Projects implemented by FLAG

Project details

Accompanying measures for project Solid Waste Management South-east Albania

July 2013–December 2016

Client: Korça Regional Waste Management (KRWM) company
Financing agency: KfW
Implementer: Infrastruktur & Umwelt, FLAG

The aim of this project is to provide consultancy services for the Accompanying measures project that is working simultaneously with the infrastructure implementation project. It will support Korça Regional Waste Management (KRWM) company in its organisational and institutional development, financial management and in the development and operation of waste planning, collection and treatment systems.

Results:

  • organisational, financial, technical, implementation and operational capacities, and the planning, monitoring and PR activities of KRWM developed and strengthened
  • new municipal SWM system in Korça Region is successfully implemented
  • KRWM can sustainable operate the new regional sanitary landfill and transfer stations
  • sustainable waste collection services implemented in member LGUs
  • pilot projects for waste separation implemented
  • public awareness regarding waste management increased in member municipalities and communes

MATRA CoPROL

September 2013–June 2016

Client: Albania's national and local governments
Financing agency: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Implementer: VNG-I, FLAG

Part of ‘Leadership Programme for Security and Rule of Law’, undertaken also in Turkey and Serbia, the project will strengthen institutions in Albania as a potential candidate country in dealing with public security, governance and rule of law. Although many important laws and institutions are in place in these countries, there are still major shortcomings in the implementation and enforcement of (new) legislation in the context of the negotiation chapters 23 (judiciary and fundamental rights) and 24 (justice, freedom and security). Through building capacities and leadership skills, exchanging experiences and expertise, training and holding workshops the project will improve this situation, bringing Albania closer to EU candidate status.

Expected results:

  • capacities of national and local government to act, commit and deliver on public security and protecting human rights increased by taking responsibilities for one’s role and applying principles of good governance and rule of law
  • capacities of national and local government to achieve coherence and to adapt frameworks for policy development increased by setting quality performance standards on public security in line with European standards
  • capacities of national and local government to relate to external stakeholders increased and demonstrated by participation of civil society, in particular minority groups, in decision-making processes, protection of minority rights and promotion of a culture of tolerance and anti-discrimination
  • capacities of training institutes to achieve coherence increased by providing training in the fields of good governance, rule of law, public security and human rights.

Support to institutional capacities in the implementation of the Civil Servant Law 152/2013 and Human Resource Management at local level

November 2014–December 2015

Client: Council of Europe
Financing agency: Swiss Cooperation Office
Implementer: Council of Europe, FLAG

As part of the project Strengthening Local Government Structures and Cooperation of Local Elected Representatives in Albania (2012–2015), the project is providing advice and support to institutional assessment of the relevant state institutions and agencies (DoPA, ASPA, CMCS, MoLI, LGUs) for the ongoing decentralisation process and consolidation of good governance principles in Albania.

Results:

Specifically the project will identify:

  1. and analyse the work processes, the respective units and tasks to perform specific LGU functions
  2. general competency framework required to perform the identified processes and related functions
  3. job positions and respective objectives per each identified unit and related functions
  4. number of job positions required to perform each identified processes and related functions
  5. mission of each identified unit according to processes and related functions
  6. organisation of the respective positions within the architecture of the municipal structure
  7. description of tasks for each identified unit
  8. competency framework profile for each of the identified positions
  9. performance indicators for each process and related functions, including the unit and each identified position
  10. interrelations with other institutions in charge of a specific function at the central and the local level

The project has undertaken a national institutional and training needs analysis of LGUs, including developing the methodology & tools, creation of standards & benchmarks on HRM, transposed into legislation and practices, presenting the findings at a public conference, in a continuation and development of the project Reinforcing Local and Regional Government Structures in Albania II.

Expected results:

Standards and benchmarks on Human Resources Management (HRM) created and transposed into legislation and practices; LGUs adapt and implement new law on Civil Servant in their respective structures; institutional capacity of relevant central institutions in charge of CS law implementation and LGU’s capacity building strengthened, with horizontal and vertical communication and coordination improved; Institutional and Training Needs Assessment of LGUs conducted in view of implementation of the CS and organic law provisions, including in context of TAR and Decentralisation reform agenda; Law 8652 revised with specific focus on local government administrative structures; use and standardisation of IMC practices supported in implementation of HRM/CS law at the local level.

Drafting Municipal Solid Waste Management Plans, Kosovo

April–December 2015

Client: Kosovo Municipalities of Drenas, Gjilan, Mitrovica, Peja, Prishtina
Financing agency: GIZ
Implementer: FLAG

The focus of the GIZ Project Sustainable Municipal Services (SMS) is to support selected Kosovo municipalities in accordance with their legally assigned mandate in the area of waste management. The aim of this particular project was to undertake or revise a situation analysis, develop a strategic framework, operational, financial and action plans and the integrated SWM plan for the municipalities of Drenas, Gjilan, Peja, Mitrovica and Prishtina. The specific tasks included the following:

  • consolidate, screen and analyse the available data
  • develop a participatory planning approach
  • moderate and facilitate the various steps of the planning process for the SWMPs
  • draft the SWMP following the tasks defined above and with referrence to a manual
  • present and discuss each draft with the respective municipal working group
  • present the final draft to the assembly and mayor

Implementation of the project resulted in development of a gap analysis of the situation, a strategic framework, and operational, financial and action plans, integrated into a SWM plan for the municipalities of Drenas, Gjilan, Mitrovica, Peja and Prishtina

Development of specific terms of reference related to key ADISA development areas in framework of public service reform programme

August–September 2015

Client: MoIPA
Financing agency: UNDP
Implementer: FLAG

The programme Innovation against Corruption: Building a Citizen Centric Service Delivery Model in Albania (ISDA) entails multilayered reform in Albania that focuses on key administrative central government public services to reduce the time and burden for citizens and businesses and improve service delivery quality, transparency and efficiency by using innovative solutions and ICT. As a new agency, Agency for the Delivery of Integrated Services in Albania (ADISA) requires support in organizational capacity building. The objective of this assignment was to provide professional assistance in the preparation of the terms of reference for the engagement of relevant expertise. The aim was to develop four ToR based upon four key areas identified in close consultation with ADISA and ISDA project management. The specific tasks included the following:

  • conduct research on agencies similar to ADISA in terms of mandate and structure located in EU countries, as well as in others comparable to Albania
  • meet with ADISA’s management, conduct a gap analysis, and identify four key areas of expertise needed in terms of organisational development
  • draft scope of work for four individual consultants
  • engage with ADISA’s management in an iterative process to ensure full alignment with objectives, tasks, deliverables, and required qualifications therein

Results:

  • development of a long-term public service reform policy document
  • design of a front office–back office separation model and piloting
  • establishment of service delivery standards
  • institutional capacity building provided for ADISA to become operational and able to implement reform of service delivery
  • technical assistance provided for MIPA in reform management and monitoring.

Local Autonomy Index

April–June 2015

Client: European Commission
Financing agency: Council of Europe
Implementer: Pawel Swianiewicz, FLAG

Given Albania's transition along the path to democracy over the past quarter of a century, an assessment is made of progress made towards that end. The analysis contributed to a Europe-wide assessment, covering 39 countries, including all 28 EU member states and the three EEA countries, plus Switzerland, Albania, Macedonia, Moldova, Georgia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. The years covered are 1990 to 2014. Several different categories of competences of local government were assessed based upon the Organic Law. These covered institutional depth, scope for policy decisions on education, social assistance, health, land use, public transport, housing, police, caring functions, fiscal autonomy, financial transfers, financial self-reliance, borrowing autonomy, organisational autonomy, self rule, legal protection, administrative supervision by central government and LGU access to central and regional decision-making processes. Effective political discretion in the decision making was also assessed.

Results:

  • Assessment made of level of fiscal and political autonomy of local government in Albania
  • LAI determined enabling comparison with levels of autonomy in other central and eastern European states, as well as all 28 EU member states, the 3 EEA countries and Switzerland

Reinforcing Local and Regional Government Structures in Albania II

March 2013–May 2015

Client: CoE, SCO, Minister of Local Issues
Financing agency: CoE, SDC
Implementer: FLAG

Project stage II of joint programme 'Reinforcing Local and Regional Government Structures in Albania' between CoE and Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) (see FLAG 30): i) presentation on consultation process of LGUs in Albania with reference to European Charter on Local Self-Government & recent congress recommendation, ii) launch IMC campaign & gather IMC requests from LGUs in Albania, iii) deliver ToT and prepare training plan on IMC, iv) organise working meetings on IMC in Korça, Berat and Zadrima, develop strategic paper on IMC legal improvements, v) assist international expert and provide advice on Albania’s territorial reform, vi) further support to international expert & participate in working group, vii) undertake regional study of TAR, viii) effect of TAR on LGUs in Dibër.

Results:

  • outline of existing legal and institutional arrangements for local and central government consultations based on a questionnaire on the European Charter for experts and local government officials, the decision on setting up a group of experts on decentralisation, the constitution and Albanian laws on local government, the budget and local taxes
  • presentation on consultation process of LGUs, with references to the European Charter and to the recent texts of the Congress on local democracy
  • introduction of line of action of project Strengthening local government structures and co-operation of local elected representatives in Albania
  • drafting of call for participation, including a questionnaire, for LGUs interested in IMC
  • information provided to LGUs, data on 131 IMC initiatives elaborated, and applications for IMC submitted by LGUs
  • training agenda and curricula, ToT and national training plan on IMC prepared and delivered
  • working meetings on IMC, including bottlenecks, proposal elaboration and case study analysis, held in Korça, Berat and Zadrima
  • workshop held in Korça, Berat and Zadrima on legal and financial framework of IMC
  • strategic paper on legal improvements to IMC developed
  • assistance provided to international expert and advice and support provided to Minister of Local Issues for Albania’s territorial reform

Assessment of Solid Waste Management in Albania

December 2014–March 2015

Client: Infrastruktur & Umwelt (IU)
Financing agency: Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Implementer: FLAG, IU

The aim of this project is to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the SWM sector in Albania and identify & investigate potential project ideas for the sector. The analysis is undertaken in the context of the strategic policy and legal framework. It will map the stakeholders, identify the challenges, undertake a gap analysis and list the priorities and possible interventions to be made.

Results:

  • solid waste management sector in Albania described and assessed
  • main challenges in the sector identifed
  • gap analysis undertaken
  • list of high priority support interventions prepared
  • two possible intervention projects detailed

Feasibility study for solid waste management in Vlora Region

January 2014–January 2015

Client: Vlora regional waste management association
Financing agency: KfW
Implementer: Infrastruktur & Umwelt, FLAG

The aim of this project is to develop an integrated solid waste management concept for the service area around Vlora that covers solutions to waste collection, recycling, treatment, transfer and disposal, and fees. As a second landfill is being designed for installation in the southern part of the county, the current project could be focused more tightly on the northern area.

Results:

  • detailed site investigations undertaken to recommend landfill site location
  • preliminary design made of project measures and process
  • desktop review undertaken of existing legislation, and project’s area of influence, both technical and over time
  • socio-economic baseline data collection and scoping visits undertaken
  • environment and social impact assessment undertaken
  • adequate organisational and institutional concept developed
  • effective fee-collection service developed
  • comprehensive implementation concept developed

e-Government training

October–November 2014

Client: dldp
Financing agency: SDC
Implementer: FLAG, ASPA, MoIPA

The aim of this project was to train local practitioners in e-Government in Durrës, Kukës & Dibër Qarks in OSS & web standards, to present OSS models to decision makers and develop a baseline of existing e-Services for transparency & accountability. The training, organised by the project partners, was held in Shkodra OSS already set up with FLAG's assistance. A survey was held to develop the baseline of existing services.

Results:

  • local e-Gov practitioners equipped with basic skills of OSS operations and web standards
  • local and central decision makers exposed to OSS models developed by FLAG (see Establish One-Stop Shops in Albania's LGUs)
  • basline evidence of existing e-Services, particularly e-Communications and channels developed

Environmental tourism development of River Buna and Lake Shkodra

February–November 2014

Client: Shkodra Municipality, Ana e Malit Commune
Financing agency: ADC, SDC, Shkodra Municipality
Implementer: Shkodra Municipality, FLAG

Lake Shkodra is the largest lake in the Balkans, while the River Buna is of major regional importance. Both the city and county strategies focus on tourism as a major theme for development of the region. However, environmental pollution, damage of habitats and overfishing are responsible for degradation of its aquatic systems. Redressing this situation will allow natural populations of organisms to be re-established, while thoughtful installation of infrastructure can bring a balanced development of the area and at the same time encourage water sports and ecological tourism.

Expected results:

  • promotion of Lake Shkodra and River Buna as a tourism destination
  • undertaking of environmental awareness campaign to protect unique values of Lake Shkodra and River Buna
  • cleaning up the banks of River Buna from Oblika to main bridge, and of west bank of Lake Shkodra
  • improvement of urban waste collection system by installation of garbage containers & bins in villages and by the beaches along riverside and by lake shore
  • rehabilitation of lake beaches and infrastructure
  • installation of infrastructure for development of freshwater sports and boating
  • installation of infrastructure to develop swimming sports in Lake Shkodra

Establish One-Stop Shops in Albania's LGUs

April 2008–March 2014

Client: Lezha Qark & Shkodra Qark, LGUs of Dajç, Bushat, Kallmet, Lezha, Shkodra, Velipoja
Financing agency: Swiss Intercooperation, Swiss Development Cooperation, dldp
Implementer: FLAG

This project comprised 7 different projects for OSS installations and support services FLAG has assisted in 6 LGUs in Lezha & Shkodra qarks (Dajç Bregu i Bunës, Bushat, Kallmet, Lezha, Shkodra, Velipoja) and the qarks themselves: i) Establish citizens information centre and OSS in Dajç Bregu i Bunës Commune, ii) Modernize public service delivery in Bushat (Shkodra) and Kallmet (Lezha), iii) Install OSSs in Shkodra and Velipoja, iv) Technical assistance for establishment of OSS in Lezha Municipality, v) Consolidation and assessment of OSSs in 6 LGUs of Shkodra and Lezha qarks, vi) Assessment of needs & capacities of e-government of Lezha County Council, vii) Consolidation of OSSs follow-up.

Results:

  • establishment of a single place where citizens can get within the shortest possible time all administrative information and documents, and permits
  • administrative staff are citizen oriented and well informed
  • mechanisms in place to provide for citizens’ requests, feedback and consultation
  • intranet system introduced to link all administrative departments, and internal organisation of commune administration adapted to new conditions
  • capacity of administration and information and communications tools improved
  • information and communications package developed
  • electronic hardware and software installed in OSSs
  • OSS manual developed
  • performance of OSSs monitored and evaluated
  • OSS experiences explored and disseminated in Albania.

Assessment of local policies, programmes & budgets from gender perspective in Shkodra Municipality

September–November 2013

Client: Shkodra Municipality
Financing agency: ADC through UN Women
Implementer: FLAG

Gender equality is essential for growth and poverty reduction, and key to reaching the MDGs. However, gender inequalities are still entrenched in many cultural, social and political systems. This project was one of three to undertake assessment of gender-responsive budgeting in an Albanian municipality, in this case Shkodra (the others being Tirana and Vlora), and to assess GE in municipal practices and service provision, for which economic aid and community-based social services were chosen by the municipality. The project aimed to raise awareness of GE, undertake interviews with municipal staff and the community, analyse the budget from the gender perspective, report on the findings to the beneficiaries of social services and the municipal staff, and submit recommendations in a brief to council for improvement of the situation. Seven different meetings were held with the community in the five quarters of the city, including meetings held to report the findings and recommendations.

Results:

  • current situation of implementation of gender equality in municipal functions analysed
  • legislation and national and local strategies reviewed
  • municipal budget, staff ratios and salaries analysed from perspective of gender
  • analysis undertaken of gender-disaggregated data and its availability
  • perceptions of the community identified on the social services they receive
  • Economic aid and Community-based social services analysed from gender perspective
  • some 70 recommendations made to the municipal leadership and council
  • the main recommendations presented in a brief to council in time for the deliberations on the 2014 annual budget

CORE Development Dibër

November 2010–November 2013

Client: Dibër Qark and its LGUs
Financing agency: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Dibër County LGUs
Implementer: FLAG

CORE Development Dibër complemented the efforts at the national level on streamlining a regulatory framework for regional development by creating appropriate conditions at the local level. It reconfirmed a courageous approach taken by Dibër County Council to remain vanguard and prominent. Supporting local structures conducting local governance made an essential contribution to national efforts in shaping the role of qarks and using them as regional development engines.

Through the project, regional and local authorities were institutionally strengthened to better cope with stringent EU standards and practices, which would otherwise create novel pressures for local authorities and their partnerships with private and civil society sectors. The project helped set development planning standards, ensuring that the body of new rules required by the EU would grow into new practices on the ground. It has enabled Dibër Regional Council to guide and support interventions in the region in line with the Accra Agenda for Action, which specifically highlights the local dimension of donor cooperation.

The overall objective of the project was to contribute towards creating an enabling environment for EU integration and harmonised development guided by Albania's strategic framework.

Results:

  • institutional and raised capacities of Dibër County Council strengthened, meeting demands for developing and harmonising regional development policies
  • system set up and operational for strategy assessment and monitoring, guiding bottom up regional development
  • local strategic development plans were compiled with a large participation of the local communities for five Dibër County LGUs: Bulqizë, Burrel, Kastriot, Klos & Peshkopi
  • Strategic Development Plan and Investment Plan compiled for Dibër County in accordance with national policies in view of IPA and post-IPA opportunities

Territorial Employment Pacts

February–September 2013

Client: Shkodra Qark, MoLSAEO
Financing agency: SDC, ILO, UNDP
Implementer: FLAG

The project undertook a territorial audit of Shkodër Qark and two employment-sensitive value chain analyses to assist the Regional Employment Board in design of a Territorial Employment Pact (TEP) aimed at increasing employment among the region's youth. The pact was signed by the stakeholders at the end of 2013.

Results:

  • territorial audit undertaken of state of the economy and employment among youth in Shkodra Qark and Municipality based upon published and unpublished reports and data
  • SWOT analysis of the qark undertaken
  • interviews held with local stakeholders
  • value chain analysis undertaken of two main sectors in Shkodra’s economy: dairy and medicinal plants, and guest house tourism (with fisheries and wool processing added later on)
  • findings and recommendations from territorial audit, interviews and value chain analysis published in TEP
  • TEP provides a list of specific actions to be undertaken to increase level of employment in Shkodra Qark

Zadrim IMC Study Tour

March 2013

Client: Zadrim Association, Korça Municipality
Financing agency: COSPE
Implementer: FLAG

Organise for Zadrim IMC Association (LGUs Bushat, Vau i Dejës, Dajç, Hajmel, Blinisht) three-day study tour to Korça Municipality to gather information and experiences of solid waste management from participating LGUs in Korça SWM and the management company. The study was undertaken at a time when the Interior Ministry had articulated IMC as one of its priorities. The tour was untaken as part of a broader feeling of reduction of existing barriers to, and furthering support for, IMC. The two beneficiaries remain the prominent examples of IMC in the country.

Results:

  • ideas generated to bring innovation to organisation and management of Zadrim Association
  • experiences of the two associations exchanged, including on the criteria for setting waste collection fees
  • comprehensive analysis undertaken by FLAG of legal framework for cooperation
  • site visits to company office and waste collection sites
  • recommendations made to improve waste collection service

Help develop tools to encourage Inter-Municipal Cooperation

October 2008–May 2012

Client: CoE, LGI, UNDP, Academy of Political Studies
Financing agency: Swiss Development Cooperation
Implementer: FLAG

This project comprised eight different assignments (undertaken in Albania, Croatia, France, Macedonia, Slovakia and Ukraine) related to development of Inter-Municipal Cooperation (IMC) for countries in CEE and Caucuses and whose aims are to: i) deliver training in IMC for professionals, trainers and LG representatives; ii) help finalise and test training curricula on IMC toolkit; iii) collect good practices on IMC in Albania; iv) develop a prescriptive policy paper and advocacy plan for Albania; v) analysis of CoE tools developed for IMC; vi) deliver training on IMC for political school of CoE; vii) training in IMC for Albanian LGUs.

Results:

  • training provided to staff from countries in the CEE and Caucuses in understanding and setting up IMC bodies
  • semi-structured interviews undertaken with staff in four Albanian municipalities concerning level of competencies of LGUs and prospects for IMC
  • good practices case studies gathered from four Albanian municipalities
  • policy paper developed based upon desk research, interviews and case studies
  • paper presented at international workshop, and at final conference
  • toolkit and training curricula on IMC developed based in part upon the above mentioned good practices
  • training of trainers conducted for selected team of experts from CEE and Caucuses to familiarise them with the IMC toolkit
  • training in IMC undertaken for staff of Albanian LGUs

Reinforcing Local and Regional Government Structures in Albania

January 2010–March 2012

Client: Ministry of Interirior, LGUs and their associations
Financing agency: CoE, SDC
Implementer: FLAG

As part of the joint Programme Reinforcing Local and Regional Government Structures in Albania between CoE and Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO), FLAG is assisting with expertise provision for all programme activities within the IMC component. The expertise provided includes assisting in preparation of an IMC Action Plan, participating in bilateral meetings with national (MoI, AAC, AAM) and international (SCO, UNDP, GTZ, OSCE) stakeholders, reviewing Terms of Reference for a Committee of Experts, attending the Expert Committee meeting on IMC, participating in preparation and follow up of meeting, specifically to prepare a detailed plan of IMC base-line research and an outline of the Albanian IMC toolkit using the CoE resource pack (see Help develop tools to encourage IMC).

Results:

  • Action Plan prepared
  • Terms of Reference for Committee of Experts on IMC reviewed
  • detailed plan for IMC baseline research prepared
  • outline of Albanian IMC toolkit prepared

Developing Enterprises Locally through Action and Alliance (DELTA)

October 2003–December 2011

Client: Municipalities of Berat, Durrës, Korça, Lezha, Shkodra
Financing agency: OSI through LGI and WB Group
Implementer: FLAG

Developing Enterprises Locally Through Action and Alliance (DELTA) had six main goals: 1) development of strategies and action plans for policy reform and private sector development, 2) development of locally owned projects and programmes for sound private sector development, 3) encouragement and promotion of economic growth, 4) building of capacities of city governments and communities for plan development, implementation, assessment and review, and economy assessment, 5) enabling of evidence-based policy making for economic growth and development, and 6) development of websites to share DELTA methodology and experience.

DELTA had four components:

  • establish the process and institutional setting for participatory strategic planning and development in five Albanian cities
  • establish the process and institutional setting for development plan implementation, assessment, monitoring and review
  • undertake municipal economic development monitoring and assessment
  • facilitate good practice sharing and performance measuring in carrying out the LED functions

Results:

trust built in city government; awareness raised on benefits of developing LED plan; city government develops policies to allocate own funds for implementation of plan projects; solid methodological, institutional and network basis created for plan implementation, monitoring, review; city government plays proactive role in leading development in city; municipal staff able to assess LED plan implementation; DELTA cities have knowledge of development of evidence-based policies for LED and plan implementation; public regularly informed and participate in plan assessment and progress; municipal staff able to review plan; other LGUs know how to conduct plan cycle; information and data sharing facilitate better development; civil society and businesses provide information for monitoring plan progress; cities in position to monitor local economy; cities improve performance based on benchmarking of planning, monitoring and review; information, data gathering systems, methodology for plan analysis, monitoring and review set up; central government and donor community influenced by outputs and lessons learned from project; DELTA website developed.

UK Training in Community Development for Delegation of Local Government Officials

September 2010–March 2011

Client: DELTA municipalities, Albania
Financing agency: LGI, OSFA, DELTA municipalities
Implementing consortium: FLAG, LGA UK

The goal of the project was to expand the experience of local development of a team of Albanian local government officials. The goal was achieved through undertaking visits to various local authorities and local government associations in the UK who presented a Western experience of community development, its implementation, review and monitoring. The delegation was hosted by the UK Local Government Association (LGA), who facilitated presentations on the Chief Economic Development Officers’ Society (CEDOS) and Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), local authority local development, through involvement of Local Government Improvement and Development (LGID), and the work of Local Government Alliance for International Development (LGAID), as well as on Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the phasing out of the more centralised Regional Development Agencies. LGA also accompanied the delegation to other meetings held at Cambridge County Council, Oxford City Council and Bicester Village offices. In each location a member of the Albanian delegation gave a presentation on the development of their own city.

Members of the delegation comprised the mayor of Lezha, vice-mayor of Durrës, director and a specialist of the development office of Berat, and the directors of the development offices of Durrës, Korça, Lezha and Shkodra, of the regional development agency, Shkodra, and of the marketing and tourism office Korça.

Results:

  • a better and more efficient focus of resources (natural and financial) on helping direct and manage local development through better implementation and monitoring of local strategic plans
  • to inform and raise awareness and understanding among local government officials (specifically the mayor and the LED officer—the two officials most concerned with planning the economic development of their municipality) of how strategic plans are developed, implemented, assessed and monitored in a developed country, and one with excellent standards in local government
  • the officials most closely linked to local development are well informed in how to implement and monitor strategic plans, so that their local communities (the beneficiaries) experience a more rapid and efficient of results oriented local development policies

Support to local government in Kosovo

May 2009–February 2011

Client: Kosova LGUs
Financing agency: VNG-I, Eptisa, EC
Implementing consortium: VNG-I, Eptisa, FLAG

This project is part of a much larger project implemented in Kosova by VNG-I with the objective of supporting all the municipalities of Kosovo advance reform and capacity building in the context of the on-going decentralisation process. This includes improvement of managerial competencies, service delivery and dialogue with citizens at the local level, in line with European standards.

The aspects of the project implemented with Flag’s expertise concerns municipal development planning and has two component parts, which require the provision of assistance in the development of i) municipal development plans, and ii) projects for the municipal infrastructure project.

Results:

  • completion of an inventory of municipal development plans and the level of their quality
  • establishment of municipal planning groups to coordinate and implement planning activities
  • establishment of thematic (economic, infrastructure) and sector (agriculture, environment, industry) working groups
  • completion of an economic assessment of each participating municipality
  • development of municipal development plans
  • establishment of an implementation system, and monitoring and evaluation process
  • development of a pipeline of realistic projects capable of implementation
  • development of project ideas and their conversion into real projects

Baseline survey analysis for dldp

December 2010–January 2011

Client: Intercooperation Albania
Financing agency: Intercooperation Albania
Implementer: FLAG

dldp has been active in Albania since 2006 and is now completing its second phase, which moved from a support programme targeting eight municipalities and communes in Shkodra County to providing support for 54 LGUs in the counties of Shkodra and Lezha. In order to be able to measure any changes in performance of the LGUs and influence of the support programme, the phase 2 project document anticipated a baseline survey at the start up.

A baseline survey developed as part of dldp’s Best Practices Competition was undertaken to provide a number of local governance indicators to obtain benchmarks for LGUs in Lezha and Shkodra, and to facilitate discussions with them on their performance and progress. At the end of phase 2 a new best practice competition and survey will allow changes and progress related to these indicators to be revealed and measured.

FLAG analysed the survey, and provided input into the publication of the document.

Results:

  • baseline survey analysed
  • survey analysis written up and published
  • several local governance indicators and benchmarks developed for LGUs to monitor their performance

Rehabilitation of River Embankment in Dajç Bregu i Bunës, Shkodra

December 2009–December 2010

Client: Commune of Dajç Bregu i Bunës
Financing agency: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (via REC)
Implementer: FLAG

This project was of special significance following the catastrophic flooding that took place in northern Albania in the winter of 2009–2010. The commune of Dajç Bregu i Bunës is located in the lowlands that lie alongside the River Buna as it flows from Lake Shkodra to the estuary at Velipoja. The commune is highly vulnerable to flooding.

The overall objective of the project was to improve the environment and improve the safety and quality of life for the community of Dajç, while the short-term objectives were the following:

  1. increase residents' awareness of protection and maintenance of environment and of rehabilitated segment of the embankment
  2. install cycle and pedestrian path
  3. install two recreational areas along a 3-km segment of embankment
  4. improve quality of life for residents of the commune

The results from achieving the above objectives were the following:

  • local community informed about project and awareness raised about not releasing waste into the environment and not damaging the repaired embankment
  • damaging vegetation and waste removed
  • community involved in rehabilitation and maintenance works
  • dike repaired and resurfaced
  • path rehabilitated along 3-km section
  • two recreational (picnic) areas installed
  • waste bins installed along dike, with focus on recreational areas

Support capacity development needs for Economic Governance

July–August 2010

Client: Albanian consumer associations
Financing agency: UNDP
Implementer: FLAG

This assignment aimed to identify the capacity development needs of the Albanian Consumer Association (ACA) and Office for Consumer Protection (ZMK), and prepare for them a comprehensive capacity development programme that addresses the capacity gaps. The assignment involved undertaking a field mission during which, based upon experience in the EU and in the region, a questionnaire was designed and completed to assess the capacity of the organizations. Information was gathered directly from meetings with associations, Ministry of Economy Trade and Energy (METE) and other line ministries, state body representatives and local government officials.

The questionnaire served as a tool to assess the associations’ management capacity (functioning, vision, mission, strategic planning, work planning, budgeting and reporting, human resources management, representation of consumers, communication skills, interaction with members and stakeholders, resources for mobilization, project development skills etc.).

Results:

  • needs analysis undertaken for ZMK
  • needs analysis undertaken for ACA
  • recommendations made for supporting association development

Dibër Development Day Conference

January–March 2010

Client: Dibër County
Financing agency: Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands, FLAG
Implementer: FLAG

Since 2007, the Embassy has provided multifaceted support for the programme Strengthening Local Governance in Dibër Qark through a Trust Fund of € 3.6m, a competitive investment fund awarded twice a year to winning communes and municipalities, and Capacity Building, to deliver support for regional and local governments. Overall, 49, mainly infrastructure, projects have been implemented with support from the trust fund, while the capacity building component has provided support in preparation and implementation of strategic plans, fund raising, financial planning, project cycle management and public procurement (see Support programme for Strengthening Local Governance in Dibër Qark, Develop Strategic Plans for three communes in Dibër Qark, Mid-term review of ‘Support programme for Strengthening Local Governance in Dibër Qark’, CORE Development Dibër).

Dibër Information Day was held on 3 March 2010, and aimed at sharing and promoting achievements of the different projects and the specific implementation approach of the programme. It brought together representatives of central and local government authorities, programme implementers and the donor community, in order to lobby for further support for Dibër County, to promote the Council’s innovative structures and procedures, encourage replication of features of the support programme in other counties and contribute to national dialogue on decentralisation and regional development.

Results:

  • achievements and approach of programme shared and promoted among other local units, central government and donor community
  • fair of regional produce displayed, including documentary for European day, photographic display of changes made in infrastructure through trust fund, local produce display prepared by women’s association, tourism in Dibër, partners’ stall, and a bag of goodies

Developing the Albanian Association of Communes (DAAC)

September 2005–December 2009

Client: AAC
Financing agency: Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)
Implementing consortium: Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), VNG-I, FLAG

The DAAC project was designed to enable the AAC to play a role in the reform of Albania’s public administration, especially in strengthening its communes. The overall objective of the project was for the AAC to contribute towards improving conditions for communes, while enhancing its services. The project involved recruiting executive staff; providing staff training; holding a workshop in Stockholm to develop and launch the operational components of DAAC and perform initial training for AAC staff; holding an annual steering committee meeting and twelve regional meetings; developing internal procedures for decision making; developing a strategic plan; equipping the AAC office; developing and implementing a revenue-raising plan for the AAC; assisting in improving negotiating and operating techniques; undertaking needs assessment and service delivery and assisting the association in communicating with its membership. A General Assembly was held in 2007.

The above functions are now part of the routine work of the AAC, and during its first year the association became a point of reference and communication for Albanian governmental agencies and other national and international organizations operating in the field of local government.

Results were that the AAC:

  • represents its members
  • has a qualified executive staff
  • has a system in place for ensuring financial self-support
  • has a system in place for advocating the interests of communes towards central government
  • provides services for the benefit of its members
  • has a system in place for it to disseminate information and communicate with its member base

Mid-term review of ‘Support programme for Strengthening Local Governance in Dibër Qark’

September–October 2009

Client: Dibër County
Financing agency: Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands
Implementer: FLAG

In 2006, FLAG finalised the programme design and proposal for the Support programme for Strengthening Local Governance in Dibër Qark, which has since been implemented. In 2009, the Embassy requested that the programme efficiency and effectiveness be reviewed, performance levels, achievements and lessons learned identified and the results ascertained for use in determining optimal strategies for programme continuation. Recommendations for sustaining achievements of the programme in the framework of regional development and decentralisation were drafted.

Results:

  • assessment made against terms of support programme agreement
  • county programme activity results, costs and performance reviewed
  • overall progress towards programme goal of strengthening Dibër LGUs assessed
  • sustainability assessed
  • lessons learned identified and recommendations made to Embassy
  • assessment made of regional development as a result of programme
  • findings of annual independent audit reports and management letters reported
  • overall management and financial governance arrangements reviewed
  • current status of decentralisation and strengthening of LGUs reviewed to define potential for replication of programme elsewhere in Albania

Technical assistance to support development of joint ADC/SDC regional development programme in northern Albania

May–July 2009

Client: Austrian Development Agency
Financing agency: Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC)
Implementer: FLAG

The aim of this project was to provide an overview on joint regional development and decentralisation strategies and challenges in northern Albania. It also aimed to identify challenges and achievements for EU integration, and identify potential and elements for joint cooperation based upon participatory approaches and local ownership. Both ADC and SDC have been active in Albania for the past decade and a half, and this project aimed to help harmonise their work and increase their cooperation.

Results:

  • four stakeholder consultation meetings held and documented
  • stakeholder conference held
  • case-study report compiled on experiences in development of joint programme based upon interviews with stakeholders and SDC–ADC staff
  • support provided for elaboration of joint project design through providing advice on prioritisation and programme focus, and identifying assumptions and risks for the regional development programme

Strengthening Albanian Civil Society Organisation for an improved Environment

September 2008–July 2009

Client: Millieukontakt
Financing agency: Millieukontakt
Implementer: FLAG

FLAG’s main task in this project was to participate in the Waste Working Group whose aim was to prepare a position paper to be communicated in the media and to government and international institutions. Specific attention was paid to the EU and other relevant international legislation and policies. FLAG also mediated the discussion groups.

Results:

  • implementation and enforcement of national policy on waste, water and air quality will be improved
  • community involvement in resolving issues concerning waste, water and air quality will be strengthened
  • the capacities of NGOs working in this area will be strengthened

Providing Support to the Institute of the Environment (Agency of Environment and Forests)

May 2005–December 2008

Client: Albanian Institute of Environment
Financing agency: Royal Netherlands Embassy Tirana
Implementing consortium: Oranjewoud, FLAG

The long-term objective of this project was to develop the methodologies and systems used in the Institute of Environment (national Agency of Environment and Forests), Albania, so that it can reach satisfactory (ISO) standards. The project focused on: i) capacity building of institute; ii) capacity building of the laboratory; iii) training of laboratory staff and management; iv) strategic development; and v) website and logo design.

To achieve the overall objective the short-term objective was to make a significant improvement in the institute’s competence and effectiveness so that it can achieve the following goals: provide a reliable analytical service; make a significant contribution to the National Environmental Monitoring System; provide technical support to the Ministry of Environment; improve project preparation skills.

Results included the following:

  • mission, vision, and revised structure of the new agency were defined
  • a website and logo were designed for the agency
  • job descriptions were elaborated for the positions in the revised agency structure (tasks, responsibilities, competences, output indicators)
  • development of operating and analytical procedures, quality manual, test validations and daily quality system
  • training of staff, including quality manager
  • external audit was undertaken to begin accreditation of laboratory to ISO 17025 (accreditation awarded in 2010)

Developing a SWOT analysis for Shkodra Qark

November 2008

Client: Shkodra County (Qark)
Financing agency: Teuleda (Regional Development Agency)
Implementer: FLAG

Using some of the methodology applied in the DELTA project in five of Albania’s municipalities, FLAG gathered all relevant data, both published and unpublished, to undertake as comprehensively as possible an analysis of the current socio-economic situation in Shkodra County (Qark). Sources of information included Shkodra Prefecture, the Shkodra-Lezha regional development plan, Instat offices, both nationally and at the district level, and Instat’s publications, some of which are available on-line. Based upon these data and information a SWOT analysis of the County was undertaken.

The information and SWOT analysis were presented to Shkodra County Council at a workshop, through which the analysis was fine tuned. Both the information review and SWOT analysis were left with the council for up-coming reference concerning regional development.

Results:

  • comprehensive gathering of data at the qark level undertaken
  • data and information subject to SWOT analysis
  • presentation of SWOT, information and data analysis made to county council
  • analysis available to help County Council assist the region’s development

Integrated Informatics System for Management of the Activities of the LED Department, Korça Municipality

September 2007–October 2008

Client: Korça Municipality
Financing agency: Canada Fund
Implementer: FLAG

This project followed on from the priorities identified in the ten-year strategic plan approved by Korça Municipal Council in 2006 and developed within the framework of the DELTA project implemented by FLAG. One of the identified priority projects was computerisation of data management and work procedures within the local government. As a result of the project, the LED department is now in a very strong position to monitor implementation and progress with both its LED strategic plan and its economic development. The municipality has been equipped through this project with two computers and associated office equipment, while procedures have been put in place that will facilitate review of the municipality’s strategic plan and economic development. A network of data gatherers has been created, along with a discussion forum. The network can provide data rapidly to the LED department as a result of the agreements reached a result of the present project.

Thus, the municipality of Korça is in a better position to undertake better and quicker decision making with respect to local governance, and is able to integrate such decision taking with its other activities.

Results:

  • capacities developed for Korça LED department to monitor and evaluate strategy
  • system established to monitor and measure progress to achieving goals
  • reference system provided for LED measurements

Study Tour by Moldovan Stakeholders

June 2008

Client: Moldovan municipality stakeholders
Financing agency: LGI, OSI
Implementer: FLAG

The agenda of the study tour included a visit to four municipalities in Albania to see how the LGI/OSI/WB sponsored programme DELTA was implemented. The municipalities that were visited include Durrës, Shkodra, Berat and Korça, while two seminars were held in Durrës, one with presentations made by the Albanian Ministry of Economy, AlbInvest and FLAG, while the second seminar was presented by the Mayor of Lezha, the fifth municipality involved in the Delta programme.

The activities that comprised in the study tour were included to increase the level of regional and inter-country cooperation, and exchange of knowledge. The Moldovan participants were involved in sessions addressing issues related to economic development, budgeting, local finances, citizens participation in drafting strategies, and developing a mission, vision, objectives, programmes and projects.

FLAG staff scheduled the programme for the study tour, facilitated the visit and also made a presentation on LED indicators.

The tour included visits to a private business–public partnership (road development) in Durrës, an aluminium press business in Shkodra, an agribusiness and a wine producer in Berat, and a brewery in Korça, all of which had state of the art equipment and infrastructure installed.

Develop Strategic Plans for three communes in Dibër Qark

September 2007–February 2008

Client: Dibër Qark communes of Arras, Fushë Çidhën, Zall Dardha
Financing agency: Dibër Qark
Implementer: FLAG

The aim of this project was to provide expertise and training for strategic plan development for three communes—Arras, Zall Dardha and Fushë Çidhën—in Dibër County (Qark), and for the resulting plans to be published. Staff of the County Council were involved in the training to be able thus to provide their experience to other communes in the county and to help develop strategic plans at other levels, such as for the County itself (see Core Development Dibër).

Results:

  • on-site training courses provided in local economic development for three communes in Dibër Qark
  • on-site training courses provided in local economic development for Dibër County Council
  • training package was deposited with the regional council for future reference and implementation
  • list of projects to be financed by Dibër County trust fund compiled for these three communes with FLAG assistance (see Mid-term review of Support programme)
  • strategic plans of the three communes published (also available from the FLAG website)

Decentralisation and Regional Development in Albania

October 2007

Client: Ministry of Interior
Financing agency: SIDA
Implementing consortium: SIPU, FLAG

The aim of this project was to provide legal and taxation advice to the Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU), to Albania’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) and to LGUs in Albania as part of the larger programme Decentralisation and Regional Development in Albania (DRD). Financing of LGUs is a major issue being dealt with by the MoI under the decentralisation process, particularly with respect to the financing of their new functions. The rights of LGUs to tax the local population are increasing. As part of the DRD project preliminary work had been undertaken and presented in a discussion paper in mid-2007. These issues were developed further through this project.

Advice was presented to MoI and SIPU in the following areas:

  • local budget process
  • LGU rights to tax the local population
  • unconditional transfers from central government
  • auditing of LGUs
  • role of the treasury in LG finances

Donor Research in Albania

April–July 2007

Client: MEPCO
Financing agency: Lara Interreg
Implementer: FLAG

The aim of this short-term project was to review for MEPCO, Czech Republic, on-going and completed operational programmes and regional development strategies in Albania.

Results:

  • programmes operational in Albania researched and catalogued
  • wide donor market researched
  • projects identified for funding
  • regional development strategies researched and projects corresponding to the above operations programmes identified
  • three municipalities identified for participation in twinning projects with Czech Republic municipalities

Improvement of local government associations

April–July 2007

Client: UNDP Bratislava, Network of Associations of Local Authorities (NALAS), Austrian Association of Cities and Towns
Financing agency: UNDP, CoE
Implementer: FLAG

This was a compilation of two separate projects whose aims were to:

  • develop a training programme through provision of expertise and based upon the toolkit Transforming a Local Government Association (LGA)
  • provide expertise at a conference entitled Towards a modern local government association

The partners in the project were the Network of Associations of Local Authorities (NALAS) in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Austrian Association of Cities and Towns, and UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre.

The role of LGAs as catalysts in decentralisation reform is essential: they provide the mechanism for LGUs to represent, communicate and defend their interests, and play a role in LG capacity building. UNDP and CoE developed a toolkit that subsequently had to be disseminated to those for whom it was intended.

The first task was undertaken in Istanbul, Ohrid and Vienna, and included the updating of the complete set of training curricula for advancing LGAs. The results included: i) team of trainers established to facilitate development of the training programme, ii) high quality, innovative training approaches applied, iii) quality ToT training programme and curriculum developed, iv) training provided to team of regional trainers and advisors for them to use the toolkit, and v) focus on benchmarking, strategic planning, organisational development and the strengthening of core functions (communications, advocacy, services).

For the second task FLAG developed, provided its expertise and moderated a conference and workshop held in Ohrid whose objectives were to introduce the above-mentioned toolkit, discuss its implementation, and facilitate cooperation among NALAS, other LG associations and international organisations.

Finalising project proposal ‘Support programme for strengthening local governance in Dibër Qark, Albania’

July–December 2006

Client: Dibër County (Qark)
Financing agency: Royal Netherlands Embassy Tirana
Implementing consortium: FLAG, SNV

This project emerged at the request of the mayors of several municipalities and communes in Dibër County (Qark). It was implemented with SNV and, in consultation with VNG-I, aimed at finalising a programme design and proposal with the objective of strengthening local governance. During project implementation, the County Council extended its representation with the mayors in a process that was both participatory and institutional, with discussions held with a group mandated by the council.

The tasks included:

i) assessing the financial and absorption capacity of the municipalities and communes with respect to a trust fund, and the demand for such a fund

ii) designing the rules and regulations of the trust fund

iii) incorporating these points into a draft proposal and writing the budget

Results:

  • Project designed for implementation to improve governance in Dibër County
  • Capacity assessment undertaken for Dibër LGUs
  • Transfers from central government were found to be not wholly dependent upon population size
  • FLAG suggested that 30 per cent of project value to be matched by communes, allowing for those that cannot contribute more than 20 per cent and those that can cover up to 70 per cent of two average-sized projects
  • Project proposal prepared for submission to Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Tirana
  • Manual prepared for management of trust fund to improve the quality of life, and encourage economic growth, in Dibër LGUs

Partnership with Administration for Effective Governance, Rubik Municipality

May 2005–December 2006

Client: Rubik Municipality
Financing agency: OSI
Implementing consortium: FLAG, Rubik Municipality, OSI

The objective of this project was to increase the effectiveness, capacities and standards of local government in Rubik, while creating conditions for improved quality and of life and living standards for the municipality’s citizens.

Specifically, the project undertook the following: formed working groups and ensured understanding and support for local economic development; provided support for the LED office; held capacity building workshops; prepared an LED plan; prepared a business questionnaire; documented the experiences, actors, products, investors, beneficiaries and results of the LED plan; promoted the plan’s products and LED projects; restructured economic sector organisation; installed a novel management system for local taxes and tariffs; published information on taxation; communicated with the community and gathered ideas on taxation.

Results:

  • Increased active participation of citizens in process of decision making in the municipality through representation in strategic planning of local economic development
  • Increased capacities of the municipality through development of a system of management of local taxes and tariffs

Accompanied self-assessment of Decentralisation and Local Development Programme (dldp) partner LGUs

September–November 2006

Client: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Intercooperation (IC) Albania
Financing agency: Swiss Government
Implementing consortium: Kompetenzzentrum für Public Management University of Bern Switzerland, FLAG

The objective of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) project was to assist LGUs in northern Albania assess and improve their standards of governance. The dldp project formed a part of CAF, and involved the conducting of a pilot round of an accompanied self-assessment of eight partner LGUs (five municipalities and three communes) in the region of Shkodra, based on CAF methodology.

The project held workshops to provide assistance for and advice on undertaking self assessment, strategic planning, quality management and finance issues, including local taxation, reforms in public services and administration, civil society participation, including developing means of communication and informing citizens, inter-LGU and regional cooperation and vertical integration into national policies.

Results:

  • Specific situation in eight partner LGUs analysed
  • CAF methodology adapted to Albanian situation
  • Questionnaire prepared
  • Workshops held to introduce and adapt methodology and questionnaire
  • Self-assessment conducted in eight partner LGUs
  • Local situation analysed; urgent, mid- and long-term needs, priorities and project proposals, improvements and reforms identified

Local Government Leadership Programme

June–September 2006

Client: AAM
Financing agency: CoE, LGI, OSCE
Implementing consortium: AAM, CoE, OSCE, FLAG

The Local Government Leadership Programme, implemented by AAM with the assistance of FLAG, introduced into 15 pilot municipalities a self-assessment mechanism the conclusions from which would lead to development of distinct Leadership Improvement Plans within each municipality. A manual for Albanian mayors was subsequently produced by AAM for distribution nationwide prior to the February 2007 local elections.

The project was implemented in three stages:

i) selection of leadership team and of 15 municipalities, compilation of self-assessment questionnaire drawn up to CoE standards of an effective local authority, holding of implementation discussions with municipal staff, NGOs, public, etc., and distribution of survey

ii) holding of focus-group meetings to discuss questionnaire, completion of questionnaire, preparation of improvement plans, holding of project evaluation workshop

iii) design and drafting of manual, holding of workshop to discuss phases i) and ii), revision of improvement plans and finalising of manual

Results:

  • Self-assessment undertaken in 15 pilot municipalities
  • Mayor improvement plans prepared for each pilot municipality
  • Manual published for Albanian mayors

Modernisation of Municipal Services in Selected Partner Towns

March 2002–February 2005

Client: Municipalities of Korça, Pogradec, Elbasan, Lushnja, Berat, Kuçova, Shkodra, Kavaja, Maminas
Financing agency: German Government, Institut für Projektplanung (IP-GITEC)
Implementer: FLAG

This project aimed at modernising public services in nine selected Albanian towns. German financial cooperation was involved in the co-financing of public investments.

The project aimed to modernise the following crucial municipal service responsibilities: town planning (including permits and supervision), assets, technical services (including solid waste management), related budget and financing policies, and participation of citizens and businesses in local policy making.

Through this project, FLAG implemented waste management and city council training. The waste management component comprised developing and publishing a regulation on urban waste management that was endorsed by all participating LGU councils. FLAG assisted the development and implementation of other pilot projects in a selected number of participating LGUs, including the setting up of a compost facility in the municipality of Kuçova, and the publication of a respective manual.

City council training involved development of a Council Manual and delivery of training for all participating LGUs.

Results:

  • City Council Manual published and training delivered for councillors in nine Albanian LGUs
  • Urban Waste Municipal Regulation published and adopted by nine LGUs
  • Compost facility installed in Kuçova

Feasibility Study: Management of Solid Waste in South-East Albania

May 2003–December 2004

Client: Municipalities of Korça, Pogradec, Erseka, Maliq, Bilisht
Financing agency: KfW, EU
Implementing consortium: Infrastruktur & Umwelt (IU), Ingenieur-Gesellschaft für Internationale Planungsaufgaben (IGIP), FLAG

This project emerged at the request of five Albanian municipalities (Korça, Pogradec, Erseka, Maliq, Bilisht) from the Korça region in SE Albania, and aimed at improving environmental conditions and minimising health risks in the communities of the region, contributing thus towards social and economic sustainable development. At the end of the project a feasibility study was compiled, including all necessary information, in particular the planning materials for the investment project. This document formed the basis for the decision of the Albanian and German counterparts to implement the recommendations and the financing scheme.

The project developed a modern concept on integrated solid waste management, and had two main tasks:

i) to designate an area suitable for location of an up-to-date landfill and design the landfill itself

ii) to develop the institutional capacities of the Albanian municipalities and communes in the region to run the waste management system once set up

Specifically FLAG undertook the following:

  • assisted five Albanian municipalities with institutional strengthening advice
  • compiled analysis of potential legal options for setting up an inter-municipal entity
  • prepared the main headlines for its statute
  • coached the municipalities step by step in compiling the basic documents for establishment and operation of the organisation
  • assisted in designing the main objectives and activities of the organisation based on municipal competencies for waste management, plans for establishing a common and up-to-date landfill and cost analysis for various segments of the waste management process

Support to the Albanian Association of Communes to broaden their membership base (Inception Period)

May–October 2004

Client: AAC
Financing agency: SIDA
Implementing consortium: SALAR, VNG-I, FLAG

The inception period of the project to provide support to the AAC was designed to identify and probe the problems facing the communes in Albania in general and the AAC in particular. During the inception period a range of analyses and assessments were undertaken to ensure high quality and minimized risks for the subsequent three-year project Developing the Albanian Association of Communes (DAAC).

The main product was a detailed project proposal for the DAAC project based on the project findings and input and desires expressed by the ACC and commune representatives. Several AAC Steering Committee meetings were held to discuss various aspects of the planned intervention to support the AAC and its members. The selection of the AAC Executive Director formed part of the inception period.

Results:

  • Identification of issues to be addressed in the three-year DAAC project and the ways these issues are best met by the AAC
  • Procedures established for selection and recruitment of AAC staff and for identification and preparation of international and local experts for DAAC
  • Identification of appropriate projects from various Albanian communes or municipalities to be disseminated as best-practice models to other communes
  • Identification of small-scale activities for selected communes
  • Identification of five communes in which small-scale activities will be implemented

Support to the Albanian Association of Communes to broaden their membership base through institutional strengthening

April–June 2004

Client: AAC
Financing agency: VNG-I through the Association Capacity Building Programme
Implementer: FLAG

The project objective was the broadening of the membership base and support of the AAC and enhanced legitimacy of the AAC Steering Committee and chairmanship.

The project involved preparation of the Association’s statute, which was discussed widely and accepted by the AAC members, and development of a set of procedures, delivered throughout the membership, for the AAC to gather membership fees.

Project products were discussed and commissioned by 12 regional round-tables and the AAC General Assembly, which was organised within the framework of the project.

Results:

  • Set of procedures developed for AAC to gather membership fees and compiled into comprehensive guide and delivered throughout the membership
  • AAC statute discussed widely and accepted by AAC members; lists record that more than 60 per cent of members attended the regional meetings
  • Set of priority issues for the AAC discussed at regional round-tables; FLAG experts’ report described favourable reaction of members to concept ideas for long-term project with FLAG, SALA IDA and VNG-I
  • Revised statute approved at General Assembly, at which 70 per cent of communes participated
  • Activity report of AAC for the year commission by General Assembly

Community and Public Administration Support Strategy (COMPASS), one year extension

May 2003–May 2004

Client: AAM, MLGD, Municipalities of Peshkopi, Rrëshen, Kruje, Fier, Korça
Financing agency: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, VNG-I
Implementing consortium: FLAG, AAM

The Compass programme was implemented between 2000 and 2003 and had five main aims: i) improvement of the functioning of local government in Albania, ii) increased citizen’s participation in a selected number of local governments in order to stimulate social and economic development and democratisation in the country, iii) support for development of the AAM towards becoming a professional organisation, iv) support for five municipalities in implementing newly decentralised tasks through a participatory governing process, and v) assistance for Albanian stakeholders in delivering the National Training Strategy for Local Government in Albania.

At the central level the project supported review and adjustment of parts of the Albanian legal framework, enhancement of capacities within the Ministry of Local Government and Decentralisation and the AAM, and the building up of a training network and skills to facilitate democratic and participatory local governance. At the local level it targeted the further development of capacities and expertise within five municipalities (Peshkopi, Rrëshen, Kruja, Fier and Korça) in implementing participatory policy design, priority setting, public consultation and policy implementation.

The Compass extension period was a natural continuation of the Compass project and concentrated on publishing and promoting through the AAM the experiences of the previous three years of programme implementation.

Results:

  • Municipal Regulation Template published and made available to Albanian LGUs
  • Municipal Statute Template published and made available to Albanian LGUs
  • Municipal handbook Planning Tourism Development produced
  • Municipal handbook Restructuring the Municipal Civil Registry Office produced
  • Monitoring of demonstration projects on service delivery standards and citizens information centres completed
  • COMPASS programme experiences compiled on CD-ROM

National Training Strategy for Local Government in Albania

May 2003–March 2004

Client: Working Group on National Training Strategy in Albania, AAM, AAR, AAC, MLGD
Financing agency: CoE, EC
Implementer: FLAG

This project aimed at bringing together all the Albanian and international stakeholders involved in local government training in Albania in developing a National Training Strategy (NTS) for local government.

This strategy was developed following a countrywide training needs analysis, with consideration given to the needs analyses of various stakeholders. At the end of the programme a mechanism to coordinate the training efforts for local government in Albania was established with the full support of the international community and the agreement of the local stakeholders.

Thus, the project coordinated and supported the establishment of a not-for-profit Training Agency for Local Government in Albania (TALGA).

Results:

  • Cooperation between the three LGAs and the MLGD in the field of LG training institutionalised
  • TALGA statute prepared and accepted by the founders
  • First Steering Council meeting held
  • Executive Director appointed by the Steering Council of TALGA

Good Governance / Institution Building – Support for Municipal Administration in Kosovo (inception period)

May–July 2003

Client: VNG-I
Financing agency: European Agency for Reconstruction
Implementing consortium: VNG-I, FLAG

The overall objective of this project was to contribute towards building a democratic Kosova with strong effective institutions with a respect for human rights and rule of law, whilst serving the entire population in an efficient, fair and pluralistic manner.

The project aimed, through providing support to the Association of Kosova Municipalities, to: improve legislative structures for self-government, together with practical and efficient implementation mechanisms; enforce local authority participation in central decision making and decentralisation processes, by developing and enhancing appropriate consultation mechanisms and practices; increase competence, knowledge and skills of municipalities in order to ensure higher quality and effectiveness in local service provision; increase inter-municipal cooperation and partnership in Kosova, in South-Eastern Europe and with the rest of Europe.

Results:

  • FLAG provided expertise to design the project’s intervention approach
  • FLAG, together with VNG-I experts, carried out a field mission to gain insight into the organisation and functioning of local government in Kosova

Promoting Active Citizenship at the Local Level in Albania and the FYR of Macedonia

January–May 2003

Client: Cittadinanzattiva’s Active Citizenship Network, Italy
Financing agency: World Bank
Implementing consortium: Active Citizenship Network, FLAG

The World Bank Institute’s Community Empowerment and Social Inclusion (CESI) program and Cittadinanzattiva’s Active Citizenship Network jointly implemented a project entitled ‘Promoting Active Citizenship at the Local Level in Albania and the FYR of Macedonia’.

The project aimed to contribute towards transparent, accountable and responsive governance at the local level through increasing civic participation in policy-making processes.

The project produced two handbooks on active citizenship, one for Albania and one for FYROM. The handbooks draw upon current practices that bring together creative and innovative ideas and show good or promising results in promoting an active engagement of citizens in both countries.

Results:

  • Good experiences compiled on local government and local community cooperation
  • Those experiences incorporated into a handbook to be used by actors in local government and civil society

     

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