Modernizing Community Spaces to Expand Digital Access

In the last decade, Georgia has undertaken massive reforms, particularly in the areas of rule of law, accountability, and transparency. After signing onto the Open Government Partnership, the government of Georgia instituted a plan to ensure access to information for people living in rural areas. With more than 600 underutilized public libraries across the country, the Georgian government and Beyond Access are partnering to revitalize and modernize libraries to power Georgia’s economic and social development goals. Beyond Access Georgia works in public libraries to increase access to public services, ICT tools, and online government services.

As part of Georgia’s rapid transformation over the last decade, the government has increased the availability and accountability of government services. However, many people in rural parts of the country lack the skills and resources necessary to access these services. Because the use of information and communication technology (ICT) defines the success of Georgia’s reform attempts, it is critical that the government find a way to provide all people with the tools and support they need to improve their ICT literacy and access.
  • To boost civic engagement by fostering interaction between Georgians and the government
  • To bring the voices of the local population online
  • To maximize local access to information and services, giving Georgians access to community spaces and trained professionals who can help them gather information
  • To develop, from a local level, equal economic and social opportunity for all Georgians by giving them access to the skills they need to preserve their livelihoods

Librarian training and capacity building

Train librarians on technology skills, internet use, using local government resources, and how to transfer these skills to library users

Expanding government services

Equip rural libraries with public access computers and train people to access government services

Infrastructure and equipment

Provide 70 libraries with updated equipment and technology, including desktop computers, printers, and internet connectivity

Partnership development and advocacy

Develop and build upon local, regional, and national partnerships between libraries, individuals, government agencies, and public audiences