Working Meeting at WFD NGO Office


On March 3rd, WFD NGO office hosted a working meeting with Nora Alanakyan, the deputy director of the Austrian Development Agency’s office in Yerevan, Tatevik Baghdasaryan, director of KASA Foundation and Karl Reiner, consultant from Austrian ÖAR GmbH  company. During the meeting, goals and objectives of the “Development of Rural Areas (DORA) in Shirak, Armenia” project funded by the European Union were discussed. As it is mentioned in the project concept, agricultural and rural areas development is a priority sector for EU-Armenia cooperation. In frames of this project, Austrian Development Agency, in collaboration with the EU delegation in Armenia and the Government of Armenia, intends to support the introduction of LEADER approach in the rural communities of Shirak province. According to the information on DORA project, provided by the Austrian Development Agency, “LEADER is applied in Armenia for the first time. LEADER is a European Union initiative to support rural development projects initiated at the local level in order to revitalize rural areas and create jobs”.

During the meeting, WFD NGO president Gohar Markosyan and community development projects coordinator Armine Shiroyan presented organization’s over 12 years’ experience in rural community development, along with the planned activities for the upcoming 3 years.

WFD NGO’s project, which is going to be funded by German “Bread for the World” organization, alongside with other activities, includes piloting the LEADER approach in 8 units of the consolidated community of Sarapat, Shirak province. It was a big surprise for the meeting participants to discover that WFD NGO operating in Shirak province is not only familiar with the LEADER approach, but has already initiated the process of piloting it in its target communities.

It is worth mentioning that Austrian Development Agency’s “Development of Rural Areas (DORA) in Shirak, Armenia” project is still in its development phase. In March, it is planned to conduct meetings in various communities of Shirak province, and to organize trainings for the stakeholders in May. DORA project consultant Karl Reiner proposed to share WFD NGO’s experience in rural community development in Shirak province, our knowledge of LEADER approach as well as the information on similar projects which were implemented in European and Post-Soviet countries during the seminar, which is planned to be organized in May.

WFD NGO expressed its willingness to cooperate with the Austrian Development Agency and mentioned that the organization is open for collaboration with partners working in similar areas, with the goal of implementing joint work and experience exchange.