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Home / Stories from the field

eRiding in Georgia

2004-03-03 16:20:33

eRiders' Project in Georgia

Georgia was the first among former Soviet Union countries, which successfully implemented eRiders' project with the funding provided by Open Society - Georgia Foundation (OSGF). The project started in December 2002 and lasted 11 months. Five eRiders were working with 41 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the capital of Georgia - Tbilisi.

The project was divided into several stages: eRiders' preparation for the project (trainings, preparing materials such as application forms for NGOs, training materials, software packages, etc.), NGO selection, NGO evaluation (technical and organizational), working with NGOs and the final stage - come up with the recommendations on the required upgrade of technology for the future advancement of the NGO activities.

The hardest and the most important part of the project was NGO selection. The criteria's were: permanent office, at least one computer, at least one running project. From over hundred NGOs that filled up the application form to participate in the project 41 were chosen. NGOs were divided into 5 groups depending on their field of activities (culture and education; health and the disables; human rights; law and anticorruption; women). Each eRider worked with one group of NGO, however, many times eRiders worked in teams, since each of them eRider were experts in specific field and had to apply their experience and knowledge at the NGOs outside of their original working group.

Following are some purposes of the arrangement of the eRiders' job the way it was:

- Each eRider was working with similar NGOs that helped them in better understanding of the NGOs' needs and in linking the NGOs, sharing tools and resources.

- Small budget solutions for technological needs of NGO for up to one hundred dollars were made available by the recommendation and individual consultation of eRiders.

At the end of the project technology grant competition was announced. Projects could be submitted by the groups of two to four NGOs, having among the group at least one eRiders' project participant NGO. The budget for this competition was maximum 2,000 USD per organization. The idea of the competition was to help NGOs implement the recommendations from their eRiders and switch them on more advance level of ICT usage. Eight NGO groups (Total 25 organizations) received technology grants and bought the needed equipment for their further successful and effective use of ICT in their work.

In the nearest future this project will be expanded to all over the country with F/OSS implementation. So wish us good luck!


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