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12.04.2017

Regional Civil Society Organisations Promoting Free Trade with EU

Overall, the project is a contribution to the acceleration of Georgia's European integration. The project aims at strengthening region-based civil society organizations (CSOs) along the implementation of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) - part of the Association Agreement of Georgia with the European Union, and along the implementation of the national policy on small and medium enterprises (SME).

 

Still, a very small number of Georgian companies (according to some surveys only 6%) trade with the EU under the DCFTA. Region-based SME and particularly rural entrepreneurs with limited access to expertize, finance and difficulties entering new markets have to eventually comply with DCFTA regulations. In this regard, regional CSOs can serve as effective vectors of democratic and socio economic development in the rural regions.

  
Thus, the project strives to the following outcomes:


1. Increased capacity of Local Action Groups (LAGs) and other CSOs to act as resource channels on relevant aspects of the DCFTA for micro- and small enterprises and agri-producers in their target areas.


2. Increased capacity of LAGs and other CSOs to facilitate engagement of rural population in their areas in policy dialogue. The project's target regions include Imereti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kakheti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Adjara and Kvemo-Kartli.


The outcomes will be achieved through the following activities:

 

•  Increasing the knowledge of 24 CSOs and LAG's in the targeted rural areas - on food safety and quality standards, technical aspects of agricultural standards, environmental protection, value chain development and energy efficiency.


• Enabling the targeted CSO and LAG's to develop skills of value chain research, analysis, gathering and disseminating the information about local products with export potential in the context of DCFTA.


• Supporting the targeted CSOs and LAG's to establish "DCFTA information and resource desks" and disseminate information to micro- and small businesses and agri producers in their area of operation about agriculture-relevant aspects of DCFTA, relevant government- or donor-led programs as well as various loan schemes matching their needs and capabilities.


• Improving the target CSOs' position to advocate and engage in the policy dialogue and linking with national-level CSO networks such as the Georgian Alliance on Agriculture and Rural Development (GAARD) enabling them to monitor the effects of DCFTA and SME policy on local producers and SMEs and contribute to formulation of policy recommendations.

 

• Enabling target CSOs and LAGs to organize public information sessions in their regions/municipalities with participation of government agency staff (e.g. National Food Agency, Entrepreneurship Development Agency, Innovations Agency, Information and Consultation Centers etc.) to maximize outreach and increase visibility.


• Utilize national-level advocacy efforts using the GAARD platform to engage with policy makers at the national level, bringing up concerns identified at local and regional levels.  


• Engage various stakeholders, as well as minorities, vulnerable groups in the project-specific activities and secure gender sensitive approach through the project lifecycle.

 

DonorEuropean Commission 
Partners
: Rural Communities Development Agency, PMC Research Center, Association Atinati 
Implementation Period
: 03/04/2017 - 02/10/2019 
Budget
: EUR 625,000

 

on. The project aims at strengthening region-based civil society organizations (CSOs) along the implementation of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) - part of the Association Agreement of Georgia with the European Union, and along the implementation of the national policy on small and medium enterprises (SME).

 

Still, a very small number of Georgian companies (according to some surveys only 6%) trade with the EU under the DCFTA. Region-based SME and particularly rural entrepreneurs with limited access to expertize, finance and difficulties entering new markets have to eventually comply with DCFTA regulations. In this regard, regional CSOs can serve as effective vectors of democratic and socio economic development in the rural regions.

  
Thus, the project strives to the following outcomes:


1. Increased capacity of Local Action Groups (LAGs) and other CSOs to act as resource channels on relevant aspects of the DCFTA for micro- and small enterprises and agri-producers in their target areas.


2. Increased capacity of LAGs and other CSOs to facilitate engagement of rural population in their areas in policy dialogue. The project's target regions include Imereti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kakheti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Adjara and Kvemo-Kartli.


The outcomes will be achieved through the following activities:

 

•  Increasing the knowledge of 24 CSOs and LAG's in the targeted rural areas - on food safety and quality standards, technical aspects of agricultural standards, environmental protection, value chain development and energy efficiency.


• Enabling the targeted CSO and LAG's to develop skills of value chain research, analysis, gathering and disseminating the information about local products with export potential in the context of DCFTA.


• Supporting the targeted CSOs and LAG's to establish "DCFTA information and resource desks" and disseminate information to micro- and small businesses and agri producers in their area of operation about agriculture-relevant aspects of DCFTA, relevant government- or donor-led programs as well as various loan schemes matching their needs and capabilities.


• Improving the target CSOs' position to advocate and engage in the policy dialogue and linking with national-level CSO networks such as the Georgian Alliance on Agriculture and Rural Development (GAARD) enabling them to monitor the effects of DCFTA and SME policy on local producers and SMEs and contribute to formulation of policy recommendations.

 

• Enabling target CSOs and LAGs to organize public information sessions in their regions/municipalities with participation of government agency staff (e.g. National Food Agency, Entrepreneurship Development Agency, Innovations Agency, Information and Consultation Centers etc.) to maximize outreach and increase visibility.


• Utilize national-level advocacy efforts using the GAARD platform to engage with policy makers at the national level, bringing up concerns identified at local and regional levels.  


• Engage various stakeholders, as well as minorities, vulnerable groups in the project-specific activities and secure gender sensitive approach through the project lifecycle.

 

DonorEuropean Commission 
Partners
: Rural Communities Development Agency, PMC Research Center, Association Atinati 
Implementation Period
: 03/04/2017 - 02/10/2019 
Budget
: EUR 625,000

 

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