Council of Europe Academy on Participatory Democracy for Samtskhe-Javakheti Region on 30-31 May 2022 brought together 23 representatives of city halls, city councils, and civil society organizations from 6 municipalities: Adigeni, Aspindza, Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe, Borjomi and Ninotsminda. The academy served as a platform for local authorities and civil society representatives active in the domain of participatory democracy and civil participation to discuss current practices and trends in citizen engagement and participatory tools in political decision-making at the level of local government.
The Regional Academy on Participatory Democracy was led by Council of Europe experts, including Georgian experts who underwent Council of Europe specialized trainings on participatory mechanisms. The academy also included presentations from local authorities in Georgia and civil society practitioners to share good local practices.
In the course of the two-day event, participants exchanged ideas and participated in discussions on tools and approaches for achieving effective and inclusive civil participation in political decision-making, and learned about Council of Europe standards on good governance and participatory tools, such as Civil Participation in Decision-Making Toolkit, “CivicLab”, “Uchange”, which support municipalities to involve citizens effectively in participatory processes and to build dialogue platforms around pertinent policy issues. Moreover, the participants had a chance to apply civil participation tools in practice. In the course of the practical sessions, the participants conducted community assessments, stakeholder identification, evaluation and developed participation strategies.
The event was organised in the framework of the Project “Strengthening Participatory Democracy and Human Rights at Local Level in Georgia”, implemented by the Directorate General of Democracy, Division Elections and Participatory Democracy and Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023 with the financial contribution of Austrian Development Cooperation.