Fostering Regional and Local Development in Georgia

Project completed

The strengthening of local and regional governance Systems through capacity building, mobilization of local human resources and better coordination of public Investments is expected to improve inclusive development of rural regions of Georgia. This will contribute to the transition from the inherited highly centralized Soviet administration to a decentralized System and to reduce the significant economic divide between the urban and rural population.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
15.12.2012 - 15.12.2017
CHF  4’225’500

Since 2004, the Government of Georgia has introduced initiatives that contributed to establishment of a new system of local self–governance in the country. The highlights of these initiatives are: Law on Local Self-Governance endorsed in 2006 and the basic principles of decentralization announced by MRDI in 2012, which initiated a new wave of decentralization reforms.

Ambitious liberal market reforms have produced impressive economic growth rates and the GDP per capita doubled; and yet, the country is characterized by social and economic inequalities between the regions. There is also a significant divide between the urban and the rural population. The main causes of these differences are estimated to be a low diversification of the rural economy and a heavy reliance of employment on subsistence agriculture. On the other hand, the capacities of local self-governments are still low to exercise the functions which are assigned to them.

The new government which came to power in 2012 has exhibited its commitment to decentralization in order to enhance inclusive local and regional development. The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, which was established in 2009, announced basic principles of decentralization including increased engagement of civil population in decision-making and strengthening sub-national government institutions. The Government of Georgia through MRDI and in partnership with international donor community is in search for a future size municipal structures, as well as decentralization of competences and ownership of present state assets.


The overall objective of the project is to improve living standards of citizens through promoting decentralization, advancing sustainable and participatory local and regional development and strengthening capacities of local, regional and national institutions.

Target groups

Sub-national government institutions in the selected 4 regions, Parliamentary Committee on RPSG and MRDI are the target group of the project. The number of final beneficiaries of the regional and local components will amount to at least 150'000 persons, at least 40% of which will be female. The final beneficiaries of the project's nationwide components are approx. 3'325'000 persons (total population of all regions of Georgia, except Tbilisi).

Medium-term outcomes
  • Inclusive local development strategies at municipal and regional level implemented (in regions of Kvemo Kartli, Samegrelo, Zemo-Svaneti, Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti and Guna)
  • Nation-wide mechanism for continuous and systemic capacity development of regional and local authorities operational and co-funded by the State and municipal budgets
  • MRDI and Pariiamentary Committee on RPSG strengthened to facilitate decentralization reform

The project places an emphasis on developing the policy formulation and implementation capacities of MRDI and other national stakeholders for the regional and local governance reform.

The primary focus of the project is enhancing capacities of the local self-governments, regional administrations, regional development councils and representatives of public self-governance in villages, in order to enable them elaborate and implement regional and municipal development plans.

The project acknowledges the importance of the civil society organisations (CSOs) and think tanks in the decentralization process; therefore facilitates their active participation in monitoring of regional and municipal projects.

In response to the training needs of local and regional authorities, the project supports the Center for Effective Governance System and Territorial Administration Reform (CEGSTAR - Legal Entity of Public Law within the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure) in the establishment of the National Training System in close cooperation with national and sub-national institutions, training organisations and think tanks.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Development Programme

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’225’500 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    4’128’590
Project phases Phase 2 07.12.2017 - 31.03.2022   (Completed)

Phase 1 15.12.2012 - 15.12.2017   (Completed)