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annual report

2013

Partners Albania, Center for Change and Conflict Management


Partners Albania staff in 2013 achievements

Juliana Hoxha Director

Ariola Agolli

Director of Programs

Jetmira Hysenaj Finance Officer

Ermira Shyti

Intervention Manager, Risi Albania project

Adela Bani

Director of Programs

Blerina Guga

Project Manager

Andi Stefanllari

Intervention Manager, Risi Albania project

Project Assistant

Klotilda Tavani

Elona Kapexhiu

Communication Manager

Kostandina Keruti Project Manager

Arjola Shehaj

Sibora Dhima

Intervention Manager, Intervention Manager, Risi Albania project Risi Albania project

Maris Selamaj

Project Assistant

Oltion Shima Driver


Table of Content From the Director

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Working with private sector toward public good

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Philanthropy Awards 2013

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Green Ideas 2013 competition

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National Competition of Essay of Philanthropy

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Promotion and development of Corporate Social Responsibility in Albania

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Strengthening civil society sector

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Strengthening the advocacy capacities of CSOs in Albania

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Increase citizen participation in policy making and implementation

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National Conference “Social Partners - Time for Action”

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The Albanian Crowd, an interactive platform for Albanian NPOs and social enterprises

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Increasing employment and economic development

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RISIAlbania project - Making the labor market work for young people in Albania

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Towards an alternative tourism

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Social entrepreneurship, as a vehicle for youth and women employment

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Enhancing transparency and accountability in governance

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Cities without corruption – Cities with a future

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Building urban governance capacities of Kucova municipality

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Enhance the transparency and accountability of E-public procurement

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Assistance for the Albanian Justice Sector Strengthening Project

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Increasing social inclusion and supporting women empowerment

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Increasing representation of women from rural areas in the political and social life

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Role of civil society and local self-government to increase social cohesion in Albania and Montenegro

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Citizens together toward a better Europe

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Joint citizen action for a stronger, citizen-friendly union

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Enhance dialogue and interaction among citizens and European institutions toward social inclusion

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International events

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Partners Albania activities in media

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New publications

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Finances

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Working with private sector toward public good

Philanthropy Awards 2013!

In the presence of many distinguished guests from government, parliament, civil society, diplomatic bodies and media personalities, cooperators and friends, Partners Albania organized on 6 December 2013 the gala ceremony of “Philanthropy Awards 2013”! This is the third year Partners Albania organizes the Philanthropy Awards, an open public competition to award individuals and companies that support social causes. Mr. Erjon Veliaj, Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Mr. Haki Abazi, Director of RBF Program for Western Balkans, Mrs. Vjollca Hoxha, President of TopMedia, media personalities Mrs. Rudina Magjistari and Mr. Rezeart Xhaxhiu presented the awards to the winners.

Award for Business Entities Contributing at the National Level

was granted to ABC Foundation with the motivation: For contribution in support of social, economic and environmental development in the country, especially for the substantial assistance to the Roma community through reconstruction of the Transit Emergency Center, as well as support in infrastructure for environmental conservation and tourism development.

Award for Business Entities Contributing at the Local Level

was granted to Albanian Mobile Communications with the motivation: For contribution in support of vulnerable groups, through reconstruction of the premises of the House of Elders in Fier.

Award for the Individual Contribution was granted to Mrs. Keti

Bazhdari with the motivation: For the special contribution in the field of art and culture in support of young artists and enriching the cultural life in the city of Shkodra, as well as for the continuous support of vulnerable groups.

Special Award - Pioneer of Philanthropy

was granted to Mr. Anastas Avram Lakçe (posthumously) with the motivation: For outstanding contribution to the Albanian language by supporting publications in Albanian language, funding the opening of the first school in Korça and supporting the publication of one of the most remarkable works of Albanian literature of Renaissance “ Bagëti e Bujqësi” of Naim Frashëri.

Certificate of Appreciation

was awarded to Mrs. Kozara Kati with the motivation: For the outstanding contribution in the protection of human rights, the demonstrated initiative and support of social causes.

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“Green Ideas 2013” competition Green Ideas! is a competition organized to support initiatives that promote social inclusion (through integration and employment) and local economic development through ideas that are environmentally friendly. Partners Albania organized on 2-3 April 2013 in Tirana the second competition at national level.

The novelty of this competition lies on collaboration and creation of a joint seed fund created through international philanthropic donors and business contributions.

field of environment, law, business and economic development. The three winning ideas of the national competition were: “Furniture and recycled objects” implemented by DesignByPana. The project consists in production of innovative and modern furniture through recycling wooden pallets which are used for the transportation of bricks and other building materials; and using cans, bottles and other glass objects for decoration items, lighting bulbs etc.

The winners of Green Ideas 2013 competition with the evaluation panel members and PA director

“The collection and processing of used oil from restaurants” implemented by Soloil Albania. The project idea consists in collection of used oil from the restaurants and sending it as raw material for the manufacturing of biodiesel, perfumes and soaps.

“From garbage to value” implemented by Gjirokastra Foundation. The project consist in the design and manufacture of souvenirs and other products The competition is open to the by using recycled materials. The public and interested institutions to workshop employs women from rural observe. During two days, fifteen areas, and is located in a building finalists presented their project-ideas that belongs to the culture heritage before the panel of experts from the of Gjirokastra. This competition is supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Albanian Mobile Communications and Credins Bank.

Along with 12 other competing ideas from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, the three winners of the competition in Albania took part in the Annual Regional Forum “Philanthropy in support of Green Ideas in the Western Balkans”, organized by the Rockefeller Brother Fund from 26 to 29 July 2013, in Mavrovo, Macedonia. Among 15 competing ideas were selected three winners that are supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in the amount of 10,000 USD, through RBF local partners. One of the winners of the regional competition was the representative from Albania, Pezana Rexha, with the idea of production of furniture using wooden pallets. Pezana Rexha receives the award certificate by Mr. Haki Abazi, Program Director for the Western Balkans of RBF foundation

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National competition “Essay on Philanthropy” Partners Albania launched in 2013 the organization of Essay on Philanthropy competition, to raise awareness and encourage critical thinking of youngsters, the future professionals, on the development and the impact of philanthropic activity in society. This competition is part of PA program on philanthropy development in Albania, supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The call for essays addressing youngsters between 17-22 years old, remained open for several weeks during June - September 2013. Partners Albania held meetings with teachers and professors, and organized information sessions with young people in several high schools and universities, highlighting the values of philanthropy and the importance of youth involvement in this issue. Applications received as part of the competition were evaluated by a panel consisting of university professors and journalists. Partners Albania awarded three prizes in the categories “Best Academic Writing”, “Best research” and “Essay that best shows the values of philanthropy”. The winners of the Essay on Philanthropy 2013 competition were announced at the ceremony Partners Albania organized on October 10, 2013 in Tirana. They are: -“Best Academic Writing”, Andi Thomaj; “Best research”-Denisa Canameti and “Essay that best shows the values of philanthropy”, Jonida Gjuzi.

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The winners of Essay on Philanthropy 2013 from left to right: Denisa Canameti, Andi Thomaj, Jonida Gjuzi


Working with private sector toward public good

Promotion and Development of Corporate Social Responsibility in Albania As part of its efforts to promote Corporate Social Responsibility in Albania, Partners Albania in partnership with Konekt, organized a study visit in Macedonia with participation of officials from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy. The group visited some prominent institutions that have developed strong CSR strategy used in effective manner to address diverse social issues.

Visit at Pharmachem, a SME

The study visit offered great networking opportunities and exchange of experiences in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Meeting with EVN, the company responsible on power distribution in Macedonia

Meeting at the Ministry of Economy

At Konekt office, discussing about CSR

Partners Albania continued in 2013 organization of several training programs with civil society organizations, and open lectures with university students to raise awareness and information on CSR issue.

Open lectures in the Faculty of Social Sciences

Partners Albania initiative “Promotion and Development of Corporate Social Responsibility” was supported by the East East Beyond Borders Program/OSFA. CSR Training in Durrës

CSR Training in Tirana

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Strengthening civil society sector Strengthening the advocacy capacities of CSOs in Albania Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development is a tool developed by members of the Balkan Civil Society Development Network where Partners Albania is a member, which aims to define an optimum situation desired for civil society to function and develop effectively. It sets a realistic framework which can be followed and implemented by public authorities and enhance advocacy efforts of civil society groups for a better operating environment. Principles, standards and indicators presented in the Matrix are formulated taking into account the current state of development and diversity in the Western Balkans and Turkey. They rely on the internationally guaranteed freedoms and rights the best regulatory practices of the European Union and other European countries. This monitoring tool is used by BCSDN network member organizations from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Turkey, in a joint effort to monitor and analyze the enabling environment for CSOs in country and regional level.

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To introduce this new monitoring tool to the CSO sector, and build its implementation capacity, during the first quarter of 2013 Partners Albania organized a series of regional training workshops in Durrës, Vlorë, Shkodër, Korcë, Elbasan, Fier etc. with participation of local CSOs and local government representatives. The monitoring process using this new tool was conducted in Albania by Partners Albania, during May-September. It consisted in interviews with 100 NPO managers in 8 main cities of Albania, experts panel and desk research. The findings were presented in a public event organized in October 14, 2013, with participation of civil society representatives, donors and international organizations supporting civil society development and media. Participants discussed findings and raised concerns about specific areas of legal environment for civil society and law enforcement.

During the round table to present the preliminary findings of monitoring in Albania, 14.10.2013

Introduction of Matrix in Durrës

Introduction of Matrix in Shkodër

During November - December 2013 Partners Albania conducted regional workshops to discuss these findings with NPOs and other local stakeholders, and get further recommendations to be included in the monitoring report. The findings and recommendations of each country report will contribute to monitor the progress of each country in support of civil society, in accordance with the EU Guidelines for Civil Society Support in Enlargement Countries, 20142020. These activities are part of the “Balkan Civil Society AcquisStrengthening the Advocacy and Monitoring Potential and Capacities of CSOs” project funded by the European Union and the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD).


Increase citizen participation in policy making and implementation Partners Albania as part of its work in advancing public participation in policymaking undertook during 2013 a study on the legal and regulatory framework on civic engagement and the role of CSOs in development of policy at local and central level. The study revealed that there are no sustainable legal and institutional mechanisms in place to

guarantee citizens’ participation at local and central level; there is lack of transparency and communication of the LGUs with NPOs and citizens, lack of professionalism in offering services, and low capacities on new information and communication technologies; the legal environment, especially the fiscal one, does not support the sector’s sustainability

and hinders its normal activity; there is still a sporadic and not sustainable participation of civil society in the policy design and implementation, and lack of coordinated advocacy efforts within the sector. The findings were presented in the Regional Conference “Role of civil society and citizens in shaping policies at local and central level, Best practices of participation mechanisms”, with participation of civil society groups, and government representatives at local and central level from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia. The Albanian experience based also on the research findings was enriched by best practices and lessons learned coming from the neighboring countries in the region. Despite differences and economic and democratic development, speakers and participants highlighted similar challenges with regard to participation linked with poor law enforcement and weak capacities from civil society groups and local government for an effective cooperation.

As a follow-up, Partners Albania assisted active organizations in Tirana, Shkodra, Lezha, Kukësi, Puka, Durrësi, Fieri and Vlora, to address through concrete actions bottlenecks in the processes of citizens participation in local decision making. One of the processes were Partners Albania focused was participatory budgeting in these municipalities and capacity building for local actors to independently undertake them in future local government budgetary cycles. This work is supported by Olof Palme International Centre in Albania, through funding of Swedish Government, as part of the project Increase Citizen Participation in Policy Making and Implementation.

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National Conference “Social Partners - Time for Action” The 2013 parliamentary elections and the new government in office were considered by Partners Albania as an opportunity to further develop the dialogue agenda with state actors and improve the enabling environment for CSOs. With that in focus, Partners Albania initiated a dialogue with the new government and participation of the sector at the national level. A task force with participation of about 20 NPOs from diverse sectors was set up, to support the dialogue process. It culminated with the conference organized by Partners Albania in cooperation with Prime minister’s office, supported by the United States and the Delegation of European Union to Albania. Based on the results and lessons learned of the advocacy work of the last years, and the findings of the 2013 Matrix Monitoring Report, PA organized a one day brainstorming session, preceding the formal conference, with participation of about 130 representatives of civil society. The session served to identify the main challenges with regard to the enabling environment and develop a set of proposals and recommendations for policy and legal changes. In the conference, the panelists from civil society presented the sector position on the three key elements of the enabling environment for civil society, based on the discussion during the brainstorming session.

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Mrs. Juliana Hoxha, PA Director addressing the participants in the conference, 16.12.2013

During the brainstorming session with civil society, 13.12.2013

The three issues covered were: → Civil society organizations sector involvement in policy making and decision making, and the state support in this process; → Support of civil society organizations sector through an enabling legal framework; → Civil society organizations sector as a social partner of state in providing services for citizens and public institutions.

The three distinguished guests highlighted the importance of civil society in the process of EU integration agenda.

One of the highlights of the conference was the panel of three distinguished guests Mr.Niko Peleshi Deputy Prime minister, HE Mr. Alexander Arvizu, US Ambassador in Albania, and HE Mr. Ettore Sequi, Head of EU Delegation in Albania, and participation of members of Albanian Parliament and government, representatives of donor community, local and international organizations.

In his speech, Mr. Niko Peleshi emphasized the government’s recognition for the irreplaceable role that civil society organizations play in strengthening democracy and sustainable development, and expressed the commitment of the Government and all public authorities to involve citizens and civil society organizations in the design and implementation of policies, in building clear

Presentations of civil society experts on the three pillars of enabling environment for NGOs


Mr. Niko Peleshi, Vice Prime minister of Albania

mechanisms and procedures that guarantee the participation of citizens in decision-making. Mr. Peleshi expressed the commitment of government to build a sustainable cooperation with civil society and raise it at a higher level. Mr. Peleshi guaranteed that the government will encourage the Parliament to adopt a policy document prepared through an inclusive process with the participation of civil society organizations, which will clearly define the scope of this cooperation.

Mr. Alexander Arvizu, Ambassador of the United States to Albania

U.S. Ambassador to Albania Mr.Arvizu appreciated the importance of positive signals coming from the government through the expression of willingness to cooperate with citizens. He appealed to make use of these positive changes, and to make possible that the cooperation mechanisms discussed in the conference become functional, and the government be open to listen to what people have to say.

Mr. Ettore Sequi, Head of EU Delegation to Albania

Head of EU Delegation in Albania, Mr. Sequi emphasized the particular attention EU pays to civil society believing in the importance of CSOs in promoting transparency and accountability, in the democratization and European integration agenda of the country. He assured that the EU will continue to support the involvement of citizens in policymaking, believing that when people push their leaders in the right direction, the country grows stronger.

The conference endorsed a statement presenting key issues to be addressed by the sector collaboratively with the government as concrete steps towards sustainable partnership among sectors. The full statement is available at: http://www.partnersalbania.org/ Statement_of_civil_society.pdf Part of the conference was also an exhibition of the activity and work of about 40 civil society organizations with regard to services and products they offer, promoting the contribution and role of civil society in economic, social, cultural and environmental development of the country. Special place was given to three most recent green entrepreneurship initiatives supported by Partners Albania.

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www.thealbaniancrowd.org

THE ALBANIAN CROWD, an interactive online platform for Albanian NPOs and social enterprises The Albanian Crowd is the newest service of Partners Albania for the non-forprofit sector and its relevant partners and beneficiaries. It belongs to PA longstanding efforts to strengthen civil society sector capacity, at the core of its activity as a resource center for the sector. The Albanian Crowd is an interactive online platform of the Albanian NPOs and social enterprises.

The Albanian Crowd provides the opportunity for its members to share the most recent updates about projects and activities, identify potential project partners and recruit volunteers and supporters. The platform increases the networking potential in and outside the country and their work visibility. The Albanian Crowd will also serve the institutions and individuals from the public sector, the business community, media, international organizations and donors who will find in it dynamic information, partners and services needed.

The platform provides comprehensive information on the location, scope of work, areas of activity, beneficiaries, services the This project is implemented by organizations and social enterprises offer and projects Partners Albania and supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tirana. they are working on.

To all the active users of Albanian NPO Directory managed by Partners Albania for the last 13 years, the Albanian Crowd would be from now on the only online directory of the sector. All interested groups are asked to join the platform by completing the online registration form at this link: http://www.thealbaniancrowd.org/aplikimi/

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Increasing employment and economic development

Making the labour market work for young people in Albania RisiAlbania, a four year program implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in partnership with Partners Albania, was officially launched in a large event organized on December 10, 2013, with participation of government officials, business community representatives and media. The project will support better employment and income opportunities for young women and men, through private sector growth and improved job intermediation. The main beneficiaries will be students, young job-seekers and young employees. Businesses, employment institutions, service providers and media will be the main partners in the successful implementation of this project. The inception phase of the RisiAlbania project started by conducting a market research to identify the intervention sectors. It resulted that the most promising sectors for youth employment are Agro-processing, Tourism, ICT and possibly Garment & Footwear. These will be the industries where the project will focus the interventions in order to exploit the opportunities they offer for employment of young people.

In the launching event, Swiss Ambassador HE Mr. Alexander Wittwer expressed the belief that the employment opportunities exist if we can improve the business climate, strengthen services, and introduce new skills. In his speech, Mr. Erjon Veliaj, Minister of Social Welfare and Youth highlighted that youth employment is the biggest national emergency, and that the efforts should be focused on areas where there is a perspective. He expressed the commitment that the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth will be an active part in supporting this project and other initiatives that address youth employment. The RisiAlbania project is funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation Office in Albania.

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Towards an alternative tourism Partners Albania is supporting the sustainable economic development by promoting tourism alternatives in Korça region through enhanced cross border cooperation with Macedonia. Since June 2013 Partners Albania and MEDF Foundation in Macedonia are implementing the cross border project “Towards an alternative tourism” covering the geographic regions of Korça district, Struga, Ohri, Debarca and Vecani.

During the kick-off event of the project, Korca, July 2013

Partners Albania and MEDF are working with local stakeholders such as Regional Development Agencies, local government units, tour operators, local media, and business associations to enhance tourism development alternatives by exploring opportunities and particularities that each region offers. Partners Albania and MEDF did the mapping of local businesses relevant to tourism development and identified tourism opportunities and potential of cross border cooperation in further development of this sector.

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This initiative is being implemented in the framework of the Program IPA CBC Albania-Macedonia 2007-2013, with financial support from the European Union.


Social entrepreneurship, as a vehicle for youth and women employment Social entrepreneurship in Albania is considered still in a nascent phase beside a couple of entrepreneurship established during the recent years. In the effort to understand challenges and benefits of SEs, as to what is considered an effective mechanism to fight unemployment, Partners Albania undertook a research in this field. The study aim to improve the unemployment situation for women and girls in Tirana, DurrĂŤsi and Elbasani regions. It aimed to investigate the challenges of social entrepreneurship in Albania and their potential for employment. The research consisted in structured interviews with social enterprises and traditional businesses and an assessment of vocational training offered by the public institutions. The study was seen as a mean to assist public institutions dealing with employment to better match offer and demand and explore other avenues to stimulate employment initiatives such as social enterprises. In addition, the study provides case studies from European countries but not only, that are considered as suitable for adoption in the Albanian contest.

In the launching round table of the study, Mrs. Bardhylka Kospiri, Deputy Minister of Social Welfare and Youth complemented the initiative and considered the study a good base for orientation of employment policies of the Ministry. Mrs. Kospiri expressed the Ministry belief in the role of civil society in generating new ideas in the field of social entrepreneurship. She extended an invitation to all organizations to join Ministry initiatives in this field and also confirmed the Ministry support. Mr. David Saunders, Representative of UN Women Albania, emphasized the importance of social enterprises and social businesses in empowering people to take a full and productive role in the economy, society and family. The participants appreciated the study as a valuable contribution in promoting development of social enterprises as means to increase employment, including research in the field which is scarce in Albania.

The initiative was financially supported by the UN Women program in Albania.

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Enhancing transparency and accountability in governance

Cities without corruption – Cities with a future On February 26, 2013 the Municipal Council of Kucova Municipality approved with majority of votes the “Strategic Plan for Preventing and Treating Corruption, Through Increased Integrity, Efficiency and Accountability, 2013-2015”. In September 2013 Lezha and Rubliku municipalities approved their anticorruption strategy and action plan as well. This was the result of one-year work of Partners Albania’ Anticorruption Practitioners with Kucova, Lezha and Rubiku Municipality staff, through the application of an innovative anticorruption methodology, for the first time in Albania. The implementation of anticorruption methodology in each of these LG units started by focusing on the organization vulnerability to corruption. It considers corruption as a malfunctioning symptom and addresses it by enhancing local governments integrity, transparency and accountability, the very principles on which sustainable urban development relies on. The process followed the strategic planning steps, starting with diagnosis and concluding with elaboration and implementation of solutions aiming to change corrupt organizational systems rather than individuals. Under Partners Albania facilitation, key stakeholders from the municipality as the Mayors, the Deputy mayors, the Chairpersons of the Municipal Council,

managers, and municipality staff conducted the analytical diagnose of their organization vulnerability to corruption. As part of the strategy they developed a vision, strategic objectives and concrete action plans to cure and prevent corruption in their municipality. In the National Conference “Cities without corruption- Cities with a future”, the closing event of this project that Partners Albania organized on October 25, 2013 in Tirana, the Mayors of Kucova, Rubiku and Lezha shared their experience on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of corruption in the institution they lead. The conference was addressed by Mr. Bledi Çuçi, Minister of State for Local Government and National

Mayors, representatives of the donor community, local and international organizations working on good governance, highlighted in their discussions the importance of replication of this model in other municipalities as a helpful tool for preventing and reducing corruption, increasing transparency and accountability, toward sustainable development at local level.

During the Municipal Council Meeting in Kucova where the Anticorruption Strategy was approved Mr. Bledi Cuci, Minister of State for Local Government addressing the conference, 25 October 2013

Deputy Mayor of Rubik, Mr. Frederik Përdoçi and directors of municipality departments along with city council members discussing on the Anticorruption Strategy Mrs. Klotilda Tavani, PA Director of Programs presenting the anticorruption approach methodology implemented by PA

During the discussion of the Anticorruption Strategy with municipality staff in Lezha

The “Cities without corruption – Cities with a future” initiative was implemented by Partners Albania and financially supported by the World Bank through FPDL-Partners Romania, and the British Embassy in Tirana.

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Coordinator Against Corruption who emphasized the importance of transparency and fight against corruption as part of the new government agenda in the process of European integration of the country. Mr. Cuci expressed the government commitment to support these initiatives coming from civil society as an important player in the fight against corruption.


Building urban government capacities of Kucova municipality As a second phase of Partners Albania assistance to diagnose vulnerability to corruption in Kucova municipality, the process continued with the development of a specific action plan of anticorruption measures. In addition to the work with the municipal staff, Partners Albania consulted with various interest groups such as businesses, civic committees and local NGOs on their perspective on issues related to services and transparency of local government. In the regional anticorruption conference organized by World Bank Austria Urban Partnership Program in Ljubljana, December 16-18, 2013, representatives of Partners Albania and Kucova Municipality presented the methodology and processes applied in Albania, experience and lessons learned in applying this new methodology and innovative approach to cure and prevent corruption in local government. The conference was attended by anticorruption practitioners and LG representatives from Albania, BiH, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, countries that are implementing this anticorruption methodology.

Mrs. Blerina Guga, PA Project Manager with the representatives of Albanian municipalities at the anticorruption conference in Ljubljana, December 2013

Enhance the transparency and accountability of e-public procurement As part of its efforts towards good governance, Partners Albania is implementing an initiative to monitor the implementation of Public Procurement Law and procurement procedures for public tenders at local level. The initiative started in 2012, focusing in the municipalities of Lezha, Tirana and Elbasani. For one year, April 2012-April 2013 Partners Albania monitored on daily basis the website of Public Procurement Agency and all announcements published by the three municipalities in this website and in the public procurement bulletin. Monthly, biannually and an annual report on the monitoring results, were shared with public and interested stakeholders. PA conducted several meetings and interviews with representatives of procurement units and procurement commissions in each municipality to discuss the implementation of the public e-procurement and some of the challenges faced in this process. Partners Albania monitoring included interviews with about 120 economic operators in the three target municipalities, to assess their satisfaction with the system and e-procurement procedures. PA organized local workshops in Lezha, Elbasani and Tirana, and also a national round table to share the results and recommendations of the monitoring with relevant stakeholders as businesses, PPA, local and central government, CSOs, media etc.

The monitoring effort in the municipalities of Tirana, Lezha and Elbasani was made possible through the support of the British Embassy in Tirana. The monitoring of e-procurement was extended in four other municipalities, Berati, Saranda, Himara and Fieri, starting from November 2013 with the support of the Netherlands Embassy in Tirana. During the workshop in Tirana, to discuss the monitoring findings, 19 June 2013

Ms. Arjola Agolli, PA Director of Programs during a focus group meeting with economic operators in Lezha, 18 March 2013

During the local workshop in Elbasan, to discuss the monitoring findings, 11 April 2013

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Assistance for Albanian Justice Sector Strengthening Project Organization of workshops with the Union of Albanian Judges regional cluster groups During 2013, Partners Albania facilitated the organization of two rounds of regional workshops with the Union of Albanian Judges (UAJ) in the regions of Tirana, Vlora, Korca, and Shkodra. The workshops supported UAJ effort to recruit new members and establish collaboration with other stakeholder groups such as journalists, CSO representatives, citizens, lawyers, mediators, and students from the Law Schools.

During the regional workshop of UAJ in Vlora, 18 April 2013

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The 300 representatives participating in these workshops brainstormed on various issues related to the developments in the justice sector, public trusts on juridical system and ideas to improve the public perceptions. PA assisted UAJ to design and launch a media campaign with focus on reform in justice system and UAJ mission supporting and contributing to this reform.

One of the highlights was the International Justice Day organized with the leadership of UAJ. To this regard, a public announcement was broadcasted in national television and widely distributed in the social media in addition to several interviews and appearances of UAJ representatives in electronic and written media. These activities were supported by the Justice Sector Strengthening Project (JuST) through funding of USAID.

Mr. Ervin Metalla, Executive Director of the Union of Albanian Judges


Increasing social inclusion and supporting women empowerment

Increasing representation of women from rural areas in social and political life As part of PA initiative to increase the representation of women from rural areas in social and political life, started in 2012, in January 2013 was established the Women Leaders Forum. The Forum is a core group of 24 active women and girls from all Qarks, consisting of women political activists, chair and members of commune councils and commune administrations. Through coaching sessions provided by the project experts, the Forum members raised their capacities and skills on a series of topics such as mechanisms of participation in local decision making, Advocacy and lobbying, Public relations and communication with media, etc.

PA facilitated drafting of the Chart for Equal Gender Representation in Decision-making Structures in Rural Areas, a document designed to serve as a guide and motivator for women and girls in rural areas, to be more active in the public life. The document was presented at the national Conference “Increased representation of women from rural areas in the political and social life” that Partners Albania organized on September 25th in Tirana, which was also the closing event of the project.

From left: Mr. Ivan Manzano Barragan, Program Manager for Civil society and Human Rights in the EU Delegation in Albania, Mrs. Ariola Agolli, PA Director of Programs and Mr. Andi Dobrushi, Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation for Albania

During the coaching sessions with the members of the Women’s Leader Forum

The conference was attended by Members of the Albanian Parliament, representatives of women’s political forums, commune elected leaders and officials, members of Commune Councils, representatives of civil society organizations working on gender issues, and donor’s community in country. The discussion addressed the legal and enabling framework, challenges, issues and recommendations for improvements toward a higher representation and participation of women in local decision making structures.

Mrs. Jorida Tabaku MP and member of Leadership Forum of Democratic Party addressing the conference

The project “Increased representation of women from rural areas in social and political life” was implemented by Partners Albania in partnership with the Albanian Association of Communes of Albania and with the financial support of the European Union and the Open Society Foundation for Albania.

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Role of civil society and local government in increasing social cohesion in Albania and Montenegro Since April 2012 until June 2013, Partners Albania and CRNVO in Montenegro implemented the project “Role of Civil Society and Local Governments in Enhancing Social Cohesion in Albania and Montenegro”, which aimed to increase integration, development and cooperation among civil society in the cross-border area between Albania and Montenegro. Following the series of capacity building programs implemented during 2012, Partners Albania organized on February 1st, 2013 in Shkodra a workshop with participation of community activists and local government from the program targeted areas: communes of Bushat and Dajc, and municipalities of Koplik and Vau i Dejës.

Albanian delegation in the regional conference “Participation of citizens and cooperation between NGOs and local governments in Montenegro and Albania”, organized in Montenegro on 13 February 2013. Last activity of the project were two 4-day study visits organized on both sides of the border during May-June 2013. During these visits participants met with municipality leadership and high officials from participating municipalities. They visited some of the sites such as Public Information Offices and One stop Shops, that represent successful institutional arrangements with regard to transparency and public access.

Although at the border area the understanding and exchange among civic actors and Participants discussed on some of municipalities before this project the mechanisms and successful practices of citizen participation and have been very limited, this cooperation with local government intensive interaction among actors build bridges and help to identify implemented by them, such as some concrete actions for future Participatory Budgeting and the cooperation in the economic and Citizen Information Office. These mechanisms and practices on good infrastructure field on both sides of cooperation were presented by the the border.

During the visit of the NGOs from Montenegro in the Center for Public Services, Bushat commune

The Albanian group during the visit in Plava, Montenegro

From the visit in Koplik municipality

During the local Workshop in Shkodra, 1.2.2013

Ms. Ariola Agolli, PA Director of Programs in one of the panel discussion at the Conference, 13.2.2013

Mrs.Valentina Gjoni from Vau i Dejës (from right) during her presentation at the Conference, and Mr.Arben Gjuraj, Mayor of Dajci commune, 13.2.2013

From the visit of the Albanian group at the Municipality of Berane in Montenegro

Meeting of the Albanian group with NGOs in Bar, Montenegro

From the meeting of the NGOs from Montenegro in the municipality of Vau i Dejës

This project was funded by the European Union under the IPA Cross-Border Program Albania-Montenegro, 2007-2013.

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Citizens together toward a better Europe Joint citizen action for a stronger, citizen-friendly union Partners Albania is one of the partner organizations from 13 European countries which are implementing the project “Joint Citizen Action for a Stronger, CitizenFriendly Union�. JoiEU comprises of a series of transnational debates mobilizing citizen participation by using innovative communications and advocacy strategies in a joint effort to put together policy proposals for greater citizen participation in the decision-making process in the EU.

JoiEU is a transnational platform for debate involving government structures, NGOs and other interest groups. Civil society resource centers in all of the participant countries cooperate in the preparation and organization of transnational debates on common EU issues, reaching out to civil society organizations and citizens through webinars and social media.

The project was officially launched in an event organized in Sofia from October 17th – 19th, 2013, where Partners Albania was represented by Blerina Guga, Project Manager. The project is funded by the European Union through the Europe for Citizens Programme.

All updates on the debates calendar and other information regarding the project can be found in: http://joieu.net

Enhance dialogue and interaction among citizens and European institutions toward social inclusion Social exclusion conditioned by poverty, long-term unemployment, and discriminative social schemes are the focus of IGA project implemented by Partners Albania, member of a consortium of higher education institutions and non-governmental organizations from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Albania, Poland, Austria and Cyprus.

IGA Project contributes to a more inclusive Europe, stimulating dialogue and interaction between citizens and European institutions, in order to find efficient and sustainable solutions for various forms of social exclusion.

the plan of activities and to coordinate efforts for a successful implementation of the initiative. More information on the project is available at http://paginas. estsp.ipp.pt/iga/index.php

The project was launched on 5-6 December 2013, in Porto, Portugal, where all project partners met to discuss

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International events Brainstorming with the European Commission on IPA CSF Support Mrs. Juliana Hoxha, PA director participated in a workshop organized by Balkan Civil Society Development Network, at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels on the 25th of September 2013, to discuss future IPA CSF support with DG Enlargement.

The discussion focused especially on further ways to support capacity-building of CSOs, grant-making, support to grass-root & citizens’ initiatives, and networks as the cornerstones for the new support to be launched with IPA II as of January, 2014.

PDCI Network Annual Meeting Mrs. Juliana Hoxha, PA Director and Ms. Ariola Agolli, Director of Programs participated in the PDCI annual meeting in Kosovo, on October 19- 21, 2013. During these three days the Centers representatives discussed on issues related to network strengthening, PR and communication strategies, internal and external, and the role of two hubs in Brussels and Washington DC in network development. The PDCI organizes bi-annual Directors’ Meetings in different member countries. Partners for Democratic Change International is a global partnership of twenty independent, local organizations in Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East that work to advance civil society, good governance and a culture of change and conflict management worldwide.

Grantmakers East Forum Mrs. Juliana Hoxha, PA director participated in the 18th Grantmakers East Forum, hosted in Belgrade on 16-18 October, 2013 by TRAG Foundation and the SEE Indigenous Grantmakers Network (SIGN). Grantmakers East Forum is the annual gathering of private foundations supporting civil society work in the Balkans,

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Eastern Europe, and Russia. Transparency was the theme of this year gathering. Participants discussed about the pros and cons of transparency in all types of institutions, from governments to foundations and businesses, and how transparency affects the work of private grantmakers both globally and within GEF regions.

More information about the event can be found on the GEF website http://www.gef.efc.be/ reports/


Regional workshop on state funding for civil society organizations In frame of Partners Albania efforts to measure the enabling environment for the civil society development in Albania, Ms.Kostandina Keruti, Project Manager of Partners Albania participated in a regional workshop on state funding for CSOs. The event held on 13 - 14 November 2013 in Novi Sad, Serbia, was organized by BCSDN in cooperation with the European Center for Non-for-profit Law (ECNL) and its member EHO, as part the EU and BTD funded

“Balkan Civil Society Acquis� project. The workshop attended by 38 representatives of CSOs and relevant state institutions from 13 countries, did a mapping of existing frameworks for state financing in the Balkan countries, shared experiences of actors in developing and implementing such framework and discussed good practices at European level. The most pressing issues covered were strategies for support and cooperation with CSOs,

mechanisms in place supporting social dialogue and inclusive practices, funds and mechanisms for co-financing, non-financial support, and transparency in state funding. The results of the discussion are expected to support civil society advocacy work.

Study visit of Albanian, Kosovar and Serbian NGOs to Croatia In Albania, the cooperation between the non-for-profit sector and government, roles and responsibilities of each actor are still to be defined. In the last years there is a growing effort from NPOs to advocate and proactively approach government with proposals defining this cooperation framework. Croatia is considered as the best example in the region in this regard. In this light, Ms.Ariola Agolli, PA Director of Programs along with 20 representatives of civil society

organizations from Albania, Kosovo and Serbia, participated in a study visit in Croatia on 17-21 November 2013. The activity was organized by Olof Palme International Center aiming to provide participants with successful experiences and good practices of mechanisms for CSO and civic participation in policymaking, and models for cooperation between state and civil society. Participants met with several Croatian NGOs, the Government

Office for Cooperation with NGOs and the National Foundation which is the leading public institution for the cooperation, linking and financing of civil society organizations in Croatia, who shared their experiences and challenges in cooperation and partnership building.

European Movement International Congress Mrs. Juliana Hoxha, PA Director participated in the EMI Congress: Fostering Civil Society in the Candidate and Potential Candidate countries, organized in Montenegro on 21-23 November 2013. The aim of the conference was to promote dialogue between civil society and public institutions in the EU candidate and potential candidate countries, and to contribute to enhanced regional cooperation of the civil society.

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Exchange best practices on municipal oversight and participation in local decision-making Partners Albania, represented by Mrs. Blerina Guga, Project Manager, participated in a conference on municipal oversight and participation in local decisionmaking, held in Pristina on 15 to 16 July 2013. The conference was organized by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo in cooperation with other OSCE missions in the region.

Mrs.Guga, as a panelist discussed on the Albania experience including legal and regulatory framework of citizen participation in decision making. She addressed challenges but also the most recent dynamics in the relations CSO-local government in Albania which seems promising.

This conference served as an opportunity for various civil society organizations from the region to share best practices and tools on local government monitoring, advocacy and promotion of public participation in decision making at the local level.

Study Visit on EVS partnership building in Kosovo Since 2011 Partners Albania has been accredited as Host, Sending and Coordination Organization within the European Voluntary Service (EVS). In this regard, Ms. Adela Bani, PA Project Assistant participated in a study visit on EVS, organized by SALTO – YOUTH South East Europe Resource Centre and the Finnish National Agency, from 4th to 8th June 2013 in Kosovo. The 15 participants in

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the study visit represented organizations from Finland, Kosovo and Albania working with youth and involved with the European Voluntary Service. They met with different youth organizations in Kosovo and learned about their activities and experience with EVS. This activity was a good networking and cooperation building opportunity for the participating organizations.

During the visit of the NGOs from Albania, Finland and Kosovo to the children kindergarten in KlinĂŤ where they met with volunteers from Italy and learned about their EVS experience.


Partners Albania activities in media TV programs and articles in written media about PA initiative to promote philanthropy in Albania and the winners of Philanthropy Awards

TV programs and articles in written media about the winners of the Green Ideas national competition

Articles in written media on Partners Albania study about social enterprises as a potential for job creation for disadvantaged groups Article on the national conference “Social Partners-Time for Action�

Interviews of PA and members of the Women Leaders Forum for rural areas in the local televisions in Elbasani, Vlora, Lezha and Korca

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New publications Monitoring Matrix on enabling environment for civil society development is a tool developed by members of the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) where PA is a member, with the assistance of European Center for Not-for-profit Law (ECNL). The Matrix aims to define an optimum situation desired for civil society to function and develop effectively and at the same time it aims to set a realistic framework which can be followed and implemented by public authorities. The Monitoring Matrix has been adapted by DG Enlargement as part of its support strategy for civil society in Western Balkans. Click here for the Monitoring Matrix Toolkit: http://www.partnersalbania.org/BCSDN_Monitoring_Matrix.pdf The first Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development, Country Report for Albania presents the findings of the monitoring of enabling legal and practical environment for the development of civil society. The Monitoring Matrix is conducted in eight countries of Western Balkans and Turkey, by Balkan Civil Society Development Network members. Click here to read the Albanian report: http://www.partnersalbania.org/Albania_Country_Report.pdf Click here to read the Western Balkan Countries report: http://monitoringmatrix.net/regional/

The Study Participation of civil society and citizens in decision making, study on the legal and regulatory framework and practice in Albania analysis the legal and regulatory framework that affects the participation and civic engagement, provides information on the basic concepts of civic participation, and an assessment of the civil society organizations and interest groups engagement in decision making processes at local and central level, enabling factors and challenges encountered during their experience. Click here to get the report: http://www.partnersalbania.org/study_citizen_participation.pdf

Monitoring Report on the Use of online procurement system at the local level presents findings and recommendations arising from the monitoring of the implementation of e-procurement procedures in the Municipalities of Tirana, Elbasani and Lezha during 2012. The study surveyed economic operators experience with e-procurement system, as well as the experience of the staff in the target municipalities, in implementing these procedures. Click here to get the report: http://www.partnersalbania.org/e_procurement_study.pdf

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The study Development of social enterprises-Potential for job creation for disadvantaged groups provides an overview of the development of social enterprises in Albania, identifies the characteristics of social enterprises and their potential for development, assesses capacities of unemployed women and girls, and role of state institutions, local businesses and civil society organizations in support of their employment. The study provides examples of social enterprises in EU countries and beyond, as referral models for social enterprises development in Albania. Click here to download the report: http://www.partnersalbania.org/ development_social_enterprises.pdf The Chart for Equal Gender Representation in Decision Making Structures in Rural Areas is the product of Women’s Leadership Forum for rural women, a group established with facilitation and support of Partners Albania. The document was designed to serve as a guide and motivator for women and girls in rural areas, to be more active in the public life. Click here to read the Chart: http://www.partnersalbania.org/Chart_equal_gender_representation.pdf

Through an illustrated story, the photo novel Dashuria për njerëzit nuk ka çmim (Love for people is priceless) (available only in Albanian language) aims to raise awareness, especially of young people, on the philanthropy and its value in addressing societal issues. This publication was prepared by Partners Albania with the support of the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) under the PA program to promote philanthropy in Albania. Click here to read the photo novel (available only in Albanian): http://issuu. com/partners-albania/docs/dashuria_per_njerezit_nuk_ka_cmim

Partners Albania uses different communication channels to inform beneficiaries, supporters and collaborators on main activities, results and impact of our work. Toward a Sustainable Society is an informative quarterly newsletter Partners Albania issues since its establishment. Visit PA website, to read the latest issues of the newsletter.

Yearly activities of PA and highlights of its results are discussed in the 2012 Annual Report. http://issuu.com/ partners-albania/docs/ annual_report_2012_ partners_albania

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Finances

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Partners Albania, Center for Change and Conflict Management

Rruga Sulejman Delvina, N.18, H.8, Ap. 12, NjĂŤsia Bashkiake 5, Kodi Postar 1022, Tirana, Albania, Kutia Postare (PO Box) 2418/1 Tel. 00355 4 2254881 Fax: 00355 4 2254883 partners@partnersalbania.org http://www.partnersalbania.org

Annual Report 2013  

Annual Report 2013