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Note from the Director more difficult. Often our key phrase has been “challenge the status quo”, but we have always stayed loyal to our organizational values – ethical, cooperative, inclusive, and professional. Despite the stumbling blocks we have come a long way and shown commitment, creativity and resilience. We have looked for and found inspiration in our partner organizations in and outside the country, strength and support in numerous formal The year 2016 marks the 15th anniversary of

and informal networks that have been vital for

Partners Albania for Change and Development.

“untraditional” advocacy work at the local and

It has been an incredible journey and I feel honored to lead this organization, which combines dedication to advancement of democracy by working in a participatory way, with a high level of professionalism and accountability. For 15 years, Partners Albania has been privileged to work with and support efforts of hundreds of civil society organizations, state institutions, and private sector businesses to advance Albania’s democratic system and values, and strengthen accountability and the rule of law. Through its work and diverse programs, Partners Albania has positively impacted the personal development and growth of so many civil society practitioners and public administration officials in their efforts to building strong institutions, manage open and transparent processes, and overcome corruption. It has been so rewarding to see how institutions have strengthened and become more accountable, how policies have changed and become

regional level, resources in loyal and generous donors who showed trust in our vision. Partners Albania was born as part of a network, Partners Network, and continues to base its work on institutional and strategic partnerships. After fifteen years of work, the project is not yet done. Partners Albania will continue to honor its responsibility to support the strengthening of democracy and economic development in the country. It has the capacity and the know-how to continue to provide support to the state and nonstate actors in the project of democracy building over the many years to come. Anniversaries are opportunities for recollections of the work done, appreciation of achievements, gratitude of the support received, and reflection on what lies ahead. We, as Partners Albania, want to share all of these with you in this report. With gratitude,

more responsive, and how processes have become more inclusive and participatory. In these 15 years, PA has not gone for the easy and safe path, which has made our journey sometimes

Juliana Hoxha Director, Partners Albania


CONTENT Note from the Director............................................................................... 5 I. Establishing Roots (2001 – 2004) ......................................................... 8 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5

Strengthening the Capacity of NPOs........................................................................................ 8 Building the Capacity of Local Government .......................................................................... 9 Enhancing Citizen Leadership ................................................................................................... 9 Academic Program...................................................................................................................... 10 International Teamwork............................................................................................................. 10

II. Branching Out (2005-2010) ................................................................ 14 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5

Developing Sustainable NPOs and an Improved Enabling Environment...................... 15 Building Advocacy Capacity and Fostering Participation................................................... 15 Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in Local and Central Government......... 16 Increasing Representation of Women and Youth in Decision-Making........................... 17 International Involvement.......................................................................................................... 18

III. Seeds of the Future (2011 – forward) ............................................ 22 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5

Developing a Sustainable NPO Sector .................................................................................. 22 Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in Local and Central Government......... 24 Inclusion of Women and Youth in Economic, Social, and Political Life........................... 26 Creating a Culture of Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility...................... 27 New Ways to Organize: Social Enterprises and Social Innovators.................................. 28

IV. Conclusion ............................................................................................. 34 V. Publications ............................................................................................ 35 VI. Supporters ............................................................................................38



Partners Albania was established in 2001 through an initial funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) made to Partners for Democratic Change. Since then, Partners Albania has been a member of Partners Network benefiting from the accumulated experience of the network and join cooperation at regional and international level. The Partners Network consists of 20 Partners affiliates in 20 countries (Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, Colombia, El Salvador, Georgia, Hungary, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Senegal, Yemen, United States). They are independent and locally staffed, managed and registered organizations committed to advancing civil society and a culture of change and conflict management. Each Partners affiliate provides a range of services to local, regional and international communities. By adapting and acculturating Partners’ skills and processes and developing unique specializations, Partners meet the diverse and specific needs of their constituencies. Since its inception in 2001, PA has consistently focused on advancing democracy in Albania by strengthening and sustaining civil society, and facilitating effective collaboration between nonprofit organizations (NPOs), state institutions, academia, and the private sector. Under Communist rule in Albania, freedom of association was forbidden and power was highly centralized, creating a huge gap between political elites and citizens. In this divide, corruption of all kinds took root and corroded citizen’s trust in the integrity of government at all levels, political parties, the media, and other social institutions. Partners Albania grew from a commitment to address Albania’s main democratization challenge, which was – and remains – to foster better interaction between citizens and state institutions through a vibrant civil society sector.


I. Establishing Roots (2001 – 2004) In 2001, Partners Albania was incorporated as an Albanian nonprofit organization. The organization had secured funding for three years and immediately began recruiting staff and designing programming to fulfill its mission of advancing democracy and civil society. At the outset, with collaboration skills clearly lacking in all sectors, PA adopted a capacity-building strategy with three main programmatic areas: a) strengthening the NPO sector; b) building capacity of local government; and c) enhancing leadership and collaboration skills of Albanian citizens. During the first three years, PA had nine staff members and one volunteer. The organization’s annual budget was approximately $581,067, of which 90% was from USAID – the remaining amount was from Open Society Foundation Albania, CIDA, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the EU.

1.1 Strengthening the Capacity of NPOs The five years from 2001-2004 marked an important time of stabilization after the fall of Communism in Albania and the social chaos that followed. The whole civil society sector in this period was still young, and NPOs were generally weak and disorganized. PA was the first organization to recognize the seriousness of this problem and conduct a Needs Assessment of the NPO Sector in Albania. Prior to this study there was no systematic information available about the NPO sector in the country. The assessment identified that most Albanian NPOs lacked professional skills in community engagement,


PA’s Founding Director When Juliana Hoxha was approached by Partners for Democratic Change in 2000 to start a new NPO in Albania dedicated to strengthening civil society and its role in democratic governance, she knew that this would be a great fit for her background and her vision. Ms. Hoxha was deeply committed to building democracy through participation, having been involved in the process of drafting the new Albanian Constitution and the first NPO Law. She had worked with a range of local and international groups, including the World Bank and USAID, on democratic development and transparency issues. From the very beginning, Ms. Hoxha saw the potential of Partners Albania to become a uniquely Albanian institution with a crucial role to play in supporting and encouraging the development of a strong Albanian culture of civic participation and good governance. project management, or financial management. The impact of these organizations was limited because of a lack of grant opportunities for small, community-based organizations outside the capital. To address these needs, PA designed a two-pronged strategy: the NPO Training and Technical Assistance Program, and a Small Grants Program. The Training Program brought NPO leaders together to learn a range of new skills including conflict management, organizational development, advocacy, proposal writing, project management, and coalitionbuilding. Through these trainings, hundreds of local NPOs became stronger as organizations and built networks, making their work more impactful. Most Albanian NPOs at this point were very

small, with limited impact. There was no tradition of NPOs providing services to their communities, so PA designed their Small Grants Program to support NPO service provision for the most vulnerable groups in society. Alongside grant funding, PA provided project and financial management mentoring to build the long-term sustainability of these NPOs. Grants were made in three main thematic areas: psycho-social services; anti-trafficking and human rights; and health services. 51 projects across the whole country were funded by this Small Grants opportunity.

Small Grant Program Project “Protecting Tirana’s Street Children” International Social Services (ISS) is an Albanian NPO providing services to street children and their families. In 2003 they received grant funding from PA to extend a variety of municipal social and educational services to the families of street children in Tirana in order to help the children stay in school and break the cycle of poverty. ISS Program Manager Morena Gjecovik said:

“PA was the first organization who provided a new kind of support; in addition to financial assistance they offered project preparation, and financial reporting assistance; with their support our Shelter was able to place about 40 kids in schools over the period of 8 months and we began working with parents of street children to help them find jobs.”

1.2 Building the Capacity of Local Government An important part of Albania’s transition from one-party, centralized rule to a modern democracy with hopes of acceding to the European Union was the decentralisation of government. In 2000 the Government of Albania passed the “National Strategy for Decentralisation and Local Autonomy.” Local government representatives found

themselves charged with new authority and responsibilities, but lacking the capacity to fulfil these expectations. In response, PA offered Local Government training programs across the country, focusing on key issues: Elected Leadership Roles, Communication and Outreach Skills, Conflict Management Skills, Transparency and Accountability. The hundreds of public sector officials who participated in these programs became more competent in the key new areas of responsibilities, improved the performance and transparency of their local governments, and became local champions of citizen engagement.

Improving Participatory Governance in Municipalities Across the Albania - Macedonia Border In 2004, PA and OPEN, an NGO from Macedonia, implemented a joint project to strengthen the communication and outreach skills of municipal officials from Pogradeci and Peshkopia in Albania and Struga and Debar in Macedonia. During the project, municipal officials from all four communities learned about new, advanced tools for communicating effectively with constituents, improving public services, and engaging citizens. Local NPOs and media also participated in the workshops and site visits.

“The project strengthened the links for future cooperation among bordering municipalities, and helped us to learn new models and practices for better participatory governance. ” - Mr. Imer Ollgu, Mayor of Debar, Macedonia

1.3 Enhancing Citizen Leadership In Albanian society, women and young people have traditionally been excluded from public life and decision-making, particularly in rural communities. To promote inclusion and provide opportunities for promising new leaders to emerge from marginalized groups, PA provided trainings in leadership, project management, communication, conflict management, advocacy and networking. The Women’s Leadership


Program built the capacity of women to lead community initiatives and establish networks to advocate effectively for their needs. One of the participants in the program organized a public debate on the issues that Albanian women face in the city of Tropoja, located in one of the poorest and most conservative regions in the northern part of the country. Forty men and women took part in the open discussion, which was aired on a local TV channel with the goal of raising public awareness. The debate was very heated, with most of the men opposed to the idea that women should be afforded more opportunities and more independence. Even though they were in a difficult position, the women participants, with the help of the discussion facilitator, were able to express their concerns. Following the debate, women in Tropoja expressed great interest in leadership and management trainings to enable them to start their own businesses and get more involved in the decision making of the community. In its Youth Leadership Program, PA trained young professionals from the NPO, municipal and national government, and business sectors. This initiative contributed to expanding the base of young people capable of becoming agents of change within society. The success of the Youth Leadership Program was visible in the enthusiasm of the young participants. For example, Denis Dervishi from the Democratic Youth Forum in Durrës said, “Participating in the Youth Leadership Program helped me learn how to be a good leader, how to be more tolerant and flexible within a team, how to accept others’ opinions in conflict situations and to develop effective listening skills.”

1.4 Academic Program Higher education institutions have always had leadership role in Albanian public discourse, and they were strongly influential in the democratic transition. PA’s Academic Program helped embed conflict resolution and change management skills and methodologies into the curricula of Tirana University. Since this course


was established in 2002-2003, both professors and students of the Faculty of Social Work have been trained according to the curricula designed in this program, which is still being delivered nowadays.

1.5 International Teamwork PA’s DNA is Albanian, staffed by Albanians and operating on Albanian soil. However, from its inception it has been a part of international networks and communities of practice as sources of inspiration, organizational and staff development, and advancing the organization’s mission at the regional level. Since its creation, PA has been a member of Partners for Democratic Change International (now Partners Global), an international network focused on conflict transformation and democratic development. The Partners Network includes highly experienced trainers and practitioners in PA’s core mission areas from across Europe and the USA. In PA’s startup phase, PA staff were able to draw on this rich resource in developing organizational capacity, programs, and training curricula. As part of the democratic transition, Albania emerged from isolation and became increasingly involved in regional and international processes. Many multilateral and bilateral agencies became involved in promoting reform and development in Albania. In this context, PA became a trusted local partner and developed a variety of trainings, assessments and studies in cooperation with such institutions, including UNDP, the World Bank, and the World Food Program.

Setting the office and recrutement of first staff

PA youth and women leadership program

Enabling environment for civil society development

PA local government leadership program

First publications




360 project-proposals received

793 NPO representatives trained

240 NPOs received assistance and counseling

of participants developed new monitoring evaluation systems

to develop and improve their proposals

51 projects funded benefiting 51,000 individuals from different social groups 25 % of grant winners were young or low experienced NPOs


30% of participants received a grant within 3 months following the training

50 %

of participants improved transparency by publishing annual reports

90 % of participants in FM training

improved financial management systems increasing trust among donors and benefitiaries


50 % of participants in Internal Procedures training developed Conflict of Interest procedures

1% 2% 2% 5% 15% 5% 8% 20% 22% 20%

Internal Procedures Conflict Management

Grant beneficiaries according to type of service 2% 26%


Project Management Proposal Writing



12% 12%

NPO training beneficiaries

Financial Management

Leadership Organizational Development Board Development


Human Resources Management

Grants beneficiaries Local government assistance Women Leadership participants Youth Leadership participants

Economic Development Training / Employment Integration and Conflict Resolution Elections / Voters Rights

34% Tirana

19% Central 20% North

Health Services Anti trafficing / Human Rights Psycho social services

27% South


292 municipal officials

Increase of Financial Accountability Elected Leadership


10 municipalities assisted


LG Development and Leadership (TOT)

to increase capacities in better serving their citizens

Comunication Outreach Skills

created or improved Kode of Ethics

Strategic Planning

16% South


Conflict management Skills

9 of assisted municipality

15% Tirana


58% Central

9% 11% North

5% 3%



women leaders from trained & coached




a network of women active created around the core group of women leaders addressing concern issues for women

28% Tirana

22% Central

28% North

22% South


50 young leaders trained as trainers


►Leadership and Management ►Advocacy and Networking ►Training Skills for an Effective



youngsters Training&support for to develop their leading potential

►Project Cycle Management ►Communication and Conflict



10% Central 10% North

24% Men

11% South 69% Tirana

76% Women ► Leadership and Management ► Conflict and Change Management ► Effective Communication ► Negotiation ► Teambuilding ► Facilitation ► Public Relations ► Advocacy ► Project Management


a group of proffesors trained in Conflict Management, in a 4 day-training program led by an international experienced trainer


Individual and group assistance and coaching in developing the academic curricula on this topic

USAID Other Donors

A course on Conflict Management presented for the first time ever in 2002, for students of the Faculty of Social Sciences


II. Branching Out (2005-2010) Having established itself as a strong, sustainable, and nationally prominent organization in its first five years, PA began to branch out with larger, more complex programs to meet the needs of continued democratic development in Albania. Citizens had begun to demand more participation and accountability, but remained disempowered. Local governments had increasing responsibilities but were still largely dysfunctional, and corruption was widespread. The civil society sector was becoming a more important social and economic force in the country – but NPOs still needed skills and support to bridge the gap between citizens and government. In PA’s strategic planning process they decided to continue working in their three main program areas, adjusting the

focus slightly to take into account the contextual changes and to give additional weight to encouraging local ownership of initiatives:


Developing more sustainable NPOs operating within a legal and regulatory environment that enables and encourages their activities;


Enhancing transparency and accountability in local and central government;


Increasing representation of women and youth in decision-making.

Looking toward the future, PA began to develop new areas of work that would contribute to the sustainability of the organization and further advance a culture of democracy and good governance in Albania: With a long-term strategic goal of engaging the private sector in social development, PA began reaching out to Albanian corporations to provide paid services such as training. This was truly pioneering work for NPOs in Albania, as the business community had largely been left out of the development conversation up to this point. Through this work the organization built credibility and networks with the private sector, which in later years became an important part of PA’s cross-sector programming. Creating this new revenue stream outside of the usual donor institutions and foreign aid agencies was an important innovation that helped build PA’s organizational sustainability and resilience. Building on the success of some of their early civil society assessment work, PA began to undertake larger-scale research and monitoring of areas where they had developed substantive expertise. For example, PA led a participatory assessment of municipal performance in service delivery and also established processes for monitoring the performance of national institutions like the National Business Registration Center.


During the five years between 2005-2010 the organizational budget grew from $1,743,201 to $2,798,112. The organization diversified the number of donors, the type of funding (grants, contracts, services), and the location of the work (Albania, regional, global). 60% of funding was from USAID (instead of 90% in the previous stage); with 25% coming from private foundations, 6% from foreign governments, 5% from multilateral agencies, and 4% from services provided to the business sector. In 2008 the organization purchased its own office, providing additional stability and financial sustainability.

2.1 Developing Sustainable NPOs and an Improved Enabling Environment As Albanian NPOs developed into more professional organizations, with better leadership and technical capacities, they began to recognize their crucial role and responsibilities in aggregating citizen voices and influencing policy and implementation at all levels of government. PA’s innovative wholesector strengthening program included work on the overall legal enabling environment as well as specifically targeting NPO advocacy work.

NPO Legal Framework PA built and led a coalition of Albanian NPOs in a process of assessing and improving the legal framework that governed the fiscal and tax treatment of NPOs. At the time, the government was considering changes to the law that would have stifled the growth and sustainability of the sector as a whole. PA’s efforts resulted in amendments to the applicable laws, a major achievement that positively affects every organization operating in the country now and in the future. This work was complemented by other initiatives such as a national consultative process to raise the issue of NPO management standards and ethics and how they might impact the health of the whole sector and its relationship with the public. PA also created

the first Albanian Financial Management Handbook for NPOs, which aimed to enhance the performance of NPOs in terms of efficiency, transparency, financial management, decisionmaking and communications.

2.2 Building Advocacy Capacity and Fostering Participation In PA’s perspective, advocacy is the main tool through which citizens influence decisionmaking processes. Building on its expertise in change management, PA has developed a distinctive approach to advocacy emphasizing cooperative strategies, engagement with decision-makers, and cross-sector partnerships. In Albania, many years of authoritarian governance had left citizens with little practice in organizing and making their needs or complaints known at various levels of government. PA built a program tailored to this context by firstly assessing the advocacy capacities and needs of the NPO sector throughout the country. They designed the NPO Training and Technical Assistance Program and other programs that narrowed the gap between citizens and NPOs on the one side, and between NPOs and representative institutions, on the other side. PA launched complementary initiatives to raise citizen’s capacity to participate in decisions that affect them. During the local elections of 2007, the organization implemented a new kind of advocacy campaign for better local governance in seven major cities across Albania. The “I Support Good Governance” initiative empowered more than 2500 citizens in these cities to be involved in mobilizing fellow citizens, organizing forums, and encouraging open debates. Using a variety of innovative methodologies like Citizen Report Cards, PA helped these citizens increase the accountability of local candidates to their constituents and contributed to building a new culture of interaction between citizens and politicians.


Small Grants Furthering the goal of developing stronger, more sustainable NPOs in Albania, PA administered the Small Grants Fund. This Fund financially supported Albanian NPOs that undertook ambitious and innovative projects to foster free and fair elections, fight corruption, and promote transparency and accountability in government. By implementing these projects under the careful mentoring of PA, these organizations learned how to plan, implement, and evaluate initiatives that had an important positive impact across the country. As just one example of these advocacy projects, the Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (ADRF) received a grant to improve the implementation of the law mandating electoral access for citizens with physical and visual disabilities. Since 2002, ADRF has been working to encourage the Albanian Parliament to respect the voting rights of Albanian citizens with physical, mental, and sensory disabilities. In support of its goals, ADRF has built an ongoing cooperative dialogue among people with disabilities, disability rights NPOs, Local Government Units, and local election commissions. Under this grant, for the first time, significant efforts were made to provide disabled access at voting centers. 1500 special voting booths for wheelchairs users were provided, and a greater percentage of voting centers were located on the ground floor. For the first time in Albania, ballot papers in Braille were produced for blind voters.

2.3 Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in Local and Central Government One of the key reforms Albania undertook in its efforts to become a candidate for accession to the European Union was decentralising government. PA facilitated and deepened this important set of reforms by developing a program to strengthen participatory governance. They worked directly with local elected and appointed government officials to build their leadership and management skills,


promote constructive interaction with other local actors, and increase citizen participation in decision-making processes.

Technical Assistance PA’s Technical Assistance Program included trainings in cooperative planning and participatory governance for leaders and public administration officials. Then, to help the newly trained leaders apply their new skills in practice, PA facilitated local-level planning processes and dialogues between groups from the NPO sector and local government. They helped local government officials identify community needs, design transparent procedures, and improve service delivery. PA also provided mixed-audience trainings on participatory techniques with representatives of local government, civil society, media and businesses. As a result of these activities, stakeholders from the public, NPO, and private sectors experienced the benefits of mutual cooperation, developed mechanisms for collaboration, and paved the way for enhanced participatory governance.

Transparency and Accountability Fighting corruption and promoting transparency in government are pivotal concerns in Albania. During this phase of PA’s development, the organization became one of the foremost Albanian NPOs working on these issues, including: Designing anti-corruption strategies – “Working Together Toward more Transparent and Accountable Local Government;” Creating codes of ethics for municipal employees – “Improving Performance and Accountability in Local Government with Citizen Participation;” Developing citizens’ monitoring capacities and establishing mechanisms for citizen oversight of service provision – “Towards a More Accountable and Transparent Local Government in Albania;”

Fostering sharing of best practices in citizen participation in decision-making processes – “Promotion and Dissemination of Best Practices on Participatory Local Governance at Cross-Balkan Level, Among Municipalities of Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro.”

Modernization of Public Administration PA also worked with the central government to further the goal of enhancing transparency. PA was part of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Albania Threshold Agreement I & II, which assisted the Albanian government to reform and modernize tax administration, public procurement and business registration, including building a state-of-the-art business process management and e-government information technology systems. The impact of this was felt at different levels within the public administration – taxes, procurement, e-government – as well as by businesses and citizens, who were the end beneficiaries of these reforms in service provision. In this complex initiative, PA played a crucial role as the facilitator of constructive discussion and collaboration between the many different groups of stakeholders. As just one example, PA organized and facilitated a series of workshops about the new “Law on Public Procurement” so that the business community could better understand the changes and the new more transparent procedures for procurement. PA also provided a solid foundation in communication and customer service for the people working in newly created or reformed institutions like the Public Procurement Agency and the new National Licensing Centre (NLC) – a streamlined one-stop-shop for business licensing and permitting procedures. PA led the first assessment of the performance of the NLC and developed a set of monitoring tools so that their performance could be continuously monitored over time. A similar set of tools was developed to assess and monitor the performance of the new Business National Registration Centre (NRC), which reduced

the cost and the time needed for business registration from many weeks to just one day.

Elections PA had experience monitoring elections in 2005 and 2007 because of their central role in the Democracy and Governance in Albania program. For the 2009 elections, PA worked with the six member organizations of the Coalition of Domestic Observers to organise a countrywide monitoring effort that ultimately involved 10 Albanian organizations. These were the first elections monitored entirely by Albanians, without support from any foreign aid program. In 2011, PA mobilized citizens to participate in local government decision-making with their initiative “Strengthening Democratic Practices of Active Citizens Participation in Electoral Processes.” As part of this initiative, PA facilitated the work of a coalition of local groups in four cities to make sure that issues of public interest were included in the political platforms of candidates for Mayor in each municipality. The issues the local coalitions worked on were based on the concerns and priorities of local citizens and differed from city to city. After the elections, the local coalitions continued their dialogue with newly elected Mayors to ensure that they were held accountable for their campaign promises. The results of this innovative process included increased involvement of citizens and local civic groups in the electoral process; heightened accountability of local leaders; and increased confidence of Albanian citizens in the democratic electoral process.

2.4 Increasing Representation of Women and Youth in Decision-Making A cross-cutting theme in all of PA’s work with NPOs, governments, businesses, and media has been to foster better representation of women and youth in decision-making processes. However, in contrast with the previous phase where the main focus was in enhancing the


leadership skills of individual women and young people, the focus in this phase was to help create a more inclusive public sphere in which people from previously excluded groups would be welcomed.

Strengthening Youth’s Role in Policy-Making PA promoted the involvement of young people in decision-making processes with a two-sided approach: top down on policy-making at the national level, and bottom-up in empowering young grassroots leaders. PA provided young leaders with trainings in management and leadership under the Youth in Action Program. The 200 young people involved in that program became part of a thriving youth network for exchanging information and experiences. At the national level, PA facilitated the work of the group of experts drafting the National Youth Action Plan. PA made sure to gather input on the Action Plan from youth stakeholders and interest groups, among the first times a participatory process was used to inform national policy in Albania. The Youth Action Plan was approved in 2006, and became the framework in which all projects related to youth for the period 2006-2011 were embedded.

Fostering Women’s Involvement in DecisionMaking PA’s strategy to improve the representation of women in decision making worked at both the supply side and the demand side. First, in order to increase the number of qualified women with the skills and experience to be involved in the public sphere, PA trained emerging women leaders in advocacy skills, public speaking, and media relations so that they could advocate for their own inclusion in decision-making. This also extended to working with women candidates for elected office to hone their leadership skills and improve the effectiveness of their election campaigns. On the demand side, PA started an initiative to improve the visibility and inclusion of women in public management issues. To achieve this goal, PA organized nine regional forums on women


leadership and advocacy, 12 training programs on gender mainstreaming and women’s rights, and 24 community meetings to discuss the impact of gender on the provision of public services.

2.5 International Involvement As PA “Branched Out” in this second phase of development, it also stepped up the level and quality of its international activities. In 2009 the organization became member of two additional international networks. The EUCLID Network connects about 300 members from 31 countries to promote and empower the third sector across Europe with a variety of knowledgesharing initiatives. The network of the Anna Lindh Foundation is the largest group of civil society organisations involved in the promotion of intercultural dialogue across Europe and the Mediterranean. PA’s role in the Partners Network also matured. During the previous start-up period, when the organization was developing internal capacity, PA drew on examples and trainings from other network members to envision and design programs. In this period, as the Partners Network expanded into newly democratising countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, PA was in demand as a provider of high-quality trainings and expert consulting services. PA provided trainings for NPOs and others in Tajikistan, Kosovo, Iraq and Jordan. Some of the trainings requested were in “Project Cycle Management and Organization Development”, “Advocacy and Lobbying”, “Participatory Governance”, and “Conflict Management”. As part of a regional project, PA assisted NPOs in Georgia to strengthen their capacity to monitor government performance. PA also participated in different capacities in conferences, international forums, and regional meetings in countries such as Montenegro, Croatia, Germany, Spain, and Peru.

Small grants program

PA work in the NPO sector Women in Governance Program

Transparency at local governance program




250 project-proposals received in 5 rounds of grants

45 active local organizations trained

100 NPOs received assistance

80% of participants in Cooperative Planning

48 projects funded from 51 organizations

of trained NPOs in Networking &Coalition Building worked in coalitions after the training period

and counseling to develop and improve their proposals

with a total grant fund of $


7cities implemented the

“I Support Good Governance”

initiative, influencing candidate for mayors’ agendas during the elections of 2007


of trained NPOs in Participatory Governance &Public Participation Techniques were actively involved in the city council meetings, monitoring efforts, etc.

50% of trained NPOs in these topics

drafted strategic plans and setup financial systems after the training

35% of the trained NPOs in “Role of Civil

Nature of projects 15%

Training have used Cooperative Planning Process as an effective tool in identifying key stakeholders to be part of their initiatives


Local coalitions of NPOs & active citizens in

and assisted to run advocacy campaigns in frame of local elections 2007

Society in Anticorruption Initiatives” implemented initiatives with focus on anticorruption.


40% of trained NPOs improved

organizational policies and procedures






Advocacy/Policy change

NPO training beneficiaries

Anticorruption/ Monitoring

Grants beneficiaries

Women and gender programs Youth programs

Other election related activitites


Cross sector training

Funding sources 6%



Election monitoring

Local Government assistance




Participatory Governance & Techniques and Anticorruption Electoral Campaign & Community Mobilization in Electoral Processes Advocacy & Lobbying & Coalition Organizational Development Community Needs Assesment; Cooperative Planning; Project Management Fiscal Legislation & Financial Management for NPOs Conflict Management

Geographical distribution of training beneficiaries 18% Tirana

Private Foundations



Foreign Goverments Multilateral Agencies Business Sector


23% South

26% Central

33% North



1st ever entirely Albanian civil society election monitoring effort 146 training sessions for local observers 2675 observers deployed in 2143 polling stations in 100% of the urban areas and 20% of rural areas 10.000 real time reports received through SMS and

2 surveys on Citizen satisfaction with municipal services conducted in 8 municipalites through interviews with 1000 citizens Survey with 52 officials of Lezha municipality about citizen access in decision-making 8 trainings with 96 local officials from 7 municipalities and 19 officials from 9 communes on fight against corruption at local level

processed in the Election Monitoring Operation Center

Assiting Lezha municipality in drafting a Code

5 reports issued in real time through press conferences during the elections day and 2 reports during the counting process

Assisting Rubiku municipality in drafting their environmental

4 workshops on e-procurement legislation - 97 participants from Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations

16 training in 7 regions on Electronic Procurement with 497officials Organization & facilitation of

of contractual authorities and representatives of business

Develop Communication

and Procurement Advocate’s Office

6 workshops on the new Public Procurement Law and e-Procurement - with 165 participants

from Supreme State Audit, Procurement Advocate’s office, Magistrate School, business and media


training courses on “Customer Care” with employees of the NRC, General Tax Department and Procurement Advocate’s Office

2 monitoring surveys

of the Businesses National Registration Center performance

Large Tax Office and of Tirana Tax Office

183 officials

Conduct an assessment of the

Series of trainings and workshops for National Registration Center (NRC) staff

National Licensing Center performance and customer satisfaction

members of

WOMEN & GENDER PROGRAMS 46 women from 3 regional training programs


Conduct a professional capacity assessment for 152 officials of the

2 roundtables of Procurement Advocate’s Office with 46 economic operators 6 regional workshops with stakeholders and National Licensing Center the Accountants’ and Lawyers’ Association


of Public Procurement Agency

economic operators in Durrës and Tirana

Roundtable on the New Draft Tax Procedure Law with 48



3 Training of Trainers for 71General Directorate Tax officials 4 informational workshops of the National Licensing Center for 118


of Ethics


Increase capacities in Advocacy and Public Speaking of

political parties, civil society and business in Building capacities of Voters Mobilization

16 women candidates in elections in Constituency and

2 training programs for 20 women in Role of Women in politics Organization of 9 regional forums on Women Leadership and Advocacy with 155 women leaders Organization of 12 training programs on Gender Mainstreaming for 240 Organization of

municipal officials and council members Organization of

24 community meetings with 800 participants discussing

public services from a gender perspective

120 youngsters trained as leaders through Youth in Action Program Facilitation of Youth strategy in a consultative process with participation of

300 youngsters from 4 regions

300 youngsters trained to prepare for job market and 50 employed in Vlora 35 activists of youth centers in Cërrik and Kuçova trained as Trainers 50

members of youth Parliament and student government in Fier increased leadership skills to mobilize in decision-making processes

INTERNATIONAL TRAINING ASSISTANCE Series of capacity building training for ATRC staff in Kosovo

2 training programs in Participatory processes and Conflict Management for 25 leaders of NGOs from Iraq, and 3 TOT programs in Good Governance and Citizen Mobilization for 28 civil society and local government trainers in Jordan 2 trainings and e-coaching sessions on Advocacy for 18 NGOs from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey

2 training programs on Advocacy and Project Cycle Management and a study visit for 25 NGO leaders from Tajikistan 3 training programs on Coalition Building, Participatory Governace and Project management for leaders of youth NGOs in Kosovo

Needs survey and 2 training programs on citizen participation techniques for 30 NGOs in Georgia Training & assistance in Project Management and financial systems for Partners Kosova

III. Seeds of the Future (2011 – forward) In 2011, PA celebrated its first 10 years of work and Albania marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Communist regime. Since the early days of PA there have been many changes in the social and political landscape: Albania became a member of NATO, became a candidate country for integration into the EU, and became increasingly relevant in the Balkan and Southeast European region. Many foreign development and humanitarian organisations closed their programs in Albania as the country made progress toward EU integration and EU funding replaced bilateral aid programs. PA was widely recognized as an important force helping democratic reforms and ideas take root in Albania.

In the five years from 2011- forward, PA managed a yearly average budget of USD 451,489. In addition, the RisiAlbania and LEVIZAlbania initiatives (discussed below) operate as independent legal entities administered by PA along with other consortium members. Following the organization’s plan to diversify its funding base, the percentage of funding from USAID decreased drastically. The organisation now has a balanced distribution of donors and income, with 48% from foreign governments ,23% coming from private foundations, 21% from multilateral agencies, 8% originated through fees for services provided to the business sector.

The organization was well positioned to take on increasingly complex and ambitious projects in areas where it had expertise (Civil society, good governance, inclusion of women and youth).

3.1 Developing a Sustainable NPO Sector

PA became a prominent contributing member of regional and international networks of civil society organizations. In addition, PA had the institutional stability and reputation to introduce exciting new social innovations within its overall goal of fostering an environment in which the public, private, and nonprofit sectors work together towards more prosperous and fairer Albania. These included groundbreaking programs in:

Building a culture of Albanian philanthropy and corporate social responsibility; Encouraging social entrepreneurship and micro-enterprise, especially in the area of sustainable “green” development. 22

In its first phase of development, PA emphasized building the leadership and technical capacity of NPOs, whereas in the second phase the focus was on creating a better enabling environment for these organizations. For the past five years, PA has deepened its commitment to these areas of work, and in addition built new mechanisms, processes, structures and forums through which NPOs can strengthen their role as agents of change in Albanian and European society.

Citizen Participation PA conducted an extensive participatory assessment of the laws, regulations and policies that affect civic engagement in Albania, and identified priorities in reforming this framework. This initiative, called “Increase Citizen Participation in Policy Making and Implementation,” raised awareness about the

importance of civil society participating in local decision-making processes. It also shed light on the barriers to effective participation across and between sectors and laid the groundwork for building functional participatory mechanisms for citizen engagement. As a follow-up to this huge effort, PA expanded the scope of their citizen participation study and presented the findings at the Regional Conference “Role of civil society and citizens in shaping policies at local and central level, best practices and participation mechanisms.” The conference included civil society groups and government representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, and Croatia, and resulted in a productive discussion of best practices and lessons learned in their respective countries. One of these ideas that PA plans to take forward is more work on participatory budgeting at local and central levels.

Setting Standards and Monitoring the Enabling Environment for Civil Society The regional work on citizen participation created the basis for PA to co-create the ambitious Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development. This framework, developed by PA and other members of the Balkan Civil Society Development Network, defines an optimum set of conditions under which the NPO sector can develop and function. For the first time, public authorities and NPOs around the region have realistic common goals and indicators that facilitate working together to create a better operating environment for civil society. The impact of this tool goes even further than the regional level, since its findings and recommendations will be used to monitor the progress of each country’s support of civil society, in accordance with the EU Guidelines for Civil Society Support in Enlargement Countries 2014-2020. The monitoring process and the presentation of the findings are two activities that PA has undertaken annually since 2013.

In 2013, with the election of a new government in Albania, PA brought together a task force of 20 NPOs to initiate a dialogue between civil society and government that culminated with the National Conference “Social Partners – Time for Action.” Participants identified the main challenges regarding the enabling environment for NPOs, and developed proposals and recommendations for policy and legal changes. The task force developed into The Working Group on the Enabling Environment for Civil Society in Albania, which advocated to address the issues raised at the conference. Working Group achievements so far include: Drafting, proposing, and finally gaining Parliamentary approval of the “Law on the Establishment and Functioning of the National Council for Civil Society;” Amendments to the tax regime and regulations for the economic activities of NPOs, including: clarification of the tax rules for NPOs engaged in incomegenerating activities, and differentiated reporting to tax authorities depending on the size of the organization. Albanian Parliament adopted the resolution “For recognition and strengthening the role of civil society in the process of democratic development of the country.”

Strengthening NPO Capacity Complementary to PA’s work in monitoring and advocating for a better enabling environment for NPOs, the organization continued its work to develop the capacity of NPOs and their staff to have positive impact in the public sphere. Based on its pioneering NGO Directory first published in 2002 and updated in 2005 and 2007, in 2013 PA created the online platform “The Albanian Crowd,” which is still functioning. The platform includes comprehensive information about NPOs and social enterprises in Albania and is constantly updated with members’ activities, initiatives, and announcements. The Albanian Crowd is used as a resource centre on the social sector by a wide variety of stakeholders from Albania and across the globe – including public and private sector stakeholders, media and donors.


In 2015, PA launched The NPO Academy, an innovative program that places previously adhoc professional development training for NPO executives into a coherent program. Over the course of 12 sessions and an international study visit, participants hone their management skills and broaden their networks, so that they can build more impactful organizations serving their beneficiaries and the public interest. A good example of the impact of the NPO Academy is provided by Englantina Shllaku, program manager at Help the Life Association, a long-standing Albanian disability rights organization. She was happy to participate because the Academy “provided information which was helpful not only for newly created NPOs but for the experienced ones also.” Inspired by the Academy, Ms. Shllaku and Help the Life Association developed an organizational strategic plan for the first time in their 18-year history. Ms. Shllaku was also exposed to new program ideas by the study visit with Slovakian disability NPOs, and organized Albania’s first advocacy campaign timed to correspond with the International Day for People with Disabilities.

International Prominence in Civil Society Development As Albania has come out of its isolationist past and become integrated into the European and world economy, PA’s work has also grown beyond the local and national level, and is now widely recognized in the Balkan region and in the wider European context. PA is called upon to provide expert policy advice and best practice case studies related to NPO capacity development and creating an enabling environment for civil society at numerous policy workshops, roundtables, and forums sponsored by organizations like the United Nations, OSCE, and European Commission. PA is also known for taking the ideas and commitments from high-level processes and implementing them in a practical way at the local level. One example is their ongoing work in the communities on both sides of the AlbaniaMontenegro border, such as the initiative “Role of civil society and local self-government


to increase social cohesion in Albania and Montenegro,” which worked with NPOs, community groups, and local governments in municipalities on both sides of the border to develop good models of integration and cooperation. As European Union institutions increasingly make policies that affect the lives of citizens in member and candidate countries, PA has more and more been a part of projects to enhance mechanisms for citizen engagement at the European level and foster a sense of European citizenship. The IGA Project (Inter Gera Ação) involved a consortium of higher education institutions and NPOs in stimulating dialogue and interaction about social exclusion between citizens and European institutions. The Joint Citizen Action for a Stronger, Citizen-Friendly Union (JoiEU) and From Citizen Involvement to Policy Impact (U-Impact) projects used innovative communications and advocacy strategies to put together policy proposals for greater citizen participation in the EU decisionmaking process, and make those mechanisms sustainable.

3.2 Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in Local and Central Government Transparency and accountability in government remain some of Albania’s enduring challenges, and thus continued to be among PA’s main areas of work in the 2011-2016 period. PA’s work in this field has been oriented towards fighting corruption, improving the public procurement process, strengthening good governance, promoting participation in decisionmaking processes, and supporting reforms in the justice sector.

Anti-Corruption Working with the Urban Partnership Program of the World Bank (UPP), PA brought an innovative anti-corruption approach to Albania for the first time. Cities without Corruption – Cities with a Future

targeted local governments and focused on strengthening institutional integrity, efficiency, and transparency. The approach is based on full local ownership and implementation of the action plan, and helps municipal officials understand how to create systems that discourage corruption and encourage transparency, instead of naming and blaming individuals. One of the main innovators behind this fast-growing approach to anticorruption work – FPDL from Romania – is a fellow member of the Partners Network. On the national level, PA has been an important part of the implementation of the new law “On Protection of Whistle-blowers.” The law, aimed at fighting private and public corruption, sets rules for reporting corrupt acts or practices, the mechanisms for the protection of the people who report corruption (whistle-blowers), and the obligations of public and private institutions related to whistle-blowing. PA initiated a public information campaign about the law and supported the drafting of the regulatory framework for the implementation of the law. In addition, PA has worked with the institutions responsible for enforcement of the law, including the High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests, to strengthen their capacity and human resources.

Transparency and Accountability in Public Procurement Public procurement has been an area of government activity in Albania widely regarded as corrupt and lacking transparency. PA saw an opportunity to use new technologies to foster greater transparency and increase public confidence in the fairness of this process, and so became involved in the project Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in E-Public Procurement. PA monitors public tender announcements and helps identify technical, legal and implementation issues through interviews, workshops and round tables. For the first time, PA included the voices of “economic operators” (the businesses & other entities that are eligible to bid on procurements) to give a fully rounded assessment of how

public procurement is done in Albania. The project was widely welcomed by all parties involved and contributed to an inclusive and ongoing discussion about a more transparent procurement process.

Participatory Assessment and Public Engagement Since its inception, PA has been the country’s main source of reliable data on NPOs and their perceptions, especially outside of the capital. As a result, PA has increasingly been engaged by large organizations to conduct participatory assessments and surveys of public perception on a variety of key reforms in the country. This included the project Support of Territorial and Administrative Reform – STAR, in which PA helped gather citizen and other stakeholder input for the process of re-organising and streamlining local government territorial units in Albania. In the run-up to the first elections after this territorial reform, PA was asked by UNDP to survey and analyse voters’ awareness and level of education on issues ranging from the impact of the territorial reform, gender in elections, and understanding of electoral violations and sanctions. The report – Research on Voter Education and Motivation Prior to June 2015 Local Elections in Albania – was released before the elections to help interested parties better understand voters and their motivations. As the UN and the Albanian Government worked together to plan the Government of Albania – UN Programme for the Period 2017-2021, they called on PA to coordinate public consultations with representatives of civil society, local government, private sector, and media. PA’s analysis helped identify strategic development priorities so that UN support could be planned accordingly. These large-scale participatory consultations and research projects provide important citizen input into government planning processes, making the resulting plans and policies more realistic and responsive. For PA, this area of work has contributed to a very thorough and


grounded understanding of the changing Albanian context, enabling the organization to be nimble in responding to emerging needs in society.

Enhancing Participation in Decision-making An important part of PA’s mission is promoting participation in decision-making processes at all levels of society. In a major milestone, PA’s “Participatory Budgeting at Central Level” initiative brought a group of NPOs together to analyse and provide input on the budgets of the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Youth. During the local elections of 2015, PA worked with citizen coalitions on “Enhancing Active Public Participation in Political Processes and Local Decision-making.” The citizens advocated before and after the elections to have community priorities reflected in the municipalities’ budgeting process. PA assisted the citizens and key municipal officials to draft procedures for participatory budgeting, helping institutionalize the practice of citizengovernment collaboration. Also at the local level, PA formed a consortium with Open Society Foundation Albania and Coplan to create LEVIZ Albania. The project has encouraged the development of communitybased civil society that generates more local oversight of government, more inclusive decision-making, and improved public services. Building on previous PA projects using communication technologies, PA created another way for citizens to understand and monitor their local government – an online platform where people can watch municipal council meetings, as well as be informed about draft decisions, discussions, approved decisions, and the status of their implementation. This pilot initiative – Better Local Governance through Increased Transparency and Accountability of Municipal Councils – constitutes a step forward in fostering transparency in local decision making by means of new technologies.


Supporting Justice Sector Reform An important challenge in Albania’s path towards European integration is reform of the judiciary and the functioning of the judicial sector. As part of a massive project of technical assistance to the sector, the “Albanian Justice Sector Strengthening Project (JuST),” PA was called on to assist with the organizational development needs of NPOs working in the justice sector. This included helping the Union of Albanian Judges (UAJ) grow into a professional membership association capable of understanding and advocating for the independence of judges. Through this project, PA contributed substantially to the reform of the judiciary.

3.3 Inclusion of Women and Youth in Economic, Social, and Political Life Over the past five years, PA has continued its work to promote the participation of women and young people in decision-making, while expanding the scope of projects to include helping women and youth participate more fully in the economy and the job market.

Increasing Youth Employability High youth unemployment is an endemic problem in Albania. PA’s comprehensive approach combines direct work with young people as well as systemic work to improve the conditions that make it difficult for young people to access the job market. The organization implemented the project Enhancing Youth Employment through Training and Labour Market Orientation, which provided young participants with skills to write their CVs, perform well in job interviews, and work successfully with their colleagues in teams. The RisiAlbania project implemented by PA and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, is creating systemic changes the Albanian labour market to improve access to employment opportunities

for young women and men. Using the Market Systems Development (MSD) approach, the project seeks to overcome the main barriers to youth employment by stimulating job creation (demand), developing skills (supply), and improving labour market information and services (intermediation).

Fostering Women’s Participation in the Labour Market It has been difficult for Albanian women to participate fully in the job market in Albania for a variety of structural and historical reasons. PA’s initiatives in this area include “Promoting Business Women Enterprises in the Crossborder area Struga-Pogradec,” which improved the skills of businesswomen and also enhanced their networks. The project Successful Women in Successful Entrepreneurship trained businesswomen in how to increase their clients’ satisfaction with their products, and successfully manage and grow their businesses. PA also helped the women entrepreneurs make connections with financial and microfinance institutions, as a result of which 40% of participants succeeded in receiving a loan to expand or initiate their businesses. Building on its previous work in the Macedonia – Albania border region, PA saw an opportunity to help realize the economic potential of tourism to provide employment in the region, while also fostering cross-border cooperation. The project Towards Alternative Tourism helped increase employment among women and young people in the region and supported sustainable economic development through promotion of eco-tourism in the area around Lake Ohrid, between Albania and Macedonia.

Empowerment of Women Women in rural areas of Albania have made slow progress on equal inclusion in political and social spheres. PA’s project Increasing Representation of Women in Rural Areas in the Political and Social Life worked on this issue in two ways – by training local government representatives in women’s rights and gender mainstreaming, and

by assisting a Women Leaders Group in drafting the Charter for Equal Gender Representation in Decision Making Structures. The charter is a guide and an inspiration for women and girls in rural areas who are seeking to be more active in public life. The launch of the Charter also helped sensitize local governments in rural areas about the valuable roles women could play in the public sphere, fighting stereotypes and paving the way for cultural change.

3.4 Creating a Culture of Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility PA was the first Albanian organization to understand and promote the potential contribution of the private sector not only to the economy but also to the development and betterment of society as a whole. In the previous developmental phase, PA planted the seeds for this area of work by building trust and relationships between sectors and exploring ways in which organizations in different sectors could work together for mutual benefit. In 2011, those seeds began to flower, and PA was able to launch major new initiatives in Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Philanthropy PA demonstrated its capacity for innovation once more by conducting the first survey in Albania on philanthropy. The resulting publication, “Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy,” shed light on the need for legislation and policies supporting this new approach. In order to promote the development of an Albanian culture of philanthropy, PA published A Historical View of the Development of Philanthropy in Albania, organized a national competition for Essays on Philanthropy, as well as a conference on the “Development of Philanthropy in Albania.” At this regional event, representatives from the business sector, civil society, and the national and international donor community discussed the challenges of, and provided recommendations for, the development of philanthropy.


However, PA’s flagship initiative under this programmatic area is the annual Philanthropy Awards, a national competition that publicly celebrates the champions of philanthropic activity in Albania. Awards under five different categories are delivered by prominent Albanian political, social and economic personalities in a high profile ceremony. Supporting all of the work in this area, in 2015 PA started to systematically monitor philanthropic activity in Albania in print, broadcast, and social media, from public and non-public institutions, and report the findings on a monthly basis.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Complementary to fostering a culture of philanthropy, PA also introduced the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility, the idea that private businesses also have a role to play in social development. PA organized the regional conference Development of CSR – Challenges and Practices in the Region, which encouraged learning from different countries’ challenges, perspectives and best practices. The conference explored the catalytic role of the state and the role of the media as an indispensable tool for public education and promotion of CSR. PA itself took an active role in raising awareness about CSR, for example with its’ Promotion and Development of CSR in Albania initiative, PA coordinated a study visit in Macedonia, and organized training programs with CSOs and open lectures with university students.

3.5 New Ways to Organize: Social Enterprises and Social Innovators In the wake of the international financial crisis in 2008, foreign aid shrank and Albania’s economy slowed, along with the entire world economy. People in many different countries began to experiment outside of the traditional sectoral divisions between “nonprofit” and “private sector” with “social enterprises” that could generate profit, job creation, social inclusion, and other important goals like environmental


protection. PA recognized the potential for social enterprises to further its mission of promoting social inclusion and greater participation in the development of the country, and so created the first Social Enterprise program in Albania. In the years since, PA has promoted this innovative and emerging sector with a variety of initiatives within Albania and throughout Europe. The flagship project within this programmatic area is the Green Ideas Competition, now in its fifth year, which offers seed funding for three competitively selected micro-enterprise ideas that promote social inclusion and local economic development through the utilization of local resources, revival of traditions, and environmentally friendly approaches. Funding comes from a novel collaboration between private and business donations as well as local and philanthropic donors. For example, one of the winning social enterprise ideas in 2014 – Castle2Castle – comes from the northern region of Shkodra, and has developed eco-tourism bicycle tours around some of the natural and historical treasures in the area. The enterprise has 5 full time and 3 part time employees. Other winning green ideas include recycling jeans into shopping bags, and production of traditional woven fabrics with recycled materials. Each year, the three winning ideas participate in the Annual Regional Forum “Philanthropy in support of Green Ideas in the Western Balkans,” where they compete with other winning ideas from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The impact of the Green Ideas Competition throughout the years cannot be only assessed in terms of number of ideas awarded (15) or the amount of funding disbursed (14,400,000.00 ALL - approximately 103,000 EUR), but must also be appraised based on intangible benefits such as: creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship; increasing employment in small towns and villages, strengthening the entrepreneurial capacities of participants; and raising awareness about the potential of traditional activities for becoming business opportunities, being environmentally friendly and profitable at the same time.

Research in Social Enterprises As social entrepreneurship is a very new field, PA has undertaken a variety of research projects to explore the potential of social enterprise as an approach to tackle one of the most pressing issues in Albania and globally, which is social inclusion of marginalized groups through job creation. The study “Development of Social Enterprises – Potential for Job Creation for Disadvantaged Groups,” mainly focused on the situation of women and girls in Albania. Furthermore, PA undertook a research project on social enterprises as a driver for employment of marginalized groups, in framework of the Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP) in the Western Balkans. PA Executive Director Juliana Hoxha authored another important piece of research on the social economy in Albania which was published as a chapter in The Strategic Study on Social Economy Development in the Context of the Southeast Europe 2020 Strategy, developed by the European Movement in Serbia and SeConS - Development Initiative Group in 2014 and updated in 2015. The publication provides an overview of the social economy sector in Southeast Europe (Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia), including the legal and institutional frameworks, analysis of what is needed in terms of support mechanisms and financial incentives, and issues to be addressed to support the development of the social economy.

Fostering Youth Entrepreneurship PA’s research and experience showed clearly that social enterprises have the potential to generate jobs and improve social inclusion for young people as well as for marginalized groups. The organization took this opportunity to start “Young Entrepreneurs of Albania”, which promotes youth employment and entrepreneurship by supporting students at vocational schools to develop skills and capacities in building competitive enterprises in the market. The students are assisted in designing sound business ideas that will enter in a competition, the winners of which receive

funding and mentoring in developing their start-up. PA’s impact through this project is not just the few ideas that are funded – rather all the young people who participate have the chance to grow their personal capacity to face challenges, exploit their entrepreneurship potential, and have a positive attitude in navigating the job market.

Promoting Social Enterprises across the EU Both the theory and practice of social enterprises have benefited from an international flow of ideas, networks, and emerging best practices. In 2011 PA became local partner of Social Innovation Europe (SIE) Initiative, a meeting place for social innovators across Europe that offers recommendations for action based on research, as well as opportunities for networking and partnership building among social innovators across countries and sectors. PA is also a member of the Social Innovation Laboratory (SIL – network of regional social innovators) and a partner in the SI-drive project, a research initiative expanding knowledge about social innovation. In order to promote the potential of social enterprises in Albania and beyond, PA organized the international conference “Social Enterprises, Response to the Economic Crisis?” and has actively participated in a number of other regional conferences on Social Entrepreneurship. PA is leading the understanding and promotion of social entrepreneurship as an international movement in Albania, and has brought examples from Albania into the international limelight.

International Involvement As Albania has become more and more integrated into Europe and the world, so too PA has stretched the scope of its activities and networks at regional and international levels. PA became a trusted international partner in four additional networks in the period since 2011: Balkan Civil Society Development Network; Social Innovation Europe Initiative; Social Innovation Lab; and the Social Entrepreneurship Forum for


Western Balkans and Turkey. It has also established ties with the Department of Public Information of the UN, and is both a hosting and sending organization with European Voluntary Service. These network organizations have enabled PA to maximize its voice in policy discussions about

European integration around the Balkans and in Brussels. PA has also been a core leader and organizing force within the Partners Network as it restructured to better reflect the maturation of member organizations as leaders within their own countries and internationally.

Partners Albania program on philanthropy and green ideas

Enabling environment for civil society

TV debates on women participation in decision-making 30

PA programs on youth employment and entrepreneurship

Promotion of social enterpreneurship and alternative tourism

Good governance programs


KEY DATA ON PARTNERS ALBANIA 10,000 Direct beneficiaries 500 Training &workshop days with over 7,000 participants 40 Conferences & public debates with participation of over 3,000 stakeholders Participation in over

Issuing of over

120 international conferences and debates

30 publications

NPO ACADEMY Competence - Professionalism - Development

3 groups of cohorts in 2 years, 41 participants from 38 organizations from 9 regions 40 training & coaching sessions and 3 study visits ►Organizational ►Financial

development and HR management

management and reporting to state authorities


Lobbying and Coalition building


governance and tools


sustainability, fundraising and strategic planning ►Communication and PR

Training beneficiaries


Local Government assistance Women programs beneficiaries Youth programs beneficiaries

Green Ideas


170 applicants in 5 national competitions

12 winners at national level, 4 winners at regional level 60 people employed from the 12 supported enterprises

2 research on social enterprises development in Albania 5 conferences & debates on social entrepreneurship

PROGRAM IMPACT 2011-2016 LOCAL GOVERNMENT TRAINING & ASSISTANCE 14 local government units assisted 2 e-procurement monitoring surveys with 330 businesses in 7 municipalities, 7 focus groups and 60 direct interviews 6 municipalities assisted to draft anticorruption strategies 8 municipalities adopted participatory budgeting procedure

Berati Durrësi Elbasani Fieri Himara Kavaja Kuçova Lezha Pogradeci Puka Rubiku Saranda Tirana Vlora

PUBLIC CONSULTATION 12 consultation meetings on administrative territorial reform with 650 participants 5 consultation meetings on Country Partnership Framework of the World Bank Group in Albania with 250 participants 6 consultation meetings in 3 main regions on the preparation of Government of Albania - UN program with 300 participants 8 focus groups on voters education and motivation prior to elections 2015 with 100 participants

EMPOWERING YOUTH AND WOMEN 12 training programs on Women’s Rights and Gender Mainstreaming in 12 regions with participation of 200 commune’s officials

4 Boot camps with 220 youngsters

Establishment of Women Leadership Forum comprising of

24 women from 12 regions

5 two-day training & coaching sessions of Women Leadership Forum Adoption of the Charter for Equal Gender representation in decision-making structures

to develop business plans

2 ICT Youth Camps for 60 youngsters to develop business plans in ICT

► Women

participation & representation in decision-making structures

► Mechanisms


1 pre-study on tax system and its effects on gender equality 12 officials of Tax Administration trained on gender equality & legislation

► Advocacy


21 trainings for 132 students in Librazhd to improve their life


skills and project writting skills


4 capacity building programs for 20 youngsters in Dibër and

► Public

relations and communication

assistance in formalization of their NPO

► Leadership

& assisted in developing the 1st Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan

PROMOTION OF PHILANTHROPY AND CSR 1 international conference to launch the philanthropy agenda 6 annual awards


1competiton on Essay on Philanthropy

2 research studies on Philanthropy with 300 businesses

8% 21% 48%

1 study on history of philanthropy in Albania since 19th century About

180 TV &radio programs, and articles in


written media about Philanthropy

1international conference on practices and challenges of the development of Corporate Social Responsibility in Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro

5 regional training programs and 3 open lectures in universities with 160 stakeholders, 1 study visit in Macedonia on CSR

Foreign governments Private foundations Multilateral agencies Fee for services

IV. Conclusion Partners Albania, now in its 15th year, has had a major impact on the positive development of Albanian civil society and democracy. Thousands of individual NPO staff members from every corner of Albania are now alumni of PA’s training programs, and they have embedded the lessons they have learned about effective communication, participatory decision-making, and sound project management deeply into their respective organizations. Many more thousands of government officials have had their first experiences of real citizen engagement and cross-sector problem-solving through PA’s consultations, roundtables, and conferences. Nowadays it is commonplace for government to consult with civil society and other stakeholders before launching new initiatives; and for NPOs to cooperate in networks to advocate for the needs of their constituents, but that was not always the case in Albania. PA helped introduce a culture of participation, collaboration, and inclusion into the country, and developed a uniquely Albanian set of approaches to improving governance. From the beginning, PA has operated with a grounded understanding of what is needed RIGHT NOW to move democracy forward in Albania, coupled with a vision of what is possible in the future, and how to move toward that future step-by-step.


V. Publications




Robert Klitgaard Ronald MacLean-Abaroa H. Lindsey Parris

Вazuar në dekadat e përvojës së tyre në luftën kundër korrupsionit në shumë vende të botës,

autorët e librit Qytete të Korruptuara ofrojnë një mënyrë origjinale për ta mposhtur korrupsionin në nivelin vendor. "Parandalimi i korrupsionit," shprehen autorët, "mund të ndihmojë në rritjen e të ardhurave të bashkisë, përmirësimin e ofrimit të shërbimeve, në nxitjen e besimit dhe pjesëmarrjes publike si dhe në fitoren e zgjedhjeve." Libri Qytete të Korruptuara tregon si është arritur kjo, edhe në vendet me kushtet më të vështira, dhe si mund të realizohet përsëri. Raste studimore nga Nju Jorku, Hong Kongu dhe La Pazi në Bolivi, tregojnë se si probleme në dukje të pashpresa mund të shndërrohen në katalizatorë drejt reformave të sukseshme. Libri Qytete të Korruptuara përshkruan në detaje si të:


Ÿ diagnostikohet korrupsioni bashkiak; Ÿ përfshihen qytetarët dhe nëpunësit publikë në gjetjen dhe zbatimin e zgjidhjeve funksionale; Ÿ goditet korrupsioni nëpërmjet një qasjeje ekonomike - si një krim përllogaritjeje dhe si një

Str. Piata Amzei 7-9, scara D, etaj 6, ap.34, sector 1, Bucuresti, Romania Tel/fax: + 40213135664; +40213135668; +40213141966 E-mail: Website:

komunitetin tuaj; Ÿ mënjanohen grackat më të rëndomta.

"Libri Qytete të Korruptuara është një kontribut shumë i mirëpritur për setin e mjeteve në dispozicion të çdokujt që është i interesuar të luftojë korrupsionin. Bob Klitgaard dhe bashkautorët e tij ja arritën qëllimit përsëri." -Peter Eigen Kryetar, Transparency International "Përhapja e demokracisë në botë është duke i dhënë energji të reja luftës kundër korrupsionit. Kjo është një kohë shumë e përshtatshme që këta tre analistë të shkëlqyer dhe luftëtarë me përvojë kundër korrupsionit të prezantojnë qasjet e tyre të mprehta dhe të testuara në luftën kundër korrupsionit. Ky libër i shkëlqyer e përmbush cilësimin si një “guidë praktike” dhe do të jetë shumë i vlefshëm për drejtuesit qytetarë në të gjithë botën, të cilët përkushtohen drejt një qeverisje të ndershme, të aftë dhe demokratike.” -Jeff Sachs Galen L. Stone Profesor i Tregtisë Ndërkombëtare, Drejtor, Qendra për Zhvillim Ndërkombëtar, Universiteti i Harvardit


Fondacioni i Partnerëve për Zhvillim Lokal - FPDL

funksion i sistemeve të korruptuara e jo (vetëm) i individëve të korruptuar;

Ÿ kurohet dhe parandalohet korrupsioni duke përshtatur metoda dhe reforma të provuara për


TE KTHENI SHENDETIN Fondacioni i Partnerëve për Zhvillim Lokal - FPDL

Str. Piata Amzei 7-9, scara D, etaj 6, ap.34, sector 1, Bucuresti, Romania Tel/fax: + 40213135664; +40213135668; +40213141966 E-mail: Website:


Instituti i Shoqërisë së Hapur Iniciativa për Qeverisjen Vendore dhe Reformën në Shërbimin Publik - LGI

October 6 u. 12, Budapest, H- 1051, Hungary Tel: +3613273104, Faks: +3613273150 E-mail: Website:


Programi i Kombeve të Bashkuara për Vendbanimet Humane - UN HABITAT

Kutia Postare: 30030, Nairobi 00100, Kenya Tel: +254207621234, Faks: +254207624266/7 Website: Internet:


Instituti i Shoqërisë së Hapur Iniciativa për Qeverisjen Vendore dhe Reformën në Shërbimin Publik - LGI


October 6 u. 12, Budapest, H- 1051, Hungary Tel: +3613273104, Faks: +3613273150 E-mail: Website:

Partnerët Shqipëri Qendra për Ndryshim dhe Manaxhim Konflikti

mjetet e lehtësimit të procesit


Ambasada Britanike në Tiranë

Një Udhëzues Praktik për Kurimin dhe Parandalimin Programi i Kombeve të Bashkuara për Vendbanimet Humane - UN HABITAT

Kutia Postare: 30030, Nairobi 00100, Kenya Tel: +254207621234, Faks: +254207624266/7 Website: Internet:


koncepte dhe strategji



VI. Supporters

Partners Albania 2001-2016, 15 Years of Growing a Stronger Democracy  
Partners Albania 2001-2016, 15 Years of Growing a Stronger Democracy