The Area Based Development (ABD) is considered to be an innovative approach enabling breakthrough in sustainable growth!
- area-specific (versus country)
- integrated (across sectors)
- inclusive (communities)
- participatory (bottom-up)
- flexible (responsive to changes
To facilitate regional cooperation, political reconciliation and economic growth in the Western Balkans through application of area based development approaches in selected rural cross-border areas.
Strategic Planning Process
The Strategic plan was developed as a joint document of the Regional Stakeholders Group. It was built on the ABD methodology through participatory involvement of the regional stakeholders. The strategic planning process was done through a series of four workshops during the period April – June 2012 with the involvement of the Prespa Stakeholder Group.
Between the first and the second workshop an overall research (baseline assessment) and analysis of the target area were done. The generated information was presented to the Stakeholders Group organized in thematic sub-groups in order to obtain their input for identification of priorities and directions for the Regional development. Additionally the participatory tools such as surveys, interviews, etc. were used in the process to analyze the overall situation in the Region, identify Priority areas and develop the Vision and the Strategic Framework. The meetings were attended by 30 representatives: half of them were local governments’ representatives, 18% representatives of the private sector and 32% participants representing civil society.
The Strategic Framework provides a high-level statement of the future direction and priorities of the Cross – Border Region of Prespa and it guides the decisions of the Stakeholders during the period of implementation.
Strategic Development Goals
Cross – Border region of Prespa through joint efforts and programs will grow in economically developed area with a clean and healthy environment, reduced unemployment; it will be a region with sustainable development of tourism and agriculture and high level of energy efficiency in all sectors, a place where diversity of culture and tradition is respected and promoted and a region ready for EU integration.
Turning this challenging Vision into reality will require the combined efforts of all the people of the Region. The development of the Cross – Border Region of Prespa towards the achievement of the Shared Vision will be guided by the Strategic Plan for Development and the accompanying Strategic Planning and implemented by its implementing structure – unit.
The Strategy needs to be built on principles and values which regional Stakeholders consider to be important. The Strategy is, therefore, underpinned by the sustainable approach and guiding principles set out below.
- A sustainable approach to Regional Development
The Strategy has a significant legislative basis reflecting national and international commitment to a sustainable approach to accommodating growth within the Region. This principle is firmly established in the National laws for balanced regional development and the IPA Programmes for Cross – Border Cooperation. This document aims towards achievement of a balanced and sustainable development of the territory by the accomplishment of three fundamental goals:
- economic and social cohesion;
- conservation and management of natural resources and the cultural heritage; and
- more balanced competitiveness of the area.
The principles of accommodating development in a sustainable manner are embedded in the guiding principles. The core of the Strategy is the principle of ensuring a better quality of life for the citizens from the area, by seeking to meet the four objectives of sustainable development:
- Successful protection of the environment;
- Sustainable use of natural resources;
- Improvement of economic growth and employment
- Social protection and progress which appreciates the needs of everyone.
Priority Development Areas
Priority areas represent the main areas where the strategy can contribute to improvements (either through tackling the main challenges or through seizing the main opportunities).The priority areas have been identified and selected throughout the process of participatory planning. Information from several factors have been used in the process of defining the priorities
The key priority areas were then defined as follows:
- Economic growth and tourism
- Social cohesion
- Regional infrastructure
- Energy efficiency