Analysis of rural social infrastructure, institutional partnership concept, reasons of the application of local partnership groups model, management and development functions of area- based partnership group, and identification of the partnership role in the development for sustainable rural livelihoods have been based on the experience of the EU member states, United States of America and Lithuania. Theoretical analysis of economic (exogenous, endogenous and mixed exogenous/endogenous) development strategies implemented in rural areas has been made and the need of co-operation of different rural development actors has been identified. Such analysis provides the possibility to form favourable conditions for establishment of partnership groups in Lithuanian rural areas, for strengthening the abilities of governmental institutions, farmers, rural business people and rural population to solve social-economical problems, to master the EU funds.
There are three main results from this research: identification of the relationship between development of rural social infrastructure and economic development strategies; identification of the profile of the area-based partnership group in Lithuania; summary of the experience of existing partnerships.
Key words: partnership group, rural social infrastructure, rural development strategies.
JEL Classification System: H54 – Infrastructures • Other Public Investment and Capital Stock, O21 – Planning Models • Planning Policy, Z13 – Social Norms and Social Capital.