In 2013, simultaneously to expanding the research activities, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) was actively attempting to advocate and present to the various levels of government the recommendations, elaborated based on the monitoring and research. For achieving abovementioned, IDFI had been conducting meetings, consultations, conferences and presentations with various stakeholders, including media, NGO sector and public institutions as well as had been spreading statements and making society familiar with its views, providing the recommendations with various branches of government and had been conducting the information campaigns.
We can distinguish several of the activities out of the undertaken measures.
Accessibility of the public information and legislative amendments
IDFI had been requesting information from the public institutions within the frames of the “Public Information Database – opendata.ge” project. Simultaneously to determining the openness of public institutions and level of accessibility of public information, IDFI kept researching the obtained information and providing the analysis.
The mentioned strategy significantly increased the number of stakeholders and contributed to putting this issue on the state agenda. As a result, IDFI event was attended by then Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, ministers, representatives of public institutions, international organizations, diplomatic corps, media and NGOs. IDFI presented the most accountable and the most closed public institutions in regards of disclosing the public information between June 2012 and July 2013.
Furthermore, the research of the best practice of access to information has laid the groundwork for the recommendation package for the government of Georgia, elaborated by the representatives of NGOs. Based on this document, government of Georgia adopted the regulation on “e-request and proactive disclosure of public information”. This legislative act introduces the new proactive standard of transparency and accountability of the government institutions. This amendment had been adopted due to the commitment, taken within the frames of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
IDFI has regularly monitored the implementation of the OGP Action Plan by the government of Georgia, has been conducting the meetings with the representatives of government and NGOs and has been making the society familiar with the events around the OGP issues. For this purpose, IDFI has been utilizing the blog, created for these issues.
What’s most important, director of IDFI Giorgi Kldiashvili attended the OGP summit in London, where the participants shared the latest achievements of their governments in regards of transparency and accountability. Georgia was nominated for adopting the legislation on proactive disclosure of public information. The director of IDFI talked about the Georgian standard of proactive disclosure and the process of elaborating the law.
We may distinguish the human rights annual report of the State Department as one of the achievements of the organization, as the report utilized the statistical data publicized by IDFI.
Elaborating the strategy of digital switchover and implementation
Issue of digital switchover is in the political agenda of the government of Georgia. In order to pursue this process effectively and detect the ways of solving the challenges, the experts of IDFI presented number of analytical papers to the decision makers and public institutions.
It is notable that the strategies and recommendations elaborated by organization had been utilized by the government in the process of drafting the strategy in 2014. IDFI managed to achieve this through constant consultations, meetings, discussions and various types of advocacy activities.
Commencing the monitoring and analysis of the quality and level of e-governance and modern technologies, enabled IDFI to present its expertise and the results of the researches to the public institutions. With this aim, analysts and experts of IDFI had been conducting the meetings and discussions with the representatives of PR departments of various public institutions. IDFI had been presenting the results of monitoring of sources of communication (telephone, social networks, other online resources) of government institutions as well as displayed flaws and recommendations that aimed at solving these flaws. This way IDFI was attempting to support the introduction of modern standards of communication among the public institutions.
What’s most important, IDFI had proposed to the government the concept of citizens’ engagement platform www.ichange.ge, based on analysis of international practice. It is notable that within the frames of the international initiative – Open Government Partnership (OGP) government of Georgia took the commitment of introducing the citizen platform, which will aim at introducing the means of engaging the society in decision-making process. IDFI still negotiates with the government with the aim of taking measures for implementing the platform.
Furthermore, IDFI had been conducting the consultations and meetings with state institutions through various ways:
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