Georgia*
Voluntary National Review 2020

Georgia is committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and fulfilling the core pledge – “to leave no one behind”- that underpins the Agenda. The Government’s policies and priorities are well-aligned to the SDGs – making them a very solid basis of the country’s reform agenda. The level of integration of nationalized SDGs into Georgia’s development planning, in line with its EU integration aspirations, is very high - 36 sector strategies and the EU-Georgia Association Agreement jointly incorporate 96% of the country’s nationalized SDGs targets.

As Georgia presents its second VNR, it is important to mention that overall country has progressively advanced towards achieving the nationally set targets. Analysis of the review shows that Georgia has made significant progress - making itself well-on-track of the Agenda 2030 but also marking need for acceleration in some areas The VNR provides in-depth review of three priority areas (economic growth; human capital development and social welfare; governance). The report highlights main achievements, challenges, best-practices and identifies areas where further work is needed.

Notwithstanding several challenges and keeping in mind that 20% of the Georgian territory is under Russia’s occupation, the country managed to sustain the stable economic growth in 2019 with annual real GDP growth rate of 5.1% and over the past years has been shifted from lower middle to upper middle income countries by the World Bank classification. However, inclusive growth remains a major challenge for the Georgian economy. The Government has prioritized knowledge based and innovation driven economic development and actively supports increase of innovative activities of the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, including startups, and individuals and their participation in the digital economy. Over the past 5 years Georgia also took active steps towards responsible production and consumption. The country pursues reforms within all of its environmental sector policies – including water resource, forestry, air quality and waste management systems.

Quality of and accessibility to knowledge, education and healthcare and social services are key elements for sustainable development of the society. Georgia, in line with the pledge to “Leave No One Behind”, has introduced Universal Health Care (UNC) program enabling full access to healthcare services to each citizen. Education has been selected as one of the key priorities of the country’s development agenda. Georgia’s education system underwent considerable reforms in the education making it more accessible for everyone, updating and enhancing national curriculums, improving infrastructure of the education institutions, and popularizing vocational education to overcome skills and/or education mismatch problem on the Georgian labor market. In order to accelerate societal cohesion, the government has redesigned existing social programs – making them more effective and targeted. Overall, proportion of total government spending on essential services such as education, healthcare and social protection is increased.

Georgia has achieved the tangible progress in democratic governance by building effective, transparent, inclusive and accountable state institutions. It is committed to furthering public administration and open governance reforms, increasing transparency and accountability of state institutions. The country continues further development of its already robust public service delivery bringing innovation and technology for increased efficiency. Georgia has made significant progress in putting in place the legal framework to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non-discrimination on any possible ground. While streamlining the Georgian Government’s efforts in order to leave no one behind, people residing inside the Russia’s occupied regions of Georgia are deprived of benefits of development and continue to suffer from persistent violations of their fundamental rights, including rights to life, health and freedom of movement, the right to receive education in the native language, illegal detentions and kidnappings of the local population.

Despite significant progress challenges sill remain for which future steps are being designed and applied, as the country entered in to the Decade of Action. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that the ongoing pandemic, with its anticipated outcomes, in the long-term perspective will have a complex negative impact for the whole world. Addressing these lifetime challenges require more concerted, innovative, complex and resolute solutions by the strong leadership of the member states, development partners, international organizations and civil society. Georgia remains fully dedicated to this purpose.

Voluntary National Review 2016
Nationalization of the SDGs– the process so far

After the adoption of the post 2015 development agenda held in New-York in September of 2015, Government of Georgia took an initiative to contribute to sustainable development through volunteer efforts as a continuation to the Millennium Development Goals. The performance made through the implementation process of MDGs was a key driver and progress for Georgia’s development goals. Herewith the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union and implementation of Visa Liberalisation Action-Plan furthermore assissted country to perform and progress institutional and fundamental reforms. Still, much remains to be done and in the coming years the Government of Georgia will be focusing on sustainable development activities towards providing real opportunities and improving the living standards of its citizens.

Georgia has undertaken active measures to adjust SDG agenda and its targets to the national circumstances and to advance their implementation.

Institutional mechanism

Administration of Government of Georgia (AOG) established joint technical working group including experts from different line ministries and National Statistics Office to facilitate the landing of Sustainable Development Goals at the national level and discuss the process of nationalization. Reasonable efforts have been made to identify first order, direct goals and targets and map the linkages with Georgia’s policy and plans. The SDGs have been well fitted into the national policies and also are integrated in strategic umbrella document - Annual Governmental Work Plan (AGWP), other national, multi-sectorial strategies and action plans.

The localization of SDGs has been done according to the national context, challenges and opportunities. In 2015, Georgia prioritized set of 14 goals out of the total 17, as well as 88 global targets.

The adjusted version of goals and targets covers preferences of economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, climate change and environmental protection, inequality, energy and consumption.

Monitoring SDGs

With the support of the National Statistics Office of Georgia (hereinafter Geostat) a reliable information base has been analyzed to fix the baseline indicator to each target in order to see the right directions and a certain level of obvious progress in future. Geostat has worked with the line Ministries to collect the relevant data and analyze certain weaknesses of disaggregated statistics. In this regard early this year nearly 120 indicator has been identified as a baseline data. Though lack of the statistical data remains a challenge to set the quantitative and reliable indicators for this time being.

Government of Georgia intends to support local audiences in linking goals to their concerns and review progress in implementing the SDGs with engagement of private sector and NGOs. For this purposes in April, 2016 within the UNDP funded programme ‘Continuation of inclusive dialogue with regard to the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda’ introductory meetings were held in 5 regions of Georgia, with the aim to raise the awareness of local governments, private and civil sector on SDGs. The programme was implemented by Civil Development Agency (CIDA) and Administration of Government of Georgia.

Next steps

Georgia has already selected options for next activities to mainstream 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on a national level. Before HLPF GoG intends to set-up thematic working groups on Human Rights, Social Inclusion, Economic Growth and Environment Protection issues, with the aim to establish complementary national indicators and adapt global ones to suit the national priorities.The participation in groups will be broad and multi-stakeholder, with the composition of representatives from line Ministries, statistical office and Non-Governmental Sector.

Government will foster a dialogue to serve as a platform for the development of more comprehensive implementation and accountability mechanisms with crucial step in successful implementation - building public awareness and engaging local stakeholders. Administration of Government of Georgia plans thematic meetings with private sector to help them understand how they can leverage SDGs to drive good practices and growth opportunities.

Government will ensure that the statistical systems, capacities and methodologies are in place to track progress and ensure accountability, with the engagement of national stakeholders. As a next step, afore named thematic working groups will capture the specificities of the development needs to strengthen national statistical capacities & data collection. Due to the identified statistical gaps, supplementary sector researches will be organised and conducted, though this process will face difficulties in terms of additional financial resources. Efforts should continue to upgrade the Georgian statistics system which will allow closer monitoring for the attainment of the goals enunciated in the Agenda and, hence, to create a more refined system of reporting. Government of Georgia will continue review of existing cross-sectoral policy to identify areas for change vis-à-vis the Agenda 2030.
Focal point
SDGs National Council Secretariat
Administration of the Government of Georgia
sdgcouncil@gov.ge
7, Ingorokva str.
0114, Tbilisi
Georgia

Documents & Reports

National reviews
Report Topics covered Process
Georgia National Review 2016

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Georgia* is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
United Nations