The European Union approved the project "PROZVET-Promoting Sustainable Development in Zabaikal and Karelia districts of Russia”, though enabling innovative forms of cooperation among civil society organisations (CSO), Local Authorities (LA), and non-traditional stakeholders.The project will last three years, and conducted through a partnership between ILS LEDA, The Italian Association FELCOS-Umbria (the project leader), the Karealian NGOs Resource Center, the Zabaikal Union of Women, the Russian NGO Zvezda Nadezhdy, and LEF-Italia-Italian Coordination of the European Women’s Lobby, an European no profit organisation.
Zabaikal and Karealia districts of Russia are two far-off regions of Russia, which hold respectively 73rd and 65th position among Russian regions for socioeconomic development. According to the last report (the first quarter of 2018) of the Federal Statistic Service people leaving below the poverty line are 17,3 % in Karelia, and 21,2 % in Zabaikal with respect to the Russian figure of 14,3% of total population. Other social dimensions of wellbeing, such as life expectancy, social integration, quality of housing, food, health and education, are in the two districts are particular negative, and combined with harsh climatic and geographical conditions, low-developed socioeconomic infrastructure and dependence on mono-product economy have a negative impact on local development, and pushes emigration, specially of youth, to the main cities and notably to the megapolis of Moscow and S. Petersburg.
Global Objective of this Action is to contribute to enhance Russian civil society's and women's role in sustainable development, though promotion of innovative forms of cooperation between CSOs, LAs and non-traditional stakeholders, in the districts of Petrovsk-Zabaikal, Khiloksk, Chita (Zabaikal kray), and Pitkyaranta, Syojarvi, Olonets and Mueservsk (Republic of Karelia).
The specific objectives are:
1) Establishing 2 multi-stakeholder Territorial Alliances for women social and economic inclusion, involving CSOs, LAs, and other Stakeholders from Zabaikal Kray and Republic of Karelia.
2) Realising pilot initiatives including startup and growth of female and social enterprises, and strengthening work-life balance services in support of women’s employability.
3) Boosting gender equality and recognition of women's dual roles in society, through awareness and networks building.
The logic of the Action relies on the belief that women have great capacities for positively informing economic development, but these capacities are underutilised and shall be valorised through comprehensive measures. At this aim the Action will first of all strengthen capacities of the women organisaitons, and the other local actors, for elaborating and implementing concerted, gender-sensitive development strategies, through the establishment of a multi-stakeholder partnership scheme in each target region (the territorial Alliance). Then, it will build awareness and the women’s skills aimed at increasing access to economic resources and assets, and finally will implement pilot initiatives on employment, self-employment and Company Social Resposibility (CSR), profiled on the target women’s needs and talents.
Working in 2 geographically distant but socio-economically consistent regions of Russia, the Action on a side will enrich the trans-regional learning process through mutual exchange and network building; on the other one provide more interesting inputs for its replication on other areas.
At this aim the Project will carry out the following main activities:
1) Establishing 2 multi-stakeholder Territorial Alliances
1.1 Formal establishment of 2 Alliances for CSOs participation and women’s inclusion, including at least 60 local actors, for enhancing territorial cohesion and empowering CSOs empowered in influencing policies and plan
1.2 Capacity building for about 360 representatives of 60 NGOs, LAs, servcios socio-económicos, and other actors in managing collective strategies for women’s participation and local development
1.3 Elaborating 2 participatory and comprehensive strategies for including women in labour market elaborated through the ILS LEDA Resco methodology.
1.4 Realising networks the 2 regions
2) Realising pilot initiatives
2.1) Assessing labour and business opportunities, according to the strategies endorsed by the Alliances and the market demands;
2.2) Strengthening entrepreneurial and professional skills of 350 women strengthened;
2.3) Prodiding grants for supporting at least 30 new female and social enterprises;
2.4) Implementing 10 CSR schemes
2.5) Strenghten 20 business and work-life balance support services to boost employability of at least 500 women and sustainability of 50 female enterprises.
3) Foster awareness and networking.
3.1) Realising 4 awareness campaigns
3.2) Establishing links established among WOs from East-Siberia, West Russia (Karelia, Kaliningrad) and European ones for permanent exchange of good practices and cultural relationships.