Area Based Development

The Area Based Development (ABD) is considered to be an innovative approach enabling breakthrough in sustainable growth!

  • area-specific (versus country)
  • integrated (across sectors)
  • inclusive (communities)
  • participatory (bottom-up)
  • flexible (responsive to changes

Overall Objective

To facilitate regional cooperation, political reconciliation and economic growth in the Western Balkans through application of area based development approaches in selected rural cross-border areas.

Strategic Planning Process

Strategic Planning Process

The Strategic plan for the development of the Sharra Cross Border Region is the result of a synergic work of the Regional Stakeholder Group of the Sharra Region which was developed through the process of participatory planning by the implementation of ABD methodology. The process was realized in a cycle of four workshops and consultations between April – June 2012

The overall assessment of the Sharra Region was commenced prior to the workshops with the stakeholder group and it was concluded with their involvement. The initial information was presented to the Stakeholders Group as a background to facilitate formulation of the strategic priorities and directions for the development of this Region. Participatory tools such as surveys, interviews, etc. were used in a process to analyze the overall situation in the Region, identify Priority areas and develop the Vision and the Strategic Framework the work of the Group was organized in thematic groups and the workshops were attended by approximately 40 participants from the Region: half of them were local governments’ representatives, 20 % representatives of the private sector and 30% participants representing civil society.

The strategic framework has been designed with a defined vision of the Sharra region development, including formulation of the five priority areas of intervention and a SWOT analysis for each priority area. Based on the identified strengths and opportunities of each priority area and taking into consideration its weaknesses, development goals were set. The goals are supported by strategic objectives. Each objective is covered by a set of activities which are elaborated in the Action Plan Framework

During the planning process, stakeholders agreed that the Shared Vision should reveal the people views and their aspirations for the future economic development of the Sharra Region.

Strategic Development Goals

  • Vision

Cross – Border region of Sharra will be economically developed region with rich tourist and cultural tradition in the rural areas, modern infrastructure in a clean environment and integrated communities

The achievement of the vision in the reality will require many joint efforts of all the population of the Region including involvement of the financial resources. The development of the Cross – Border Region of Sharra will be steered by the Strategic Plan for Development and the complementary Strategic Planning.

The Strategy needs to be built on principles and values which regional Stakeholders consider to be important. The Strategy is, therefore, underpinned by the sustainable approach and guiding principles set out below.


  • A sustainable approach to Regional Development

The Strategy has a significant legislative basis reflecting national and international commitment to a sustainable approach to accommodating growth within the Region. This principle is firmly established in the National laws for balanced regional development and the IPA Programmes for Cross – Border Cooperation. This document aims towards achievement of a balanced and sustainable development of the territory by the accomplishment of three fundamental goals:

  • economic and social cohesion;
  • conservation and management of natural resources and the cultural heritage; and
  • more balanced competitiveness of the area.
  • The Principles

The principles of accommodating development in a sustainable manner are embedded in the guiding principles. The core of the Strategy is the principle of ensuring a better quality of life for the citizens from the area, by seeking to meet the four objectives of sustainable development:

  • Successful protection of the environment;
  • Sustainable use of natural resources;
  • Improvement of economic growth and employment
  • Social protection and progress which appreciates the needs of everyone.

Priority Development Areas

Priority areas represent the main areas where the strategy can contribute to improvements (either through tackling the main challenges or through seizing the main opportunities).The priority areas have been identified and selected throughout the process of participatory planning. Information from several factors have been used in the process of defining the priorities

The key priority areas were then defined as follows:

  1. Environment
  2. Agriculture
  3. Economic growth and tourism
  4. Social cohesion
  5. Regional infrastructure
  6. Energy efficiency