HOME > Our Programme
Alliances Caucasus Programme at a Glance

The Alliances programme, a market system development programme working in the livestock market system in Georgia, is a Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) project, implemented by Mercy Corps Georgia and run in accordance with the M4P (Making Markets Working for the Poor) Approach. The programme began in 2008 in Samstkhe Javakheti, Georgia. Alliances Kvemo Kartli was opened in 2011, with a second phase awarded to Samstkhe Javakheti. In 2014, the second phase of an expanded Kvemo Kartli was merged with a new branch of the programme in Ajara and a two-year monitoring and sustainability phase in Samstkhe Javakheti to form the Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme (ALCP). From 2014 Alliances management, programming and operations were fully harmonized under the ALCP. The programme has achieved substantial scale and systemic change well beyond the initial designated programme areas and targets and has devoted itself to learning, excellence and participation in a global community of practice in Market Systems Development, including being twice successfully audited by the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) Standard for Results Measurement. It has furthered learning and practice in Women’s Economic Empowerment and harnessed market systems programming to generate significant impact in transversal themes with a 54% average of female usage and access across all interventions.

The ALCP a viable platform for Regional Development

The programme has extensive networks and works in partnership with all levels of the private sector, civil society and government. This background formed the basis for the four year Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP) 2017-2021, which utilizes the platform created by the ALCP to significantly contribute to the goal of the new South Caucasus Swiss Development Cooperation Strategy 2017-2020. This SDC strategy sees a strengthening of the regional approach in the South Caucasus through the promotion of areas of mutual and beneficial interest between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia including cross-border initiatives in trade and the extension of services and inputs through the lens of agriculture based economic development which is considered to offer substantial opportunities for regional development and the rural populations of the three countries.

The ALCP programme is facilitating interventions in the livestock and honey market systems to safeguard ongoing sustainable growth, and is promoting new growth that includes ensuring access for SME’s and livestock and honey producers to cross border and other export markets.  It also exploits available entry points for the transfer of inputs and services successfully developed in Georgia to Armenia and Azerbaijan to enhance cross border linkages. Entrepreneurialism and job creation especially for women, the access to finance and financial literacy that is required to make this happen for SME’s and start-ups as well as  increased income from sustainable supply opportunities and stable quality inputs increasing productivity are key indicators of impact.

Evidence and Impact from which to Build the Regional Programme - from 2008 to 2018

LATEST NEWS
Expanding the Women’s Rooms Success to Armenia
25/07/2019
The Women’s Room in Alaverdi municipality, Armenia was officially opened on the 25th of July by the Governor of Lori Province, Andrey Ghukasyan, the Head of Alaverdi Municipality, Sasun Khemuchyan and the ALCP Team Leader, Helen Bradbury. The Head of the Department of Family, Women and Youth of the Ministry of Labour and Social Issues, the Head of the Municipality, the representative of Association of Lawyers, local businesswomen and other guests attended the opening ceremony. The Mayor of Keda Municipality of Ajara region and the Manager of Women’s Room in Keda were invited, representing one of the most successful Women’s Rooms in Georgia. Keda and Alaverdi Municipalities forged links when the representatives of Alaverdi Municipality were invited to the Women's Business Forum held in Batumi, Ajara in March, 2018.  “This service is very important for women and their families to improve their business skills. I would like to thank all of the initiators and supporters of the project and I am ready to discuss the opening of this service in other municipalities as well” - Andrey Ghukasyan, Governor of Lori Province. “The Idea of the opening of the Women’s Room in Alaverdi came when we visited the Women’s Room in Keda, Ajara region three years ago. The Alliances Caucasus Programme expressed their readiness to share their experience with us how to establish and operate the WR. This service will help women with accessing resources and training to get finances for their businesses. When we help women, we strengthen their families’ Sasun Khemuchyan, the Head of Alaverdi Municipality. Photo Source: Facebook page of Women's Room in Armenia
Facilitating Funds for Women
21/06/2019
All the managers of the municipal Women’s Rooms and representatives of the Governor’s office in Kakheti region attended a training on Business Plan Writing and Fundraising held by the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) with ALCP facilitation. For three days George Turkia and Nikoloz Abuashvili, full professors of GIPA, explained how to transform ideas into real plans and where to find the money for them. ‘This was the most interesting training I have ever had. A lot of women are coming to my room with business ideas but I cannot provide help because of lack of knowledge. Now I am full of enthusiasm and ready to help them. It is also important for me that helping women with starting businesses in rural areas will be supported by the local government through the Women’s Room. We will make it happen’ – Bela Marukashvili, the Women’s Room Manager in Akhmeta municipality. Background information: Twenty-eight municipalities of Ajara, Kvemo Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kakheti have established free information-consultation spaces - Women’s Rooms to support women’s equal participation at local decision making fora and their economic empowerment. In 2016 the Women’s Rooms in Ajara pioneered to help rural women with applying to the government grant programmes and after a year the model was copied by Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti as well. To date 88 women business start-ups have been funded through the Women’s Rooms in Georgia.
Georgian Honey in London
22/05/2019
Honey and bee products of four Georgian companies were exhibited at the event WORLD BEE DAY COMES TO LONDON on 21st of May, in the Conway Hall by the initiative of the Embassy of Slovenia to the UK. The Embassy of Georgia to the UK organized a stand for Georgian companies with the help of the Alliances Caucasus Programme, the Georgian Beekeepers Union, the Jara Beekeepers Association and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Georgian honey was well promoted by the Embassy. Twenty-seven countries exhibited their bee products. More than 500 guests tasted Georgian honey; Chestnut and Jara honey were one of the favorites. Photo source: The Embassy of Georgia to the UK
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Annual Report April 2018 to March 2019
DCED WEE Synthesis Note March 2019
Impact in the Livestock Sector in Khulo 2014-2019
The survey captures qualitative and systemic development generated by the programme in Khulo