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Public Policy and Administration


Morris Bidjerano


After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the post-Soviet transformation process influenced the establishment of democratic institutions in the country of Georgia. Scholars and analysts from international organizations have revealed a gap in the development of the central and regional civil society organizations in Georgia. Using Morgan's organizational metaphors framework as a guide, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the nature, culture, and structure of regional nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Georgia. Research questions focused on the influence of the post-Soviet transformation on the development of Georgia's regional NGO sector and its perceived capacity as a democratic institution. Data were gathered through interviews with 9 stakeholders from 3 regional NGOs, observations of the organizations' daily operations, and review of publicly available documents and organizational records. The data were analyzed thematically, using structural and pattern coding. The analysis revealed that regional NGOs in Georgia are strong leader-driven, family style organizations and limited in their financial and organizational capacities. The insufficient intersectoral collaboration with local government and businesses has kept regional NGOs fully dependent on small grants provided by international donor organizations and large NGOs from the capital city, Tbilisi. That dependence has restricted local NGOs' ability to initiate programs based on the identified needs and demands of the local communities. The results of this study increase the knowledge of civil society organizations outside Tbilisi and offer recommendations for enhancing the organizational capacity of regional NGOs, leading to rapid democratization processes and positive social change in Georgia.