ETP Foundation

Sustainable Development Projects

Engaging Civil Society in Sustainable Development of Disadvantaged Rural Communities in Bulgaria



The main objective of the project is: 
Attracting participation of representatives of civil society, local governments, businesses and farmers from poor rural areas for:

development of development strategies, programmes and projects for the purpose of applying for funding from EU structural funds; 

building capabilities and skills to develop their own business; 

employment creation and sustainable local economic development.


Training Module 1: 4-day training on Strategic Planning, Project Development, Sources of Funding


This training was conducted at the end of March 2008 in Plovdiv. 35 participants from rural regions took part in the training.

The training agenda included the following topics: Strategic planning process; development of a strategic plan; fundraising strategies; project development, project life cycle; budget development, monitoring and evaluation of the project. A special topic was added Developing Strategies for Local Action Groups (LAGs) according to the LEADER Approach. We presented the LEADER approach and encouraged the participants to start establishing LAGs since the Rural Development Program (Axis 4) will award grants for establishing LAGs in rural areas. Our training involved a lot of group work and exercises. We divided the participants into 3 groups and at the end of the training each group presented its project. The result was 3 proposals developed with the idea of presenting them for funding to the Operational program of regional development or the Rural Development Program (RDP).


Included in the training manual were also materials and information concerning the LEADER approach, the measures of the RDP (Axis 3 in particular, which concerns projects with the chitalishta and other NGOs).


Training Module 2: Developing entrepreneurial capabilities of the rural population.


The training was conducted on April 21-24, 2008 at the Leipzig Hotel in Plovdiv. The Agenda: Starting a business; company registration; human resource management; business plan development; marketing and advertising strategy; certification of bio-products, certification of eco-tourist services. The sample business plan included in the manual was found very useful to the farmers applying for Measures 112 and 121 of the RDP. The Director of the Central Balkan National Park, Ms. Nella Rachevits, presented the topic of eco-tourism certification and gave examples of existing eco-tourist centres in the Central Balkan National Park. The Central Balkan National Park Directorate is our Associate partner.



Training Module 3: Financing Projects from the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds


This last training module was conducted in early June 2008 with more than 30 participants at the Leipzig Hotel in Plovdiv.


The main objective of the training is to improve the capacity of local authorities, entrepreneurs and NGOs to apply the new mechanisms of funding from the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds for projects targeted at the sustainable development of rural regions.


A session was devoted to introducing the following national policy documents: National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2007-2013; all Operational Programs (OP) with a specific focus on Operational Program Regional Development, OP Environment, and Rural Development Program (RDP).


We had a guest lecturer from Krakow, Poland, Mr. K. Kwatera, who represented our Associate Partner in the project, the NGO Polish Environmental Partnership Foundation (PEPF). Mr. Kwatera presented the mechanisms and the Polish experience in establishing local partnerships for sustainable development public-private partnerships, partnerships between local communities and partnering among regions. This experience will be used for the establishment of Local Action Groups (LAGs) in Bulgaria, in conformity with the LEADER approach.


The participants in the three training modules received Certificates for participation issued by the ETP Foundation.






Forthcoming events: National Round Table Discussion on Sustainable Rural Development


6 8 October 2008

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Tel/fax: +359-2-980 0533;

Mobile tel. +359-888-219285

Contact: Krustina Mandova

President, ETP Foundation