Tbilisi, April 2017

Newsletter N2
April, 2017
In early 2017, Valerian Gunia Union of Young Theatre Artists (YTA Union) began the implementation of the project entitled “Development of Pilot Scheme for Monitoring the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” which was funded within the framework of the UNESCO Participation Programme.
The aforementioned Convention which was signed in Paris in 2005 and which was joined by Georgia in 2008, is the main international document on the protection of the diversity of cultural expressions. Every four years, parties to the Convention prepare a report on the fulfilment of the undertaken obligations. The goal of YTA Union’s project is to start the work on the creation of the Paris Convention implementation monitoring scheme.
After preparatory work, in April 2017, two working meetings were held within the framework of the project.
The working meeting topics were:
•    Results of the comparative analysis of the UNESCO methodological documents and the 2016 Georgian National Report conducted by the project team;
•    Baseline indicators and indicators of implementation of specific tasks corresponding to the articles of the Convention;
•    Identifying and locating the documents to be studied in accordance with the topics (“Cultural Policy” (Goal 1.1); “Gender Equality” (Goal 4.1)).
Representatives of the project working team participated in the meeting.
Three models of monitoring were discussed:
1.    Based on the structure of the Convention and the principle of selecting specific articles;
2.    Based on UNESCO documents “RE | SHAPING CULTURAL POLICIES – A Decade Promoting the Diversity of Cultural Expressions for Diversity”, 2005 Convention, Global Report 2015.
3.    Based on the merged version of the aforementioned models.

In April 2017, two topics of the main spheres of monitoring were processed: “Cultural Policy” (Goal 1.1); “Gender Equality” (Goal 4.1).
The following problems have been identified: the absence of programmes protecting the diversity of cultural expressions in gender context; the problem of attribution of titles (correlation of titles and essence) in projects and events identified as gender-related when creating documents reflecting state activities; problem of access to information due to the confusion of terms, especially in the regions.
A discussion was held regarding the state programmes that are in place in Georgia, the implementation and planning of events as well as their monitoring. Remarks and recommendations were made.

Tbilisi, March 2017

Newsletter N1
March, 2017
The newsletter is sent to correspondents, friends, colleagues, project participants and beneficiaries of the Diversified Georgia

On  March2, 2017, the first working meeting within the Project of Development of “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” Implementation Monitoring Pilot Scheme was held in Tbilisi.
The working meetings topics:
•    Methodology – ranking primary documents (the Convention, UNESCO methodological documents, study Georgiandocuments)
•    Work Plan – Terms and interim reports
•    Job descriptions for the working group, as well as for participants from the regions
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Tbilisi and regional working groups, culture and art experts.
Project presentation was made by Nino Gunia-Kuznetsova.
The methodology of searching the information base for the Convention implementationmonitoring was discussed,  in particular, the issues of development of questionnaires, in-depth interviews and desk research.
The items on the agenda included the scope of coverageof the  research was as well as the government’s attitude and existing problems.
The discussion involved all the participants.

On March7, 2017,the  meeting of the Tbilisi working group was held.
Discussed:
•    Agreement with the methodology donor and the scheme of regular reporting to the donor;
•    A work scheduleof acquainting the group regional representatives with the methodology;
•    The principle of selection of study documents;
•    The design of the monitoring  final document.
Developed:
•    Internal work plan
•    References
•    The donor reporting dates
Comments and recommendationswere expressed, in particular, on the unequal access to the documents covering the governmental, non-governmental and private sector activities in terms of the protection of the diversity of cultural expressions, in Tbilisi and regions.
The  discussionwas held on the applicable state regulations, support programs, activitiesplanning and implementation as well as existing and possible forms of theirmonitoring.
As a result of the discussion,the most problematic – the media and gender issues of the Convention implementation,were identified. The civic awareness and activism/involvement gaps were also referred to.
The issue on the effectiveness of the interministerial cooperation was raised and the discussion on the ways of monitoring scheme development was discussed.

Memorandum of Understanding

Yta Unionbetween the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and non-governmental organizations which, in accordance with their mission and goals, are participants in the implementation of the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia which ensures the elaboration and implementation of the state policy in the cultural sphere, of the one part, and the non-governmental organizations which, in accordance with their mission and goals, are participants in the implementation of the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, of the other part,
attributing special importance to the establishment and development of cooperation between the Ministry and the non-governmental organizations in the cultural sphere;
recognizing each party’s interest to promote the development of cooperation in the cultural sphere;
recognizing the principles of equality and mutual respect,
agree on the following:
The parties will cooperate to implement the goals of the Convention in the spheres of establishing close cooperation between the state and the civil sector, introducing and promoting the values of the Convention, developing the tools of implementation, monitoring and quality assurance;
In the course of the upcoming four years, the civil sector will encourage a cooperative approach and expert participation in defining cultural policy;
The Memorandum will remain in force for four years. Each party can unilaterally terminate its participation in the Memorandum by notifying other parties in writing 15 days prior to termination;
The Memorandum can be amended in any manner upon written agreement of the parties, the amendments shall come into effect upon signature;
The Memorandum shall come into effect upon signature;
The Memorandum has been negotiated and signed in Georgian.

The Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia – Deputy Minister Levan Kharatishvili
Valerian Gunia Union of Young Theatre Artists (YTA Union) – Nino Gunia-Kuznetsova
Europe House Georgia – Maia Nikolaishvili
Culture and Management Lab – Tamar Janashia
Active for Culture – Giorgi Spanderashvili
Cinema Art Center “Prometheus” – Gaga Chkheidze
ICOM Georgia National Committee – Inga Karaia
Georgian Arts & Culture Centre – Maka Dvalishvili
Institute of Reading Development – Mamuka Khantadze
Mercury Association (Samegrelo Gender Network) – Nana Todua
Telavi Center for Civic Engagement, East-West Management Institute
Civil Society Development and Civic Engagement Project – Maia Purtskhvanidze
Akhaltsikhe Center for Civic Engagement, East-West Management Institute
Civil Society Development and Civic Engagement Project – Mzia Tamarashvili
Clear Ideas – Levan Geliashvili
Georgian Chorus Society Regional Branch of Ajara – Salome Tsetskhladze
For Rights and Education – Ketevan Berdzenishvili
International Foundation “Lea” – Marine Solomonishvili
Multinational Georgia Newspaper – Mikheil Aidinov

23 December, Tbilisi – Project Presentation and Memorandum Signing Ceremony

Valerian Gunia Union of Young Theatre Artists (YTA Union), in cooperation with Europe House, with financial support from the UNESCO 2014-2015 Participation Programme, implemented the project entitled “Diverse Georgia – Civil Society Platform for Cultural Diversity. Elaboration of a Package of the Non-Governmental Sector Recommendations Concerning the Implementation of the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.”

The project contributed to the promotion of UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005) and disseminated information about the obligations and responsibilities that Georgia undertook by ratifying it.
Between April and October, 11 interdisciplinary meetings were held within the framework of the project (including round tables and focus groups), five of these meetings were held in Tbilisi (Europe House) and six – in the regions (Telavi, Kutaisi, Akhaltsikhe, Batumi, Zugdidi and Poti).
Culturological and sociological research was conducted, focusing on identifying the needs of cultural policy in the context of the Convention implementation and elaborating a package of relevant, concrete and feasible recommendations.

As a result of meetings and discussions, recommendations and a database were developed to contribute to the implementation of the Convention. The document with the recommendations was sent to the relevant institutions within the legislative and executive branch as well as to the non-governmental organizations.
The package of recommendations is an important contribution of the non-governmental organizations working in cultural sphere to the report that Georgia is required to submit to UNESCO in 2006; it is also important for the cultural strategy “Culture 2025” which is being developed by the Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and for understanding and implementing the culture segment of the Association Agreement.

To ensure the implementation of the recommendations and successful cooperation in the future, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and a group of non-governmental organizations.
The project presentation and the ceremony of signing the Memorandum took place at 18.00 on 23 December at Europe House.