While there are differences between regions, most of the systematic regional disparities can be explained by differences in urbanization rates across the regions; namely, relatively more urbanized regions tend to have a higher per capita gross value added, a more diverse and sophisticated economic structure, and a better developed infrastructure. Regional disparities in Georgia, and in particular a perceived urban-rural divide, are to be addressed by the government through regional development strategies.
The Georgian government plans to elaborate such strategies by the end of 2013, however, little research exists that would allow to base them on factual evidence and sound economics. ISET-PI was commissioned by EU-financed Support to Regional Policy Implementation in Georgia to conduct a study that takes stock of the available spatially disaggregated data and attempts to answer questions about regional disparities across a broad range of social and economic dimensions. This study would also describe what data is needed to address those questions that currently cannot be answered, but that are of importance for evidence-based regional development strategies.