TThe main objectives of the project are to (i) assist the Programme Management Authority within the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to elaborate a coherent and comprehensive draft IPARD Plan, in line with the national rural development strategy and with all relevant EU-pre-accession regulations to allow Turkey to gain access to external funds (primarily from the World Bank) as well as IPA pre-accession funds for Rural Development and (ii) design and deliver a comprehensive capacity building programme for the staff of the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) to strengthen capacity in rural development programming, based on EU best practice. Support is provided in the following areas:
- Assessment of the general characteristics of rural areas and identification of existing problems and needs, by region including an assessment of the physical, agro-economic, environmental, social and socio-economic aspects.
- Definition of rural development baseline and impact indicators.
- Preparation of an indicative overall financial table summarizing the national, Community and, where appropriate, the private financial resources provided for and corresponding to each rural development measure, as well as the EU co-financing rate by axis.
- Identification of appropriate Rural Development measures, including eligibility criteria and indicators and drafting technical fiches.
- Formal and on-the-job capacity building programme design and delivery for ministerial staff of MARA (a total of 80 staff including Programme Managers and a number of participants from other relevant institutions) on IPARD planning, rural development plan elaboration and rural IPARD programming. The logic of EU approach to rural development was presented during preparation of the training plan.
- Development of a comprehensive National Rural Development Plan, in line with the National Development Strategy.
- Development of an Operational Programme for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the rural development plan.
- Development of guidelines on methodologies for rural development planning.
- Introduction of a rural development monitoring and evaluation system to allow monitoring, adjustment and gradual alignment of rural development programme and measures.