12 October 2012 – Tiranë
The 1st meeting of the Working Group in the frame of GARD Project was held in Tirana on October 12th, 2012, at 9.00 – 11.00. The aim of the meeting was to introduce in details the GARD Project, to identify the proper methodology and the coordinating mechanisms as well as to identify the needs for capacity building for the members of the working group.
Participants were representatives from the Civil Society Organizations that have in their focus amongst others, the Empowerment of Women in Rural Development, representatives from the Government and representatives from donor International Organizations. The activity started by first giving the floor to all the participants to introduce themselves, to introduce the scope of their organization’s work and to state their expectations from participating in GARD project.
Ms. Erisa Lame, GARD Project Manager introduced the GARD project, in terms of objectives, activities and estimated results. The participants discussed enthusiastically about the project, stating that the establishment of the GARD Network is a well identified need and will help the CSO’s to better coordinate their actions and to avoid overlapping.
Ms. Tatjana Dishnica, presented the current situation of women in rural areas, giving official facts and statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Protection (MoAFCP). She reiterated the need to coordinate efforts of the CSO’s working with women in rural areas and stated the support of the MoAFCP to this project.
Ms. Alketa Kabashi, Executive Director of the Qendra e Gruas “Hapat e Lehte” a CSO based in Shkodra with work focus in Northern Albania made a presentation of the Opportunities and Challenges of establishing a Network. She stressed the fact that on the one hand establishing a network offers manifold opportunities to the members, however, it is very important to choose the suitable organization style and to clearly define the role of each member. She illustrated her arguments with a concrete example of a network.
Some of the recommendations coming out of this meeting are:
- The network should have a well defined structure, with clearly defined role for each of the members;
- Establishment of a management board;
- Financial mechanisms are very important to the well functioning of the network;
- The network should have a clearly defined strategy and working plan;
- The members of the working groups should be informed and trained on the principles of being part of a Network;
- Membership to the Network should be based upon an application form;
- Membership to the Network should be open to other institutions apart from CSO’s, like government bodies, academia, international organizations etc.