10/06/2024 GIP

Internships and Youth Forums about Municipal Services

In April 2024, the Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP) distributed stipends to local students from the Shida Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions, and the Adjara Autonomous Republic, to do internships in their local municipalities, the media, and NGOs. Their internships were carried out under the auspices of the “Supporting Youth-Oriented Public Service Delivery in the Remote Areas of Georgia” project and were supported by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) within the “EU for Integrity Programme for the Eastern Partnership,” which is financed by the European Union.

The interns were selected based on how they performed in training sessions on youth involvement in government and evaluation of government services that took place in Gori, Batumi, and Akhalkalaki in the Spring of 2024. Ultimately, 9 interns were selected:

Interns in Akhalkalaki Municipality City Hall:

Susanna Srapyan

Diana Saharyan

Interns in Akhalkalaki Media (JNews)

Arusiak Melkonyan

Marianna Adamyan

Gori Municipality City Hall intern

Rusudan Alborishvili

Intern at NGO “Civil Society Institute”, Gori branch

Tsitsino Lobjanidze 

Batumi Municipality City Hall

Mariam Surmanidze

Lika Beridze

Batumi NGO

Natia Verdzadze

The main purpose of their internships was to support the creation of municipal service assessment mechanisms and to lobby for the improvement of youth-oriented services. With the help of the interns, and in close cooperation with the local municipalities—namely, the Gori, Batumi, and Akhalkalaki Municipality City Halls—created online tools enabling local citizens to assess the municipal services that they receive and to provide feedback on them were created. The interns were involved in the development of the questionnaires used in the service assessment mechanisms, and after their incorporation on the official websites of the local municipalities, interns interviewed local citizens and asked them to express their satisfaction level with the received services in an online anonymous format. Even though the service assessment mechanisms were created to serve as pilot programs, they are still available on the websites of the Gori, Batumi, and Akhalkalaki municipalities and any citizen can assess the services they receive. 

Apart from this, the interns who were placed in the local media and NGOs were mostly involved in spreading information about adapted municipal service mechanisms and in conducting informational sessions on this matter for the local communities.

After completion of the internship programs, between May 29 and June 8, 2024, GIP organized youth forums in in-person and virtual settings in Gori, Shida Kartli Region (May 29), Akhalkalaki, Samtskhe-Javakheti region (May 31) and Batumi, Adjara Autonomous Republic (June 8). 

At the youth forums, GIP researchers presented the key findings of the report “Youth-oriented Municipal Services and its Challenges: Shida Kartli, Autonomous Republic of Adjara, and Samtskhe-Javakheti.” Apart from this, at the youth forums, the local young interns shared their experiences regarding their work in the municipalities, media, and non-governmental organizations, and about the success level of the municipal service assessment mechanisms they helped to create.

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