Moldova and FAO initiate support to integrated community development

Three villages from Moldova will develop and implement local rural development plans as an outcome of a FAO funded and implemented project aiming to develop capacities on rural development policy preparation and implementation at national level and to develop capacities on supporting integrated community development at local level.

FAO teamed together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MARDE), the implementing local agency for rural development ACSA to organize the pre-selection and the final selection of local communities. Selection criteria included among others a strong interest and readiness from the local public administration to adopt a participatory approach, high interest in community traditions and cultural/historic heritage.

The local communities from Moldova that have been selected are: Lalova (Rezina), Meleseni (Calarasi), Tescureni (Ungheni).

The main objective is to demonstrate how the implementation of the community development planning process works in practice starting from defining the needs and constraints of the community through their active involvement with the preparation of the Community Development Plans (CDPs). Following that the project also aims at supporting the implementation of the CDPs through small-scale investment projects and facilitation of access to external national and donor funds.

“This whole process aims to simulate, on a limited scale, a participatory local rural development programming process, and to test how local communities are ready to be mobilized and absorb the funding. This will also build the capacity of local administration at community and rayon level, including extension service for scaling-up future rural development funding.” stated Morten Hartvigsen, FAO Regional Initiative Delivery Manager.

The implemented activities will result in a discussion paper, which will be prepared for policy dialogue at national level on integrated community development for strengthening the future rural development policy.

“Our main focus is to promote and to demonstrate the value of a participatory, inclusive development policy process,  with the full involvement and ownership of the community. Looking across the full spectrum of needs and constraints of rural dwellers through a multi-sectoral approach is essential to  promote improved sustainable livelihoods and reduce poverty in the rural areas”.  stated David Conte, Senior Advisor of FAO’s Strategic Programme on Rural Poverty Reduction and Technical Officer for the project.  “Particular attention must be paid to the involvement of vulnerable groups in order to contribute to social cohesion and achieve sustainable rural development”.

Depending on the needs of the pilot communities, FAO will deploy it’s considerable breadth of technical expertise (fishery, animal husbandry and health, plant production and protection, short value chain development, land tenure, social protection, nutrition) in the  preparation of the three Community Development Plans, and related action plans, as well as provide technical input to the investment needs assessment for the three pilot communities.

The equipment procured under the demonstration projects will be used as a demonstration tool during the specific trainings.