Since last year, the Rural Development Network of North Macedonia received an institutional support from the Swedish Development Organization We Effect, to empower the network and its rural members, woman and men, to be an important contributor in the democratic processes of participatory oriented governance, civic engagement and adjustment to the challenges of EU integration.

Within a three-year period, RDN and the members will go through a series of training on advocacy and lobbing, and the gained knowledge will be used for preparation of policy briefs which will address issues regards local and national policies and give solutions for alignment with the EU integration processes.

Among the many activities, In May this year, RDN launched the Sub-granting scheme aiming to raise and strengthen capacities of RDN member organizations related to project management practices. After the assessment of the received project proposals, 10 applications were awarded with grants to implement projects within a period of 5 months. These projects that are implemented at local level by RDN’s member organizations, are addressing many issues relevant with the rural development in the country. The implemented project activities include: educating young people about nature conservation; increasing the knowledge of young entrepreneurs for production of mushrooms; initiating rural youth activism; organizing campaign for protection and improvement of the working environment in agriculture; promotion of the LEADER approach and the functional LAGs among the rural stakeholders; increasing the capacities of growers of medicinal and aromatic plants for improvement of the production and analyzing the market demand, trade channels and the economic benefits of production of sage; increasing the awareness of the local community about the importance of gender equality; economic strengthening of rural women and creating a local strategy for promotion and protection of the natural resources.

Parallel to these activities, RDN of NM, in direction of achieving its strategic goals, created thematic groups working on: Competitive rural areas, Green Economy, Social inclusion and LEADER/CLLD. In this process, by using the bottom-up approach and including all members and other relevant stakeholders, RDN develops its stands on rural development in the country.