September 27, 2021 – Tbilisi - Eight civil society organizations joined forces to establish the Information Integrity Coalition, a new group devoted to building Georgian society's resilience against disinformation. The Information Integrity Coalition was established with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Georgia Information Integrity Program.
Disinformation and anti-Western propaganda cause significant damage to Georgia's national interests. In the face of these threats, it is necessary to develop a unified and agreed approach of society, ensuring citizens' access to reliable information and protecting them from harmful disinformation. Accordingly, in the fight against disinformation and propaganda, the Coalition is ready to work with all stakeholders who share democratic values, including the private or non-governmental sector, the media, ordinary citizens, political parties and the government.
According to the USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler the launch of the Information Integrity Coalition is a strong example of ‘whole of society’ approach. Established with USAID support, the Coalition includes eight leading civil society organizations who form an alliance to create effective tools for mapping, monitoring, and countering disinformation.
"Disinformation can disrupt or slow Georgia’s democratic development and Euro-Atlantic integration. All sectors of society need to work together to counter it – government, media, the private sector, and civil society. USAID is supporting Georgia to develop a ‘whole of society’ approach to build resilience against all kinds of disinformation, including by empowering civil society to jointly develop innovative, proactive, and effective solutions for protecting the information sphere,” said USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler.
In addition to developing long-term tools for protecting the information space, the Coalition will address disinformation targeting specific events, including Georgia’s upcoming municipal elections. According to the founders of the Coalition, they will jointly respond to malicious internal and external actors that try to sow discord and division in the society using disinformation.
About the Information Integrity Coalition
The eight member organizations include Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Georgia's Reforms Associates (GRASS), iFact, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR Georgia), International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Media Development Foundation (MDF), Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI).
About USAID in Georgia: As the leading development agency of the U.S. Government, USAID supports Georgia to build the capacity to plan, finance, and implement its own solutions to development challenges. USAID has worked in Georgia since 1992, supporting the country’s transformation into a democracy that is increasingly integrated into Western political, security, and economic institutions. More than 35 USAID programs strengthen Georgia's resilience to malign influence, consolidate democratic gains through enhanced citizen responsive governance, and enable high-value employment through increased economic growth. For more information, please visit: https://www.usaid.gov/georgia.