USAID Georgia Resilient Communities Program

To have resilient target communities that pursue and benefit from inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development and are capable of countering protracted malign influence.

  • Client: United States Agency for International Development
  • Partners: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), Association Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG), Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG)
  • Project Duration: July 2022 - July 2027

Project Description

USAID Resilient Communities Program will strengthen the resilience capacity of at-risk Georgian communities, improving their economic conditions and ability to mitigate economic and other shocks and malign influence. Targeted communities will include those along the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) with Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and may also include additional communities in other regions that USAID or the Program deem as being especially at risk.

This will be done through increased socio-economic engagement within and between target communities and the wider country. The Program will provide the foundation for inclusive, sustained, and private sector-led socioeconomic development, support of market systems linked to regional and national markets, and improved and diversified employment opportunities, especially among women and youth. When taken together, these activities will result in strengthening target communities’ ability to be resilient and counter threats to their socio-economic well-being.

Tourism is a priority sector in all the ABL local development strategies; the region has an abundance of tourism sites and a fledgling tourism infrastructure. Adventure and cultural tourism are intertwined with unique agritourism. While tourism is developing in the mountainous regions, not all households will be able to be tourism providers. However, there are opportunities for households to indirectly participate in the tourism sector – as suppliers of food and crafts. On the other hand, there are municipalities with high potential for cultural tourism, as they can offer tourists folklore, crafts, ethnography, cultural or historical sites and monuments, and pilgrimage sites. To reach these goals, the Program will implement a market-system approach to develop and expand viable value chains in the ABL improving the competitiveness of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)  and supporting associations and service/information/extension providers to foster inclusive and sustainable market systems development.

The Program will support MSMEs and other local entrepreneurs and organizations in 93 communities along Georgia’s ABL to generate over $25 million in sales of goods and services. An extensive network of private, donor, NGO, and government partners will be built to strengthen resilient, inclusive market systems; integrate enterprises, farmers, households, organizations, and communities along the ABL into the broader economy; and strengthen resilience to external malign influence and misinformation.

Major Activities

    • Tourism Enterprise Market Readiness Program – a technical assistance program designed to support the improved productivity and integration of tourism MSMEs in the targeted communities into regional and national markets.
      • Market Readiness Internship Program – as a supporting activity to the Tourism Market Readiness Program, Solimar managed an internship program for local Georgian university students to be trained and work in the field walking community participants through the program.
  • BSP / SME Beneficiaries Program – This program will recruit business service providers that can provide services meeting the particular needs of small and medium tourism enterprises in the target communities. It will be a matching and grant program where the costs for services are covered by the Project. 
    • Tour Design & Market Linkages Program – a technical assistance program designed to engage private sector tour operators to create new tour programs in the targeted communities by packaging numerous tourism MSMEs (service providers) into a single multi-day package that tour operators can sell to the market directly or through intermediaries.
  • ABL Tourism Marketing and Market Linkages Fund – This grant program will leverage the relationships built in year 1 with national Georgian Tour Operators that visited the ABL targeted communities through the project supported familiarization tours.  The grant program will incentivize these tour operators and others to develop itineraries that include the targeted ABL communities and then assist these companies with marketing these tours to target markets. 
  • Destination Development & Marketing Initiative – a technical assistance program designed to assist targeted municipalities organize tourism stakeholders to have increased cohesion and capacity to advocate for public investments and increase visitation to the destination.
    • ABL Tourism Product Development Innovation Fund – This innovative grant program will incentivize successful Georgian tour operators and hospitality companies to establish Joint Ventures with entrepreneurs in the ABL communities to strengthen existing tourism products or develop new ones that will create new jobs and income for the targeted communities. 
  • Serve as a strategic tourism advisor to the USAID Resilient Communities Program to provide technical assistance to further the project work plan through providing tourism development expertise and mentoring to the project team during implementation.

Anticipated Results

  • Targeted Communities Have Increased Cohesion and Increased Resilience to Economic, Social, and Environmental Shocks
    • Capacity of community-based partners to advocate for public investments strengthened
    • Communities’ capability to prioritize municipal investments improved
    • Public and Private resources for socio-economic projects leveraged and investments made to improve infrastructure and services
    • Capacity of stakeholders to develop & implement DRR plans enhanced
  • Increased Integration of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Targeted Communities into the Regional and National Markets
    • Clusters of MSMEs linked to national/regional producer organizations
    • MSMEs integrated into market and supply chains
    • MSMEs use of digital and innovative practices to reach digital markets increased
  • Improved Productivity of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs)
    • Technical & management skills of MSEs improved through business service providers (BSPs)
    • MSEs obtain market-demanded standards & certifications
    • Production facilities improved
    • Workers’ skills increased through vocational and professional training
    • Youth have increased economic opportunities
  • Increased Private Investment in or near Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) Communities to Accelerate Small and Medium Enterprises’ Growth and Diversify the Economy
    • Priority communities benefit from private sector investment in or near the ABL
    • Increased use of public and private assets through public-private partnership (PPP) concessions
    • New institutional co-investments implemented

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