2010 and 2011 Years

2010 and 2011 Years
In 2010 and 2011 the Imereti Region Scientific-Information Association of Youth “ASA” did not participated in Grant Competitions because of the technical and organizational problems within the Association. During this period we participated in three projects implemented by our partner organization ”New  Civil Thinking +”. Those are the following Projects:
  • “Civil Monitoring on Imereti Water Supply System Rehabilitation Works”;
  • “Civil Engagement in the Programs of the Political Parties” (Regarding the local Self-Government elections in Kutaisi);
  • “Caucasians for the Democracy”.
In all three Project Imereti Region Scientific-Information Association of Youth “ASA” participated as the responsible organization on Project Implementation. Our responsibilities included gathering the information, selecting the methodology of conducting the inquiry, analyzing the gained information and making the conclusions. Below is the short annotation of all three projects:

“Civil Monitoring on Imereti Water Supply System Rehabilitation Works”

One of the most severe problems in all over the Georgia and accordingly also in Imereti is the urban water supply, its security, uninterrupted supply and water quality regulation. The Brochure reviews the acute problems of water supply in Inereti Region; the existing situation in terms of drinkable Water Supply Systems in Imereti Municipalities.   Those municipalities are:
  • Kutaisi;
  • Chatura;
  • Bagdati;
  • Tskaltubo. (General vision)
It should be mentioned that after moving the Water Supply Systems of the Imereti Municipalities under the subordination of the United Georgian Water Supply System, the services considerably worsened and it became absolutely impossible getting any information about the local Water Supply from the local service centers. The reasons for refusing were always and every where was the same: “Ask the Company Senior Management”. 

Nevertheless there are the indirect methods of getting the information. By means of using them we managed to fulfill the gaps appeared by the establishing the nondemocratic system of the new Company and ignoring all the legislation basis regarding the transparency of getting the public information. The relationship of the Company with public does not exist, or it is strictly one-sided. It is described in the reports made during the observation of the Water Supply Systems of the Municipalities. 

The Brochure reviews the Georgian Water Supply National Program II-III stages presented at the beginning of 2010 in Kutaisi by United Georgia Water Supply Company, as well as the ongoing projects of the Company. It is given in the form of chart. The General data is as follows:
I stage –implemented in 2006-2010, funds 320 million GEL;
II stage – implemented in 2010-2011, the works for 91 million GELs were funded;
III stage - in 2011-2013, the works for 923 million GELs were funded;
The presented chapter reviews the example of three towns: Poti - as one of the most difficult processes in the whole Program, Zugdidi – as a Regional center which has no central Water Supply System and Kutaisi as the most expensive project.
The tables given in the Brochure shows the planned Water Supply and Sewage System Rehabilitation Projects in the Regions of Georgia according to the stages. 

To increase our working area and for being aware about current processes in the West Georgia, we investigated the Ozurgeti Water Supply System as well and conducted the meetings with local Self-Government as well as the representatives of the Water Supply Service Centre. We discussed the existing situation with the representatives of the local NGOs. We informed them regarding the processes on the same issues in Imereti. The Brochure contains the report regarding the above mentioned. 

In September 2010 we conducted the inquiry of the public opinion in Kutaisi on the topic “Rehabilitation of the Water Supply System and the Society” the results of which is given in the Brochure. The inquiry was conducted on the territory of four municipalities: Kutaisi, Chiatura, Tskaltubo and Bagdati. It is very important to highlight that the majority of the Society members - 88.2% do not know and even cannot imagine that the rehabilitation works of their town is managed from Tbilisi (projecting, constructing, monitoring of construction works, handover of the finished construction works). Of course these results correspond the results on the question in “current works” did not take part – 80.9%. The opinion of the citizens regarding the Water Supply System is given very well on the question “The improvement of the Water Supply System problems and the management of it will be done better”:

From you towns – 53.6 %;
The Capital city - 8.8 %;
Regional centre – 20.0%;
Difficult to answer – 16.0 %.

According to the results we can conclude that the citizens can see better the principles of the democratic ruling, the role of the local Self-Government in solving the local problems, rather than central Government Institutions (decentralization, deconcentration). In total in all four Municipalities we interviewed 1000 respondents. 

There are also a small portion of our visions and recommendations in the Brochure regarding the issues, based on numerous consultations and meetings with the experts, scientists, engineers of the field and NGOs. 

Civil Engagement in the Programs of the Political Parties” 

The implementation of the Project was stipulated by the local Self-Government elections of 30 May, 2010 and the attitude of the population living in the territories of the Municipalities towards the elections. The Project in Kutaisi was implemented in2009-2010 and 2010 was totally dedicated to the elections. The publication of the Brochure regarding the elections was stipulated by the results of the inquiry conducted in January-February, 2010 on 1000 respondents in Kutaisi.  

In the frame if the project three big meetings were held in Kutaisi with the representatives of the Political Parties participating in the elections and the NGOs working on election issues. On all three meetings we provided the political parties with the following official documents:
  • The vision of the Non-Government Organizations regarding considering the public opinion in the Political Parties’ Election Programs while the preparatory period for the elections of local Self-Government.
  • The address of the Political Party “New Rights” to the Non-Government Organizations working in Kutaisi.
Besides the three large meetings we had individual meetings with the Political Parties constantly working in Kutaisi. These parties are: United National Movement, New Rights, Christian-Democratic Movement and Republican Party. 
It is worth to mention that the representatives of all Political Parties working in Kutaisi attended all three meetings; there were no insulting or blaming addresses.
The inquiry of public opinion in 2010 was conducted in the following way:
  • Through the local municipalities – 400 respondents;
  • Ordinary citizens – 214 respondents.
  • Representatives of intellectuals – 113 respondents;
  • NGO representatives – 91 respondents;
  • Political Parties – 180 respondents.
The answers of the above mentioned electorate separately and summarized is given in the Brochure. The results are given in the table in two parts. The first part shows the summarized results according to the categories of the population and the second table gives the opinion of the population according the Municipalities. 
We considered the most interesting the results gained through the seventh question: “While discussing the issues the priority should be given to:”
  • The post of the person posing the issue – 1 %;
  • The political situation and requirements – 5.2 %:
  • The views of the President – 3.8 %;
  • Constitution – 17.5 %;
  • Law – 40.9 %;
  • Subordination Acts– 2.4 %;
  • Public Opinion – 24.6 %;
  • Difficult to answer – 4.3 %.

So according to the respondents it is essential  to guide by the law, engage the society members, take into the consideration the political situation , the President’ view and the post of the person posing the issue in the decision making process. 
At the end of the Brochure there is a view of the student of the Akaki Tsereteli State University – Tamar Kopaliani about the Project.  She gave her opinion about the inquiry by separate categories and gave an interesting conclusion: 
“50.9 % of the respondents are women; their average age is 25-60 years. They think that if the Political Parties consider their opinions their programs will be improved; they want that the priorities should be given to the supporting of creation the working places in the programs of the local Self-Government. They accept the Political Party whose priority is the justice; their preference while discussing on the issue is law; they would love to change the Government’s attitude towards the population”.  
After printing the Brochure there was a presentation. Then it was delivered to all the Political Parties, media, NGOs and local Self-Government. 

“Caucasians to the Democracy”

The coalition Project “Caucasians to the Democracy” is implemented by NGO “New Civil Thinking +” with the partnership of the Friedrich Ebert Fund. Another member of the Coalition working on Public Utilities was Imereti Region Scientific-Information Association of Youth “ASA”. The main idea of the Project was starting the relationship between the NGOs of two second biggest cities of two countries of South Caucasus Georgia and Azerbaijan:  - Kutaisi and Ganja; exchange the information regarding the Public Utilities; exchange the experience of the Civil Society and NGO Engagement in the work of the local Self-Government.  The Project also considered exchanges of the delegations between two cities with the representatives of the local Self-Government and local NGOs. 
From the Georgian side the Project was implemented by the NGO “New Civil Thinking +” and from the Azerbaijan side by the Azeri NGO registered in Ganja “Eco-Renaissance” (Irshad Abasov- the Chairperson).
The Brochure “Caucasians to the Democracy” was published in the frame of the Project. The introduction of the Brochure contained the description of the initial period of the Project; small history information about the Azerbaijan and Georgia; the context of the project and its progress; effectiveness of the exchanging the delegations between the two cities;  the views of the delegation members and their reports; media comments on form the both sides. 
The Brochure is bilingual Georgian-Azeri; it contains also the photo materials of mutual working on the Project regarding the current processes in both cities. The both organizations published the albums with photo materials. 
Below is the article “Caucasians to the Democracy“ published in the regional newspaper “Akhali Gazeti” (New Newspaper) on June 20, 2011, # 24.

The article “Caucasians to the Democracy“

At the beginning of June 2011, in the frame of the project “Caucasians to the Democracy“ implemented by the NGO “New Civil Thinking +” and funded by the Friedrich Ebert Fund a delegation of the Civil Sector of Kutaisi visited the city Ganja, Republic of Azerbaijan.   One of the aims of the visit was the renewal and intensification of the friendship relations between the two cities. During the working visit of the delegation several meetings were held with Government Institutions as well as the Civil Sector representatives. The members of the Kutaisi delegation were: Gia Tsatsashvili – Akaki Tsereteli Kutaisi State University, Zaza Kheladze –Chairperson of  Imereti Region Scientific-Information Association of Youth “ASA”, Lasha Chelidze the Director of “New Civil Thinking+”, Giga Melkadze Kutaisi Coordinator “International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)”, Nodar Jikia Program Director Kutaisi Branch of Georgian Young Lowers’ Association (GYLA)”, Paata Kldiashvili Head of Imereti Regional Branch “Association of Young Economists of Georgia (AYEG)”. At the meeting held in Azerbaijan the members of Kutaisi Delegation spoke about the situation and successes in different fields in Kutaisi and planned the perspectives of future cooperation. What is the concrete goal of the Projects? What results can bring the relationship with Azerbaijan for Kutaisi? To answer these questions we suggest the interview with the members of the Delegation. 
How was born the idea to start the cooperation with Azerbaijan and Georgian Civil Organizations?
Lasha Chelidze the Director of “New Civil Thinking+”: The visit in Azerbaijan was held in the frame of the Project “Caucasians to the Democracy” funded by the Friedrich Ebert Fund. The goal of the Project is contact and establish the cooperation between the Georgian and Azerbaijan Civil Organizations in particular organizations of Kutaisi and Ganja, establish and renew the mutual cooperation  on Government level, exchange the experiences and renew friendship relationship existed between two cities in 1960s of the last century. 

We the Delegation member Organizations cooperate on different issues, nevertheless our Coalition is not officially signed. Our wish and also the initiative of the Friedrich Ebert Fund (also has the partner organization in Azerbaijan) was to do the Coalition Project between Kutaisi and Ganja NGOs.

What was in particular done in the frame of the Project? 

Lasha Chelidze the Director of “New Civil Thinking+”: The Project has two components. The first one is the informative in the frame of which we published information Brochures, which introduced the Society and the Government Institutions information about the Project. Then we had the preparatory works regarding visit of Kutaisi Delegation in Ganja. We met the representatives of the Civil Organizations as well as the representatives of local Self-Government of the city. In particular we met with the Head of the Kiafazi Municipality. The representative of the Kutaisi Akaki Tsereteli State University Gia Tsatsashvili passed him the letter of Kutaisi Mayor expressing the will of the local Self-Government of Kutaisi to renew the friendship relations between Kutaisi and Ganja. The host side expressed their pleasure towards the idea. Of course the visit was not only official one. We visited the sights of the city and planned the future activities and cooperation. 

Zaza Kheladze the Chairperson of Imereti Region Scientific-Information Association of Youth “ASA”: The visit was quite fruitful. It was a surprise for us so big interest towards our Delegation from the Government Institutions of Azerbaijan. I think it was the result of the activities and work done by our organizations.  These are the fields of Public Utilities and infrastructure which is quite actual for Azerbaijan as well for the time being. That’s why exchange the information in these fields was very important and interesting for the both sides. We also visited the places of the on-going rehabilitation projects of water supply system and infrastructure.  They have a new approaches and exchange the experiences will be important for us. 

How fruitful will be the started relationship between the sides for Kutaisi future development? 

Giga Melkadze Kutaisi Coordinator “International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)”:
 One of the main goals of our visit was the renewal of the stopped relations between our cities. Though the visit was very short, I thing quite important steps were done to this direction and the new page of our relationship will be started between our cities. The depth of the relationship depends on the extent of the involvement of Civil Organizations. That’s why I think that the renewed connections by us will cover all the fields. This relationship should be continued at the University as well as cultural-education levels. 

Paata Kldiashvili Head of Imereti Regional Branch “Association of Young Economists of Georgia (AYEG): For me it was very interesting to share the information and experiences in economic issues that was held in the frame of the visit. One of our main visits was with the local organization   “Eco-Renaissance” who had implemented Baku-Tbilisi-Jeihan Pipeline Project monitoring. Our Organization is doing the monitoring of the construction of highway in Imereti and their experience was very interesting in this regard. It was very important also to learn that they have a big experience in working out the local social-economic plans and their implementation. They worked out the first social-economic plan for Ganja in 2004-2007. Nowadays the plan of 2007-2012 is on. Out city still have the big problems in this regards. We found interesting also the implementation of the village programs. As we learned there 90 % of the villages have the natural gas supply. Now they have an active gasification Project by which by the end of the year 100 % of the villages will have the natural gas supply. We hope that the exchange of the experiences will be systematic between our cities.

Zaza Kheladze: The relation with Azerbaijan is important as we have a lot of common: the territory- we are the neighbors; traditions- we both are Caucasians, and regional. We should generalize these relations as the Countries who released from the Soviet Union. 

Whether there was a serious interest or wish of starting the concrete relations from the Azerbaijan side? 

Lasha Chelidze: We hope that these relations will be fruitful for the both sides in the nearest future and will be turned into the concrete project. For this reason in the frame of the same project the Ganja Delegation will visit Kutaisi till July 10 of this year. The members of the Delegation will be the representatives of the Ganja Civil Organizations, intellectuals, businesses and Governments officials. We are waiting for the concrete steps during their visit for the implementation of the effective mutual projects. 

  • By the end of the Brochure there is the mutual Declaration of the Delegations of the both cities, published during the Kutaisi Meeting. The representatives of all three sectors attended the Meeting.
  • Below is the list of the articles published in 2010-2011:
  • The article: “The letters to the Editor in Chief” - Newspaper “Akhali Gazeti” (New Newspaper) May 10-16, 2012 page 11.
  • The article: “Poti 24 hour water Supply – Is it Cheating or Millennium Project?” – Newspaper “Rezonansi”(Resonance) July 27 2012, page 1,5,6;
  • The article “What Threatens us the Increased Price on Water?” – Newspaper “Sakartvelos Respublika” (Republic of Georgia), November 11, 2010, page 3.
  • The article “Mercy without Sincere” – Newspaper “Sakartvelos Respublika” (Republic of Georgia), November 11, 2010.
  • The article “There, Where the Water still Dribbles Like in Old Times”. – Newspaper “P.S.” November 22-28, 2010.
  • The article “Judgment on the Friendship with Ganja” – Newspaper “Sakartvelos Respublika” (Republic of Georgia), May 17, 2011, page 9.
  • The article “From Dry Taps – Till Constant Stream of Water”. – Newspaper “P.S.” June 6-12, 2011.
  • The article “The Glass Becomes Stronger than Iron” – Newspaper “Sakartvelos Respublika” (Republic of Georgia), August 6, 2011, page 5.
  • The article “In the Labyrinths of the Water Metering”. – Newspaper ““Akhali Gazeti” (New Newspaper) December 5-11, 2011, page 2.
  • The article “Why the Neighbors started Fighting because of “Western Water Supply Company”?”. – Newspaper “P.S.” December 5-11, 2011, page 3.
  • The article “ASA Defensing the Rights of the Population”. – Newspaper “P.S.” December 19-25, 2011.