Active participation and ownership from representatives from various sectors are important ingredients for formulating and implementing a successful projects and development initiatives.
This was one of the key achievements of the second participatory workshop on area-based rural development which was held in Tehran from 26 to 27 January 2020, and was participated by representatives from different governmental entities, NGOs and the public sector. The workshop was facilitated by Boompajuhan Society.
The workshop was organized by the Directorate on Rural Development and Deprived Areas and UNDP in an endeavor to leverage the area-based development approach and a multi-stakeholder programme of work towards sustainable rural development in Iran.
The second workshop was an opportunity to review the existing challenges of rural development, the future vision for rural areas, and the strategies that could fit in the present situation.
The participants worked on the logical framework of the project, and defined indicators for each objective and output. Also, they shared their comments on the process of an area-based project, as well as the governance system in their working groups.
Earlier, during the first workshop which was held in early December 2019 in Tehran, the participants shared their experiences and lessons learned on sustainable rural development, worked on components of an area-based development, defined criteria for selecting areas in Iran and elaborated on the governance arrangements.
Mr. Meraji, the Deputy for Planning and Infrastructure Affairs of the Directorate of the Rural Development and Deprived Areas spoke at the event and emphasized the achievements of the first workshop and requested participants to continue to have an active participation in this workshop.
He said that the rural community has a population of about 21 million, and certain issues such as immigration, income status, population aging and unemployment are of great concern. “This situation has drawn our attention to the area-based rural development planning. This approach requires comprehensive local and national partnerships. In the first workshop, we came to the conclusion that we needed coordination and cooperation among various bodies at different levels, both horizontal and vertical.”
Dr. Jabbari, Representative from the Planning and Budget Organization talked about the importance of the various aspects of integration in area-based planning. In this regard, he said: “Three forms of integration have been emphasized in various international projects: integration among stakeholders, vertical integration in sectors and horizontal integration in form of cross-sectoral cooperation. In Iran, we need two other forms too: time integration and spatial integration.”
Mr. Soleymani, referred to a book he had recently read entitled “whose development?” in which this question is raised: Is the government involved in the people's project or are the people involved in the government's project? He emphasized on the issue of “ownership” by the locals in a process of endogenous development.
Mr. Claudio Providas, the UNDP Resident Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran participated in the closing session of the workshop and stated “Iran is a country with a high human development index and impressive achievements in many sectors such as health, education, infrastructure and rural development. Innovation and efficiency gains are needed now more than ever given the context and the imperative to prepare for performance based budgets. Horizontal integration and coordination is very important in area based development. UNDP is pleased to support the initiative”