Institute for Development of Freedom of Information & Ilia State University (Georgian Hub)

Institute for Development of Freedom of Information & Ilia State University (Georgian Hub)

Institute for Development of Freedom of Information

HISTORY

The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) is a Georgian non-governmental organization founded in 2009 by two historians/researchers Levan Avalishvili and Giorgi Kldiashvili.

Currently, IDFI as a hybrid watchdog/think-tank organization is combining monitoring and analytical skills with evidence-based advocacy, strategic litigation, awareness-raising and consulting activities as well as growing international impact. IDFI conducts high-quality, independent research and, based on this research, provides innovative, practical recommendations that strengthen democracy in Georgia and neighboring countries and foster economy and social welfare. IDFI is known internationally as an organization specialized in promoting open and democratic governance.

Accountability, integrity, and reliability were always reflected in all IDFI’s work. IDFI operates under strict professional standards of review and referencing; all facts and analyses in IDFI’s work are thoroughly checked for accuracy.

MISSION

IDFI’s mission:

– to strive for an empowered and inclusive society;

– to promote human rights and good governance by raising civic awareness through sound informational reports, research and recommendations;

– to advocate for initiating & implementing reforms of policies, laws and practices to enhance democratic governance.

OUR TEAM

MAIN AREAS OF WORK

Through the process of organizational development, the IDFI leadership defined the following major strategic directions:

Good Governance

IDFI is working towards strengthening good governance in Georgia. This includes: public service reform, prevention of corruption, introducing standards of access to public information, improving the transparency and accountability of the public service, improving the public procurement system, improving the system of asset declarations and strengthening whistleblower protection.  

IDFI is also actively engaged in promoting citizen participation in the decision-making, budgeting and lawmaking processes on both central and local government levels.

Since 2011, IDFI has been actively promoting the introduction of principals of open government in Georgia as well as internationally. This work also includes strengthening of civil society and government cooperation.

IDFI is also working towards strengthening human rights in Georgia by promoting increased transparency and accountability of the Georgian court system and implementation of the principles of fairness in the court practice. 

By taking part in court proceedings, IDFI promotes improvement of constitutional standards for human rights, the mechanisms for securing human rights and implementation of the standards of a transparent and just court system.

IDFI is actively involved in the process of monitoring and reform of the Georgian court system.

The organization is also engaged in strategic litigation, which is used to try to achieve legal precedents on the disclosure of public information for which there is high public interest.

IDFI provides free legal consultation and assistance to any citizen, who appeals to us about a violation of their right to receive public information. The organization has already provided assistance to numerous journalists as well as regular citizens.

Finally, IDFI is actively collaborating with international organizations by providing them with expert knowledge about the rule of law in Georgia, which is later reflected in international ratings and indices.

Economic and Social Policy

IDFI is engaged in researching the social-economic policy and legislation in Georgia. The organization analyzes both Georgia’s development data and international best practice and, based on the latter, provides the Georgian government with recommendations on how to promote economic development and increase the level of wellbeing in Georgia.   

IDFI also works towards raising public awareness about the goals of Georgia’s social-economic development strategy and promoted citizen engagement in the process of its implementation. 

The organization monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of all of the major socio-economic programs run by the Georgian government.

Strategic Communication and Study of the Past

IDFI is working towards bringing into the light the propaganda against Georgia’s integration with NATO and the EU. IDFI regularly publishes articles, analytical papers, policy papers and briefs that are aimed at, on the one hand, informing the society about propaganda and, on the other hand, providing recommendations to the government about how to deal with this problem.  

For the purpose of combating propaganda, IDFI is collaborating with governmental structures, partner local and international organizations. IDFI is actively involved in various activities against propaganda, including meetings with the local population.  

In addition, IDFI analyzes academic and archival documents in order to contribute to the study of Georgia’s Soviet past, which should help the country build a democratic future.  

Finally, IDFI is working on opening Soviet archives. The organization is also actively involved in identifying the victims of Soviet repressions and is helping their families with legal disputes.  

Media, Internet and Innovations

IDFI’s work also involves researching internet freedom, access to the internet, media freedom and improvement of government services using new technologies.

IDFI periodically publishes research documents that include recommendations on how the Georgian government can deal with problems related to the internet and media.

More specifically, research topics include internet freedom, freedom of expression online, universal accessibility of the internet, problems faced by internet users, digital literacy, the internet market, cybersecurity, personal data protection, telecommunication innovations and government policy regarding the internet, media and telecommunications.

In addition to research and policy evaluation, IDFI is also involved in awareness raising campaigns and educational programs in the use of new technologies for various groups in Georgia.

IDFI & Ilia State University Kicked off the Certification Program in Fighting Corruption

The impact of the project will be to develop and sustain a community of professionals and activists, who will engage with corruption prevention, corruption risk management and with shedding light on facts of individual and systemic corruption.

The first goal of the project is to develop an inter-disciplinary curriculum on corruption, its history and root causes, risk mitigation at policy development level, compliance within public and private organizations, the most modern corruption trends and methods of uncovering corrupt arrangements through open source investigation, whistleblowing and other methods.

The second goal of the project is to recruit a group of course participants with various backgrounds and a motivation to engage with the course, dedicate time and take an active part in the educational process through learning and sharing their thoughts, ideas and experiences; and to deliver a high-quality course.

The third goal of the project is to develop a strong alumni network of corruption fighters, who will continue their active work in their respective fields, and at the same time engage with periodic alumni activities, whether it will be attending an alumni gathering; organizing a joint research project; or exploring joint learning, or knowledge sharing opportunities.

Visit the library of the hub – here.

Learn more:

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