Sida-funded Local Economic Development Project, Albania

30 Apr, 2019


CNVP has signed an agreement with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to implement the Local Economic Development (LED) project in Albania.

The overall objective of the project is to enhance the economic growth of rural families in remote mountainous areas of Albania through market system development (MSD) for medical aromatic plants (MAPs) and other forest produce.

The agreement covers the project’s first inception year which started on 15 April 2019. If agreed milestones are met, Sida may extend the project by two further years.

Poor people are placed at the centre of project design and implementation. This will allow an assessment of the most relevant interventions that are expected to have a significant impact on economic opportunities for the rural poor, and then allow the project to work with market actors to deliver those opportunities. Promotion of sustainable harvesting methods, improved traceability and better governance of the sector should help to prevent over-exploitation and depletion of natural resources.

MSD has emerged as a way to improve the delivery of large‐scale, sustainable development impact for the poor and disadvantaged people. It provides a framework to understand the underlying institutional causes of negative development outcomes, and a method of intervening in market systems that will achieve poverty reduction on a sustainable basis.

Market development interventions include: technical assistance to providers of specialist buisness advice/training; the introduction of new business ideas or technologies; the provision of market information; and the linkage of different actors in a value-chain.

Such interventions are expected to cause targeted firms to change their behaviour in ways that lead to an increase in turnover and profitability. Other firms are then expected to copy the behavioural change, thereby increasing competitiveness and productivity in whole markets.

With market development interventions mostly taking place in sectors where the poor are concentrated e.g. agriculture and labour-intensive industries, poor entrepreneurs are expected to benefit most from increased incomes. Moreover, where firms increase their productivity and profitability, they are likely to start employing more people, which is expected to benefit the poor.