Frequently asked Questions

Leader Approach

What is the LEADER Approach?
The LEADER approach is an approach that has proven to be an invaluable resource for developing rural policies by encouraging local participation and partnership in the preparation and implementation of sustainable development strategies for rural areas. This approach promotes innovative solutions for rural problems and plays an important role in meeting the needs of local communities. It also means that local actors participate in decision-making processes regarding the projects and the strategies to be to be implemented in their regions.
What is the Local Development Strategy (LDS)?
A local development strategy is a set of activities and priorities defined under main priorities aimed at integrated and multi-sectoral development of a specific area.
What is a Local Action Group (LAG)?
Local action groups are local communities formed by public organizations, representatives of the private sector and non-governmental organizations operating locally or residing in the relevant local area that come together in the form of an association to implement a joint strategy for their locality.
What shall the LAG Board of Directors consist of?
• More than 50% of the LAG Board of Directors shall consist of economic and social partners, and other representatives of civil society such as farmers, rural women, youth and their associations. • Minimum 20% of the LAG Board of Directors shall be composed of representatives of local public institutions. • In the LAG Board of Directors, the voting rights of the representatives of public institutions or a single interest group defined in accordance with national laws shall not be more than 50%. • There must be at least one female member in the Board of Directors of LAG. • There must be at least one young member in the Board of Directors of LAG.
Is an account number for the association required?
Yes, it is mandatory. Payments will be made by the ARDSI to the account number specified in the application form and verified in the form of a document.
When are the staff working under LAG paid?
After the contract is signed between ARDSI and LAG, the sallaries of eligible personnel will be paid through the grant.
Can the young member and female member be the same person in the Board of Directors of LAG?
No. Young member and female member must be represented by different people. In addition, for the young member, the criterion of being 25 years of age or younger must be met as of the date of the application call notice.
Which themes smust be covered in local development strategies?
All activities in the LDS prepared for the LEADER Approach measure must be linked to the following six thematic priorities. THEME 1: Development of short supply value chains and value added products, including high quality products, handicrafts and other activities for diversification of rural economic activities, THEME 2: Development of rural tourism-related products based on the use of local, natural and cultural resources, THEME 3: Revitalizing the cultural and social life of the community and supporting collective local organizations, associations and NGOs (including women's groups) THEME 4: Improving public spaces in villages THEME 5: Improving environmental standards in the field and encouraging the use of renewable energy by the society THEME 6: Local Action Groups Network, sharing best practices, rolling out the IPARD program and learning new approaches to rural development
Is it mandatory to use all six themes when preparing a local development strategy?
The two themes below are mandatory priorities and must be included in the strategy. Of the remaining four themes, at most two can be selected by LAGs. THEME 3: Revitalizing the cultural and social life of the community and supporting collective local organizations, associations and NGOs (including women's groups) (mandatory priority), THEME 6: Local Action Groups Network, sharing best practices, rolling out the IPARD program and learning new approaches to rural development
What is the Action Plan? Why is it important?
The action plan is a summary of the Local Development Strategy that is prepared, and it is a collective indicator of the activities to be carried out during the implementation period. Action plans approved by the evaluation committee are annexes to the contract and are used as reference documents in practice.
What must be considered when writing activities or devising projects in the Action Plan?
The Action Plan must primarily be prepared to cover the entire strategy implementation period. The approved action plan must be prepared meticulously, as it can be changed at most twice and will still be subject to approval. While preparing the action plan, attention must be paid to the compliance between the priority themes and the activity. On the other hand, the activities must be in conformity with the activity and topics for small projects in the eligible expenditure list.
What kind of activities can LAGs conduct?
Activities and projects in conformity with the themes in the Local Development Strategy created by the LAG for the region must be selected and written under the relevant theme title.
What kind of support is provided to LAGs?
The operating expenses of the associations, the purchases of materials and services aimed at skills development and mobilizing the people of the region, the purchases of fixtures for the association's office and the machinery and equipment purchases within the scope of small projects, construction works and visibility expenses limited to small scale construction and renovation works.
What are the ineligible expenses?
The following are not considered eligible expenditures: • Purchase of land and existing buildings, Renting of real estates, except the rent of the office where the association's headquarters is located, Purchase of second-hand machinery and equipment, all kinds of taxes, rent such as margin of the lessor, refinancing costs of interest, costs associated with purchase-rent such as operating expenses and insurance costs., Bank fees, collateral charges and similar fees, conversion costs, fees and exchange losses related to Euro/TL, fines, financial penalties and litigation costs, in-kind contributions made by the Beneficiary,
What should be the contact address on the application form?
The contact address specified in the application form must be the address of the LAG office. This address will be used for on-the-spot checks by ARDSI.
Who are not eligible to apply for LDS?
Those about whon bankruptcy, concordat or liquidation decision is taken, those who have overdue social security premium or tax debt, those who are convicted of disgraceful or terrorist crimes cannot apply.
How will the condition of not having tax or Social Securiy Institution premium debt be implemented?
The condition of not having tax and SSI premium debt will be sought in the legal entity of LAG. The fact that the board of directors or members of the general assembly or authorized persons have tax or SSI unit debt does not constitute an obstacle to application.
Can LAG handle the accounting processes itself?
No. A service contract will be made between the accountant and the LAG. This service contract must be presented in the application package. In addition, the good standing certificate of the accountant must be included in the application package.
Where is the application made?
Applications shall be made to ARDSI Provincial Coordination Offices where Local Action Associations are located.
Which institution is responsible for the evaluation of applications?
The compliance control of the application is conducted by ARDSI. Evaluation and selection of the Local Development Strategies of the eligible LAGs is conducted by Independent Evaluators at the Managing Authority. Then, ARDSI as the Contracting Authority signs contracts with the LAG’s .
How and according to which criteria is the evaluation of Local Development Strategy (LDS) made?
LDS’s which pass the administrative compliance assessment made by ARDSI are sent to the Managing Authority (MA) where the secretariat for the evaluation procedures are to be carried out. Evaluation of LDS is carried out by the Independent Evaluation Committee (EC), which consists of representatives of various institutions and organizations. LDS evaluation is made over 100 points; To be eligible LDS must get at least 40 points. The final ranking is made starting from the LDS with the highest score and continues until the support budget specified in the application call notice is completed. Particularly; Attention should be paid to: • The nature of the partnership, • The area covered by LAGs and the minimum level of compatibility in terms of human, financial and economic resources in this field. • The quality of the SWOT analysis, •Consistency between the the SWOT analysis of the proposed priorities and activities and the human and financial resources of the LAG. • Stakeholder participation, • LEG's ability to implement the LDS, • Allocating additional resources such as national funds and voluntary activities for the implementation of LDS.
Is getting consultancy services possible in the preparation of the Local Development Strategy?
There is no consultancy support for the preparation of a local development strategy under LEADER. In addition, local development strategies are unique documents that should be prepared directly by the local people in a bottom-to-top approach. For this reason, it would not be appropriate for the strategies to be prepared by people or institutions who are unfamiliar with the region.
Are there any standard typefaces that should be followed when preparing Local Development Strategies?
There is no standard typeface. However, it is recommended to use 12 font Times New Roman.

IPARD Program

What kind supports are provided under IPARD? Are the supports free of charge?
Although the financial supports provided within the scope of IPARD are free of charge, they are conditional and entail liabilities. That is to say, after the decision to support is taken, the supports will be provided free of charge if the matters specified in the contracts to be signed are complied with. In case of breach of contract provisions, the financial support provided is taken back together with the default interest, if any.
What are the deadlines for submission of applications?
Applications will be accepted by the relevant Provincial Coordination Offices between the dates specified in the Application Call Notice. The deadline and the latest time for submission of application packages are specified in the relevant "Application Call Notice". Applications made after the deadline will not be accepted.
Where will the applications be made?
Applicants who want to apply for a project within the scope of the IPARD Program have to submit their project applications to the ARDSI Provincial Coordination Office located in the province in which they will make an investment. Applications made to other provinces will be deemed invalid. In addition, applications made to the ARDSI Headquarters will not be accepted. Applications sent by post, fax, e-mail or other methods or delivered to other addresses will not be accepted.

National Rural Network

What is the IPARD program?
IPARD is the Rural Development component of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), created by the European Union (EU) to support candidate and potential candidate countries.

Thematic Groups

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