On June 27, 2016, a meeting with participants of the EU/UNDP project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus" was organized within the framework of ODB Brussels programme "Clearing House".
The meeting was organized by request of an initiative group of territorially-oriented development in Brest region, one of the "pilot" regions of this EU/UNDP project. The event focused on identifying new opportunities to implement initiatives taking into account the needs of local communities. The meeting brought together representatives of Brest Regional Executive Committee and the United Nations Development Programme in Belarus.
Maxim Padbiarozkin, ODB Brussels programme "Clearing House"
Maxim Padbiarozkin, coordinator of the ODB Brussels programme "Clearing House", described priorities set by the European Commission in relation to implementation of international technical aid projects in Belarus, considerations that need to be taken into account when submitting project proposals, and information on opportunities to raise money for local development projects in Belarus, including through funds and crowdfunding platforms.
According to Alyona Budnik, regional coordinator of EU/UNDP project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus", five "pilot" districts - Brest, Kamyanets, Byaroza, Pruzhany and Lyahavichy - have already been selected in Brest region. Here, territorially-oriented development approaches will be implemented for the first time. This approach allows to plan for development of a certain territory in accordance with its specific features and needs of the local residents.
Territorially-Oriented Development (TOD) is a methodology of developing geographical territories with a comprehensive problem (problems), which involves identification and analysis of local specific features and problems for their subsequent resolution.
According to Alyona Budnik, regional coordinator of EU/UNDP project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus", local authorities in Brest region are motivated to develop contacts with local communities and willing to implement joint international projects that take into account issues that are highly relevant for residents. As for the TOD tool, it is being used here for the first time:
Alyona Budnik, regional coordinator of EU/UNDP project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus"
"Our project is based on territorially-oriented development, which is new for Belarus. We have seen many examples of successful European practices, when regions become more autonomous and more capable of solving their problems. The project precedes a legislation on indicative government-level planning, which will be aimed at planning "from the bottom up", because that is the most effective approach to social and economic planning in the world", says Alyona Budnik.
According to her, the "Clearing House" programme helps ensure stability for the initiative group of EU/UNDP project "Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus", teaches them to work with support of international and Belarusian organizations, broadens the outlook of project participants and motivates them to work further to promote local development.
Participants of the meeting in Brest have been introduced to the Logical Framework Approach in preparing applications for new international technical aid projects that take into account local community needs, and have learnt about the opportunities for international exchanges and professional education that can be found abroad.