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Alliances Caucasus Programme at a Glance

The Alliances programme, working in the livestock market system in Georgia, funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), implemented by Mercy Corps Georgia and run in strict accordance with the M4P (Making Markets Working for the Poor Approach began in 2008 in Samstkhe Javakheti (SJ), Georgia. Alliances Kvemo Kartli (KK) was opened in 2011 with a second phase awarded to SJ. 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 ‘standby phase’ (monitoring and sustainability phase) in SJ to form the Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme (ALCP). From 2014 under the ALCP, Alliances management, programming and operations were fully harmonized.  The programme has achieved substantial scale and systemic change  well beyond the initial designated programme areas and targets and devoted itself to learning, excellence and participation in a global community of practice in Market Systems Development (MSD) including being successfully audited by the DCED Standard for Results Measurement (Donor Committee for Enterprise Development). It has furthered learning and practice in Women’s Economic Empowerment and harnessed market systems programming to generate significant impact in transversal themes.


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 forms the basis for the proposed four year Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP) 2017-2021, which will utilize 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 will facilitate interventions in the livestock and honey market systems to safeguard ongoing sustainable growth, and promote new growth that includes ensuring access for SME’s and livestock and honey producers to cross border and other export markets.  It will also exploit 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 will be key indicators of impact.


Evidence and Impact from which to Build the Regional Programme - from 2008 to April 2017

Aggregated Figures for All Intervention from 2008 to 2017 Key Behaviour Changes Captured by ALCP Qualitative Monitoring

LATEST NEWS
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.   
Successful Women – Sustainable Economy – Women's Business Forum in Ajara
9/03/2018
'This forum is the first steps where women economic empowerment starts from. The Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is ready to support women entrepreneurs and startups. Through the Women’s Room of ACCI we will help them in preparing Business Plans, liaising new business contacts and follow up their way of achieving success in businesses’ - Tamaz Shavadze, Chairman of ACCI. The National Women Business Forum for  300 participants including 180 women entrepreneurs from all regions of Georgia as well as public, private and civil sector organizations concerned with women’s entrepreneurship was held in Batumi on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018. Participants were enthused and galvanized by the stories of successful women entrepreneurs from all walks of life who made up the first part of the forum. Stalls of banks, input supply companies, private sector business support companies and civil societies were set up in the lobby. 'I have never met so many women entrepreneurs and I would like to use this opportunity for exchanging information and experience' – Nino Giorgadze, Entrepreneur from Shida Kartli Region. The event built on the success of the Ajara Business Women’s Forum held of the previous year, brainchild of the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and it’s Ajara Business Women’s Association and the Ajara network of Women’s Rooms. This year’s event saw the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and numerous NGOs join the events support network. This year’s event showcased successful women entrepreneurs from all over Georgia, discussed challenges, introduced opportunities and market matched funds to needs improve communication between entrepreneurs and those with funds to invest in them. EBRD, Bank of Georgia, TBC Bank and Credo Bank were all represented at the forum as were numerous private sector with a stake in seeing successful development of women’s business. ‘I am from Racha, Oni municipality. I run a small guesthouse in my village and arrived here with a hope to find out resources for developing my business’ – Ekaterine Tsikhiseli, from Racha Region.
Moving Forward: Sheep Sector Challenges Discussed at the ALCP Advisory Committee Meeting
1/02/2018
Management of Animal Movement Route (AMR) and Bio Security Points (BSPs) were the main topics discussed at the ALCP’s 9th Advisory Committee meeting on January 31st, 2018. The Minister of Agriculture highlighted the importance of AMR and its Bio Security Points, their importance in underpinning  animal healthcare and livestock export and the need for continued efforts to ensure progress in his opening speech. ‘Despite the positive dynamics there are still challenges and the governmental, non-governmental and private sectors should consolidate to overcome them’ - stated Mr. Davitashvili. Existing gaps in management as well as the positive impact of BSPs were highlighted  at the meeting.  A short film: What shepherds think about the BSP’s available at ALCP/Videos allowed shepherds views to be presented in full. All participants debated responsibility for managing the AMR and its infrastructure. Land overlaps, lack of resting areas, watering points at the Route, issues of concern for decades - were also discussed. ‘I think inclusion of self-governments in provision of BSPs’ operation is quite possible, local residents can be hired there and I’m ready to discuss this issue with the heads of local municipalities of Kvemo Kartli” - Grigol Nemsadze - The State Representative-Governor of KK Region. As a result of this meeting the Regional Government of Kvemo Kartli and the Ministry of Economy have agreed to work together for final resolution of contested land on the route. Existing infrastructural gaps at BSP’s will be also solved in time for spring season, stated  the Head of the NFA. With regards to BSP’s management and its future ownership the issue is clearly on the table for further facilitation and discussion with all interested parties to find the best solution and develop pertinent strategy going forward.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Practitioners’ Notes on Monitoring and Results Measurement
BS Report Georgia & Armenia 2018
Alliances Caucasus Programme Bi Annual Report 2017