Eurasia Foundation first began awarding grants in Georgia in 1993. The following year, in 1994, the Foundation opened a representative office in Tbilisi.
In 1998, the Foundation created the South Caucasus Cooperation Program (now the Cross-Border Program) to support increased cooperation between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
In 2003, the Caucasus Research Resource Centers was established in Georgia to provide social science scholars and policy practitioners the opportunity for research, training and collaboration.
As part of its drive to establish partner foundations throughout the region, Eurasia Foundation set up Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF), an independent organization with offices in each of the South Caucasus countries in 2007. EPF Georgia seeks to empower people to effect change for social justice and economic prosperity through hands-on programs, helping them to improve their communities and their own lives.
EPF’s most active programs in Georgia include:
- Corporate Social Investment, which engages private companies in addressing Georgia’s development needs. EPF and its partners have sought to introduce the concept of social enterprise among civic and business organizations to address some of the main issues facing Georgia today. In 2011, EPF provided technical assistance to 15 organizations, recognizing 4 organizations for social enterprise ideas that not only serve well-defined target groups, but also create models for replication.
- Eco-Awards Program, which promotes responsible use of natural resources. EPF, together with its sponsor BP, empowers local communities by increasing their ability to address local environmental problems through awareness campaigns, community mobilization, and promotion of sustainable economic activities. EPF Georgia has contributed more than $475,000 to 10 innovative projects promoting the responsible use of natural resources, while at the same time providing economic development opportunities to the local communities.
- Engage and Monitor for Change Program, which fosters the active and informed participation of Georgian community groups, community support organizations (CSOs) and media outlets in the political and economic decision-making in their regions by building capacity among civic groups, encouraging monitoring and evaluation of policy reforms and facilitating public discussions, debates and network building.
- European Employee Volunteering Awards – Georgia, which recognizes the companies across Georgia with the best employee volunteering initiatives that help those facing barriers to work increase their employability skills. EPF joined 23 European countries in implementing the European Employee Volunteering Awards program to raise the profile of volunteering, to increase the public’s awareness of its societal value and to promote 2011 as the European Year of Volunteering.
- Strengthening the Media’s Role as a Watchdog Institution in Georgia, a project, which aims to increase public access to high quality, professional and independent information. The project is funded by the European Union and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Youth Integration Program, which encourages people 16 to 21 years of age to increase opportunities for volunteerism and civic activism among their peers. Participants learn how to manage small pools of grant money, which are distributed to support small-scale youth-led development projects in their own communities.
- Caucasus Research Resource Centers-Georgia, a network of resources, research and training centers in the capital cities of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, which aims to strengthen social science research and public policy analysis in the South Caucasus.
- Engage and Monitor for Change Program awarded 22 grants worth more than $400,000 to local CSOs and their partner media outlets. The grants allowed more than 2,000 citizens, 23 prominent civic activists and 60 grassroots CSOs throughout Georgia to enhance their knowledge of modern methods of monitoring and advocacy and engage in efficient dialogue with decision-makers when advocating for their interests.
- The Eco-Awards Program facilitates market-oriented, participatory and sustainable tourism which reduces the negative impact of ghost fishing on the Black Sea eco-system.
- 12 Youth Banks were created throughout Georgia to reach undeserved populations. 107 young leaders received in depth training on how to manage small pools of grant money, and then funded 97 projects that allowed youth to lead small-scale efforts focused on local change. Based on the very positive feedback from the participants and the communities involved, this year, EPF plans to double the number of Youth Banks in Georgia with a continued focus on the most undeserved regions of the country.