What is the “Academy of Participation” (AoP)?

The “Academy of Participation” (AoP) is a highly interactive and applicable learning cycle that brings together representatives of Local Authorities (LAs) and civil society to learn of different ways of community engagement in the inclusive decision-making processes at the local level.

Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia established the Academy of Participation” in 2019, within the framework of the “Support Democracy” project, co-financed by the Polish Development Cooperation Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The “Academy of Participation” (AoP) is a space:

    • Where active citizens, civil servants, representatives of municipalities and non-governmental organizations and all, interested in better-off communities, develop new skills;
    • Where all above-mentioned learn about public participation in the local decision-making process;
    • Where it is possible to build new habits, gain international experience and establish new contacts and networks;
    • Where everyone can acquire knowledge and accommodate new skills on active citizenship, having “a voice” in locally-important issues and take actions.

If  you are:

    • interested in community and public life, development of your municipality and engagement in the decision-making process at the local level;
    • committed to participating in community activities and want to strengthen your professional competencies;

Then, the “Academy of Participation” (AoP) is for you!

How does the “Academy of Participation” (AoP) work?


Admission process

The admission to the “Academy of Participation” (AoP) is organized annually and announced in the first quarter of a calendar year. The “Academy of Participation” (AoP) is open for all highly-motivated individuals.

Tbilisi-based table-top training

The Table-top training is a series of scenario-based workshops on different aspects of citizens’ engagement that take place annually in Tbilisi, in the second quarter of the calendar year. Participants discuss different ways of solving the locally-vibrant problems in a given local setting.

Field practice

The “Academy of Participation” (AoP) participants test different solutions and adapt processes to the local circumstances in the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia's supported municipalities. This lead to even more informed citizens, better-qualified local human resources, and inclusive better-off neighborhoods.

Pass the online test (1st part of the AoP examination)

The online test is organized to help the AoP participants understand to which extend the knowledge delivered in the course of the AoP has been absorbed and accommodated.

Submit the Participatory Idea for implementation (2nd part of the AoP examination)

The Participatory Ideas (PIs) are developed to help the AoP participants turn knowledge into practice. PIs do not happen by themselves nor by magic, and neither do they come from out of nowhere. PIs are born as a result of AoP participants’ interactions. They emerge from heated-up discussions among participants who exchange different points of view and listen to a constructive criticism that leads to the development.

Get a diploma

AoP participants, upon meeting the minimum learning objectives are awarded the AoP diploma. The diploma certifies a certain level of understanding citizen engagement mechanisms and local self-governance practices.

Implement your participatory idea

The most promising to make a difference, PIs are implemented by the authors and with Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia support. It is Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia goal to ensure that the beneficiaries of a project are equally involved in the implementation process.
Those who wish to learn how to transform their communities must fill out an application (Application form) to be considered in the recruitment process.
The recruitment process is inclusive and transparent. The applications are reviewed on-merit, and the final decision is made by the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia.
The applicants are notified by e-mail about the results.
Studying at the “Academy of Participation” (AoP) includes approx. 64 training hours in total, whereas practice constitutes not less than 20% of the curricula.
The table-top training consists of international expert-led workshops and seminars (54hrs). The field practice is supervised by local mentors and conducted within the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia partner municipalities (minimum of 11hrs).
Ambitious and determined participants have the opportunity to take part in professional study visits abroad.

Would you like  to learn more about the “Academy of Participation” (AoP)?

What you need to know to start your learning journey around the “Academy of Participation” (AoP)?

Why the “Academy of Participation” (AoP)?

  • You need a space to discuss engagement issues;
  • You will become more professional in the field of participation and receive a diploma upon meeting minimum learning objectives;
  • You will study and interact with peers in an informal settings;
  • Your education is provided by highly qualified experts;
  • You will expand your pool of professional contacts and make friends with like-minded individuals. 

Do you want to improve your competencies and practical skills in the field of participation?

If so, The “Academy of Participation” (AoP) is for you!

All those who are interested in active public life and developing their own community are invited to APPLY for the placement in the “Academy of Participation” (AoP).

Admission process

Admission Dates and Programs 

The admission to the “Academy of Participation” (AoP) is organized annually and announced in the first quarter of a calendar year. 

Prospective applicants, meeting the Minimum Entry Criteria can be enrolled in:

  • Beginners program (no previous experience in any of the participatory mechanism is required);
  • Advanced program (prior experience in some of the participatory mechanisms is required).

Minimum Entry Criteria: 

  • fluency in Georgian language;
  • availability and commitment  to participate in all sessions of the “Academy of Participation” (AoP).

How to apply?

How to apply – watch the video!

Applications should be made online via “Participatory Hub” platform https://participatoryhub.ge/. Applicants should contact Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia team for any technical questions about the application process. 

The “Academy of Participation” (AoP) graduates are happy to share their learning journey if you still hesitate whether to apply. In order to get in touch with them – select the graduate you want to connect with.

Assessment of applications

Applications are considered by the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia team of experts, who are responsible for decision-making. Applicants are expected to ensure that their application is complete before submitting it. 

Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia team of experts will consider application based on the following criteria:

  • motivation to take part in the “Academy of Participation” (AoP);
  • the expected impact on the local community;
  • the experience in the field of participation, inclusive decision-making at the local level, public and/or community activities for the benefit of the local community;
  • plans to incorporate participatory mechanisms in an individual career development plan.

Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia reserves the right to ask applicants to provide further information relating to any aspect of their application in order to make an informed decision. 

You are asked to contact the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia team about any circumstances when you need to make changes in your application.

Admission results

The results will be announced by the pre-defined date. Each applicant will receive an admission e-mail with a request to confirm its participation. The confirmation of participation will be followed by the series of instruction e-mails on:

  • travel cost reimbursement;
  • accommodation & lodging;
  • food & others.

What do I have to do to graduate?

The “Academy of Participation” (AoP) implies full involvement of a participant in the learning process, including mandatory field practice. 

In order to graduate from the “Academy of Participation” (AoP) you are obliged to meet all the minimum learning objectives as follows:

  1. In case of the Beginners Course , you MUST:
    • attend every single session of the AoP table-top training for beginners;
    • receive a result of a minimum of 50% for every homework;
    • fulfill a minimum of 10hrs of the field practice;
    • pass an online knowledge test;
    • develop and submit a Participatory Idea (PI).
  2. In case of the Advanced Course, you MUST:
    • select and attend a minimum of two (2) out of three (3) sessions of your interests available in the AoP for advanced practitioners;
    • take part in the field practice (the more active you are, the more skills you grow);
    • pass an online knowledge test with a result of a minimum of 65%;
    • evaluate the PIs of your younger fellows from the Beginner Course.

If you miss out any of the requirements listed above at the respective level, you still are encouraged to graduate and receive a diploma of the “Academy of Participation” (AoP), but only in the next edition of the AoP, upon completion of the missing learning objective.

How to graduate if I failed to meet any of the minimum learning objectives ?

If you failed to meet any of the minimum learning objectives, you MUST fulfil it again in the next edition of the AoP. For more details, please contact the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia team. 

Please, be informed that many of the participatory events and activities are open to a wider public. For more details, go to External Engagement Opportunities .

What opportunities does the graduation from “Academy of Participation” give me?

The “Academy of Participation” (AoP) learning cycle comprises of several stages, where participants:

  • acquire new information;
  • gain knowledge about the participatory mechanisms, such as: Participatory Budget, Local Initiative, Participatory Planning, Rural Support Program and others;
  • understand why, by whom, for whom and how the participatory mechanisms work;
  • grasp hand-on skills in implementing different participatory mechanisms.

Upon graduation: 

  • You will become more active citizen;
  • You will have even more opportunities to be involved in the decision-making process at the local level;
  • You will enhance knowledge and level-up your skills in community engagement and inclusive decision-making; 
  • You will be able to conduct training on participatory mechanisms, communication & facilitation, monitoring & evaluation;
  • You could become a mentor;
  • You could become a local expert in good governance & community engagement;
  • You will possibly be given the opportunity to be employed in the field of participation, upon professionalization of this sphere in Georgia.

How much should I pay for the “Academy of Participation” (AoP)? What other costs do I have to incur?

The “Academy of Participation” (AoP) is free of charge. Selected participants are not charged with tuition fee. All expenses related to the learning process (travel, accommodation, food etc.) are being covered by the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia.

Can I invite a friend to the “Academy of Participation” (AoP)?

Anyone wishing to study at the “Academy of Participation” (AoP), or a participant of the AoP can invite his/her friend or a relative having an interest in community engagement and inclusive decision-making. The friend or the relative has to, however, go through the admission process.

Did you get interested in?

Would you like to get even more information?

Contact the practitioner

  • Contact a practitioner or AoP graduate;
  • Get specific answers to your specific questions;
  • Get to know how participation changes the local environment in Georgia.

Application form

Familiarize yourself with the application form and sign up to be notified about the Open Call to the “Academy of Participation” (AoP).