Local LEADERs Embrace Sustainable Development in Multi-Ethnic Tsalka Municipality
Geographic area: salka Municipality, Kvemo Kartli, Georgia
Implemented by: CENN
In Partnership with: GFA; IfLS
Donor: European Union
The project support the Georgian Government to reduce rural poverty and improve living conditions in Tsalka municipality, addressing economic, social, and environmental concerns by improving agricultural competitiveness, promoting sustainable management of natural resources, and building climate-resilient rural economies and communities. More precisely, the project has been providing the support to smallholders, entrepreneurs, women, youth and other local actors by improving access to knowledge and innovation, demonstrating value chain development, introducing best practices, creating public-private partnerships (PPPs) and business linkages, and generating new employment by utilising the development potential of the area. The project works intensively with youth, vulnerable groups and rural women, who have limited access to decision-making processes, employment, opportunities for personal development, mobility, and economic rights.
The main objective of the project is to improve social integration, access to basic social services and economic opportunities for vulnerable households in Tsalka municipality via participatory planning and implementing a rural development strategy. The project has four main outcomes: (i) Tsalka LAG is established with equal gender and youth participation; (ii) A gender and youth-sensitive LDS is developed and incorporates the specific needs of VGs; (iii) Employment and livelihood opportunities are created and the quality of life is improved; (iv) Socioeconomic integration of vulnerable households is improved by empowering women and youth.
Rural and Community -
led Local Development
With the framework of the project, a gender and youth-sensitive LDS is developed and incorporates the specific needs of VGs. Relevant state authorities approved the Tsalka LDS that attracts investment opportunities, thereby facilitating further social, cultural and economic integration and development. Development needs of Tsalka municipality were prioritized in the national agenda and programs. The Tsalka Local Development Strategy creates an environment for targeted rural investments and increased quality of life in the municipality through participatory planning;
The Tsalka Local Action Group (LAG) is established with equal gender and youth participation, represents VGs and is engaged in the rural development process following the participatory approach and LEADER principles; Local women, youth, and disadvantaged groups are active and engaged in the local rural development planning and implementation stages.
Tsalka LAG and local communities are empowered and engaged in local development; Partnerships are established with LAGs countrywide and in Europe.
Enabling business environment for an inclusive economy
With the support of the project, employment and livelihood opportunities is created and quality of life is improved, particularly, for the poor and marginalized population, through financing projects prioritized by the Tsalka LDS and building the capacity of local stakeholders; Youth migration is reduced. Social conditions and living standards are improved through increased income. In particular, a total of 53 projects were funded under the three grant rounds. Funded projects include the following areas: Agriculture projects (in total – 12); Tourism projects (in total – 17); Non-agricultural commercial projects (in total – 17); Educational projects (in total – 5) and Social projects (in total – 2). More than 150 new jobs have been created.