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On 30 January 2015, on air on Imedi TV, member of the Parliamentary Majority, Gigla Agulashvili, declared that according to the World Bank’s research, the effectiveness of the Georgian government was measured to be 62.5% which meant, therefore, that Georgia was a leader in the region and in a position ahead of 11 other European states.

FactCheck

took interest in Gigla Agulashvili’s statement and verified its accuracy.

The Worldwide Governance Indicator (

WGI) is one of the research activities of the World Bank which measures government effectiveness alongside other indicators. The World Bank has published this research annually since 1996 (the last research, based upon data collected in 2013, was published in 2014).

The World Bank assesses government effectiveness upon the basis of research published by 15 international organisations; namely: the Economist Intelligence Unit, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank and the World Economic Forum, among others. The World Bank uses the results of the publications and produces its own report which includes an assessment of the effectiveness of various governments.

According to Gigla Agulashvili, his statement was made upon the basis of Georgian news sources. However, instead of using the World Bank report, the aforementioned media outlets formulated their conclusions upon the basis of other research which was included in the World Bank report. The outlets provided World Bank data but their respective articles cite the research of the Economist Intelligence Unit and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, both of which are included in the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicator report.

We asked Gigla Agulashvili to clarify what he meant by "region" and "European countries" in terms of Georgia’s positions therein as it is possible to attribute different meanings and interpretations to these concepts. Mr Agulashvili asked that we consult the sources which he used to make his statement. According to those sources, the concept of "region" implies Georgia’s immediate neighbourhood whilst "European countries" are deemed to be the members of the European Union.

According to the World Bank report, the effectiveness of the Georgian government was measured to be 69.89% in 2012 and 69.38% in 2013. According to these indicators, Georgia is indeed ahead of its neighbouring countries.

Table 1: 

Effectiveness of the Georgian Government and the Governments of its Neighbouring Countries

Country

2012

2013

Georgia

69.89

69.38

Turkey

65.07

65.55

Armenia

54.55

57.89

Russia

40.67

43.06

Azerbaijan

23.92

38.76

 

In order to see the full picture, we analysed the government’s performance in terms of government effectiveness in the period of 2004-2013. Since 2004, the performance has been gradually improving with the only exception being in 2009 and 2010 which were years affected by the war with Russia in 2008 and the world financial crisis. Beginning from 2011-2012, the performance rate started to grow again and reached its climax of 69.9% in 2012. In 2013, which was mentioned in the MP’s statement, the rate dropped slightly (see Table 2).

Table 2: 

Effectiveness of the Georgian Government in 2004-2013

Year

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Percentage

36.59

39.51

50.24

56.31

65.53

62.20

64.11

69.19

69.89

69.38

We compared the rate of effectiveness of the Georgian government to the rates of EU member countries. According to the World Bank research of 2012-2013, the Georgian government in terms of its effectiveness is ahead of four EU member countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy.

  Table 3: Effectiveness of the Governments of EU Member Countries and Georgia

Country

2012

2013

Spain

82.3

82.78

Finland

100

100

 

Slovenia

80.86

78.95

Denmark

99.04

99.04

Estonia

77.99

78.47

Sweden

98.56

98.56

Latvia

74.64

76.08

Netherlands

96.65

96.65

Czech Republic

76.56

75.12

Luxembourg

94.74

94.26

Lithuania

74.16

73.68

Belgium

93.78

93.3

Slovakia

73.68

73.21

Austria

92.82

92.82

Poland

71.77

71.29

Germany

93.3

91.39

Croatia

72.25

70.81

UK

91.87

89.95

Hungary

70.81

70.33

France

87.56

89.47

Georgia

69.86

69.38

Ireland

92.34

89

Italy

66.03

67.46

Cyprus

88.04

88.52

Greece

62.2

66.99

Malta

85.65

86.6

Bulgaria

60.29

59.33

Portugal

81.34

85.65

Romania

43.54

52.63

Conclusion

The Georgian government’s effectiveness rate has been on the rise in the period of 2004-2013 with the only exception appearing in 2009 and 2010 as a result of the 2008 war with Russia and the world financial crisis. According to the World Bank’s research, the effectiveness of the Georgian government was measured to be 69.89% in 2012. In 2013, it dropped to 69.38%. Accordingly, in 2012-2013 the Georgian government was indeed a leader in the region. However, it must be noted that the rate of effectiveness of the governments of neighbouring countries increased whilst Georgia experienced a decline.

Gigla Agulashvili’s statement, with respect to the effectiveness of the Georgian government, is accurate but that result is largely based upon the previous government’s activities rather than the achievements of the incumbent government. As we have already mentioned, the effectiveness percentage was on the rise in the previous years whilst in 2013 (under the incumbent government) it did not improve and even dropped slightly. A good indicator of a government’s effectiveness is its moving forward and further improvement, especially as compared to other countries.

In regard to European Union member states, the Georgian government is ahead of four countries, and not 11 as stated by the MP, in terms of its rate of effectiveness.

Therefore, Gigla Agulashvili’s statement is HALF TRUE.