EU/UNDP: Funding for Local Initiatives Discussed in Minsk

On April 24, Minsk hosted the first "round table" within the framework of the EU/UNDP project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus". Participants of the meeting – representatives of local authorities of Minsk region and the region's civil society organizations – reviewed case studies of international technical aid projects that were implemented in Belarus and discussed preparation for the 1st Contest of Local Initiatives. Clearing House consultants are currently providing support in preparing and filling in applications for the contest.

Andrey Pinigin, expert in the EU project "Capacity-Building Mechanism to Support  Implementation of Sectoral Programmes Within the Annual Action Plan for Belarus"

 

Funding for local initiatives within the EU/UNDP project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus" will amount to 3.2 million euros, including 1.23 million US dollars of funding allocated in the 1st Contest of Local Initiatives.

Andrey Pinigin, expert in the EU project "Capacity-Building Mechanism to Support Implementation of Sectoral Programmes Within the Annual Action Plan for Belarus" stressed during the event in Minsk that many current problems in the country are cross-sectoral, so it is important that methodology of territorially-oriented development should be incorporated in the work that local authorities do with the communities, business, etc.

Lyudmila Sokolovskaya

According to project coordinator Lyudmila Sokolovskaya, an important aspect of implementing the EU/UNDP project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus" is the partnership between authorities, non-profit organizations and business. She noted that applications submitted in partnership will get more evaluation points.

Implementing the EU/UNDP project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus" presupposes that local communities will play an important role and take part in resolving issues on local levels: in towns, villages, districts. A lot of emphasis will be put onto ensuring a participatory approach: involving local communities and all interested parties (authorities, communities, business) in discussions on local problems and their resolution.

Local community is a social group of people united by the common area of residence, interests and needs, who can be united to achieve common goals and resolve common problems.

 

Andrey Davydenko

"Some interesting initiatives are born in different structures, including authorities, but often it happens out of public view. However, when you ask people: "What is it that worries you with this or that issue?", we have a totally different response, and resolution of this issues clearly gets a different level of priority, so the capabilities of local communities increase because people feel "My actions can actually make a difference", - noted Andrey Davydenko, expert on territorial development when he presented the case study of cooperation between local authorities and the public in Braslav district of Vitebsk region in the course of international technical aid project implementation.

Territorially-oriented development (TOD) is a methodology of developing geographical territories that have a comprehensive problem/problems that are built on determining and analyzing specific features of the locality, as well as identifying priority problems in order to resolve them.

 

According to Elena Sushkevich, Deputy Head of Economics Committee of Minsk Regional Executive Committee, the authorities today are interested in ensuring that all territories are developing in harmony. As noted by Nataliya Efremenko, coordinator of the project on territorially-oriented development, local initiatives are currently running in the fields of farm tourism, organization of public services and amenities, education, healthcare, etc. The coordinators hope, however, that the sector of local initiatives will be expanded, partly through the application process for the 1st Contest of Local Initiatives.

Trainings to prepare applications for the 1st Contest of Local Initiatives have already been held in Brest, Vitesbsk, Gomel, Grodno and Mogilev regions. In Minsk region, study seminars will be held on May 6-7 in Vileyka and Berezino, and May 13-14 in Kletsk and Lyuban.

You can get a free consultation on preparing a project application within the "Clearing House" project. Book a consultation here.

See Photos.

ODB