14 april transparency ani akhalkatsi [compatibility mode]
European Regional Consultation for the Open Forum for CSO DevelopmentEffectiveness in Brussels, BelgiumApril 14-15, 2011
Donor Pledge to GeorgiaInternational donors and financial institutionspledged $4.55 billion at an international donors’conference on October 22, 2008.Priority areas: Development of transport infrastructure; Implementation of energy projects; Construction of houses for IDPs.A large amount of funding was also provided to support the state budget.
Why to Conduct Monitoring? Unprecedented support to Georgia Lack of control/monitoring mechanisms to ensure appropriate oversight/management of the donor funds by the Government. Seeing the need for involvement, seven Georgian NGOs formed a coalition to monitor transparent and efficient spending of the funds.
Coalition: Transparent Aid to GeorgiaCoalition Transparent Aid to Georgia was founded in November 2008 rightafter the Brussels conference.Mission:Promote transparency of the foreign financial aid pledged to Georgia by donor countries andinternational organizations to assist Georgia in overcoming the crisis following the August 2008armed conflict, increase government accountability and encourage the participation of civilsociety in the aid management.Members: Open Society Georgia Foundation Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association Transparency International Georgia Economic Policy Research Centre Eurasia Partnership Foundation Green Alternative Georgia Georgian Regional Media Association Independent Experts
Scope of Work: Monitor the appropriateness of aid allocations; Promote the transparency of aid expenditures; Analyze the macroeconomic effectiveness of aid allocations; Advocate for alternative expenditure priorities (when necessary) and effective mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability; Raise civil society participation in decision making processes; Cooperate closely with representatives of the Georgian Government, donors, political parties, local and international organizations, and the mass media, etc.
Awareness RaisingLaunching the Coalition Transparent Foreign Aid to Georgia;Weekly newspaper articles in all major regional newspapers on aidtransparency to make aid topic popular in the regions;Regular press conferences on aid transparency issues;Training CSO and media representatives on aid transparency;10 events presenting different policy papers and reports on aidmonitoring;Event: Year after the Brussels Conference - unveiling findings of 1 yearmonitoring.
Key Communication Messages: Transparency of foreign aid - How is the money spent? The foreign aid pledged will work on the benefit of the society if spent efficiently Not only transparency but effectiveness and efficient spending of these funds is essential The misuse of foreign aid may lead to detriment of many sectors Conditionality: Donors should pay more attention to government’s performance and set conditions for granting
Media CoverageFunctioning of the coalition was widely covered bythe following communication channels: Regional and national press Digital media Electronic media - TV/Radio(over several hundred articles and approximately 100 TV plots)
Monitoring Efforts Monitoring of the state budget that encompassed all direct budget support grants (USA, World Bank, Asian Development Bank – how has the aid been reflected in the state budget) Monitoring road rehabilitation programs (violation of procurement procedures/CoI cases) Donor monitoring and their ranking (most and least transparent donors) Monitoring IDP housing (quality and financial monitoring)
Successful Advocacy Cases:Advocating for improvement of domestic monitoringmechanisms (MoF published detailed donor aid matrix)Advocating for donor transparency based on the ParisDeclaration (Georgia joined Paris Declaration in December2010)
Successful Advocacy Case (1): Environment protection in donor funded energy projectsCampaign: Response to the Problem of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park caused by the construction of 500 kilovolt power transmission line across the National ParkAchievement: Government selected the version that would inflict no damage on the park. The European Commission provided additional 3 million EUR grant to cover the difference between the funds provided earlier and the actual amount needed.
Successful Advocacy Case (2): Cottage Settlement for Georgias New IDPs: Accountability in Aid and ConstructionCampaign: Study of IDPs settlements elicited the practice of inadequate increase of the agreement values due to the frequent changes made in the ones (therefore, initial value of 85 agreements was increased by 26,6% in total, amounted to circa 10 mln. USD)Achievement: 1,5 month after presentation of the study report there was made an amendment to the regulation on Public Procurements banning increase of public procurement agreement value more than by 10%.
Unsuccessful case: Appealing the donors to envisage aid conditionality in aid pledges to support sustainable democratization processes in Georgia
Lessons Learned Identification of key stakeholders from the government and maintenance of mechanisms for regular information sharing Joint efforts bring better results Issue oriented advocacy campaigns and involvement of qualified experts Involvement of international community Thoroughly planned awareness raising campaign
Policy papers/monitoring reports elaborated: Reflection of donors financial aid within the framework of Brussels Conference decisions in the 2008 and 2009 State Budgets of Georgia - OSGF Economic Challenges of Georgia and Governmental Strategy against Global Economic Crisis - OSGF Implementation of 18-month Economic Program under the IMF-supported Stand-by Arrangement - OSGF Evaluation of the Loan Component of the Post-War Aid Pledge - OSGF Review of the legislation regulating the process of reception, allocation and monitoring of international aid in Georgia - GYLA Donor Ranking - TI Georgia
Policy papers/monitoring reports elaborated: Environmental Impact of the Projects, Implemented with Financial Aid - Association Green Alternative The analysis of Grant Agreements between the donors and the Government of Georgia - GYLA Accountability to Beneficiaries - TI Georgia Cottage Settlement for Georgias New IDPs: Accountability in Aid and Construction - TI Georgia, GYLA Aid to Georgia: Empowering Georgians via the World Wide Web - TI Georgia Accounting, Disposal and Control of the International Aid in Georgia - GYLA Monitoring the Millennium Challenge Program, 4th and 5th Stages - EPRC
Thanks for your attention!Contact Information:Ani AkhalkatsiCivil Society Support Program CoordinatorOpen Society Georgia FoundationE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org