Strengthening Rural Development Models in Georgia (ENPARD II) Midterm Evaluation
Publication Date: 15/01/2019
Strengthening Rural Development Models in Georgia seeks to build on the success found by Mercy Corps, CARE and People in Need as they introduced the LEADER model for rural development to the municipalities of Borjomi, Lagodekhi and Kazbegi. In addition to continuing to implement this community-led local development approach, they were tasked with providing more national-level support for other Georgian LEADER implementations with the support of ELARD, a Europe-based not for profit organisation.
A series of interviews and focus groups held with beneficiaries, implementing agencies and other stakeholders provided a very positive picture of the impact being delivered by the LEADER model in these three municipalities, particularly in terms of increased engagement with local governance, community cohesion and economic participation.
Results further suggested that the growing presence LEADER in Georgia’s rural municipalities was positively moving Georgian rural governance in the direction envisioned by the Georgian Government and the Delegation of the European Union, that is, towards a state of alignment with the European Common Agricultural Policy.
The main difficulty identified is that Georgian Government policy looking forward appears to be wavering with regards to its commitment to the LEADER model, despite the levels of investment provided by the EU.