The enhancement of public policy decision-making in the ethnic minority region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, led by GFSIS, was a multi-component development initiative with an overarching goal to contribute to the development of inclusive and empowered civil society by creating necessary conditions for the effective participation of minority groups in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country.

The project objectives were twofold:  1) to enhance ethnic minorities’ skills to participate in the decision-making process at local and nationwide level; and 2) to establish informal networks among the representatives of civil society organizations and state institutions.

The project encompassed capacity building activities: an intensive training program in skills oriented and general awareness raising topics, elaboration of policy initiatives pertinent to the region and public presentations with participation of all local and national stakeholders and the media. The project activities, also, included a study tour to Tbilisi and meetings with Tbilisi based civil society organizations and government agencies to promote horizontal communication links and networks among civil and public society groups of Samtskhe-Javakheti and the centre.

The project was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and administered by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) in support of the National Concept and Action Plan for Tolerance and Civic Integration adopted by the Georgian Government on May 8, 2009.