Academic and Certificate Program: Disinformation and Propaganda Studies: History, Theories and Means of Debunking was Launched

News | Memory and Disinformation Studies | Article 21 September 2021

Selection of the participants is completed for the academic program: Disinformation and Propaganda Studies: History, Theories and Ways of Debunking. The educational program is jointly organized by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) and the University of Georgia (UG). 78 applicants expressed their desire to participate in the program. After reviewing CVs and cover letters, 35 applicants moved on to the interview stage, which took place on September 13-15. Finally, 17 participants were selected to participate in the program together with the students of the School of Social Sciences and Media of the University of Georgia. The participants represent various Georgian universities, regional media outlets, civil society organizations, and public institutions.


The certificate program started on September 20 and for two academic semesters, it will offer the students 6 modules and several short training seminars on disinformation and propaganda research, history, its public impacts, and the ways of debunking. All selected participants who successfully complete at least 4 courses during the academic year will receive a bilingual certificate confirming the completion of the program. Participants will also have an opportunity to develop research projects and present them at an international academic conference scheduled for the spring semester. The 10 best research projects selected will be published on IDFI and UG online pages.



During the fall semester, the following three courses are offered under the program:


Strategic thinking

Lecturer: David Nardaia


Students will be introduced to the etymology of strategy and the basics of modern strategy, the links between strategy and policy. They will be able to relate theoretical knowledge to practical examples.


Lecturer (s) Qualifications: David Nardaia has been Georgia's Deputy Representative in NATO since 2020. He has 19 years of experience in diplomacy and international relations. From 2002 to 2015, he held various positions at the Ministry of Defense, including Head of the Department of International Relations and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Head of the Department of Defense Policy and Planning, and Head of the Information-Analytical Department. In 2015-2018 he was the Civilian Representative of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia in NATO. In 2018-2020 he was the Director of the Euro-Atlantic Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. In 2020 he was awarded the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Nardaia holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from TSU (Sukhumi Branch) (2002), a TSU Master's Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy (2004), and a Master's Degree in International Security from the National Defense University of the USA (2011).


Archives of Recent History for Media

Lecturer: Anton Vatcharadze


The course will provide attendees with basic knowledge on how to create their own media projects based on archival materials. Trainees will receive information about working with archival documents.


Lecturer’s qualification: Anton Vacharadze, holds MA in Humanities, Head of IDFI Archive, Memory Research, and Disinformation studies direction. He has been a director of the National Archives of Georgia for 8 years, including the position of Director of the Historical Archive for 6 years. Anton is highly experienced in archival research.


Identifying and Researching Disinformation

Lecturer: Sopho Gelava


Students will gain knowledge of modern disinformation and information operations strategies, disinformation research methods, and practical tools, as well as the role of public collective memory, memory policy, and historical narratives in combating disinformation.


Lecturer Qualifications: Sopho Gelava, MA in Political Science, Researcher at the Atlantic Council Digital Investigation Research Laboratory, Technical Information and Data Specialist at Zinc Network Georgia Information Credibility Program. She has many years of experience in disinformation and information operations research. Teaches the course "Fact-checking and verification techniques" at the University of Georgia. Sopho was a researcher in the Myth Detector project of the Media Development Foundation and the head of the media literacy program.


During the semester, there will also be a workshop offered involving the trainers from IDFI partner organization Transitions Online (TOL): "What is disinformation and how can I deal with it?"


Lecturers: Nino Gozalishvili; Revaz Topuria; Sopho Gelava; Yaroslav Valuh. 


More information about the educational course, its content, and lecturers: Program description and lecturers' competence.


Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) congratulates the selected participants and wishes them a successful academic year!



The Academic and Certificate Program is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

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