Local Action Group Kazbegi

The project introduces the LEADER approach to Kazbegi district. LEADER ("Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale", meaning 'Links between the rural economy and development actions') is a local development method which allows local actors to develop an area by using its existing local development potential al development potential.
The LEADER approach has been an important component of EU Rural Development Policy for over 20 years. It is piloted for the first time ever in Georgia. PIN supports participatory mechanisms in local decision-making processes and the district's sustainable growth, as well as improve the quality of life of its residents. Built in follow-up surveys, close monitoring and evaluation will provide data and lessons learnt to facilitate LEADER implementation adapted to local context in other rural regions in Georgia, for an improved model of participatory decision-making process and a tool for sustainable rural development.
It is the basic principle of the LEADER approach that the action targets all types of local public, private and civic actors and individual inhabitants to create local partnerships and direct local resources towards more effective development. The active and committed representatives of Local Government, entrepreneurs, farmers, CSOs, citizens and other important local players, such as the Kazbegi National Park Administration, are all invited to participate in local strategy planning and become members of Local Action Group (LAG). 
Together, following on from regional research undertaken by the team, the LAG members formulate the Rural Development Strategy, with substantial input from other community members. Once the Strategy is developed, they solicit calls for proposals from residents and distribute small grants for projects in areas prioritized by the Strategy. The whole process is transparent and open to any Kazbegi resident.
The Action includes strong capacity building component for all target groups to enable a new methodology to be efficiently implemented, and to ensure sustainability of project outcomes. Based on experience from EU countries, which have long history of LEADER implementation, this approach ensures that active individuals are able to mobilise their social networks, the level of community participation increases overall and it helps economic development renewal.
The individual projects supported by small grants can become positive models to follow. The networking activities bring innovations to remote areas.

Donors: European Commission and Czech Development Agency
Partners: Czech National Network of Local Action Groups (NNLAG), Biological Farming Association Elkana  
Implementation Period: 01/07/2015 -01/11/2017