Author: Teona Turashvili
Modern technologies and internet simplified communication and access to information. Governments commenced actively using internet as means of communicating with the citizens. Most importantly, in order to increase the accountability of the governments, attention is focused on the importance of providing detailed information about their activities. In case of efficient usage of internet resources, it is possible to simplify bureaucratic procedures, constructing direct communication, exchanging views which finally results in the openness of the governments. Regardless above mentioned advantages, the precondition of this process is widespread availability of internet and access. Otherwise, only limited number of the citizens will benefit from using these e-resources.
In order to display the main tendencies of internet usage in Georgia, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information prepared a research, based on the surveys conducted in Georgia and small online survey conducted by IDFI itself.
The research consists of the following parts:
• Statistics of internet users in Georgia;
• The importance of internet availability;
• Tendencies of internet usage;
• The results of IDFI survey;
• Survey on petitions, conducted by IDFI;
Tendencies and conclusions
Online survey, conducted by IDFI, in major aspects mostly coincided with the results of bigger survey conducted throughout Georgia. By the combination of these results, IDFI elaborated following conclusions:
• Despite the growing number of the internet users, the majority of the population has no access to internet. Especially serious problems are detected in the regions;
• Part of Georgian population considers internet as less important communicational resource, while for others main obstacles that prevent them from access to internet are: lack of computers, lack of computer skills and little interest. Network-connected problems are especially widespread in the regions.
• Surveys have shown that the majority of the population use internet and social networks mainly for getting information; bilateral communication and expressing views is not a priority.
• Citizen activity is very low in terms of petitions and initiating their ideas. However, the majority of persons that took part in internet survey (the majority of respondents were socially active persons) expressed willingness for participating in decision making process in case the necessary mechanisms become available.
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