New project in the Georgian Parliament

Between May and November 2016 CESS will be conducting a new project in the Georgian Parliament, called "Conducting Effective Research and Improving Communication of the Research Department". This project is generously funded by the Netherlands Embassy in Tbilisi and it is the third project in a row (since 2013) which CESS is implementing in the Georgian Parliament. The aim of this project is to improve the image and functioning of the Research Department within the Parliament as a provider of neutral and balanced information, analysis and recommendations. 

In Georgia, parliamentarians have the Research Department (RD) to their disposal. During several meetings with representatives of the RD in 2015, CESS identified a number of problems which hamper the functioning of the department as the provider of balanced analysis and recommendations. The proposed project will try to address the identified problems in various degrees.

First, the research skills and the quality of the output of the staffers need improvement. They lack knowledge of where to find information, what are professional databases, and how to write reports and recommendations in a neutral and nonpartisan manner. Second, and closely related to the first issue, the department avoids making recommendations in its reports. This undermines its influence and usefulness as an institution. Third, the task division and duties of the RD are unclear. They have no clear guidelines for their work. Fourth, the communication between the various parliamentary committees and research staffers is limited and insufficient. 

In order for the RD in Georgia to be successful it needs to understand which products and services are valuable to parliamentarians. A research service that can explain how it shapes its activities to respond to the needs of parliamentarians is better positioned to demonstrate its relevance. The proposed project will engage the trainees in understanding and formulating their mandate and enable them to discuss this with their clients in order to come to a common understanding on the (usefulness of) the products and services the RD could and should provide.   

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