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30/01/2015
Counteracting Indifference: How to Keep Gender and WEE Alive

By Helen Bradbury: Team Leader, Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme

We are in an interesting conundrum. Gender in most places has been written-in to law. Bar a few notable exceptions, every country in the world, has varying degrees of success in applying universal suffrage.  Fifty countries are signed up to the CEDAW convention (the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women).  On the CEDAW world map of Discrepant Government Behaviour  Concerning Women,  the countries shaded dark green which denotes ‘virtually no enforcement of laws consonant with CEDAW or such laws do not even exist’, are where you expect them to be and in fact they are relatively few.  It is the next two categories which disturb, covering the vast majority of the globe, the mid and lighter green, where laws are partly or fully consonant with CEDAW but there is little effective enforcement or spotty enforcement of them and the issue is low priority or hit and miss. After the gains, the laws and ratifications of the last centuries it seems that we must tread very carefully indeed for we must counteract indifference, in which inertia and inactivity stop us moving forward.

10/10/2014
How Much Regulation Does a Country Need?

From the ISET Economist news (http://www.iset.ge/news/?p=3871)

By Eric Livny

Democracy and Freedom Watch reported October 9, that “Georgia’s controversial new immigration law may be changed”. The law, writes DFW, “has caused a wave of confusion and irritation in the country’s expat community. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili … told journalists that if any defects become apparent after the enactment of the new law, ‘we’ll surely correct it.''

17/09/2014
Information Matters: Two New Websites

By Helen Bradbury: Team Leader, Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme

                           

Information matters, it is our currency, the substance, the commodity which keeps our programmes running.  We live in an age of information, are afloat on and sometimes drowning in a sea of it.  We may check the oracle of google in answer to any question, live feeds, notifications and a torrent of minutiae in a mélange of events of great importance, continually assail us. Once there were spin doctors, now most of us spin daily be it personally or professionally. We are aware of the need to manage information, to have enough of it and of the right kind and most of us are aware too of the need to understand its quality and to know when and what we have is enough or too little.

07/07/2014
Survival of the Fittest in Georgian Agriculture

From the ISET Economist news (http://www.iset.ge/news/?s=survival&lang=en)
By Nino Mosiashvili

The conclusion of the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union was euphorically acclaimed by Georgian media as well as political and economic decision makers. Part of the AA is the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The DCFTA is intended to liberalize trade between Georgia and the EU by lowering tariffs and reducing non-tariff barriers. For agriculture, the most relevant changes relate to food safety (bacterial contaminants, pesticides, inspection, and labeling) as well as animal and plant health (phytosanitation). For the manufacturing sector, the removal of so-called “technical barriers to trade” is similarly important, with the goal being to prevent the usage of technical standards as a means to protect domestic markets from foreign competition. “If regulations are set arbitrarily, they could be used as an excuse for protectionism”, states the World Trade Organization on its homepage.

28/05/2014
Farmer Groups: Why We Love Them and When They are Successful

From the ISET Economist news (http://www.iset.ge/news/?p=3311)
By Eric Livny

(Summary of a debate hosted by ISET as part of SDC-supported Inclusive Growth Dialog series.)

There are many reasons to love the concept of farmer cooperation (and cooperation more generally). To begin with, there is a great aesthetic value in seeing people coming together, sharing resources and helping each other. After all, instinctive collectivism was the basic condition of human existence from time immemorial. But, there are also powerful economic reasons for farmer cooperation.

28/03/2014
Farmer Groups: Why We Love Them, Why We Do Them and Why They Fail

From the ISET Economist news (http://www.iset.ge/news/?p=3056)
By Tim Stewart

As Georgia embarks on an ambitious program to develop farmer organizations, it is worth considering both the positive and negative lessons from the experience of similar initiatives, both in Georgia and elsewhere in the developing/transition context. The piece by Tim Stewart, originally published on www.springfieldcentre.com, identifies some of the main reasons for the failure of start-up farmer organizations. The challenge for Georgia is to learn from these mistakes in planning and implementation, and ensure improved coordination among the many cooks involved (the newly created Agency for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives, the Ministry of Agriculture, international donors, NGOs, and farmer associations).  

LATEST NEWS
Transforming Agri Journalism Success to Armenia
30/04/2018
Knowledge is a power and the ALCP is committed to facilitating high quality agri information transfer to rural farmers strengthening the field of journalism in Georgia and Armenia. On 25th-29th of April an international agricultural journalist was commissioned to deliver trainings to 11 Armenian TV and press journalists and 2 heads of the Department of Journalism of Armenian universities in the Caucasus International University in Tbilisi. Follow the link of Imedi TV news on the event. The agri journalism initiatives started in Georgia when 45 Georgian print and TV journalists attended an agri journalism training in 2015. Since then 45 TV and press journalists trained in agri journalism in Georgia have presented 267 videos and 350 articles on animal health, Brucellosis, Mastitis, Anthrax, Foot and Mouth, farm hygiene, milking hygiene, proper nutrition, animal registration and EU regulations related to Georgia. Farmers say that now they are not afraid when they hear about new rules and EU regulations, as they have reliable information on it. Also, an agri module was created for inclusion in BA Journalism degrees. Now Seven universities across Georgia already have the agri-journalism module established in their curriculum, lasting one semester with a total of 15 credit hours. Three more universities are about to do the same this year. 346 students have undergone the course in Georgia to date. Now those initiatives are ready for transfer to Armenia. Professor of the Department of Journalism Vanadzor State University in Armenia, Mane Papyan stated: ‘I attended the agri training. We have talked about developing sector specific journalism leading to the creation of qualified media professionals for years. Today we had a discussion regarding the integration of a new agro-journalism module and amendments in the electronic manuals and curricula. The Vanadzori State University Journalism Program will discuss about establishing the module, I really like the ideas’ - she said. Photo source: Caucasus International University    
Georgia and Jordan Share Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE)
20/04/2018
On April 16th-20th, 2018 the Alliances Caucasus Programme (www.alcp.ge) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and implemented by Mercy Corps in Georgia, hosted a study tour from the Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund (AWEF). The tour included Jordan Municipality Mayors, WEE coordinators and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture of Jordan to share ALCP’s experience on Women Economic Empowerment integration through M4P approach and best practices used. The delegation visited the ALCP main office, Agriculture Project Management Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, Women’s Rooms in Bolnisi, Ninotsminda, Keda and Batumi; two cheese factories: Tsalka +  LTD in Gumbati Village and Tsipora LTD in Uraveli Village; a wool processing enterprise Wool House in Akhaltsikhe, agricultural programme I am a Farmer  in Batumi; Ajarian Chamber of Commerce- Association of Business Women of Ajara; the Ajarian Beekeeping Business Association and the Batumi Botanical Garden in total covering Kvemo Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Ajara regions, which allowed for comprehensive information delivery.  “The on field projects visited have been a real example for the commitment for making markets work for the poor. All of the participants gained insights from study tour to inspire our projects work that will empower women in return” - Reham Gharbiyeh, the AWEF Country Director. The Mayors of Jordan municipalities are now more incentivized to open Women’s units in their municipalities and incorporate approaches of Georgian Women’s Rooms in their work. Besides, the idea of women lead wool enterprise and working with mid-sized dairy enterprises became of participants special interests.
Swiss Delegation in Kvemo Kartli
19/03/2018
On March 16th, 2018 the Alliances Caucasus Programme (www.alcp.ge) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and implemented by Mercy Corps in Georgia, hosted eighteen Swiss Ambassadors and Mission Directors of Development Cooperation of Switzerland from Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan as well as representatives of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ headquarters in Bern.  The visit was part of a regional seminar hosted by the Swiss Ambassador to Georgia and Head of Mission Olivier Burki, Regional Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Georgia. The delegation visited the ALCP supported Roki Ltd a national veterinary inputs supplier; Wool Exporter The Georgian Wool Company; Rustavi Bio Security Point of five such points on the Animal Movement Route for the control of livestock disease; Milkeni Cheese Factory in Rustavi; Marmot Machinery Ltd an  farm inputs supplier and exporter to Armenia and Marneuli Municipality Women’s Room. Georgian government officials accompanied the visit: The Governor of Kvemo Kartli Region and Head of the Regional Division of the National Food Agency met visitors at Rustavi Bio Security Point, they emphasised high importance of this Point and how it helps to prevent spreading of animal disease. The Mayor of Marneuli Municipality hosted visitors at Marneuli Municipality Women’s Room and highlighted the importance of women’s engagement in local decision making process and the role of Women’s Room to empower the local women and help them to better access public services and funding.   
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Bio Security Points – Critical Analysis Report
This report provides a critical analysis of the current operation of the BSP’s identifying gaps and suggesting improvements
Practitioners’ Notes on Monitoring and Results Measurement
BS Report Georgia & Armenia 2018