The messenger logo

Civil Society Organizations Advocate for Rural Development

Monday, December 11
Up to 300 representatives of the regional civil society organizations (CSOs) from 10 regions across Georgia attended the interactive training programme in Rural Development Advocacy, organized by the Civil Development Agency (CiDA), with assistance from the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the EU-funded ENPARD programme. One of the final events of this training campaign took place in Tbilisi on December 7 with 30 civil society activists taking part.

The intensive training programme covered every region of Georgia, aiming to empower civil society organizations to more actively advocate for rural development in their regions. The training participants were introduced to the European models of Rural Development and became more acquainted with advocacy tools. The training programme also focused on the impact of rural development on national policy-making, the role of civil society in this process, and to the practical benefits of rural development for now and in the future.

Civil society representatives from Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kakheti, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Guria, the Autonomous Republic of Ajara and Tbilisi engaged in networking and exchanged personal experience of rural development know-hows in their regions.

Some specific attention at the training was provided to the LEADER approach, the European model of rural development which offers space for people to involve in decision-making and provides effective tools for reducing urban-rural inequality and improving the quality of life in rural areas. With the support of the EU-funded ENPARD programme, LEADER has been already piloted in eight regions of Georgia.

The training participants agreed that LEADER is an effective mechanism that can benefit rural areas and expressed interest to learn more about the concrete results of its piloting in Georgia.

The European Union (EU) will continue supporting regional civil society organizations in their efforts to engage in rural development, take part in shaping rural development policies and promote government accountability.

The EU is supporting rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 102 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty.