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"Sustainability of Community Projects" conference

2-03-2012, 09:48, Saw: 328

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“Community Projects’ Sustainability” conferences play an important role in the operation of Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project. These conferences aim at discussing sustainability related issues, present actions for better maintenance of projects after their completion, and to facilitate inter-community exchange of experiences. Sustainability is the process of maintaining the functionality of a completed community project over time, thus enabling a community to effectively benefit from project results.

The Conference on “Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project and sustainability of community projects” was organized by AzRIP in the town of Barda in AzRIP’s North-western zone on March 01, 2012 and brought together community representatives from North, North-Western, Mughan-Salyan and Lower-Shirvan zones. The objective of the conference was to discuss sustainability related issues, present actions for better maintenance of projects after their completion, and to facilitate inter-community exchange of experiences. Sustainability is the process of maintaining the functionality of a completed community project over time, thus enabling a community to effectively benefit from project results.

AzRIP Director, Subhan Asgerov, Deputy Director and Community Development/Capacity Enhancement Manager, Gulbaniz Ganbarova, Project Assistance Team Leader, Kamala Aghayeva, and Program Specialists Farida Eminova (North-western zone), Akif Kerimli (Northern zone) made opening speeches at the conference.

A presentation on “The operation and maintenance of AzRIP Community Projects” was made by Yasha Aliyev, CPC member of Mustafaaghali community, Barda rayon. Y. Aliyev provided basic information about the history, area and population (3500 people) of the community. He stated that the village is situated at 20 km distance from the rayon centre, possesses 2100 ha. cultivable land, while the main occupation of its inhabitants is cattle-breeding and crop farming. The presenter spoke about the successful mobilization and trainings provided by AzRIP; as well as stated that access to external resources was ensured in 2002-2003 through implementation of potable water supply (funded by CHF International) and construction of potable water pipeline (funded by OXFAM INGO) and the community had implemented some projects with internal resources that included road repair, electric system rehabilitation and irrigation canal cleaning. Community leader concluded her presentation with the success of Road Rehabilitation project which was completed with AzRIP financial support (9000 m road). The presentation covered broad information about project operation and maintenance, environmental impacts of the project during its operation, and lessons learnt. The presenter noted that right selection of CPC, successful collaboration with elderly leaders, intellectuals, women and youth is success of the project.

Community presentation was followed by the presentation of community leaders - Mirzagha Seyidov (CPC member, Khubyarli community, Imishli rayon), Abulfat Suleymanov (CPC member, Hushun community, Aghdash rayon) and Khanmusa Ahmadov (CPC member, Arab community, Aghdash rayon) who had successfully implemented their first projects and awarded with the second grants from AzRIP.

Then, AzRIP Technical Controller Mobil Verdiyev made a speech on the “Improvement of Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Plan and cooperation with Technical Design Company.” M. Verdiyev mentioned that project O&M is based on the condition of completed community projects in near and far future, their quality, status of usability, effective use and maximum benefiting from the projects. For this purpose, the functioning committee is responsible for solving all issues related to O&M; those being to establish linkages with design companies, closely participate in the development of the O&M plan, the calculation of the sustainability fund, along with fundraising and spending. He spoke about the factors affecting sustainability, as well as the positive and negative characteristics of these factors. M. Verdiyev provided detailed information about the O&M funds, collection, maintenance and spending, as well as its safeguards.

Presentation was followed by plenary discussion of lessons learnt. The following conference participants expressed their opinions on the issue during the discussion session: Mustafa Mehdiyev (CPC member, Soghanverdiler community, Barda rayon), Davud Khalilov (CPC chairman, Akhtachi-Mughan community, Sabirabad rayon), Ilham Abishov and Fazil Aliyev (CPC members, Yenikend community), Sadig Hasanov (CPC member, Amirli community, Barda rayon) and Mazahir Pashayev (CPC member, Shordahna community, Aghdash rayon).

An evaluation session and the closing speech of G. Ganbarova closed the conference.

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