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David Zardiashvili: Do We Need a Community Revolution?

22 October, 2012

The term "community" refers to a social group, usually larger than a village, whose members reside in a specific locality and often share a common cultural and historical heritage. Respectively, the local self-government is sometimes referred to as community government.  
The "quality" of local self-government is usually measured by the following two criteria:
- How democratic is the local self-government? How well does it represent local communities' interests and will?
- How effective, cost-efficient and beneficial are the local self-government's services for the communities?


Tamar Bulia: Volunteering

27 June, 2012

Volunteering, or volunteer service, is any type of work that is done free of charge. It implies that a person is willing and ready to volunteer his/her time to help others and improve the well-being of his or her community.  Unfortunately, people are often sceptical about the merits of volunteer work. They cannot understand why anybody should be motivated to work for others without pay. Their scepticism is rooted in the past.

                                          


Ketevan Mikadze: Citizens participation and local development

26 June, 2012

Local governments must understand that citizens participation is necessary first of all just for local development. People should be involved in dealing with problems that affect their well-being. In other words, local governments must do things for the people and with the people, not instead of them.
At the same time, citizens participation should not be an obstacle for local government actions. Quite the contrary, it must be an integral part of this action, because its basic mission is to strengthen democratic institutions in a society. In addition, it increases social capital in local communities and their members' readiness to act together for the common good.


Tamar Shamatava: We and the Local Self-Government

26 June, 2012

The local self-government and society 

Some problems require that the local self-government and the society work together to solve them. But...
A grove of old trees stretching alongside Agmashenebeli Avenue was uprooted in Kutaisi last year (the trees were relocated to another place but to no avail - they did not adapt and died) and replaced with palm trees. Local residents responded with protest. Palm trees are nice, no doubt, but...People must be informed about such matters in advance and have a voice in deciding what is right and wrong...
The relocation of David Agmashenebeli Statue is another example of the local self-government's arbitrary decision. Local self-governments are elected by the people and, therefore, must be accountable to the people and responsive to their needs and interests. People must have a voice in the development of political, socio-economic and cultural programs at the local level and be able to control their implementation.


Tornike Adamashvili: The reasons of low civic awareness in Georgia

25 June, 2012

Higher civic awareness makes people free and independent. Such people know how to defend their rights and are able to assume responsibility for protecting the rights of the others. They participate, on an equal basis with the others, in the decision-making process and they are well aware of their role and place in the country's political, economic, social and cultural life. They believe that just citizens determine the political climate in a country.
Unfortunately, the level of civic awareness is still rather low in our country. A number of serious obstacles impede the development of civic awareness in Georgia. The first to be mentioned - and taken into consideration - are problems related to culture and mentality.


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