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Review of Ethnic Azerbaijanians' needs in Sagarejo Municipality

The active work of the Social Justice Centre on non-dominant ethnic and religious minority groups' rights reveals that various groups in Georgia face problems related to political participation, access to vital resources, and social programs. According to the quantitative research conducted by the Institute of Social Studies and Analysis (ISSA) in 2021, ethnic minorities are 15% poorer, and the indicator of higher/technical education among minorities is approximately twice less.[1]

According to the same study, the % of people without complete general education among the ethnic Azerbaijani population of Kakheti is 54%. Preschool education is not accessible for 56% of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Kakheti.[2] It should also be noted that the needs of the ethnic Azerbaijani community in Kakheti remain out of the focus of not only the state but also out of the agenda of various civil and human rights institutions.

For a focused analysis of the needs of the Azerbaijani community in Kakheti, the Social Justice Center conducted a needs survey in villages inhabited by non-dominant ethnic groups: Kazlari, Lambalo, Keshalo, Mughanlo, Paldo and Duzagrami in Sagarejo Municipality. These villages are located in four administrative districts. However, the local population perceives them in one space and names them Garachopi (Iormughanlo) in the Azerbaijani language. One of the reasons can be that there is no physical or geographic dividing line between these villages, and it is even difficult for locals to draw a sharp line between villages.

A significant part of the population in these villages is engaged in agriculture, especially animal husbandry. In addition, an essential part of the rural population is involved in various types of small business and trade. The market is organized at the entrance of Iormughanlo, a necessary space for nearby Georgian villages. The hospital is also located in the village and opened several years ago with funding from residents. There are eight mosques in the village, of which 2 are Shia, and six belong to the Sunni school of Islam.

Despite the low rate of school graduation among Azerbaijanis living in the Kakheti region, since 2010, Iormughanlo youths get the best results every year within the framework of the 1+4 program of the unified national exams, which according to the locals, can be explained by the active work of local teachers.

The given needs assessment research examines the village's political, social, economic, and cultural challenges to demonstrate and advocate before local government authorities and central agencies. To build up a needs assessment map based on local knowledge and experience, the Social Justice Centre applied the following methodology for analysis.

  • Questionnaire to reveal the community problems.
  • KWHW[3] analyzing tool (what we know, what should be changed, how it should be changed, and who should change).

This method allows for systemically comprehending local needs with the direct participation of the local population. The questionnaire to reveal local problems aims to study and demonstrate the symptoms of problems in the specific village and its deep underpinnings and root causes. KWHW analysis tool is used to understand locals’ opinions during the problem examination process, how they perceive problem solutions, and who is responsible for that. 8 focus groups were conducted during the research process, in which 63 people participated, 26 women and 37 men. Population of different age groups participated in the focus groups, both young and elderly.

The Information is presented below as it was articulated and shared by the local community.


Footnote and Bibliography

[1] Piranishvili, T, Barbakadze Z, 2023, Social and Economic Exclusion of Ethnic minorities, available at: https://socialjustice.org.ge/en/products/etnikuri-umtsiresobebis-sotsialuri-da-ekonomikuri-ekskluzia  

[2] Ibid.

[3] Know, What, How, Who

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