From July 10 to July 20 - Khurcha, Koki, Shamgona, Ingiri (Zugdidi Municipality) - these villages were covered by meetings for the introduction of the Voters’ Advice Application, which were held by members of the Fund “Sukhumi” Women Initiative Group.

The meetings were attended by citizens of different age categories in small groups. They expressed interest towards the novation envisaged by the project, established active feedback and highlighted the issues that are interesting for political parties. Migration was named as one of the most acute problems.

A member of the Women Peace Coalition – organization “Imedi”, held four meetings in Zugdidi Municipality - mainly in compact settlements for IDPs to inform the voters. The meetings covered the villages of Zugdidi Municipality: Kakhati, Anaklia, Ingiri. The moderators talked about the positive results of using the online application, introduced the instructions for the use of applications and familiarized with the questionnaire developed by the Fund "Sukhumi".

Citizens were interested in the information on the online vote-o-meter. They also presented issues that can be addressed by the municipality. Contact persons have been identified who will meet with citizens again after the launch of the platform.

Due to the pandemic, informational meetings were held with a limited number of participants in Zugdidi Municipality: IDPs and local citizens of the villages Shamgona and Ingiri and various settlements of the city. The aim of the meeting – familiarization with the online platform – Voters’ Advice Application, which makes the pre-election programs visible and shows the citizen which political entity is closest to his position. The participants of the meeting expressed different attitudes towards the topic of elections, but they were interested in the idea of ​​the application.

 

Ordinary meeting was held with women of different ages in the community of Koki (Zugdidi municipality) in order to familiarize themselves with the "Vote-O-Meter - Voters’ Advise Application".

The participants got acquainted with the essence of the "Vote-O-Meter", as well as with the instructions for filling out the questionnaire. They were particularly interested in the issues of environmental protection, food security and women's participation in budget processes.

Voters have a great interest towards the positions recorded by local political entities on the "Vote-O-Meter" platform.

Despite the nihilistic attitude towards the elections, the meeting participants expressed great interest to the initiative of the Fund "Sukhumi". The initiative is unusual and original - this is an online platform for elections to local self-government in Zugdidi, which will provide the voter with will give the voter information about the positions of political actors and other issues.

Members of the women initiative group started meetings with voters in different communities of Zugdidi municipality. They introduced the meeting participants to the online platform. The first meetings were held on June 24-29 in the building of the Kakhati tea factory, the IDP settlement, in the community center of Khurcha and individually with the rural population. The meetings, envisaging the pandemic mode, were held in small groups.

The Fund “Sukhumi” actively cooperates with the partner international organization Kvinna till Kvinna to advocate the needs of IDP and conflict affected women and girls.

Project Coordinator Regina welcomes the advocacy initiatives of the Fund, which is identified on a bottom-up basis by women community active groups themselves, using the GREWS, and evidence-based information.

The initiative of the representative of the donor organization to be involved in international advocacy was good.

According her request, a package on the needs of IDP and conflict affected women and girls was prepared, which was based on the meetings in women's communities, research of the Fund in Zugdidi Municipality, and covers  women’s vision regarding the measures needed to address them.

The preparation phase of the new component of the project, which envisages the introduction of the online platform "Voter Advice Application" (VAA) to Zugdidi voters, has been completed. The project team will clarify the final details of future activities during the consultations.

A questionnaire, which should be placed on the platform was prepared and agreed with the consultant. The location of the meetings, the target groups was defined, the specifics of the meetings during pandemic restrictions are envisaged.

The Fund “Sukhumi” has gained good experience in introducing similar platform during the parliamentary elections, which will help us in the implementation of the project.

A totally 50 meetings will be held within the framework of the project. The first meetings are scheduled for the end of June. Consultations with political parties will soon begin in order to familiarize them with the platform.

An online training was held for representatives of the civil peacekeeping coalition "Women and Peace" and leaders of women initiative groups.

Training topics: UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the policy of its local implementation, the basics and stages of advocacy; organization of informational meetings with project target groups, online platform “Voters’ Advisory Application” and its use.

The participants of the training got acquainted with the provision for localization of the National Plan of the Resolution "Women, Peace and Security", local practice, challenges, issue of women's participation; they familiarized with the essence of the online vote -o-meter, which will be introduced in Zugdidi municipality for the local elections, as a mechanism for informing the voter. They also discussed the methods of facilitation and principles of working with target groups.

It turned out that the project team is ready to be included in the next stage.

Women initiative groups, organized by the Fund "Sukhumi" are actively involved in advocacy for the problems of IDP women, conflict-affected women, as well as citizens living near the conflict line.

They have a systematic dialogue with local authorities, structures on IDP issues, local and international non-governmental organizations. For the given moment, international organizations have become the "target" of the group members.

Nona Bukia, the leader of the women initiative group of the village Khurcha (Zugdidi municipality), had an opportunity to talk to the UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia Sabina Mahl, who met with representatives of local NGOs, IDP women and conflict-affected women in Anaklia.

The participants of the meeting discussed the problems of women, peace and security, Resolution 1325, localization of 2018-2020 National Action Plan, the involvement of women IDPs and women affected by the conflict in decision-making, peacekeeping and security processes.

In the framework of the new project “Women`s participation in the process of building trust and sustainable peace has been strengthened”, the needs research of women and IDP girls and victims of conflict has started in target municipalities.

During the meeting with the fieldworkers, information on important details of future activities was exchanged.

The geography of the research is 6 villages on the conflict dividing line and in Zugdidi. During the research, quantitative and qualitative information will be collected.

 

Donor

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