Misinformation and Propaganda Awareness among Georgian Civil Servants. 2023

Misinformation and Propaganda Awareness among Georgian Civil Servants. 2023

January 23, 2024

The research analyses the resilience of Georgia's civil servants in the face of misinformation and propaganda by evaluating their attitudes, knowledge, and experience in identifying and responding to misinformation and critically assessing the information they receive from various sources.

The research methodology encompasses desk research, along with qualitative and quantitative analysis. The qualitative findings are derived from 26 in-depth interviews conducted across various central-level and local self-government agencies. The quantitative data is sourced from a comprehensive online survey, featuring responses from 1,339 civil servants.

The research was commissioned by Georgia's Civil Service Bureau and carried out by a team of local experts. 

It was implemented with assistance from UNDP and UK aid from the UK Government as part of the broader support for Public Administration Reform in Georgia.

Key Findings:
  • 96% of civil servants are aware of misinformation and propaganda, considering them a significant threat to national interests.
  • Only 38% say that they can easily identify misinformation.
  • Internet (82%) and televisions (70%) are named among the main sources of information.
  • Self-gathered information (65%), personal experience (61%), and information shared by others (34%) are regarded as the most reliable information sources.
  • 82% say they never had training about disinformation. 
  • Most respondents lack specialized knowledge and experience in critically assessing information and encounter that as a challenge.
  • Civil servants often resort to individually applied methods to check if a concrete fact is disinformation based on practical experience, which they consider less accurate and trustworthy.