The Synergy Network Georgia

synergy 1 Image credit: Synergy

The Synergy Network in a network of 19 nongovernmental organisations working on issues concerning internally displaced persons. The majority of its members are organisations established and run by people displaced from Abkhazia. The network was founded in 2001 with assistance from Conciliation Resources. It is transparent and open to cooperating with anyone who shares its main principles, that:

  • There is no alternative to the peaceful resolution of the conflicts;
  • The civic interests of displaced persons must be protected and their full integration into society supported.
Proceeding from these principles, the network seeks to encourage the participation of internally displaced persons in the country's public and political life, and promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts and peace initiatives.

synergy 2 Image credit: Synergy

Activities

To achieve these goals, the individual organisations involved in the network work in various directions:

  • Elaborating visions, recommendations, and appeals for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, disseminating them in society and presenting them to the authorities and political parties;
  • Ensuring the involvement of displaced persons in discussions about the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and its peaceful resolution processes and increasing their influence therein;
  • Teaching displaced persons different forms of public activism and ways and methods to protect their civic interests;
  • Lobbying the interests of displaced persons in government structures; fostering dialogue and bilateral cooperation between displaced persons and the government;
  • Holding network-wide meetings and exchanging information about the existing socio-political situation in the capital and the regions and elaborating a relevant strategy;
  • Organising training workshops and seminars for young people, war veterans and women;
  • The network is involved in the process of implementing the action plan of the state strategy for the resettlement of displaced persons, actively lobbying for IDP interests, and helping them with concrete projects in a whole range of social and other problems.
The Synergy network and the Institute for the Study of Nationalism and Conflicts (ISNC) with the financial assistance of the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has elaborated and published two research reports:
  • On the accessibility of education in Georgia for the population along the Dividing Line and in the Occupied Territories (South Ossetia and Abkhazia) - “Education along the Diving Line
  • On political and social participation of IDPs – “Seeking Solutions
From 2010 to 2014 the Synergy Network has published a monthly supplement in the national newspaper Rezonansi.

Synergy Network members frequently organise and/or participate in radio shows and TV debates which has helped to challenge the stereotypical image of displaced persons as passive victims of war.

Last updated: October 2015