The Civil Society Engagement Program (CSEP) in Georgia is a five-year activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by East-West Management Institute, Inc. (EWMI) in partnership with CANVAS, ZINC Network, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), European Community Foundation Initiative, Center for Training and Consultancy, Orbeliani Georgia, and the Global Compact Network Georgia (GCNG).
EWMI Programs in Georgia
EWMI is implementing the Rule of Law Program in Georgia, a five-year, USAID-funded program focused on strengthening the rule of law in Georgia. The Rule of Law Program is working to build the independence and effectiveness of justice sector institutions, enhance access to justice for all segments of society, and increase citizen and institutional oversight of justice sector institutions. An overarching goal of the Program is to promote people-centered justice in Georgia, including building community awareness of and trust in the justice system and ensuring courts are responsive to the needs of the community.
EWMI is implementing a new five-year human rights and justice support program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) entitled Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG) Activity. The purpose of PROLoG is to strengthen the justice system in Georgia to ensure due process, judicial independence, and the protection of human rights.
The Advancing CSO Capacities and Engaging Society for Sustainability (ACCESS) Project works to strengthen civil society organizations (CSOs) throughout Georgia. ACCESS will enable Georgian non-profit organizations to improve their financial sustainability, organizational management, policy influence, and civic engagement. The goal is to empower CSOs to become respected community representatives capable of leading public debate and collaborating with government to create more transparent and accountable governance.
When EWMI’s Judicial Independence and Legal Empowerment Project in Georgia (EWMI-JILEP) began operation in 2010, growing disillusionment with the Georgian court system permeated public life. A handful of top-level managers, all men, served as its institutional “voice,” and lower-level judges were rarely seen or heard at public events. This centralized and monolithic judicial management structure slowed the pace of potential reforms, a reality compounded by the undue role that prosecutors played in directing or otherwise influencing case outcomes.
In the wake of the Rose Revolution, Georgia experienced an unexpected weakening of the civil society sector. Many civic leaders migrated to work in government and politics, creating a dearth of policy and advocacy professionals within the sector. Georgian civil society was also adversely impacted by the gradual polarization of think tanks between pro- and anti-government supporters and diminishing donor support as direct support increasingly shifted to the Government of Georgia (GoG). As a result, many civil society organizations (CSOs) were left without the ability to engage the government constructively on key policy issues.
2008 - 2009
The East-West Management Institute worked in cooperation with a consortium led by B&S Europe to support important criminal justice reforms in Georgia. The Georgia Criminal Justice Statistics Project, which was sponsored by the European Commission, established a system of comprehensive criminal justice statistics and data analysis.