The development of e-governance doesn’t only mean improving the quality of state administration, but foremost it implies the increase of government accountability, transparent governance and introduces contemporary communication mechanisms between the government and society by actively involving citizens in social and political life.
Georgia has made significant progress in terms of developing e-governance. According to the survey, conducted by United Nations, by 2012 Georgia improved its position by moving up to 72nd place instead of 102. Georgia occupies leader position in the region. It is noteworthy that in September of 2011 Georgian government joined the global initiative and in the frames of “Open Government Partnership” made commitment to develop transparent governance system by enhancing public service and increasing civic participation.
It is noticeable that government institutions are trying to improve their official e-recourses and provide more information via web-pages and social networks. Lots of institutions offer interesting e-services and initiatives. However, these services are not actively used in the process of communication. So far there has not been created a Georgian government portal which would enable interaction with citizens and help them share experience. Various researches, conducted by IDFI displayed that Georgian government institutions do not use already existing resources effectively and rationally. Despite the current positive changes the communication between the government and citizen via web-pages and social networks is of unilateral nature.
In order to evaluate institutions’ strategy of communicating with citizens, the quality of e-recourse usage and the level of communication IDFI prepared research based on the public information requested from government institutions in the framework of the project “Development of e-participation in Georgia”. Institutions were asked about their public relations action plan, the number of official page users, statistics of users registered for online services, questions asked via official e-mails and online communication mechanisms and their answers to these questions.
The research detected number of problems in terms of communication and access to information. Public institutions do not pay sufficient attention to the communication tools that are integrated on their web-pages. Mainly the letters received via e-mail and online communication mechanisms are not registered. Institutions are also indifferent towards the statistics of web-page visitors. The majority of public institutions have not yet elaborated the public relations action plan.
However, monitoring also detected a positive tendency. Answers received from the institutions displayed that improving communication strategy with citizens becomes a priority for government structures.
Project is implemented by the IDFI ( Institute for Development of Freedom of Information) in cooperation with the Center for Post- Soviet Studies (CPSS) through the Policy, Advocacy, and Civil Society Development in Georgia (G-PAC) program of East-West Management Institute (EWMI). This program was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).The contents of this researche do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.
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