Social Good Summit 2016: Creating New Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Nino Devidze and Madona Polakashvili of the Union of Deaf of Georgia. Photo: UNDP
Photo: UNDP

We knew that Georgia faced a lot of problems related to the rights of people with disabilities. We did not realize how many people were ready to team up with us to resolve them.

When we made the integration of people with disabilities a theme of the Social Good Summit 2016, we expected to bring on board a reliable group of supporters, mainly from non-governmental organizations and human rights institutions.

Instead, we have triggered an impressive wave of public activism across the Georgian society.

Hundreds of people contacted us on social media offering their engagement and help.

Georgian businesses asked for the ideas to support.

Georgian Government Administration, Public Service Development Agency and its innovative service laboratory “ServiceLab”, Tbilisi City Hall and Patrol Police joined in as partners and participants.

Students, journalists, people with disabilities, entrepreneurs, civil servants and celebrities — all signed up to generate creative and realistic ideas.

Social Good Summit 2016 in Georgia - I Can, მე შემიძლია

“We have chosen a powerful slogan for this innovative workshop. “I Can” means that we all can change the world for better if we only have equal opportunities,” said Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia.

The innovative workshop I Can / მე შემიძლია focused on two specific issues related to integration of people with disabilities — accessible urban transport and deep-rooted social clichés.

“We are ready to take these innovative ideas on board and make them a reality,” said Natalia Jaliashvili, Head of the Human Rights Secretariat at the Administration of the Government of Georgia.

Up to twenty ideas came out as a result of the innovative workshop I Can / მე შემიძლია.

  • How to change social stereotypes about people with disabilities.
  • How to ensure that public transport provides services for those with mobility, vision or hearing impairments.
  • How to encourage public buildings and sites to get adapted to the needs of people with disabilities.
  • How to make Georgian cities open and full of light and opportunities for everyone.

This impressive idea box will be a source of inspiration and concrete initiatives for public-private partnerships and municipal development, as well as for many of the UNDP’s programmes in Georgia, including for the EU-funded Human Rights for All.

The Social Good Summit I Can / მე შემიძლია on September 30 — October 1, 2016, was organised by UNDP in Georgia, with support from the European Union and Government of Turkey, and in partnership with the Administration of the Government of Georgia and innovative service laboratory “ServiceLab” at the Public Service Development Agency of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.

October 2016

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