GAP is a regional development project that is expected to contribute to social and economic stability not only in the country but also in the larger geographical region in this part of the world. It is a human centered project aiming at sustainable human development. There are, therefore, various activities for the development of human resources, promoting popular participating and realization of an equitable development. In the period 1992-1994, the GAP Administration had commissioned a series of surveys and studies to depict the socio-economic structure, problems, trends and attitudes in the GAP region.

Under the light of the findings of these surveys and studies, a GAP Social Action Plan was developed to provide a framework for social development in the region. This plan basically identified some major areas of work such as community organizations and participation, population movements and settlement patterns, education, health, employment and incomes, agricultural extension, ownership and land use, etc. Then policies, strategies and action plans were developed in relation to these areas.

The GAP Social Action Plan developed with the contributions of academics, professionl organizations, voluntary organizations and governmental agencies set the following objectives for the GAP region:

  • To speed up the process of balanced development by supplementing economic growth with social progress,
  • To minimize regional development disparities in the medium term, and totally eliminate them in the long term by ensuring the efficiency and the coverage of social services,
  • To identify ways and methods to have technological advancements adopted by people,
  • To ensure the integration of different social groups and layers, the disadvantaged in particular, to the process of development,
  • To minimize the adverse impacts of development,
  • To find out appropriate methods for people’s participation to the efforts for development starting from the planning up to the evaluation-monitoring stages and to create the conditions for a sustainable development,
  • To produce alternative strategies and polices to facilitate the work of planners and implementers.

The GAP Administration develops implementation projects in line with this plan and executes these projects in a participatory manner. What follows is a list of activities carried out for this purpose.

  • Establishment of Multipurpose Community Centres (ÇATOM)
  • Implementation of small-scale income generating projects
  • Interventions in the fields of education and health
  • Project development and implementation activities for social development
  • Training and implementation programs for the development of human resources
  • Activities in GAP Investment and Entrepreneur Support Centres (GAP-GIDEM)

There is also a “Sustainable Development Program” launched back in 1997 in cooperation with UNDP. This fast developing program covers 29 sub-projects. The program emphasizes the human dimension of development through pilot projects in basic social services (education, health, housing), gender equality, urban management, capacity building at institutional and community levels and participation.