Due to the universal nature of Sustainable Development Goals, they need to be adapted to the local context and specific needs, enabling their implementation to have a real, actionable impact on the local population.
The Council of Europe, in the framework of the Council of Europe 2020-2023 Action Plan for Georgia, is implementing the project "Strengthening participatory democracy and human rights at local level in Georgia". The main goal of the project is to strengthen citizen involvement and human rights protection at the local level.
Transparency of tax information and beneficial owners is one of the most important mechanisms for preventing corruption. The recent instances of journalists and civil monitoring groups uncovering opaque practices in this regard have made the topic all the more urgent.
The Handbook on Transparency and Citizen Participation in Georgia was developed by the Council of Europe within the regional project ‘Strengthening Institutional Frameworks for Local Governance”.
Access to open government data is vital for the improvement of public service delivery and citizen participation in the decision-making process. Open data facilitates the development of civil monitoring mechanisms, improves public well-being, and effective use of state resources.
Availability of open data in easily processable formats has given journalists a unique opportunity to conduct comprehensive studies of various issues. Combination of various data sets and programmatic analysis has revealed hidden business connections and interests, information about property and income, illegal dealings, and misappropriation of public funds by public figures and high-ranking officials.
The improvements in data accessibility and technology allowed journalists to dive deeper into certain topics, and use various applications and programs to better process, analyze and present immense amounts of material. However, these new possibilities come with additional challenges related to skills and time required for the collection and processing of data.