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Accelerating the Socioeconomic Reintegration of Internally Displaced People in Georgia

April 15, 2014


World Bank Group

This project targeted internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the conflicts in Georgia in the 1990s and in 2008. Through a community mobilization process to identify demand-driven community-based microprojects, the project increased opportunities for community participation for both women and men. Forty-seven microprojects were completed in 2009–12, reflecting community-identified development priorities and improved basic infrastructure and livelihood opportunities in the 40 targeted communities.

Challenge

Ethnic conflict in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions in the early 1990s and in 2008 caused waves of forced displacement, leaving approximately 270,000 IDPs in the country today. IDPs are generally socially and economically marginalized within the wider society. Moreover, they have worse living conditions and more limited income and livelihood opportunities than the nondisplaced.

Solution

By using a clear set of criteria and an accountable process for the selection of target communities, the project undertook extensive outreach and research to identify the most isolated and vulnerable IDP communities. The community mobilization method enabled IDPs in those communities to articulate a wide range of local development needs and come to a consensus on their local development priorities. Microprojects were implemented to fulfill those needs. The benefits of the demand-driven approach included: (i) flexibility toward a range of different needs in different communities, and (ii) strong community involvement in the microproject process.

Wherever possible, microproject benefits were extended to the local, nondisplaced population, ensuring inclusiveness of benefits to both groups. Residents in each community formed a Micro-Project Management Committee (MPMC) to act as a representative body to coordinate with the Project Management Unit (PMU), enabling IDPs to have a voice and a choice in the use of 


" It is very good that we have this playground here because it is safer, and because our children don’t have to cross the street and when you come out of your house, you see your children playing in front of the house. "

Andro Kasrasze

Karaleti resident

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In the settlement of Karaleti, IDP committees asked for government funding to construct a playground in their community so the area’s youth would no longer have to go long distances or cross dangerous streets to find one.

World Bank

Results

The project increased opportunities for participation in community development activities and access to basic infrastructure, services, employment, and livelihood opportunities, and also enhanced national capacity to provide support to IDPs.

Key results during 2009–12 included:

  • 180 community meetings were held over the two years of community mobilization in target communities. Out of 13,850 participants, 50 percent were women; out of 330 MPMC members, 40 percent were women.
  • 47 microprojects in 40 communities in eight regions were implemented, benefiting 5,500 households. The majority focused on basic infrastructure improvement (e.g., gasification, access to water, building rehabilitation, etc.); 25 percent were income-generating projects.
  • 13 trainings on topics related to (i) project management, (ii) international procurement, (iii) participatory rural appraisal; (iv) leadership and team building; (v) English; and (vi) accounting and taxation were conducted for regional and central government officials from the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodations and Refugees. In total, about 400 staff were trained.
  • 85 percent of beneficiaries stated that the microprojects had improved their living conditions, access to services and infrastructure, or livelihood opportunities.
  • Beneficiaries stated that 57 percent of the microprojects had fully achieved their expected results. 


" We are very satisfied, living conditions have been improved, there is no more rubbish in the yard and snakes have also disappeared. Children can play safely in the yard and it’s cleaner too, we are no longer afraid for them. "

A resident of the Samegrelo community

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In Georgia much has been achieved in improving the housing conditions for IDPs. The time is right to adopt a holistic approach so that housing support is complemented by improved livelihood opportunities.

World Bank

Bank Group Contribution

The project was financed through a US$2.2 million grant from the State and Peace-Building Fund (SPF) in 2009. The World Bank provided roughly US$130,000 from its budget to support project implementation.

Partners

The project was implemented by the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodations and Refugees. Local governments made in-kind and financial contributions to three microprojects. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) provided matched funding for the construction of agricultural storage facilities in three additional projects.


" Because the community members took part in the project design, all parts of the project were familiar for us. We participated in the implementation and were checking the quality of all materials. So the project was implemented transparently. "

Kvemo Kartli

Resident of the Shaumiani community

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Moving Forward

Since the closure of the project, the World Bank has strengthened its engagement on IDP livelihoods through a technical assistance report, “Supporting the Livelihoods of Internally Displaced Persons in Georgia: a Review of Current Practices and Lessons Learned,” which informed the content of a new IDP Livelihood Strategy approved by the Government of Georgia in February 2014. 


5,500 households
benefited from 47 microprojects in 40 communities in 8 regions of Georgia.


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