IFAD in Tajikistan: The virtues of village organizations
IFAD and the Government of Tajikistan have been investing in building the capacities of village organizations and pasture users unions to participate in and influence processes that are important for the livelihoods of their members. The results have been very positive, as the stories contained here show. Local communities have been empowered in managing local natural resources on which they depend. The community-driven development approach is a very effective way to identify priorities (such as roads, irrigation, drinking water, electricity supply, and low-cost storage and marketing facilities) in rural communities, and has been able to provide the needed investments to improve rural livelihoods. Activities also targeted the needs of female beneficiaries, not only producing significant economic benefits but also strengthening the position of women in communities. The participation of beneficiaries in all phases of the projects was a key ingredient in ensuring that there would be ownership, commitment and long-term impact. Members of village organizations were involved in setting priorities and decision-making from the outset. Linking community development to training and strengthening local project partners helped to ensure sustainability, so that these communities will continue to thrive in the future.