PROJECT: Fostering Democratic Citizenship in Georgia

Trained in political science and international relations, Sandro is a civil society representative from Georgia. In his capacity as an Organizational Development Manager at Georgian Center for Strategy and Development, Sandro hand in hand with his colleagues, is working to support Georgia’s development and democratization process.  For around two years, Sandro has designed and implemented projects that assisted both state and non-state actors through capacity building activities, awareness raising, technical assistance and other measures with an aim to build more resilient, democratic and viable state and society. Before joining GCSD, Sandro spent most of his career at the Ministry of Defense, specifically at Reform Coordination and Monitoring Department, supporting the reformation effort. In academic field, Sandro has been teaching democracy, both at university and high school level. He is keen to contribute to the strengthening of Georgia’s democratic consolidation and sustainable development. His areas of interest include democracy and democratization, political regimes, citizenship, international relations, defense and security.

Sandro holds an Honors Degree in International Relations at the University of St Andrews, and a Master’s degree in Political Science, at Ilia State University. Currently, Sandro is a Ph.D. student at Ilia State University, researching dominant party systems in Georgia and Armenia.

Fostering Democratic Citizenship in Georgia

Fellowship Summary: Promotion of democratic culture and citizenship to students through a series of dialogue activities, competitions and social media campaign.

Sandro embarked on a mission to ignite a passion for democracy and citizenship among Georgia’s youth. His project was centered on promoting the values of active citizenship and democratic engagement.

The key objective of his project was to encourage reflection on democracy and citizenship, advocating for a positive change in Georgia’s political culture. While changing political culture is a substantial task requiring both education and direct democratic participation over time, the project successfully sowed the seeds of change. Positive feedback and outreach indicate that it achieved its intended goals. Youngsters, although in limited numbers, have gained a deeper understanding of democracy and citizenship. Importantly, they have become advocates for change in political culture and democratic values, setting the stage for positive transformation in their local communities.

The cornerstone of this endeavor was the creation of a comprehensive report on the problems of political culture and citizenship in Georgia based on the public discussions focused on the merits of democracy and the citizens’ role in the democratization process. This report, which can be accessed here in Georgian, gives a general assessment of political culture in Georgia, and identifies key challenges and potential solutions, creating foundation for future discussion and research of the topic.

Sandro: “An important finding of the project was that if one aims to facilitate democratic values and ideas, the most effective way is when the beneficiaries themselves are directly engaged, rather than being just passive participants. For example, young people engaged with my project were given the opportunity to express their opinions via video, as well as through photos and essays. That is quite effective in terms of spreading message/values, as the participants themselves become advocates of the ideas, who have access to, and bigger trust within, their own communities.

Fellowship Programs 2021
Country Georgia
Areas of Interest Awareness raising
Topics Democratic participation
Project duration May - November 2022