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08-02-2013

Local Actors join for inclusive economic development and governance in the South Caucasus (JOIN)

Project title: Local Actors join for inclusive economic development and governance in the South Caucasus (JOIN)
Donor: CARE Österreich
Budget: EU 200 000
Project duration: 01/01/2012-01/12/2014
Project goal: Promoting an enabling environment for pro-poor socioeconomic development through participatory planning, improved cooperation and exchange of market relevant information among local governments, CSOs and the private sector.

Project beneficiaries: The final beneficiaries of the project are rural households with income below the poverty line (or at risk of falling below it).
Activities: 1: LG, CS and the private sector jointly plan and implement gender-sensitive local development plans for sustainable socioeconomic development
A.1.1. Support the establishment of inclusive Municipal Working Groups (MWGs), consisting of local government staff, CSO members and the private sector for the revision of local development plans on small-business/ local economic development;
A.1.2 Deliver five trainings for 5-7 Municipal Working Group members in each of the target municipalities to build capacity on gender-sensitive and participatory planning and budgeting methods;
A.1.3 Support Municipal Working Groups in analysing, adjusting and prioritising sustainable development plans for market development in agricultural value chains as well as their cross-municipal review;
A 1.4 Organise a small grants scheme to co-finance initiatives that strengthen agricultural value chains in target municipalities as well as across the border;
A 1.5 Market cost-advantaged input supply opportunities within the target municipalities to private sector enterprises
2: Sustainable BDICs provide market-relevant information and trainings to LG, CS and the private sector in support of strengthening local value chains (in selected fields such as agriculture)
A.2.1 Develop models for the establishment of business development and information centres (BDICs) in the target municipalities based on an analysis of locally existing initiatives and local needs;
A.2.2. Establish/strengthen BDICs for information to small scale farmers and local businesses in the agricultural sector;
A.2.3 BDICs organise introductory community event informing about their services;
A.2.4 BDICs organise trainings for their beneficiaries on identified themes (e.g. on business-plan writing, business regulations, etc.);
A.2.5 BDICs organise quarterly information meetings with local businesses and farmers;
A.2.6 BDICs organise cross-border trade events promoting links between small businesses.
3: Institutionalised coordination mechanisms between national and involved local stakeholders are established to effectively address local socioeconomic development needs
A.3.1 Organise regular (semi-annual) visits of representatives of the regional and central government to meet MWGs and discuss small-business development needs;
A.3.2 Organise a coordination forum for each Armenia and Georgia with donors, NGOs and private-sector enterprises operating nationally and across the border;
A.3.3 Final project conference with relevant stakeholders to discuss and disseminate lessons learned.