Policy, Advocacy, and Civil Society Development Project in Georgia (G-PAC)
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.
The East-West Management Institute (EWMI), in a strategic partnership with the Columbia University School of International Public Affairs (SIPA), addressed the challenges faced by the CSOs in Georgia by implementing the Policy, Advocacy, and Civil Society Development Program in Georgia (G-PAC), a four-year initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This program aimed to strengthen civil society’s role in advocating for and influencing the development and effective implementation of public policy reforms. In implementing this program, EWMI worked to strengthen the advocacy and watchdog roles of civil society organizations (CSOs) as advocates for an empowered citizenry; improve public policy discourse, research and analysis leading to the development of viable policy options which reflect the citizenry’s needs to government; enhance the institutional capacity of universities in the areas of public policy, public administration and political science; and build coalitions to develop strong networks of CSOs throughout Georgia and strengthen their connections to media, political parties and constituencies.