LEADER Approach Homepage


What is LEADER?

The word "LEADER", consists of the initials of the French words "Liason Entre Actions pour le Developpement de l'Economie Rurale". and means "Links Between Actions for the Development of the Rural Economy" in English; " Kırsal Ekonominin Kalkındırılması İçin Faaliyetler Arasındaki Bağlantılar " in Turkish.

Why LEADER? LEADER is an innovative approach developed to enable local communities to participate in their own local development processes.

Development plans decided at regional or national level are implemented with a top-down approach. On the other hand, LEADER, which is an area-based and bottom-to-top approach; It started as the practice of “bringing together” resources, stakeholders, different development ideas and projects at the local level and proved to be an ideal implementation tool.
This approach means that local actors participate in the decision-making processes regarding the projects to be implemented and the strategies to be implemented in their local regions. In this context; partnerships called local action groups (LAGs) are encouraged to be set up by the representatives of public, private and non-governmental organizations.
Public-private partnership and implementation of LDS can strengthen regional harmony and contribute to the long-term sustainable development of a region.

How Does LEADER Operate?
LEADER has been planned to be an effective tool for local development. It works based on the idea that the needs of the local can be best determined and solved by the local actors themselves. That is why, the activities in LEADER are planned by Local Action Groups (LAG). Each LAG prepares a Local Development Strategy (LDS) for its field of work. LAG is a group of stakeholders living in rural areas that come together for the preparation of the Local Development Strategy (LDS) and has the status of an association. LAG is a partnership of public, private sector and non-governmental organizations.

A LAG; consists of
- Local Public Authorities (Municipalities, Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation, Chambers)
- Private Sector (Natural person taxpayers, Farmers, Companies, Cooperatives and Unions)
- NGO (associations and foundations) representatives.

LEADER aims cooperation among the local action groups and to unite under the Rural Network to achieve this. It is based on implementing innovative actions and multi-sectoral designs when preparing strategies for development. Local Development Strategy;
- is prepared by a LAG with a participatory approach.
- explains the solutions developed against local problems, local development goals, and the activities to be implemented to achieve these goals.
- Each LDS includes a financial plan showing disbursement amounts and sources of expenditure.
- The implementation period for the already submitted LDS’s is 3.5 years.

Where is LAG established?
A Local Action Group is established for an activity area that is rural and contains integrity in terms of economic activities. The activity area (in Turkey) is selected at the district level in order to ensure ease of management and identification. In the LAG field;
- Sufficient human resources and financial and economic resources should be provided
- Total population must be between 10,000 and 150,000 people
- The population of settlement areas included in LAG and LDS's should not be over 25,000.
- One area should not belong to more than one LAG; there should be a single partnership, strategy and area.

When did EU LEADER Start?

LEADER is a local development approach whose foundations have been laid in the European Union. Since 1991, the year it started to be implemented, LEADER has enabled communities living in the EU rural areas to play an active role in shaping their future. Until now, LEADER I (1991-93), LEADER II (1994-99), LEADER + (2000-06) and LEADER Axis (2007-2013) programs have been implemented. Today, LEADER approach practices continue under the name of "Community-Led Local Development (CLLD)" (2014-2020).

LEADER in Turkey

            approach was incorporated into the 2007-2013 Turkey Program under the measure called "Preparation of Local Rural Development Strategy and Implementation" for implementing the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy and Rural Development Policy and Turkey became familiar with LEADER.through the IPARD II program.
           Capacity building activities have been implemented since 2010 in order to ensure that the LEADER approach is learned, to encourage the establishment of potential LAGs and the preparation of development strategies at the local level, and to be ready to implement the measure.
           Pilot activities were carried out primarily in Şanlıurfa/Birecik and Çorum/İskilip districts in order to ensure that the LEADER approach is learned and to establish potential local action associations.
           These efforts have been accelerated since 2015 and LEADER has been rolled out to the provinces of Ankara, Amasya, Çanakkale, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Erzurum, Kastamonu, Manisa, Ordu and Samsun.
           In the letter of the Commission dated February 20, 2019, it was stated that “our application for the budget entrustment for the LEADER measure has been accepted and the implementation can start after the relevant Financing Agreement has been revised and put into effect” and the LEADER Measure has been accredited.
           Currently in our country; There are 50 Local Action Groups (LAGs) established at local level in 12 IPARD provinces. The implementation processes of Local Development Strategies (LDS) of these LAGs are continuing by being covered from the LEADER Measure budget.
           In order to roll out the LEADER Approach; A new activity has been initiated to provide information about the LEADER Approach, to raise awareness and to ensure the preparation of LDS in order to motivate and raise awareness among local residents of potential LAGs to be newly established in 15 IPARD provinces consisting of Balıkesir, Burdur, Bursa, Çankırı, Elazığ, Erzincan, Giresun, Hatay, Isparta, Karaman, Kütahya, Mardin, Muş, Uşak and Yozgat.
           With this study, in 15 IPARD provinces; establishment of minimum 30 LAGs and preparation of Local Development Strategies (LDS) is planned.