Agenda: Building Capacity to Combat Disinformation in Republic of Georgia

2021年10月07

格鲁吉亚共和国是一个意识形态下的国家, 存在主义, and practical threat – a make-or-break chapter in a highly complex history of Russian efforts to influence and undermine its political and social destiny. Georgia’s accelerated efforts to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union have further exacerbated its strained relations with Moscow within the context of the growth of Western regional influence. 同时, Georgia is decades behind in digital strategies and tools to manage this information-based aggression and counter these destabilizing, 和反民主, 西方的影响.

The USAID Digital APEX Defense Against Social Media Attacks and Disinformation Campaigns program was initiated in Tbilisi in the second half of 2020年7月 as a complement to work already in progress through the International Republican Institute (IRI). 通过APEX项目, Agenda was contracted to provide specialized training to political parties in Georgia in the run-up to that country’s 2020年10月 general election. The objective was to build capacity within Georgian political parties in various aspects of communications, 包括虚假信息, 社交媒体的使用, 和危机管理. Despite the logistical challenges created by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, 推迟了乔治亚州APEX项目的启动, our team developed a series of remote and hybrid learning modules to ensure participation among eight opposition parties.

The Agenda training program was divided into two rounds each consisting of two modules. Round 1 consisted of identifying and countering disinformation and learning how to use our proprietary analytics dashboard. Round 2 consisted of understanding and navigating social media and the digital information space along with preparing for, 管理, 从危机中恢复. 所有第一轮和第二轮培训都是现场和亲自参加的, 除了仪表盘培训, 这是通过与美国的视频会议进行的.S.的专家.

Our strategy to deliver these trainings in a hastened hybrid format was largely successful. 在总, we trained 80 individuals from across eight participating parties on the essentials of each discipline, with follow-up online survey instruments delivered to each participant. 根据这些调查结果, there was strong validation on the effectiveness of the trainings and a clear indication that participants would welcome follow-up training opportunities. Seven of the eight parties subsequently won election to Parliament in the 2020年10月 elections and APEX considered the Georgia program a model performance.

在2020年的APEX计划的基础上, IRI awarded a contract to Agenda in May 2021 to support its USAID-funded Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening programme – the program our 2020 work was designed to complement. This new contract provide additional training in strategic and political communications to six Georgian political parties as they prepared to contest the October local government elections.

Planning and commencement of the contract were significantly delayed by the political crisis that had ensued following those earlier elections. We approached the project knowing that in the limited time we would be given by each of the parties, 12betapp必须首先评估他们的个人需求, 基于这些, 几乎立即提供培训和咨询. We therefore focused on weaknesses we could discern in each party and, 围绕这些具体的挑战缩小范围, we designed our training around issues and deficits that we found common among the parties.

12betapp在6月和7月进行了31天的工作, 在此期间,12betapp培训了63人, 主要来自双方的沟通团队. We conducted assessments of each party by observing IRI’s initial two-day workshops with each party, 然后安排12betapp自己的为期两天的研讨会.

12betapp在两个模块中交付了12betapp的车间. The first workshop focused on strategic and political communications, with an emphasis on the importance of a political strategy and on how to develop effective messaging; the second focused on better use of social media and the creation of key audience profiles. Each module included presentations, discussion, and exercises. We also provided brief recommendations on political strategy to each of the parties, which were designed to accommodate and support their electoral positioning and objectives.

没有例外, liaison officers from all the parties reported that the participants had found these exercises valuable and were highly appreciative of the trainers’ knowledge and expertise in general and the insights and recommendations they provided.

最终, Agenda is proud of our work with USAID and IRI and believes that these projects succeeded because we married our local expertise and engagement with innovative and actionable approaches that were culturally, 语言, 和地理位置有关.