Foundation for Local Government Reform
2006/09: Support to the Municipalities of Kresna and Strumyani within the process of establishment and strengthening of a LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) and elaboration of a local development strategy for sustainable rural development for the region

The initiatives are organized and structured following the idea of a transparent and participative approach of 5 public local consultations (September – December 2006), based on the successful model of the “Community FORUM” Program of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, implemented in Bulgaria through FLGR since 2000, which allowed building upon the model and applying it into a broader context.

The final goal of the process is an established Local Action Group under the LEADER approach and elaboration of a local development strategy.

The process has been designed to encourage a strong inter-municipal cooperation throughout each step of the initiative. Previous successful work of FLGR in the municipalities of Kresna and Strumyani within the “Improvement of the Social Environment” Program and the successful implementation of community development projects, as well as strengthening the social capital, played a very important role in the process of establishment of the LAG.

Each step from the process will be also shared with representatives from the rest of the Program municipalities, which will allow for practical learning and creation of a pool of local experts throughout the municipalities, who are well experienced with the LEADER approach and could play a key driving role in their own communities, supporting the process of establishments of Local Action Groups in the other areas. The peer and hands-on experience obtained by the representatives from other Program municipalities will be an additional capacity building experience and created good potential for networking among the experts and actors for local development.

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