Akhmeta LAG build project management skills during COVID-19 lockdown


Ordinarily the training room would be humming with participants working together and looking to build their skills though practical exercises and interactive sessions. But these are not ordinary times – and in these times the training room is a computer screen and the trainer and participants are a hundred kilometres apart sitting in their homes and gardens. That doesn’t mean, however, that there cannot be a lively interchange of ideas and learning and when you have no other option what are you going to do? Sit and quietly wait for this to pass?  

That is not what Akhmeta Local Action Group (LAG) wanted to do, and instead over the last week (25-30 April) they have been working on a 5-day online Project Cycle Management (PCM) training course to gain the necessary skills that will help them effectively use the funds that they have to rebuild the social and economic infrastructure in their communities when this virus passes. The training was run under the EU-funded ENPARD project, “Promoting inclusive and participatory local development in Akhmeta Municipality”, implemented by Action Against Hunger, Kakheti Regional Development Foundation and Tusheti Development Fund, and the trainer was Ms Tamar Tsirekidze-Vorisek of the Centre for Training and Consultancy (CTC).

Given the exhaustive nature of online training, the PCM training was delivered over five daily sessions with a total duration of 18 hours. It was attended by 18 members of the Akhmeta LAG Executive Board and non-board members. CTC has a long history in providing high-quality trainings and the PCM training was adapted for this remote implementation modality. Participants received training on project preparation, proposal writing for prospective donors, budget planning, logframe development and other key management processes. 

Many attendees have had previous experience of trainings on project planning and implementation, however, these sessions exceeded their expectations and considered them “useful, productive and informative.” Echoing the general consensus of feedback, Executive Board member, Mariam Rosebishvili, said that she was impressed by the both the content and the trainer, highlighting the fact that “the training was not only theoretical but included a lot of practical exercises” which helped one to “simplify, differentiate, analyse and make understandable important issues in project writing and evaluation.” Even in this online mode, she said, “Tamar made the process active, interactive, interesting, energetic and fun.” 

Akhmeta LAG is currently working on its development strategy and plans to launch its grant programme in late June 2020.

The European Union is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. The support is grounded in the best European practices in the field and involves improving livelihoods of rural communities through creating economic opportunities and promoting local public-partnerships. Implemented since 2013, the main goal of ENPARD is the reduce rural poverty in Georgia. For more information, please visit: www.enpard.ge