The Swedish development organization WeEffect through the project “Institutional Support of RDN and Its Members” builds the RDN capacity and its rural members, women and men, to be an important contributor to democratic processes of participatory-oriented governance, civic engagement and adaptation to EU integration challenges.
- Strengthened organizational and managerial capacities of RDN and its member organizations
The project will first map the needs of the RDN and its member organizations. For that purpose RDN will organize two Problems and Solutions workshops, where RDN member organizations will have an opportunity to identify needs for strengthening of their capacities. The subsequent components of the project will strengthen RDN institutional capacities and its member organizations, direct them towards development priorities in their areas and empower them to generate change. Special focus will be dedicated to strengthen the foundations of the member organizations that rely on good governance principles of transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and on sound internal management system. Simultaneously, a series of activities will be carried out with the aim of improving the local environment where rural CSOs operate and the cooperation with regional and local authorities as well as with other stakeholders. RDN will introduce new methods to enhance cooperation between the RDN members such as: LEADER approach, Short Supply Chain and Study Circles. The member organizations will be supported to build on to the innovative EU LEADER approach and encourage them to become part of Local Action Groups, an initiative that will create sustainable rural partnerships in match with EU accession criteria. This will increase the participation of RDN members in decision making processes and boost their local activities. They will be involved in development of local rural strategies and programs stimulating the processes of participative democracy for initiating dialogue between all local stakeholders.
The short food chain shall play an important role, not only for producers and consumers, but will also affect public interests. Indeed, the short supply chain (as legally defined by EU reg. 1305/13) is in accordance with the goals of “sustainable agriculture”, through reduction of the costs of transport and consequently of CO2 emissions, promotion of biodiversity (i.e. products recognized as “local” by consumers), and implementation of periurban agriculture. Therefore, the short supply chain has a positive effect on public goods, with overt environmental benefits, when compared to the long supply chain. Furthermore, as for as the markets, legal instruments implementing the direct sale of local products responds to the consumers demand for “green” production. In line with the approximation of Macedonian national agriculture and rural development policy to the CAP, MAFWE through the Technical measure will support promotion of Short Supply Chain. Supporting this process of the approximation, RDN through this project will promote Short Supply Chain.
Through development of Short Supply Chain RDN will support its member organizations in capacity building for successful marketing and sales of farm products and other non – agricultural products and services. The Short Supply Chain includes cooperation among small rural women entrepreneurs dealing with agricultural production but also handcrafts, tourism and other non-agricultural producers and service providers.
As a new method for networking and cooperation RDN will promote Study Circle method among its member organizations. Study circle groups will be established and during a certain time period repeatedly will meet and carry out planned studies under the leadership of an accepted leader. In the study circle, work will be built around the participants’ search for knowledge according to their own needs and interests. The work of the study circle will be based on the concept of equality among the participants. Democracy and democratic principles are essential for the work of the study circle. It will be a spirit of informality in a study circle. Each study circle group will nominate Study Circle Leader who is one of the members in the group and accepted by all participants. The study circle leader’s work is to develop and create learning process, inspire dialogue – an exchange of views and information in a relaxed manner.
RDN will organize Sub-granting scheme aiming to raise and strengthen capacities of RDN member organizations related to project management practices. The Sub-granting scheme will introduce standardized and systematized procedure as a support in preparing and implementation of small projects according to the project cycle methodology. The scope of the projects will be in line with RDN Strategy and RDN thematic groups: Competitive rural areas, Green Economy, Social inclusion and LEADER/CLLD.
The project will be also focused on improving of rural women’s contribution to rural development in order to empower and position women as important and equal economic actor at the farm level, business and rural development. The aim of RDN will be to create awareness regarding the important role of rural women in decision making and strengthening negotiating power of women in the rural society.
The RDN through the project will work closely with the rural women organizations who are members of RDN and will also support establishment of linkages with National Federation of Farmers in supporting and empowering rural women to address the issue of gender equality in the rural areas of Macedonia.
Through the project RDN and its members will strengthen their capacities to be proactively involved in alignment of policies on local and national level with the EU integration processes of Macedonia. Throughout the project RDN and its members will go through a series of training on advocacy and lobbing, and the gained knowledge will use for preparation of policy briefs which will address issues regards local and national policies and give solutions for alignment with the EU integration processes.