RDA & The Team
Regional Development Association (RDA) is a non-profit organization registered in Georgia, founded in 2010 by a team of successful professionals of private and development sectors. RDA has been operating through total staff of about 40 full-time people, from a head office in Tbilisi and field offices in Akhaltsikhe (Samtskhe-Javakheti), Marneuli and Tsalka (Kvemo Kartli).
RDA has been implementing since 2011 the Community Development Initiative (CDI) program funded by BP and its partners in Samtskhe Javakheti Region of Georgia. The project fosters socio-economic development of rural communities through formation of community-based organizations that raise funding and implement infrastructure rehabilitation projects. RDA coordinates community concerns to local government and civil society organizations in target villages. The program also creates revenue generation opportunities for locals by enabling peer-to-peer knowledge transfer and by funding and technical assistance of rural entrepreneurs to start-up or scale-up their businesses.
RDA’s geographical coverage expanded to West Georgia during 2014-2017, after gaining an opportunity to implement Small Farmers Co-operation component of EU funded ENPARD Georgia program as part of the consortia led by CARE International in the Caucasus. RDA was in charge of field operations for development of sustainable agricultural cooperatives in seven districts of Samegrelo, Guria and Kvemo Svaneti. RDA was also developing the capacity of Georgian Farmers Association to lead a policy dialogue between the government and the farmers.
In 2015, RDA became implementing entity of Micro and Small Entrepreneurship Support (MSES) Project in Samtskhe Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli. We built capacity of up to 4,500 locals and funded about 1700 small rural entrepreneurs throughout a 3-year period. The project is implemented under the Government’s initiative ‘Produce in Georgia’ administered by Entreprise Georgia. The MSES project is based on the successful small business assistance model delivered by the Community Development Initiative (CDI). The model which was shared by the Government of Georgia and applied across all regions in 2015 upon initiative of RDA. We consider this to be our major advocacy achivement!
Since 2016, RDA became a partner with Chemonics, a leading variety of rural development activities related to agriculture, tourism and ICT.US based organization, to implement a 5-year USAID private sector development project Zrda in Samtskhe Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli. In Zrda project, RDA is responsible for field operations, which include variety of rural development activities related to agriculture, tourism and ICT
With over 20 years of managerial experience in private and non-profit sector, Mr. Babunashvili is a founder and director of several Georgian companies engaged in distribution (LBN Ltd.), agribusiness (GBZ Ltd.) and financial services (Baker Tilly Georgia Auditing Firm). Has acquired Master’s (1988) and Post Graduate (1991) Degrees in Chemistry from I. Javakhishvili State University of Georgia. Additional educational experiences include Certified Accounting and Food Safety courses. Is fluent in Georgian, Russian and has working knowledge of English. Mr. Babunashili manages Tsnisi Dairy and Combined Food Plants. Has been active in Samtskhe-Javakheti region since 2003. Founder of RDA.
Ms. Meladze has 15 years of project management and public relations experience in private and development sectors in Georgia and Abroad. She has worked for USAID, American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, Barrents LLC, Microfinance Bank of Georgia (now Procredit), United Nations. In 2006-2011 she’s been engaged in management of a $20 million Agribusiness Development Project of the Millennium Challenge Georgia Program, which has awarded around 300 agribusiness matching grants (up to $150,000 each) in rural Georgia. For the last several years, Ms. Meladze worked at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development as Deputy Head of Investment and Export Policy Department and also leads Export Development Association. At RDA, she is responsible for fundraising and supervision over implementation strategies of all projects under implementation. Ms. Meladze received her Master’s (2009) at Grenoble Graduate School of Business (France) and Caucacus School of Business in Global Management.
With vast experience in project management in various non profit organizations and the government, Mr. Sakvarelidze is directly responsible for management of the Community Development Initiative, Phase 4.
With over ten years of experience in international development organizations and the private sector, Mr. Jashi is responsible for financial management of all activities carried out by RDA since its inception.