The Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open Governance held a hearing on Civic Engagement Instruments and Practices in State Agencies as part of its thematic inquiry group. Five representatives from civil society (who presented their written substantiated opinions within the scope of the thematic inquiry) had the opportunity to personally address the members of the thematic inquiry group, to talk about their experience, as well as the challenges the policy-making process faces.
The speakers included: representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Civil Society Institute (CSI), Transparency International Georgia (TI-Georgia), Green Alternative and Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN).
The Chair of the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open Governance, Irina Pruidze stated: "Our goal is to explore all the instruments and practices that are at our disposal for citizen engagement in state institutions, what are the drawbacks in this regard, what are the main challenges, and then we will come up with ultimate recommendations in order to improve the institutionalization of citizen engagement. We strive not to make this a fragmented, formal process, so that citizens actually take interest in taking part in decision-making, in the process of drafting policies and draft laws.”
“IDFI has been working on strengthening citizen participation for years. A set of standards to regulate the mechanisms of citizen participation in the decision-making process still does not exist in Georgia. For this reason, engagement in practice is fragmented, rather than systemic , and is based on political will. The Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open Governance considers this issue as vitally important. I am glad to have this opportunity to assist the Parliament of Georgia. I hope that the thematic inquiry will be a decisive step towards future adoption of a single document (law or bylaw), based on the best international practice, that will regulate citizen engagement at the early stage of policy-making process,“ - Executive Director of IDFI, Giorgi Kldiashvili.
The Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open Governance established a thematic inquiry group on Civic Engagement Instruments and Practices in State Agencies in spring, 2019. The first stage involved gathering written substantiated opinions from civil society and experts, followed by a verbal hearing of their opinions. The next stage of the thematic inquiry will involve a verbal hearing with Ministry representatives.
Following the completion of hearings, the Council will develop its recommendations and reports, aimed at improving citizen participation and include them in the decision-making process.
The inquiry group is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in cooperation with the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI).
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