|STATE AGENCY ON AGRICULTURAL CREDITS
UNDER THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
AZERBAIJAN RURAL INVESTMENT PROJECT
WE INVEST FOR COMMUNITY SELF-RELIANCE
REGIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING CONFERENCE
SAATLY, APRIL 03, 2007
INTER-ZONE CROSS VISITS SESSION
IMISHLI – YEVLAKH (GANJA) – NAKHCHIVAN
JUNE 22-27, 2007
REGIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING CONFERENCE
Second Regional Capacity Building Conference of the communities supported by AzRIP in Mughan-Salyan zone has been held in Saatly town on April 03. The conference has been organized by ELAT Agribusiness Consulting Centre and attended by about 60 representatives of 26 communities of the region. Presentations were made on two topics and discussions were held during the conference. Farman Hasanov, AzRIP PMU Community Development Assistant and Farida Eminova, Mughan-Salyan ROO Senior CD Officer have participated in the conference.
Elman Suleymanov, ELAT Agribusiness Consulting Centre Director, Farman Hasanov and Farida Eminova made speeches on the works done over the last period and wished success to the conference participants.
The presentations were made on “Project Implementation and Engineering Works” by Javid Hasanov, CPC Engineer in Khanlarkand community, Saatly and “Environmental Impacts of the Community Project ” by Zafar Gadirov, CPC member in Gazli, Sabirabad. J. Hasanov shared their experience gained during the implementation of “Road Rehabilitation” project and spoke about the development of Defect Act, Implementation Plan, and assessment of prices during preparation phase, as well as about the problems, challenges and solutions during the next stages. Speaking about the environmental protection measures during the construction stage of “Footbridge Construction” project in Gazli community, Z. Gadirov emphasized active involvement of all the community members in this process.
The presented topics were comprehensively discussed in groups, valuable and interesting suggestions were proposed. Following the presentations of the group works, participants took part in a quiz on community development work and winners were awarded.
AzRIP SHARES ITS EXPERIENCE
A group of AzRIP representatives made a study tour to Indonesian Republic at the beginning of May 2007. The delegation was headed by Gulbaniz Ganbarova, AzRIP Deputy Director and Community Development Manager. Kamala Aghayeva, AzRIP PMU Assistance Team Senior Mobilizer and a member of delegation provided information about the goal and objectives of the study tour noting that the World Bank supports community projects in that distant country too like in Azerbaijan. “However, the projects implemented in our country are considerably different from those in Indonesia”, - said K. Aghayeva and specified these differences too.
“First of all, Community Project Committees consist of three members in Indonesia. Two of them are elected by the community while one is assigned by the Government. More distinct differences are noticed in projects’ implementation process. First, the Government entrusts the community with implementing three projects simultaneously. Two of these projects must be infrastructure improvement while the third one should definitely be women oriented income generation project, i.e. one of the three projects should intend opening job places for women, such as preparing some things and earning income after selling them. Second difference it that, community selects the projects to be implemented after getting funds from the project”, - K. Aghayeva said.
“Community projects include School Repair, Electric Generator Installation, Bridge Repair and other social projects while small loans granted within the women oriented projects mainly give the opportunity to women to make handicrafts, decorative things and things from reed”, - she added.
“According to Government officials, the project goal is to ensure and increase active participation of women in the society along with elimination of poverty”, - K. Aghayeva said and noted that AzRIP experience was positively accepted in that country.
“AzRIP was presented to community representatives and Government officials in the World Bank Jakarta office. Information provided by Mrs. Gulbaniz Ganbarova about the community development in Azerbaijan and AzRIP community projects raised great interest and numerous questions were asked about the work of Community Project Committees, mobilization, trainings, and women participation in community activities”, - K. Aghayeva mentioned.
INTER-ZONE CROSS VISITS SESSION
Inter-Zone Cross Visits Session that serves for community capacity building, dissemination of acquired knowledge and sharing experience plays an important role in AzRIP. Sessions aiming to extend Community Network involve the representatives of the communities at different development stages. Discussions and established business relations provide enormous contribution for successful implementation of the projects and increase self-reliance of the community members.
The session held on June 22-27, 2007 proved it once again. The session covering 50 communities with more than 250 participants involved the representatives and community members of “Save the Children”, “CHF International” INGOs and UMID LNGO too.
An introductory workshop of the session was held in Imishli. S. Aghayev, Deputy Head of Imishli Ex.Com welcomed the participants and provided information about the construction works and new production fields opened in Imishli over the recent years. S. Aghayev called AzRIP a successful project and spoke about its great support to the regional development: “Seven projects have already been implemented in Imishli within AzRIP and preparation is going on for another seven community projects. I would like to invite AzRIP to much more active participation in Imishli”,- he said.
Soubhan Asgerov, AzRIP Director emphasized the undeniable achievements of Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project: “Effective cooperation with local authorities is the basis of achieved positive results along with other factors. We see obvious example of this collaboration in Imishli”. According to the Director, AzRIP contributes to the implementation of regional development and poverty reduction driven State Programs greatly and is one of the most successful and transparent projects.
AzRIP Director mentioned about the great care paid for business development in the country now. “Business development largely depends on the technical state of the infrastructure. Aiming at to improve access to infrastructure, AzRIP provides favorable conditions for business development too”, - said S. Asgerov and expressed his hope regarding successful continuation of the session.
Gulbaniz Ganbarova, AzRIP Deputy Director and Community Development Manager informed participants about the goal and objectives of the session: “You will visit various communities and projects, share your knowledge, receive new information and skills during upcoming six days and will apply these new skills in your future activities”. G. Ganbarova reminded that AzRIP is operating under the slogan of “We invest for community self-reliance and development” and self-reliance is based on getting acquainted with the project of other community, compare the implemented works and benefit from the best practices. She mentioned that establishment of initiator leaders’ group which develops the community during project implementation is the biggest achievement of AzRIP.
Atabala Hasanov, Mughan-Salyan Regional Operations Office (ROO) Director provided information about the projects implemented in the region during two and half years since AzRIP commenced operation saying that ROO is currently operating in 96 communities while 37 of them have completed their community projects. A. Hasanov also mentioned that cooperation with 42 communities has been stopped due to their ineligibility for AzRIP requirements.
Sardar Huseynov, AzRIP Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist reported that 79 community projects totaling over USD 3,28 million with more than 203,000 beneficiaries have been completed during the implementation period of AzRIP. He specified that implemented projects included 31 “Road Rehabilitation”, 16 “Potable Water Supply” and 11 “School Repair and Construction of Additional Classrooms” projects. “270 communities have been mobilized, 262 communities trained, five Regional Conferences, 63 Cross Visits within project zones with 899 participants from 190 communities and an Inter-zone Cross Visits Session covering 50 communities with 301 participants have been conducted over the last period under the Capacity Enhancement component ”, - S. Huseynov mentioned.
Community Development Officers Farida Eminova (Mughan-Salyan ROO), Akif Kerimli (Lower Shirvan ROO) and Faig Bayramov (Nakhchivan ROO) reported on the implemented community projects and mobilization workshops in AzRIP project zones.
The participants were then divided into two groups and were introduced successful community projects. Presentations of “Potable Water Supply” project in Gulovsha community, Yevlakh (AzRIP), “Repair of Classrooms” in Ughur community, Zigh Settlement, Baku (“Umid” NNGO), “School Construction” in Eyvazlilar community, Goranboy (“Save the Children” INGO), “Road Rehabilitation” in Hasanli community, Masally (“CHF International” NGO) were attentively listened and raised interesting discussion. Session participants were also introduced “Future Communities” program of “Save the Children” INGO and “Zigh Community Development Initiative” program of “Umid” Humanitarian and Social Support Centre.
Community Development Specialists Aida Babayeva, Yamantaj Amirova and Tunzala Hajiyeva presented summary of group works in plenary and mentioned that both community projects and programs of NGOs were very interesting for community members and presentations were followed by discussions. Session participants were very interested in state registration of Eyvazalilar community as a public union, mentoring of “Star” communities to developing communities of “Save the Children” NGO, communities’ integrated project implementation initiatives and involvement of Gulovsha community members in community project.
Two workshops of Inter-zone Cross Visits Session focused on “Strategic Planning of Community Development”. Danil Samoilenko, the representative of Galway Development Services International, and Adviser to the Program on Support to Regional Economic Development in Azerbaijan made the presentation on this topic. The international expert recommended to focus on community mapping, analysis of resources and current situation, as well as identify objectives, goals and visions during long term community planning. According to the presenter, Community Action Plan should reflect involvement of resources, problem ranking, participation and transparency.
Session participants also visited Mustafabayli (Saatly), Otuzikilar and Yukhary Garalar (both in Imishli) communities in Mughan-Salyan zone, and Yuksalish, Balcyly, Samadabad communities (all three in Yevlakh) in Lower Shirvan zone to see implemented community projects and lessons learned. Guest participants got familiar with “School Repair” project in Mustafabayli, “Road Rehabilitation” in Otuzikilar and “Drainage Canal Rehabilitation” in Yukhary Garalar community and held discussions on engineering works, selection of contractor, monitoring of project implementation and raising community contribution. They found comprehensive answers to their questions and noted that would apply acquired knowledge in their communities. It was also mentioned that establishing close relations between the communities of different zones is of great importance in community development.
Session was continued in Nakhchivan. Session participants departed from Yevlakh to Ganja on June 25 and flied to Nakhchivan on the same day. Khalil Aliyev, “Nakhchivan Agribusiness” LLC Director and Abulfat Aliyev, Regional Operations Office (ROO) Director welcomed the guests at ROO and spoke about the projects implemented in Autonomous Republic with AzRIP support. It was mentioned that 20 projects have been implemented in the zone with USD 577,700 total project cost. The Government of Nakhchivan has also contributed USD 800,000 for these projects.
The session participants got acquainted with Khanegah (Julfa), Ustupu and Ashaghy Andamij (both in Ordubad) communities and their activities. Tamilla Aghayeva, CPC member of Ashagy Andamij community made a speech in the cross visit workshop and shared her impression of the visit. “Our community does not have experience in project implementation. Therefore I tried to learn from the experienced communities in Mughan-Salyan and Lower Shirvan zones and asked numerous questions. Many unclear things became clearer for me. The main outcome of this visit for me is to be committed to the work, convince the people and not to be afraid of difficulties. Participation in this session made me more confident and well informed. In my opinion, AzRIP should continue such activities.”, - she mentioned.
Mirhashim Seyidov, Deputy Chairman of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Supreme Council, Khalil Aliyev, “Nakhchivan Agribusiness” LLC Director, Soubhan Asgerov, AzRIP Director and Gulbaniz Ganbarova, Deputy Director made speeches at final workshop of the session. Community Development Specialists Kamala Aghayeva, Aida Babayeva and Tunzala Hajiyeva presented summary of cross visits in the communities.
Participants visited the grave of Jarjis Prophet in Beylagan rayon, as well as the sacred place “Ashabi-Kahf” in Nakhchivan, put flowers in front of Heydar Aliyev’s monument, and saw the Historical Museum and Heydar Aliyev Museum during the session.
SESSION OUTCOMES WERE DISCUSSED
Summary of Inter-zone Cross Visits Session held on June 22-27, 2007, status of the ongoing community projects, preparation for Environmental Workshops in the zones and calculation of matching contribution for community projects were discussed during the regular Community Development meeting. Gulbaniz Ganbarova, AzRIP Deputy Director and Community Development Manager made an opening speech, expressed her thanks to the project staff for their efforts in organizing the Cross Visits Session and encouraged the participants to share their feedback on the organizational issues and course of the session, as well as achievements, weaknesses and lessons learned.
According to Farida Eminova, more active community members were involved in this last session. Yamantaj Amirova mentioned that well organization of leisure time had positive impact on the session. Akif Kerimli considers that representatives of the communities collaborating with other organizations involved in the session benefit from AzRIP experience.
Participants discussed the weaknesses of the session, as well as the lessons learned. During the discussion of “Status of the ongoing community projects” issue, G. Ganbarova mentioned that Community Development Officers were responsible for the problems arose during the implementation of certain community projects and emphasized inadmissibility of delays in project proposal development and submission to Grants Approval Committee in Nakhchivan zone. Other issues in the agenda were also discussed during the meeting.
Project Management Unit (+994 12) 4934693/4936607;
Public Relations Specialist: (+99450) 4421888;
Mughan-Salyan ROO: (+994 168) 53020;
Lower Shirvan ROO: (+994 166) 63990;
Nakhchivan ROO: (+994136) 451848.
E-mail: email@example.com www.azrip.org