. Throughout implementation of these activities, USAID/Georgia will ensure equal and equitable participation of minorities, women and girls, persons with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.

Current programs:

Georgia Elections and Political Processes Support
April 2019 – March 2023
Consortium for Elections and Political Processes (CEPPS)

USAID’s flagship elections project aims to strengthen the conditions for greater political pluralism and more responsive representation. In particular, it builds the capacity of political parties to forge connections with constituents; empowers citizens to engage with parties and hold them more accountable; and provides technical assistance to improve electoral administration and promote level-playing-field electoral competition.

FAIR Elections in Georgia
August 2019 –March 2023
The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
This project strives to strengthen electoral integrity, transparency, and accountability through impartial electoral and political process monitoring and independent election observation. The project employs long- and short-term election observation through sophisticated monitoring methods, including Parallel Vote Tabulation and Social Media Monitoring, and facilitates timely detection of electoral irregularities, contributing to evidence-based advocacy for electoral reform.

Free, Fair and Equal Electoral-Political 2019-2022 Cycle in Georgia 
July 2019 - July 2022
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)
This project promotes more transparent and accountable electoral dispute resolution processes before, during, and after elections. Activities include the monitoring of election disputes, elections-related court cases, decisions of election management bodies (State Audit, Inter-Agency Task Force, Central Election Commission, and district and precinct commissions), and politically motivated criminal and administrative prosecutions.

Monitoring the Political Party Finances and Misuse of Administrative Resources during Election Processes 
September 2019 ‐ September 2022
Transparency International Georgia
This project strives to increase the transparency of political finance and the use of administrative resources for electoral purposes. Activities include conducting Parallel Expenditure Tracking of leading political parties, monitoring party income/expenditure reporting, oversight of the State Audit Office political finance reporting, and reporting on the misuse of administrative resources in elections.

Monitoring of Electoral Processes in Minority Regions
September 2019 ‐ September 2022
Public Movement for Multi‐National Georgia (PMMG)
This project aims to support the political participation of ethnic minorities by raising awareness of electoral rights and procedures, electoral systems, and the need for more engaged and informed political participation. Activities include full-cycle monitoring of electoral processes in ethnic minority regions, ethnic minority voter educational programs, and research on minority electoral and political rights.

DRIVE Democracy:  Developing Regional Information and Voter Empowerment for Democracy
Aug 2019 ‐ Aug 2022
Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy
This project contributes to empowering Georgian citizens to effectively demand issues-based political party programs and policy agendas that are responsive to their needs. It focuses on establishing formal and informal channels for dialogue between elected representatives and constituents; equipping citizens with the skills to effectively engage political parties on behalf of their interests; and supporting voters in holding elected representatives accountable for delivering on campaign promises.

Promoting Youth Transformational Leaders in Georgia
October 2019 – March 2023
Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP)
This project supports transformational young political leaders in Georgia, irrespective of political affiliation, to enhance their participation and representation in public life. The project provides active young people with the fundamental skills for political participation, such as leadership, effective communication, and understanding the political landscape in Georgia. It enhances active citizenship competences and strengthens the role of young women and minorities in public life in Georgia.

The Good Governance Initiative (GGI)
January 2015 – July 2021
Tetra Tech ARD

The Good Governance Initiative (GGI) partners with the Government of Georgia to deliver more effective, efficient, and accountable public services. The program supports improved administrative and financial management of public institutions at all levels; increases the openness of government; and strengthens policy development, lawmaking processes, and institutional oversight of government institutions.

Promoting the Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG) 
April 2015 - November 2021
East-West Management Institute (EWMI)
USAID launched the Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia program in 2015 to strengthen Georgia’s judicial system. In particular, the program aims to help Georgia address remaining challenges in the Rule of Law sector and capitalize on the current window for reform. Priorities include ensuring due process, judicial independence, and human rights protection in accordance with the needs and interests of the public and in compliance with the country’s international obligations. By supporting a more independent and accountable justice system, the program also aims to build public trust in Georgia’s institutions, a precondition for democratic development.

Capacity Building of the State Audit Office of Georgia
June 2020 - December 2021
U.S. Government Accountability Office Center for Audit Excellence

USAID promotes good governance by helping Georgia develop effective, transparent, and accountable public institutions. This includes strengthening Georgia’s public finance management capacity by supporting a partnership between the U.S. Government Accountability Office Center for Audit Excellence and the State Audit Office of Georgia. The Program is assisting the State Audit Office of Georgia (SAO) to build capacity to conduct performance audits and introduce new approaches and methodologies for quantifying and estimating the effects of audit findings. This will improve the quality of audit recommendations, leading to an increased number of recommendations implemented and resolved, and an increase in the effectiveness and impact of SAO audits.

Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD) 2020
September 2015 - November 2020
Mendez England & Associates
The HICD 2020 activity supports tangible improvements in the human and institutional capacity of USAID’s strategic partner organizations in Georgia. This support is available to governmental, non-governmental, and for-profit entities in both the public and private sectors.  HICD 2020 supports selected organizations to address multiple capacity challenges including ineffective business processes, incoherent strategic plans, bureaucratic procedural impediments, underdeveloped human resource (HR) and financial management systems, weak feedback links between staff and supervisors, and inefficient communication strategies.

The USAID Basic Education Program
January 2020 – January 2024
RTI International
The USAID Basic Education Program supports the implementation of sustainable, inclusive, and student-centered education reforms in line with the priorities of the Government of Georgia.  The program aims to support all primary school students and teachers in Georgia’s public schools, emphasizing interactive learning methods to help students develop skills in reading, mathematics, critical thinking, and problem-solving to establish a foundation for lifelong success.  The USAID Basic Education Program supports reforms to ensure that ethnic minority students and students with disabilities receive education tailored to their unique needs.  It promotes both native-language and Georgian-language curriculum for ethnic minority students while ensuring that primary education teachers receive training on working with children with special educational needs.  The program is implemented in partnership with local teacher training organizations, including universities and NGOs located in Georgia’s rural regions.  Through capacity building and ongoing quality assurance, the Basic Education Program will support these institutions to increase their standards of quality and become sustainable contributors to high-quality primary education. 

Momavlis Taoba (Future Generation)
June 2014 - December 2020
Project Harmony International
USAID’s Momavlis Taoba project empowers  greater civic engagement among young people while expanding and institutionalizing secondary school civic education curricula through practical applications. Through Momavlis Taoba, USAID partners with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, the Civics Teachers Forum, and other stakeholders to expand the reach of USAID’s civic education activities in secondary schools throughout the country.  

Advancing Civil Society Capacities and Engaging Society for Sustainability (ACCESS)
September 2014 - April 2021
East-West Management Institute (EWMI)
The Advancing Civil Society Organization (CSO) Capacities and Engaging Society for Sustainability (ACCESS) program helps build civil society capacity across Georgia with a special focus on rural communities. The program works to empower CSOs to become effective community representatives capable of leading public debate and contributing to more effective and responsive governance. By supporting these organizations to more effectively inform citizens and monitor and influence government policies, local communities have a greater voice at the regional and national levels, leading to more responsive governance.

Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness (PITA) Program in Georgia
June 2015 – June 2021
United Nations Association of Georgia (UNAG)
Through the Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness (PITA) Program in Georgia, USAID partners with the Government of Georgia and civil society organizations to ensure that all Georgians, regardless of background, have opportunities to contribute to and benefit from the country’s overall development.  USAID’s PITA Program involves activities devoted to: 1) supporting the Government of Georgia to engage ethnic and religious minorities in civic life, with a special focus on young people; 2) fostering person-to-person contact and encouraging the social inclusion of marginalized groups (e.g., religious and ethnic minority communities, sexual minorities, people with disabilities, IDPs); and 3) raising public awareness and education about diversity.  

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
Jan 2015 - Jan 2021
Georgian Medical Group

USAID’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project supports improved community infrastructure by investing in water and sanitation in Adjara, one of Georgia’s most underrepresented regions. Through WASH, USAID works with local government, the private sector, and civil society to upgrade infrastructure in public schools and primary health clinics. Specific interventions involve: rehabilitating and constructing toilet facilities; providing access to running water; improving access to safe drinking water; supporting community mobilization and local capacity development for maintenance and planning; providing school-based sanitation and hygiene training for school administrators, teachers, and students; and supporting public awareness campaigns on hygiene and sanitation.

Protection of Children with Disabilities 
June 2015 – December 2020
This project works to ensure that infants and young children with severe disabilities receive appropriate health and social care. The project works toward this result through: developing a conducive environment for infants and young children with severe disabilities; supporting alternative care facilities as models of intensive specialized social, psychological and medical care for young children with severe disabilities; and integrating these alternative care facilities into Georgia's larger child care, social protection and health care systems. 

Physical Rehabilitation in Georgia
September 2017 - September 2021
Emory University School of Medicine
The  Physical Rehabilitation in Georgia activity strengthens the capacity of existing and emerging physical rehabilitation professionals by engaging American and Georgian faculty, clinicians, and physical, occupational, and speech and language therapists.  It expands access to affordable, high-quality physical rehabilitation services, assistive technology, and prosthetics and orthotics.  The activity supports: clinical education at international standards; professional licensure to address immediate and sustained needs; improved access to expertise and technology to expand services; institutionalized reforms in partnership with Georgian institutions; and encouraged substantive participation of affected populations and organizations which represent them. The activity also develops functional assessment tools to support the social model of disability and strengthen disability referral systems.

The USAID Independent Living Program
McLain Association for Children (MAC)
May 2020 – September 2022

USAID assistance empowers Georgian society to plan, finance, and implement its own development solutions. The USAID Independent Living program exemplifies this approach to development, partnering with local government and civil society to support the independent living of persons with disabilities.  The USAID Independent Living Program works with local governments in six Georgian municipalities to build capacity, deliver improved public services, and promote independent living as a development objective for supporting persons with disabilities.  The program also promotes mainstreaming this model of support for independent living in other municipalities around Georgia.