The Center for Local Governance (CLG) was established within the School of Government in 2002. Shortly thereafter, the CLG developed a professional-level Master’s academic program in local government administration. It is the only program of its kind in Georgia in the Georgian language, emphasizing both review and reform of local government legislation and policies through public administration education and training, capacity development and inclusive systems of consultation with local communities actively involving and engaging women and ethnic minorities.
To contribute to the ongoing decentralization process and local governance reform in Georgia through the capacity building of qualified local government officials, NGOs and community leaders.
Short and Medium-Term Courses and Trainings The following courses are offered by the CLG: Urban Management Certificate Program, Rural Management Certificate Program Training in Participatory Decision-Making in Local Governance (for representatives of local governments in Akhaltsikhe, Akhalkalaki, Telavi, Gori and Marneuli) Course in Strategic Planning and Performance Evaluation (for representatives of local governments in Gori, Mtskheta, Tbilisi and Marneuli) Training in Local Self-Governance Issues and Participatory Approaches for political parties Training in Human Rights, Conflict Resolution, Georgian-Russian Relations, Leadership and Effective Communications (for IDP children and socially vulnerable groups) Training in Service+, Management and Budgeting (for Tbilisi Municipality civil servants) Textbook Development The CLG is actively involved in developing books and textbooks in the Georgian language as well as translating quality materials from other languages. Books and textbooks created, translated and published by the CLG include Strategic Planning for Local Government, by Gerald L. Gordon; Accountability for Performance: Measurement and Monitoring in Local Government, by David N. Ammons, and Urban Management, by David Melua, Tengiz Shergelashvili, Givi Erkomaishvili, Tamar Sulukhia, Lado Vardosanidze and David Losaberidze. Research and Evaluation The CLG conducts the following research and evaluation projects: Qualification Needs Assessment of Municipal Public Officers, funded by the Municipal Development Fund West Georgia Municipalities Needs Assessment, supported by the Urban Institute Assessment of Educational Institutions Working on Local Government Issues, supported by GTZ Opportunities for Inter-Municipality Cluster Development in Georgia, supported by the Civil Society Institute Different Initiatives Aiming at Strengthening Regional Cooperation Student Involvement for Enhancing Regional Cooperation. The ultimate goal of the project is to establish an institutional network for democratic governance in the South Caucasus region and Ukraine. Visit of Local Government Administration Master’s Program students to Armenia to identify and research already implemented partnership projects (at the governmental or non-governmental levels) with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The project was funded by GTZ. International Conference – Regional Development Perspectives in the South Caucasus: Opportunities and Challenges. The conference was held in 2010. Participants included representatives from Armenia and Georgia. Four-Party Memorandum of Cooperation signed between GIPA’s School of Government, the Academy of Municipal Administration of Armenia (AMAA), the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) and the Community Association of Armenia (CAA). The purpose of the Memorandum is to support the development and elaboration of democracy and local government systems in the South Caucasus region alongside assisting in the establishment of intensive cooperation and exchanges of academic experience between Georgia and Armenia. Assistance for Municipalities The CLG creates and delivers projects aiming at assisting local governments such as: Supporting the Work of the Ozurgeti Municipality and Increasing its Effectiveness (with the participation of the GIPA Local Government Administration Master’s Program senior students) Improvement of the Quality of Citizen Participation in the Telavi Municipality, funded by Open Society Georgia Supporting Telavi Municipality Activity (with the support of students from Telavi State University), funded by Open Society Georgia
The CLG offers the following services: education and capacity-building activities for the public, private and civil sectors; institutional development for beneficiary organizations and stakeholders, regional networking, consulting, trainings and research.
CLG Work Fields and Activities
The CLG works in three main fields: tailor-made training for municipalities, research and consulting as concerns local governance issues, public discourse vis-à-vis decentralization and the strengthening of local democracy through policy and practice.
The CLG engages in the following types of activities: local government administration, regional development, local economic development, organizational management, finance, budgeting, strategic planning, infrastructure, urban policy, public participation and public policy at the local level.
The CLG offers training courses for local authorities, on-the-job consulting and in-kind assistance, coordination and networking, research and surveys, strategic development, organizational development, awareness-raising, public-private partnership development, designing projects to provide employment opportunities for rural populations, issues concerning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees, building regional networks and designing projects to increase youth participation in decision-making processes.
CLG beneficiaries include members of local self-governments, regional government, central government, civil sector, local communities and youth groups.
Outreach Resources – Regional Network
The CLG works within a regional network that engages in projects outside of Tbilisi and targets the following direct beneficiaries: 1) graduates of the Local Government Administration Master’s Program living in various regions of Georgia, 2) central and local governments of Georgia, 3) partner organizations such as the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), the Community Association of Armenia (CAA) and the Center for Regional Development (CRD), among others, and 4) educational institutions in Georgia’s regions as well as the broader South Caucasus and Ukraine including the University of Telavi and the Academy of Municipal Administration of Armenia (AMAA), among others.
CLG Partners and Donors
GIZ, Open Society Georgia, Urban Institute, USAID/Mercy Corps, World Bank Institute, Municipal Development Fund, Council of Europe, Technology Development Fund, Civil Society Institute.