Project Activities and Results
Rural populations in 7 partner countries; notably all the farmers, rural entrepreneurs and rural communities who are in direct contact with, or in membership of; CSOs, cooperatives, associations, sub-regional partnerships and LEADER-type groups, and regional agencies.
R1 Promoted the concepts of sustainable socio-economic rural development, social inclusion of rural communities, and active involvement of CSOs in the formulation and implementation of policies. R2 Enhanced the capacities of CSOs in advocacy of sustainable socio-economic development; in networking; and in cooperation with public authorities, in order to increase the level of CSO recognition and inclusion in decision-making processes and of creating an environment for CSOs to operate effectively. R3 Strengthened the managerial capacities and governance structures of CSOs and CSO Networks, and their ability to elaborate strategic long-term organisational plans, thus increasing their effectiveness, their ability to attract and handle diversified funds and their accountability to members and beneficiaries. R4 Advanced the level of CSOs’ involvement and citizens’ inclusion in all aspects of local governance, and promoted cooperation and partnership between different sectors and stakeholders in rural areas, based on the LEADER principles and concepts of Community Led Local Development. R5 Development of BRDN as a functional regional platform for cooperation of national networks in the Balkans. R6 Strengthened and extended networking, transnational cooperation, knowledge transfer, exchange of good practice between CSO’s and CSO Networks in the 7 partner countries, and between them and EU countries.
The main activities fall under three headings:
Capacity-building: 1) Capacity-building actions for CSOs and CSO networks related to advocacy and lobbying, research and analysis, with a focus on sustainable socio-economic development. 2) Capacity building actions for CSOs and CSO Networks related to internal governance, financial and project management, long-term planning and funding diversification. 3) An offer of capacity-building activity to public agencies which play a leading role in sustainable socio-economic development.
Advocacy: 1) Establishment of models of direct cooperation, advocacy and dialogue with government structures to provide recommendations and credible advice, thus influencing policy making and producing concrete change; 2) Establishment of dialogue and consultation platforms, and animation of the public debate on specific topics related to sustainable socio-economic development, in order to promote the interaction between CSOs and public authorities at all levels. 3) Raising public and governmental awareness of the importance of CSO involvement in and contribution to policy-making and decision-making processes.
Networking: 1) Development of formal and/or informal fora, networking structures and platforms to promote knowledge and skill-sharing among CSOs at all levels; 2) Improvement of regional networking among national RD networks; 3) Promotion of knowledge transfer, transnational cooperation, and exchange of good practice between CSO’s and CSO Networks in the applicant countries, and between them and countries with relevant experience within the EU. The project will ensure coverage of the activities in the media, through media visibility actions and with support from a specialized service provider.