PMCG has empowered around 1,300 representatives of local governments as part of the UNDP-funded Building Capacity for Participatory Municipal Development Planning project. The first phase of the project focused on strengthening the capacities of representatives of mayors’ offices and officials of local councils (sakrebulos) in participatory policy planning.
During the first phase, PMCG covered 63 municipalities in Georgia, conducting 11 training sessions that trained a total of 179 representatives of mayors’ offices (82 women and 97 men), involved in policy planning activities.
In addition, PMCG held 63 information meetings on participatory policy planning practices for elected officials of local councils, attended by 1,105 participants all told.
The meetings covered specific aspects of policy documents and discussed the detailed policy planning process and engagement opportunities for local council members. Participants then had the chance to express their views on challenges faced in the policy planning process at the local level.
The project enhanced participatory planning skills among staff members at mayors’ offices and raised awareness of elected officials of local councils in participatory policy planning.
“Such meetings provide important opportunities for sharing knowledge and practical experience for civil servants of local self-governments, which definitely affects the quality of the policy document, both in terms of compliance with legislative requirements and ensuring inclusive involvement in the process of developing the document,”said Gaga Tsalughelashvili, attendee of the meeting and Bolnisi Municipality Representative
The overall goal of the initiative is to strengthen the capacity of municipality employees and elected officials to engage in inclusive policy planning and implementation practices, enhance participatory policy planning skills among staff members at the mayors’ offices, and raise awareness of elected officials of local councils in participatory policy planning.
These activities are part of the wider UNDP-implemented Fostering Decentralization and Good Governance at the Local Level in Georgia (DGG) project, designed to assist national and local authorities to promote nationwide decentralization and local self-governance (LSG) policy reform. The DGG project aims to enhance institutional and human capacities at national and local levels, improve municipal service delivery, and empower rightsholders to engage in local policy-making.