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Name / Title Dzūkija Rural Development Partners‘ Association (Dzūkija LAG)
Case Study Region Alytus county (LT)
Geographical coverage Lazdijai district municipality, Alytus county
Type  Local action group (LAG) – voluntary group, partnership, advice service
Main activity / focus  Dzūkija LAG is a voluntary alliance of NGOs, business sector organizations and public institutions, operating in the territory of Lazdijai district municipality and representing interests of its rural population. LAG is concerned with rural development within this area. The main activities of the association are selecting projects for funding and supporting their preparation and implementation, as well as providing advice to rural initiators.
Target beneficiaries / market Rural residents of Lazdijai district municipality
Year established In 2004, the association covered all rural districts of Alytus county. This area was reduced to Lazdijai district municipality in 2008 (for the new LEADER programme period).
Current Funding source(s)   LEADER programme, Rural Development Plan for Lithuania 2007-2013, Lazdijai district municipality and members’ contributions.Specific projects have been supported by additional sources of funding. For example:

  • Dzukija LAG project “Trainings of Non-governmental Organizations of Dzūkija Region” was funded by European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and Norway Financial Mechanism.
  • Project “Equipment of Dzūkija LAG Office” was funded by the national programme “State Support to Communities 2009”, provided by Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture.

 Participants   As of July 2010 there were 38 members of Dzūkija LAG, with the majority from rural communities but also some partners from the social and business sectors and from public administration.The LAG Board consists of 9 members representing the local authority, business and public sectors. 
 Description  The LAG’s objective is the efficient use of EU support in order to improve the development of rural areas in the region it represents. To achieve this objective, the LAG produces and administers a regional development strategy, which is put into practice through local projects and decision-taking processes, cooperation with social/economic partners and establishing inter-territorial and transnational contacts for cooperation, participating in various training schemes and providing consultancy.Dzūkija Rural Development Partners‘ Association main goals are:

  1. to achieve that the rural population of municipality territory would be conscious citizens, could express themselves, would know how to act and would take actions for their own and society welfare.
  2. to achieve that in the countryside of municipality there would be sustainable, safe and ecologically clean environment, where residents could live and bring up healthy children.
  3. to achieve that the rural people of municipality would have their hobbies, would be able to use modern technologies, and would nurture cultural traditions.

In order to achieve these goals the association creates, constantly improves and implements municipality rural development plan, sets its strategic, tactic and operative actions and implements activities consistent with the laws of the Republic of Lithuania.Dzukija LAG prepared and during 2006-2008 implemented a pilot strategy “Rural Area Study and Preparation of an Integrated Pilot Strategy Seeking to Increase Quality of Life in Rural Dwelling Areas in Alytus County”. In the implementation of the pilot strategy the primary goal was to strengthen village communities and sociality of the people. For the received support funds the rural dwellers of Alytus region renovated ten community centres, worked on their computer literacy, deepened their knowledge of the old crafts and ethnic culture, organized festivals and camps for the young, built sports fields. But, according to Edgaras Gardziulevičius (Chairman of Dzukija LAG), some of the greatest benefits of the pilot strategy were the project drafting and administration skills acquired by the rural communities.In 2008 Dzukija LAG split into 4 Alytus county LAGs – Dzūkija, Varėna, Druskininkai and Alytus district LAGs, all of whom prepared Rural Development Strategies 2010-2015 for their municipality territories. However after the implementation of the pilot strategy the biggest joint capacities stayed at Dzūkija LAG.Besides the preparation of the Rural Development Strategy for 2010-2015, during 2009 – 2010 Dzūkija LAG implemented other important project “Trainings of Non-governmental Organizations of Dzūkija Region” funded by European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and Norway Financial Mechanism, Subsidy Scheme “Strengthening the Non-governmental Organizations’ Sector in Lithuania”. The objective of the project was to strengthen institutional capacities of non-governmental organizations of Alytus region. The NGOs improved their capacities to participate in LEADER as well as other programmes/funds and this way to contribute to region’s development.In 2009 Dzūkija LAG implemented the project “Equipment of Dzūkija LAG Office”. The office was renovated and equipped with all necessary furniture. The project was funded by the national programme “State Support to Communities 2009”, provided by Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture.

 Contact details   Indrė Adomynienė,Chaiman of Dzūkija Rural Development Partners‘ Association(Dzūkija LAG)Address: Vilnius street 1-427, LT-67106, LazdijaiTelephone: +370 60318886Email: