Implementing the European Youth Work Agenda in Georgia

Promoting an active national youth work environment is at the core of youth work development in Georgia. Nino Mikhanashvili shared with us on the establishment of policy frameworks and the national Youth Work Convention in Georgia as two central pillars of the national process in Georgia.

The Situation of Youth Work in Georgia

Policy Frameworks

Before the 3rd European Youth Work Convention, in July 2020, the Parliament of Georgia adopted the new Georgian National Youth Policy Concept 2020–2030. The Policy Concept identifies five priority areas for Georgia’s youth policy between 2020 and 2030:

  • Active participation of young people in public life and democratic processes;
  • promoting youth development and realisation of their potential;
  • health and well-being of young people;
  • economic empowerment of young people and
  • improving the management of the national youth policy at the central and municipal levels.

One of the outcomes of the Policy Concept is the establishment of the ‘Youth Strategy 2023-2026’ and its’ one-year action plan, that was initiated by the Youth Agency, working under supervision of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth of Georgia. It is based on local needs as well as local and international best practice.

The Strategy aims to promote an active national youth work environment. Both the Policy Concept and the Strategy are examples of the Bonn Process priority area of ‘policy frameworks’ at national level being put into practice.

Professional Standards

In 2022 the Youth Agency developed the Professional Standards for Youth Workers and an educational course for youth workers. Both were submitted to the appropriate legislative body for review and are a step towards having youth work added to the national qualifications’ framework.

Youth work will officially be recognised as a profession in Georgia.

It also means that youth work will officially be recognised as a profession in Georgia. The youth workers educational course has seen sixty youth workers trained. Many of them are now employed by various actors in the youth sector, including the Youth Agency.

Municipal Youth Strategies

The Youth Agency has supported nineteen Municipalities in establishing their own local youth strategies. The strategies are based on a quality assurance mechanism developed by the Youth Agency and have been developed according to national level research and local needs.

The work for this was conducted by Youth Policy Coordinators who were trained in youth policy by the Youth Agency for this task. At present, the Youth Agency is working with a further fifteen Municipalities, strengthening their capacities for their local strategies.

Bonn Process implementation in Georgia

Following the 3rd European Youth Work Convention of 2020, the Youth Agency organised its own three-day Youth Work Convention in Georgia in 2021. They translated the resources from the European Youth Work Convention and invited all relevant youth work and connected stakeholders to discuss the eight priority areas of the Bonn Process.

Youth Work Convention in Georgia

Over 70 people from the community of practice took part.

The Georgia Convention explored actions that could be taken according to each Bonn Process priority area. It also looked at what could be upcoming strategies and youth policy development in relation to the priority areas.

A Common Direction for the Youth Work Community of Practice

With regards to the Bonn Process priority areas; ‘a common direction for the youth work community of practice’ is an area which youth work developments in Georgia are strongly linked to. The Youth Agency has assisted in the establishment of local Youth Councils and written guidelines for them to ensure a youth participatory approach.

This coordinated approach is important for youth work across the country to be moving in the same direction. The Youth Councils are a space where youth work practice can be explored and good practice shared.

Quality Development

They also established an Advisory Council on Youth to work with the Youth Agency. The Advisory Council has reviewed and revised a working code of conduct for youth work. This links to the Bonn Process priority area of “quality development”. This priority area calls for clearer structures for co-operation and co-creation within and between all levels of youth work, something this National Advisory Groups have already started to do.

Quality Labels of Youth Services will be developed in 2023.

The Youth Agency initiated working on development of Quality Labels of Youth Services and by the end of 2023, Georgia will have a quality assurance mechanism developed and established in Youth Field.

A Strategic Framework for Youth Work Development

In 2021, the Youth Agency implemented a National Youth Workers Award, this links to the Bonn Process priority area ‘a strategic framework for youth work development’. One part of this priority area talks about the development of frameworks for the youth work community of practice to do things for itself.

The establishment of the National Awards is an example of youth work recognising itself and showing appreciation for what is being done in the field at the grassroots level.

Youth Work in Georgia in 2025

The Bonn process will add more spark and opportunities for the international mobility of youth workers. In 2025, with the full realisation of the current potential and policies regarding youth work, Georgia will have an established and recognised youth work base and will be a strong force at the international level in the field of Youth.

Nino Mikhanashvili

Nino Mikhanashvili

Nino Mikhanashvili works as the International Coordination and Cooperation specialist at the Georgian Youth Agency in Tbilisi. She coordinates the national Bonn Process in Georgia.