The Local Action Group (LAG) Lagodekhi is an independent platform to stimulate the local development of Lagodekhi. It is part of the LEADER model used in the EU to stimulate rural development and is being adapted to Georgia. The Lagodekhi LAG combines representatives from all 15 communities of the municipality and represents people from the private sector, civil society and local authorities including the head of the municipal board. It acts as a platform that contributes to Lagodekhi’s development and provides participation of the local population.
The General Assembly is the representative body with supreme decision making rights which elects the Board of Directors that manages the LAG and ensures its impact and sustainability.The LAG managing board nominates the candidacy of the president, vice president and executive secretary. All three positions are approved by the General Assembly. Recently the Lagodekhi LAG elected its first female president.
Lagodekhi LAG operates based on the following principles:
-Equality among representatives of public institutions, private business and NGOs
-Equality and mutual respect among members, regardless race, gender, religion, political affiliation, or political opinions.
Aims, Objectives and Activity Directions of the LAG are the following:
-The Association serves for public wellbeing. The primary direction is agricultural development, in particular: support to agricultural competitiveness, environmental protection, improvement of life quality and services; through economic activities facilitate to the establishment of diversified employment opportunities in the municipal villages and economic empowerment of rural population;
-Support the development of Lagodekhi Municipality.
-Strengthen the European practices and decentralized approaches to rural development bottom-up approach;
-Promote the convergence of Georgian agricultural policy with common agricultural policy, support the development of agriculture and contribute to strengthening rural communities in Lagodekhi Municipality;
-Promote the introduction of new methods and resources for rural development in the municipality by developing innovative and targeted policy;
-Promote the development of non-agricultural economic activities in rural areas;
-Assist, strengthen and expand transnational cooperation by participating in the creation and development of networks;
-Promote exchange of experience between local action groups in other rural areas of the country;
-Increase the youth involvement in the municipality development process and support their initiatives;
-Motivate different sector representatives on grassroot level to ensure the adoption of the bottom–up approach in the regional development;
-Implementation of the LEADER approach in the pilot program for rural development.
-Organize and conduct workshops, seminars, conferences and discussions with the participation of local self-government, business and civil sector representatives;
-Activities oriented on capacity building which includes organization and offer various forms of study and trainings;
-Preparation and conduct the grant completion for funding projects relevant to the development strategy of Lagodekhi Municipality;
-Through cooperation with the central and local government, support the civil society involvement for strengthening democratic principles and ensuring transparency;
-Manage the local development strategy, information service, consultancy and involvement of the sphere specialists for effective implementation of different economic, social projects of the Lagodekhi Local Action Group.