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QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

EDITION NO. 60

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

In this edition: - Public consultation on the legal acts of the Law on“Whistle blowing and whistle-blowers’ protection" page 1

-GREEN IDEAS 2016 Idea from Albania wins in the regional competition page2

-“C.A.U.S.E. – Confiscated assets used for social experimentation” -The NPO Academy 2016 page 3

-Conference “The challenges and opportunities for employment of marginalized groups by social enterprises” -Youth Bank Hub page 4

-ICT Youth Camp page 5

-Training programs on Advocacy&Lobbying, Financial Management, Participatory Governance and Cooperative Planning page 6

-Participatory budgeting at central and local governance -Urban Governance/Integrity Building in South East Europe Urban Partnership Program Phase II (UPP II) page 7

-Better local governance through increased transparency and accountability of municipal councils -LEVIZ Albania project page 8

-Making the labor market work for young people in Albania page 9

-Monitoring of philanthropic activity in Albania

JULY 2016

Public consultation on the legal acts of the Law on“Whistle blowing and whistle-blowers’ protection" Partners Albania launches a public consultation process regarding the legal acts of the Law No. 60/2016 on “Whistle blowing and whistle-blowers’ protection". All public and private institutions, individuals and interest groups are welcome to submit their comments and suggestions regarding these legal documents (in Albanian) following the link below.

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for implementation of the Law on whistle blowing and whistle-blowers’ protection, among Partners Albania, the National Coordinator on Anti-corruption issues and the Chief Inspector of the High Inspectorate on Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests, in the presence of the Ambassador of the Netherlands H. E. Dewi van de Weerd (July 20, 2016)

The Law no. 60/2016 “Whistle blowing and whistle blowers' protection" was approved on June 2, 2016. It aims to prevent and fight corruption in the public and private sector, to ensure the protection of individuals that denounce suspected actions or corruptive practices in their work place, and to encourage denunciation of suspected acts or corruptive practices. Partners Albania in cooperation with the National Coordinator on Anti-corruption issues and the Chief Inspector of the High Inspectorate on Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana, are working to implement the Law on Whistle-blowing and whistle-blowers’ protection, improving the legal mechanisms and policy-making measures to prevent and detect corruption as well as increasing the capacities of the institutions responsible for the implementation of these mechanisms. The project “Implementation of the Law on whistle blowing and whistle-blowers’ protection” is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana through the Rule of Law MATRA programme, and is a direct contribution towards institution building, good governance and the fight against corruption, strengthening the rule of law and preparation of the country for EU membership. The draft legal acts for consultation are available in the following link: http://partnersalbania.org/News/konsultime-mbi-aktet-nenligjore-per-zbatimin-e-ligjitper-sinjalizimin-dhe-mbrojtjen-e-sinjalizuesve

The consultation is open through August 30, 2016 !

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-Join The Albanian Crowd page 10

Celebrate with us

15

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Winners of

Green Ideas 2016 national competition For the fifth consecutive year, Partners Albania organized on 24-25 May 2016 in Tirana, the National Competition “Green Ideas 2016”. The competition serves as an incubator for small - scale green economic development ideas in Albania,utilizing local resources and revitalizing traditions of production and community-based markets in an environmentally friendly way. The program supports individuals, social enterprises, non-for-profit organizations and small business ventures through a joint fund created with contributions from local companies and private donors, with institutional support of Rockefeller Brothers Fund. During the two days of competition, sixteen finalists presented their ideas before the evaluation panel of experts who selected the three best ideas.

Cultivation of saffron

The idea presented by Fiqiri Guxha, aims the cultivation of saffron in the village Daias in Petrelë. Through this initiative, local women will be trained and employed along the entire process from cultivation of the plant until the packing. The success of the initiative in this village will promote the cultivation of saffron in other villages as well, thus stimulating the economic development of the entire area.

Koman speaks!

The idea of the organization Cospe aims to revitalize the Komani culture focusing on its historical, cultural and natural values, toward the local economic development with the involvement of the community. Among other activities, Copse will build trails that will lead tourists to the area's attractions, will train and employ young people as tour guides, and will undertake an awareness campaign "Komani, I want the best for you!", to enhance the sense of responsibility to preserve this cultural heritage.

Agritourism, Eco-Social Farm

This initiative of the organization "The Door" aims to enhance and diversify the services of the Eco-social Farm established in the Oblique village, an area that offers many natural and cultural attractions. The Door will provide training and will employ 22 persons with disability, members of the band which will perform for visitors, will employ 2 persons at risk of social exclusion, as well as create an infrastructure for accommodation in tents, entertainment and other services for tourists and visitors.

Idea from Albania “Cultivation of Saffron” is one of the winners of the Annual Regional Competition “Philanthropy for Green Ideas” Three winners of Partners Albania national competition Green Ideas 2016 participated in the Annual Regional Competition Philanthropy for Green Ideas, organized in Serbia on July 27 -30. As part of this regional event, 15 participants from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, presented their innovative ideas. One of the three winners of this year was the idea from Albania “Cultivation of saffron”.

Philanthropy for Green Ideas is a Balkan Green Foundation program supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund aiming to stimulate and encourage innovation for green business ideas in the Western Balkans.

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TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Each of the winning ideas will receive funding in the amount of 800,000 ALL. The co-funders are Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Credins Bank and Telekom Albania.


“C.A.U.S.E. – CONFISCATED ASSETS USED FOR SOCIAL EXPERIMENTATION”

The project aims the effective and sustainable re-use of the confiscated assets by civil society organizations, based on the analysis and adoption of the successful and advanced international practices in the management of the confiscated assets for social projects with public benefits. Financial support will be provided to Albanian NPOs that will be selected through an open application process, to implement their social projects in confiscated assets.

On 27-28 and 29-30 June, Partners Albania organized two training programs on “Confiscation, re-use and management of the confiscated assets”, respectively with the Agency for the Administration of the Sequestered and Confiscated Assets (AAPSK) and “Marin Barleti” University. The trainings were delivered by Italian experts from the University of Naples ‘Federico II’, which manages a Master’s Degree in analysis of the phenomena of organized crime and strategies of social re-use of confiscated assets, and the organization Project Ahead Societa Cooperativa that promote social economy and supports the organizations in the management and re-use of confiscated assets for social purposes.

The training with 10 administrators of the sequestered and confiscated assets and coordinators of the AAPSK, served as a starting point for the assistance that the project will offer to the Agency for the preparation of the internal procedures for giving in use and monitor of assets to non-for-profit organizations for the implementation of social projects. While the training with 15 lecturers of “Marin Barleti” University served to introduce the concept of social economy and the curricula on the topic of confiscated assets based on the experience of the Master’s programme managed by the University of Naples, aiming its replication and inclusion in the program of the university.

NPO Academy 2016 NPO Academy 2016 continued its journey increasing capacities and professional development of 24 Albanian NPO executives on issues related to: Financial management and reporting to state authorities; Ensuring public support and working with the private sector - Fundraising and Philanthropy; Ensuring financial support through Grants - Proposal writing and management – EU Grants; Strategic communication for NPOs and Models of participatory processes - Participatory governance. During this period, two peer-coaching sessions were held with the Academy 2015 alumni and participants of NPO Academy 2016, contributing to the exchange of experiences, networking and partnership among organizations. The NPO Academy is financially supported by Olof Palme International Center in Albania through funding from the Swedish Government and the Slovak Aid - Official Development Assistance of the Slovak Republic.

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TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Since February 2016, Partners Albania for Change and Development in partnership with the Italian organizations Project Ahead Societa Cooperativa and Comitato don Peppe Diana, is implementing the EU-funded project “C.A.U.S.E. – Confiscated Assets used for Social Experimentation”.


Conference “The Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises” Partners Albania organized on April 20, 2016 in Tirana, the Conference “The Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises”. Following the commitment and contribution of Partners Albania on the public discussion, promotion of first practices and support to social enterprises in the country, this conference brought together representatives from line ministries, academic institutions, development agencies and donors, social enterprises, civil society organizations, businesses, and other stakeholders that contribute to the development of social enterprises in Albania. Findings of the study “The Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises” in Albania and Macedonia were presented in the conference, providing a general overview of social enterprises, characteristics of their development, dimension, and opportunities they offer for employment and integration of marginalized groups. Different perspectives of development of the legal framework and practices in the region and beyond were also presented and discussed in the conference.

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

The conference was organized in the frame of the project “Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises” implemented in three countries in the region, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia, supported by the Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP).

Youth Bank Hub for Western Balkan and Turkey From January, Partners Albania is implementing the project "Youth Bank Hub for Western Balkans and Turkey", in partnership with “Ana i Vlade Divac” Foundation in Serbia, Association for Education - MLADIINFO International in Macedonia, ”Prima” organization in Montenegro and “Community Volunteers Foundation” in Turkey. On May 23 - 24 was held in Belgrade the implementing partners meeting where project coordinators of each organization in cooperation with the researchers developed an index of indicators based on three main categories focusing the social, economical and political inclusion of youngsters. Partner organizations will prepare 6-months reports which in addition to results from the index monitoring, will also include recommendations on advocacy and policy initiatives, and conclusions of the roundtables to be organized by each country with youth organizations, public institutions and other stakeholders. On July 18 - 20, a team of Partners Albania together with colleagues from partner organizations participated in a workshop organized in Serbia on strategic planning of project activities. The project "Youth Bank Hub for Western Balkans and Turkey” is financed by European Union.

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“ICT Youth Camp” Through an open call for applications, Partners Albania invited young women and men aged 17-30 years old, students of general and professional high schools, university students and other young people interested in the field of information and communication technology to express their interest to participate in the “ICT Youth Camp“. “ICT Youth Camp” is a training and mentoring 4-day program that aims to increase knowledge and skills of young women and men in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and developing a business plan on a business idea in the ICT field. On June 27 to 30 was organized the first business camp attended by 27 youngsters from Tirana, Shkodra, Përmeti, Burreli, Vlora, Durrësi, Elbasani etc. During an intensive and interactive program, participants received technical information and knowledge on how to develop their ideas for products and services in the ICT field, were introduced to the strategy of market segmentation and positioning in the market, developed skills to sell the idea to potential investors, on building cooperation and partnerships, development of business plans, etc.

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

The program also provided support and mentoring from local and international experts (of Telekom Albania) in the ICT field, presentation of the idea, and business development and management during the idea implementation. The best ideas developed during the camp and selected at the end of the program by a jury of experts and business representatives, will be further supported in the course of the project.

This program is organized in frame of the project “Innovation Hub” which aims to improve the current situation by establishing an incubator that will serve young women and men to create and develop innovative business ideas competitive in the market. The “Innovation Hub” is implemented by the Ministry for Public Administration and Innovation, Partners Albania for Change and Development and the Institute for Research and Development Barleti.

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“Advanced Advocacy and Lobbying Training for Albanian NPOs” During April 2016, Partners Albania organized two 2-day training programs on “Advanced Advocacy and Lobbying” for 31 representatives of NPOs from all over the country, interested to enhance their skills in drafting and implementing advocacy campaigns around concern issues for their interest groups. The training programs were delivered by Mr.Dusan Ondrusek, experienced in training delivery and organization of advocacy and lobbying campaigns in Slovakia. Mr.Ondrusek is the president of Partners for Democratic Change Slovakia.

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

These training programs were organized with the financial support of the United States Embassy in Tirana.

Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations In frame of its work to create an enabling environment for civil society organizations, Partners Albania is working to update the Manual on Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations, an early publication of Partners Albania in support of the NPO’s work. The manual presents the basic concepts of financial management, a comprehensive view of accounting systems and reporting, internal controls, budgeting process, financial analysis and taxes applied to NPOs by the state. The updated publication reflects the changes occurred in the legal and fiscal framework that regulates the activity of NPOs and responds to the new dynamics of the sector’s development. Partners Albania held on 9 and June 23, three regional roundtables in Tirana and Elbasan, with financial managers and managers of NPOs to discuss and consult with them around the issues addressed in the manual, as well as to inform about the developments with regard to the fiscal practical and legal framework.

This Partners Albania initiative in support of civil society organizations, for an efficient planning and management of financial resources and the establishment of effective financial monitoring systems, is supported by the Open Society Foundation for Albania.

Training Program on “Cooperative Planning and Participatory Governance models and tools” On 15-17 June 2016, Partners Albania delivered a training program on “Cooperative Planning and Participatory Governance models and tools” to a group of 28 participants from Caritas Albania. The training helped increase the knowledge of participants regarding models and tools on strengthening the cooperation and partnership with governmental institutions at local level, to ensure the sustainability of the program.

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Participatory budgeting at central and local governance In framework of this initiative aiming to increase involvement of civil society organizations and interest groups in the process of budgeting at central and local level, Partners Albania organized roundtables with representatives of 30 CSOs to discuss on priority issues that will influence Draft Budget 2017 and the Medium Term Budget Program of the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth. Representatives of PA and CSOs involved in the initiative attended also meetings with representative of Ministry of Finance as well as consultative meetings with representatives of the targeted Ministries to discuss and present the identified priority issues.

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Aiming to develop CSOs advocacy skills, to be successful in addressing their interest groups priority issues in the budgets of the respective Ministries, PA conducted on 19 and 22 July two training sessions on issues related to “Medium-term budgetary program 2016-2018” and “Sectorial guides of the Ministry of Education and Sports and Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth”. The training sessions were conducted by experts from Partners Albania and Prof. Dr.Arben Malaj. With regard to increasing active participation of citizens in local decision-making, PA focused its assistance on the facilitation of meetings between representatives of local coalitions and Mayors and executives of Puka, Lezha and Durrësi Municipality, to discuss on the participatory budgeting process and plan of actions. During this period, local coalitions worked on identification of citizen priorities in the targeted cities.

This initiative is supported by Olof Palme International Center and the Open Society Foundation for Albania.

Municipality of Fieri starts the work to draft the anticorruption strategy On May 31st, Partners Albania held the first meeting with the Guiding Coalition in Fieri municipality, to discuss the Vision and Mission of the Anti-Corruption Strategy and start the process of diagnosis to identify activities and services most vulnerable to corruption practices. Meanwhile in the Municipality of Berat and Elbasan the work continued with conducting the general and in depth diagnosis in order to identify and analyze the priority areas to be included in the Anti-Corruption Strategy, based on the level of vulnerability to corruption and their effect in the lives of citizens and the image of the municipality. Partners Albania is part of a regional consortium of organizations from Albania, Serbia, Macedonia and Croatia which are implementing the World Bank “Urban Governance/Integrity Building in South East Europe Urban Partnership Program Phase II (UPP II).

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Better local governance through increased transparency and accountability of municipal councils www.e-qeverisjavendore.com As part of its work towards increasing transparency and accountability at local level, Partners Albania is continuing with the monitoring of the the work of municipal councils in Lezha and Kucova. In the online platform e-qeverisjavendore.com, interested citizens and stakeholders have the opportunity to follow the City Council meetings, be informed on Council decisions and get involved and advocate for priority issues that concern their community.

The e-qeverisjavendore.com platform was established in the frame of the pilot initiative "For a better local governance through increased transparency and accountability of municipal councils", implemented by Partners Albania with the support of the Embassy of the United States in Tirana.

LëvizAlbania

www.levizalbania.al LevizAlbania is a project that aims to have a catalyst effect on local democracy in Albania. It is implemented by a consortium of three organizations: Open Society Foundation for Albania, Partners Albania and Co-Plan, and financially supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Albania. LëvizAlbania supports local democracy in the country through the cultivation of a community-based local civil society, which affects and stimulates demand for good governance. After the conclusion of the First Call for Applications where the winners were 22 projects submitted by 7 individuals and 15 NPOs, on 26 April, LevizAlbania announced the Second Call addressed to civil society organizations, individuals and their groups. Directions set by LA for the second call were advocacy and lobbying for improvement, successful change or implementation of local policies through increase of accountability of the public institutions representatives, and increased accountability of local elected officials. Out of 206 applications received, LevizAlbania selected 33 from organizations and 17 from individuals, who participated in the "Competition of Ideas" organized in Lezha, Vora and Fieri. The Board of Grants approved for the following stage of drafting full project-proposals, 29 concept ideas respectively 8 from individuals or their groups and 21 from non-profit organizations.

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Since January 2016, the platform is updated with the full footage from 15 City Council meetings in Lezha and Kuçova, 30 reports of meetings discussions, and 10 monitoring reports on the implementation of the decisions.


Making the labor market work for young people in Albania

www.risialbania.al

RisiAlbania is a youth employment project that focuses on achieving systemic changes in the Albanian labour market in order to improve access to employment and income opportunities for young women and men. RisiAlbania project is implemented by a consortium consisting of Helvetas Swiss Inter-cooperation and Partners Albania, and funded by the Swiss Embassy in Albania. Some of the main activities of the RisiAlbania for this period were:

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Pre-evaluation, a “key” for organic certification With RisiAlbania’s support, Albinspekt - the only accredited Albanian Organic Certification body, organized on May 9 – 10, 2016, three open consultation sessions with more than 20 organic producers and other stakeholders interested in the service of pre-evaluation. Such sessions served as a great opportunity for agro-processors to receive important information about pre-evaluation, an innovative procedure that supports the certification of organic producers, reduce time and costs, improves business performance ultimately increasing generation of employment.

AOA – representative of Albanian BPOs Albanian Outsourcing Association (AOA) with the support of RisiAlbania, participated in the annual National Work Fair, organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and the Municipality of Tirana, on 28-30 April 2016. The event brought together on a round table the AOA representatives with the Minister of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship (METTE) and the Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, in relevant discussions on issues of concern to AOA members. Those concerns were later forwarded as a draft-proposal to METTE, regarding possible improvements on the fiscal package for the year 2017 - as part of the regulatory framework for the BPO sector in Albania.

Become an entrepreneur by listening to the radio! The weekly broadcast “Të reja punësimi” (News on employment) continues to attract a growing audience of young men and women in search of good employment opportunities, giving tips on how to get a good job, be successful in job interviews and even become a successful entrepreneur. There are quite a few people who got inspired by the radio program in opening up their own business. The weekly broadcast is being aired for a second season on Club FM, with support from the RisiAlbania project.

Berat steps ahead in Tourism In May18, the city of Berat – one of UNESCO’s worldwide heritage protected cities – kicked off the start of its tourism season with the inauguration of a brand new Tourist Interpretation Center. Located in the heart of the city, the center showcases to all visitors the best of Berat’s tourism, through attractive and innovative services and products providing not just important and useful information, but also a range of hand-made souvenirs from Berat’s diverse artisan traditions. The Center also offers the “Visit Berat” mobile application which contains detailed information about the city, and audio files on the monuments and the main attractions of the area. This project was one of the winners of the RisiTuristike Award, initiated by RisiAlbania and the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship, and was made possible by the joints efforts of Berat’s municipality and BID Berati, with support by RisiAlbania and the Albanian-American Development Foundation.

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Monitoring of the Philanthropic Activity in Albania Since January 2015 Partners Albania is conducting the monitoring of philanthropic activity through media monitoring, including also the social media and information resources from the public and non-public institutions. The monitoring process is conducted on everyday bases and the findings present the supported causes, nature and values of the donation, geographic coverage and also the donor’s nature. They are presented as monthly short summary reports that aim to help on the meaning and identification of this activity.

Facts on Philanthropic Activity April – June 2016

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

During the second quarter of 2016, the reported value of the donation at country level is 15,444,445 ALL as presented in the charts below:

Visit the link in our website for the monitoring data from the previous months: www.partnersalbania.org/programs/monitoring-of-philanthropic-activity-in-albania-en/

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Join

www.thealbaniancrowd.org

The Albanian Crowd

The Albanian Crowd is an interactive online platform of Albanian NPOs and social enterprises, created and managed by Partners Albania. The platform provides comprehensive information on the location, scope of work, areas of activity, beneficiaries, services the organizations and social enterprises offer and projects they are currently working on. It supports already 146 member organizations from across the country, operating in different fields. Since it was launched, the platform counts over 17,000 visitors, more than 1,7 million hits from nearly 150 countries from all continents. We encourage all members of the platform to frequently send us updated information, announcements and calls for volunteers and supporters for their initiatives and programs. All Albanian organizations and interested groups are invited to join the platform by completing the online registration form at the following link:

Partners Albania is an independent Albanian NPO established in 2001, working to support civil society and facilitate inter-sector cooperation in order to strengthen democratic institutions and advance economic development. Partners Albania is a member of Partners Global, a partnership of 19 independent, local organizations in Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East working for peaceful and democratic change.

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

http://www.thealbaniancrowd.org/aplikimi/

Address: Rruga Sulejman Delvina, N.18, H.8, Ap. 12, Njësia Bashkiake 5, Kodi Postar 1022, Tiranë, Shqipëri, Kutia Postare 2418/1, Tel/Fax: +355 4 2254881 Email: partners@partnersalbania.org Http://www.partnersalbania.org Follow us in

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Partners Albania Newsletter "Towards a Sustainable Society", edition 60 - July 2016  
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