TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY In this issue: -Role of civil society organizations, local and central government and active groups in the implementation of Participatory Budgeting in Albania, national conference page 1 -Citizens Pro Justice Reform page 2 -Financially viable civil society = Active civil society NPO Academy 2017! page 3 -Creating an enabling environment for CSOs -Join TheAlbanianCrowd, the online platform of NPOs and social enterprises page 4
Role of civil society organizations, local and central government and active groups in the implementation of Participatory Budgeting in Albania In conclusion of its two year initiative aimed to increase the participation and influence of CSOs and interest groups in the process of participatory budgeting at local and central level , Partners Albania in cooperation with the Olof Palme International Center and the support of the Swedish Government organized on January 17, 2017 in Tirana, the national conference “The role of civil society organizations, central and local government and active groups active in the implementation of participatory budgeting in Albania”. The event brought together key stakeholders in the implementation process of participatory budgeting at central and local level, to discuss the achievements, challenges and problems encountered in the implementation of this process, and to provide recommendations for improvement, toward a better governance at all levels.
- LevizAlbania Project page 5 -Launch of the program "Education of young job seekers in the banking sector" - ICT Youth Camp page 6 -Launch of the national competition "Green Ideas 2017" page 7 -Philanthropic activity of enterprises in Albania -Monitoring philanthropic activity page 8 -Making the labor market work for young people in Albania -Celebrating solidarity! page 9 -Integrity building in local government page 10
Key speakers at the conference were officials of the municipalities of Vlora, Lezha and Elbasani, representatives of civil society organizations involved in the process of participatory budgeting, donors and experts who discussed the cooperation of CSOs with local and central institutions, legal and institutional mechanisms, as well as intersectoral collaboration practices on implementation of participatory budgeting at central and local government. Visit here a photo gallery from the event.
The Manual on “Financial Management of NPOs and Regulatory Framework, second edition” (2016) aims to helps NPOs in the efficient management of financial resources. The updated manual 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. Contact PA office to purchase copies of the manual.
More information on the application criteria is available at page 7
These are our most recent publications: the survey on the philanthropic activity of enterprises in Albania, and a guide on CSO sustainable development and inclusiveness in participatory processes. Under Publications menu in our website www.partnersalbania.org are available all PA publications .
The GROUP OF CITIZENS PRO JUSTICE REFORM is a voluntary grouping of civil society organizations aiming to communicate the voice and thought of Albanian citizens asking and hoping for a reform that is going to guarantee a fair and just Justice, a Justice for all, not only for the most privileged ones. The actions of the Group began in July 2016, right before the constitutional amendments, as an incentive tool for the politics, and an expression of the citizen will and the civic engagement. The Group addressed the political forces with a Statement, followed by a series of manifestations. In February 2017, over 70 organizations and hundreds of citizen from 11 cities, starting from Tirana and later expanding to Durres, Vlora, Shkodra, Lezha, Korรงa, Pogradec, Berat, Fier, Ura Vajgurore and Kuรงova organized in an independent and voluntary manner, throughout the entire country, collecting petition signatures of citizens supporting the execution of vetting process and further implementation of reform. In only 5 days, the Group achieved to collect over 31,777 signatures of citizens supporting this reform. The petition initiative was an action aiming to give Albanian citizens a voice, and not politicians. The petition was also made available online, for all Albanian citizens abroad who wanted to sign it.
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY
In March 2nd, representatives of the Group delivered the petition to the Albanian Parliament, to transmit the voice of citizens wanting the justice reform, directly to the institution responsible for representing the needs and opinions of citizens!
The GROUP OF CITIZENS PRO JUSTICE REFORM will continue to be involved and vigilant to ensure that all steps of justice reform implementation are carried out within the set deadlines and standards.
FINANCIALLY VIABLE CIVIL SOCIETY = ACTIVE CIVIL SOCIETY Starts the work with the first group of organizations that will be assisted in developing fee for services The call for the second group will be announced in September
In February, PA organized eight information sessions in Tirana, Durrësi, Elbasani, Korca, Vlora, Shkodra and Gjirokastra, attended by over 100 representatives of NPOs interested to be part of the program. Besides introduction to the purpose, application procedure and other details regarding engaging in the program, these informational meetings served as a reflection moment for the NPOs, on their readiness to enter into such a process. This initiative is implemented by Partners Albania, in framework of Civil Society Watchdog and Advocacy Program supported by the Public Affairs Office of the United States Embassy in Tirana.
NPO Academy 2017 Starts the journey of the first group of participants in the NPO Academy 2017 The second group will be selected through a call to be announced in September NPO Academy comes in its 3rd consecutive year as a consolidated program which offers education and development opportunities through contemporary learning approaches and multidimensional experience exchange to NPO executives across the country. The work has started with the first group, 16 NPO executives who are benefiting knowledge and skills enhancement, cooperation, networking and partnership opportunities with similar organizations in country and abroad. Through a follow-up coaching and mentoring program, participating NPOs will be guided towards effective implementation of the knowledge and skills acquired in the Academy. During February-March, PA lectors held 4 lectures on: Development Trends of Civil Society and the Legal Framework for the non-profit sector; Organizational Development, Governance and Management; Proposal Writing and Management; and NPO Strategic Communication. NPO Academy is implemented by Partners Albania in cooperation with Partners for Democratic Change Slovakia (PDCS) in the framework of the project: “Pillars of civil society: More effective cooperation between civil and state sector in Albania”, financially supported by Slovak Aid - Official Development Assistance of the Slovak Republic.
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY
Partners Albania is implementing an initiative that aims to contribute to the financial sustainability of civil society organizations by strengthening their capacity to develop fee for services as an alternative income source, towards a greater impact in the communities where they operate. Through an open application process, Partners Albania selected 10 first beneficiaries of the program, with whom will work together, identifying possible income generating activities, to increase the impact and sustainability of their activities. PA will strengthen the capacities and skills of the organizations through a long-term training and coaching program for adopting appropriate business models to increase and diversify income. A special attention will be paid to building bridges of cooperation among NPOs and local businesses in order to increase knowledge and understanding of civil society work and their services, as well as identifying concrete partnership opportunities in providing these services.
Monitoring matrix on enabling environment for civil society development Partners Albania finalized the Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development, Country Report for Albania 2016, the only report assessing how supportive and enabling is the legal environment and its implementation in practice for the development of civil society, according to three main areas: ) Basic Legal guarantees of Freedoms; 2) Framework for CSOs’ Financial Viability and Sustainability; and 3) Government – CSO Relationship. The centralization of the registration process of NPOs, associated with costly and long procedures beyond the time limits set by the law, still remains an unaddressed issue. Foreign donors remain the main income source for NPOs, state funds continue to remain at low levels, not contributing to the financial sustainability of NPOs, while incentives for individual and corporate donations do not encourage donations to NPOs. Despite the initiatives and legislative changes in recent years, the fiscal treatment of NPOs remains confusing and ambiguous by the state authorities, as well as by NPOs. The passing of legal framework promoting increase of access and participation of NPOs in policy and decision-making processes such as the Law on the Right to Information and the Law on Public Consultation, has significantly increased the number of consultation processes organized by the ministries and the Albanian Parliament and the number of NPOs participating in them. However, this does not entail a significant impact on the reflection of NPOs’ recommendations in the final documents, as well as provision of feedback on the reasons for not taking into account these recommendations.
Policy Forum on Development, a space for dialogue amongst stakeholders in EU development policy, Brussels, March 2017 Juliana Hoxha, Director of Partners Albania, participated in the Policy Forum on Development, a space for dialogue amongst stakeholders in EU development policy. At focus was the new European Consensus on Development and Agenda 2030, inclusive multi-stakeholder partnerships at the core of Agenda 2030 implementation, including fostering an enabling environment for CSOs and how they can contribute to its implementation and further influence the international development agenda.
www.thealbaniancrowd.org The Albanian Crowd is an interactive online platform of Albanian NPOs and social enterprises. 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 working on. It supports already 146 member organizations from across the country, operating in different fields. Since it was launched, the platform counts over 20,000 visitors, more than 2 million hits from nearly 150 countries from all continents.
Join the Albanian Crowd by completing the online registration form available at: http://www.thealbaniancrowd.org/aplikimi-en/ Send us frequent updates on your work, as well as requests for volunteers or supporters on your initiatives.
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY
Visit the link in our website, to read the full Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development, Country Report for Albania 2016.
LevizAlbania is a project that aims to strengthen the local democracy in Albania through the engagement of civil society actors and individuals as the champions of democracy. LevizAlbania supports local democracy across the country by cultivating a locally rooted civil society, which increase the demand good governance in local level. The project 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.
www.levizalbania.al Partners Albania is working to strengthen civil society organisation for effective inclusiveness and participation, with the aim to support LevizAlbania Project to address the needs of beneficiaries and the interested applicants, to increase efficiency in implementation of local initiatives funded by the project. In collaboration with LevizAlbania, Partners Albania is providing tailor made capacity building programs, onsite and online, combining trainings with individual coaching, networking, and sharing of experiences with other organizations in the country and the region.
“Participatory Governance” online training In March, Partners Albania organized the first online training on participatory governance, focusing the discussion on its functions and key elements, legal framework and the tools for an effective participatory and inclusive governance. Representatives of 9 organizations and 5 individuals participated in the training, discussing their experiences of participating in decision-making processes about priority issues, at local and central level.
The first regional training on Project Proposal Writing and Management was organized in
LevizAlbania and Partners Albania held a workshop on Advocacy and Monitoring of Local Government, with the grantees of LevizAlbania, February 2017 #LevizAlbania #LocalDemocracy #PartnersAlbania #MonitoringLocalGovernment
March in Fier, with participation of representatives from 7 organizations and 7 individuals. The program aimed at increasing participants’ skills and knowledge on concepts and techniques to writing successful project proposals and their successful management. Two other regional trainings on the subject will be organized in the upcoming months.
During February, LevizAlbania organized in Vlora, Shengjin and Korça, the Competition of Ideas selected from the 1st phase of the Third Call for Ideas. The competitions were broadcasted live in social media. Visit www.levizalbania.al for news on awarded grants and other information about the project.
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY
Partners Albania organised in February the first three network thematic sessions , with participation of 40 individuals and NPOs, project grantees. These sessions aimed to discuss on the needs and challenges faced by grantees of LevizAlbania during implementation of their initiatives, as well as sharing best practices, experiences and lessons learnt among them, to better identify collaboration opportunities and joint activities.
Partners Albania in cooperation with the Albanian Association of Banks, launched on March 2017 the "Education Education Of Young Jobseekers In Banking Sector Sector” program, aiming to contribute to the improvement of employment opportunities for the Albanian youngsters who intend to follow a banking career. The program offers education and development opportunities through contemporary learning approaches and multidimensional experience exchange. It will provide to the 20 selected participants, the possibility to attend a series of lectures and opportunities for interactive exchange and exposure in the banking sector. The most successful participants of the program will be referred to the banking sector to be considered as potential candidates for the vacancies in this sector.
From the program launching ceremony: Mrs. Juliana Hoxha, PA Director and Mr. Spiro Brumbulli, Secretary General of the Albanian Association of Banks greeting the participants.
TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY
Experts of various commercial banks in Albania, Partners Albania and the Albanian Association of Banks will be engaged as lecturers in the program.
"The banking system in Albania. History and sector development trends” was the first lecture held by Mr.Orfea Dhuci, Economic Advisor, Alpha Bank
ICT Youth Camp Partners Albania continues the organizations of ICT Youth Camps, training and mentoring 4-day programs aiming 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. The second camp of this series, the first for 2017, was organized on 23-26 January, attended by 28 youngsters from Tirana, Fieri, Vlora, Librazhdi, Elbasani, Kavaja, Shkodra etc. Through an intensive and interactive program, participants were introduced to information and knowledge on how to develop their ideas for products and services in the ICT field. They learned about market strategy and developed skills in preparing a business plan and selling the idea to potential investors. A jury of experts and business representatives selected best ideas which will be further supported in the course of the project. The next camp will be organized in April. The application process is open for all interested applicants who can download the Application Form here. Follow PA website and social media to get informed about our programs and activities in this field. This program is organized in framework 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.
Partners Albania announces the call for Green Ideas 2017 national competition Since years, Partners Albania organizes the “Green Ideas” competition, in support of business initiatives that promote social inclusion, through integration and employment, and local economic development through environmentally friendly ideas. Application criteria: It’s a green idea in embryonic phase or in the initial phase of implementation;
If the applying entity is not a civil society organization, the entrepreneurship must be categorized as small business venture. If the applicant is an individual, he/she should contemplate (anticipate) in the business plan the type of legal registration of the project – idea. The project idea aims the sustainable development of environment through creation of job opportunities and/or higher income; The project idea is in line with the main activity of the entity which applies;
The project idea is entirely based on use of local resources; The project idea is based on a detailed business plan and is environment friendly; The project idea mobilizes the work and expertise of local recourses and makes use of their traditional abilities; The project idea has a plan on how to grow the activity and financial sustainability;
Who can apply:
market showing the existing need; knows its competitors` and its idea presents competitive advantages; The project idea will support revitalization of traditional local economies and link among people and community. The applying entities are eligible to receive funding from this competition not more than once in two years.
The competition is open to: Individuals; Civil society organizations; and Small business ventures. Financial terms: The grant will support green project ideas for no longer than one year and with maximum funding of no more than 800.000 ALL. Co-financing from alternative sources is encouraged. The required documents: A project proposal in line with all the above mentioned criteria;
A detailed business plan of the project idea accompanied by the cash flow; A document certifying the legal status of the applicant entity (Court registration and TIN); For individual applicants, in case their idea wins, before the signing of the contract they should registered as a non -profit organizations or small business according the legal legislation in place. Format and language: The presentation of the project idea needs to be in line with the criteria presented in the call, attached to a detailed budget. The budget should be presented in the form of a business plan where will be listed all costs requested to be covered by the Green Ideas grant and co -financing if there is any, for a one-year period. The language for presenting the project idea is Albanian. Information on submission deadlines: The deadline for sending applications is May 3rd, 2017 The application can be submitted electronically at email@example.com, or by mail / hand delivered to our office: Partners Albania for Change and Development, Rr:”Sulejman Delvina”, N.18, H.8, Ap.12; PO Box 2418/1, Postal code 1022, Tirana Partners Albania will release a second announcement about the date of the competition. Selection process: The selection process will be conducted by a jury of experts from economic, environment, business and justice field. The evaluation process will be conducted in two phases: The first phase will consist in the selection of the ideas that fulfill the application criteria, selection to be made by Partners Albania; The second phase will consist in selection of three best ideas by the Jury of experts, as part of an open public competition. This selection will be based in the pre-selection list from the first phase. Three winning ideas will be automatically part of the regional competition organized by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Partners Albania, in Montenegro, in July 2017. Orientation sessions calendar: To assist all interested applicants, Partners Albania is organizing online orientation sessions about the procedures and application process. The next information session is scheduled for 20 April, at 10.30. To participate, express your interest by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The applying entity must show that has information or has performed an evaluation of local
Encouragement and Development of Corporative Philanthropy in Albania As part of its work to promote philanthropy and the research in this field, Partners Albania organized the national conference " Encouragement and Development of Corporative Philanthropy in Albania ". In the conference were presented the findings and reccomendations of "Philanthropic Activity of Enterprises in Albania" study, conducted by Partners Albania in 2016. This is the second PA study on philanthropy, following the one conducted in 2011. The study assessed the level and characteristics of philanthropic activity performed by the business sector in Albania, the development features of this activity throughout 2011-2016, as well as future trends. Speakers at the conference were Mr. Bashkim Sykja, Advisor of the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Nikolla Lera, Director of Macroeconomic and Fiscal Policy Affairs at the Ministry of Finance, and Mr. Genc Boga, Secretary General of the National Economic Council, who discussed the possibilities of creating an enabling environment to stimulate and further develop philanthropy in the country.
Monitoring of philanthropic activity in Albania Since 2015 Partners Albania is monitoring the philanthropic activity conducted in Albania, through monitoring of media (including social media) and information resources from public and non-public institutions. The monitoring process is conducted on daily bases and the findings show the supported causes, nature and values of the donation, geographic coverage and donorâ€™s nature. They are presented as monthly short summary reports that aim to foster the meaning and identification of this activity. Throughout 2016, Partners Albania registered 279 donations totaling 185,893,382 ALL, 82% of which were monetary donations, 12% services and 6% goods/products . The main field of donations is Economic Aid, while as regards the main beneficiary group, except for the General Public receiving 62.5% of donations, Children are the other main beneficiary group receiving 28% of the donations. The main contributors are individuals, making 55% of the total donations and 58% of the total amount registered, followed by businesses carrying out 20% of the donations and 16% of the total amount registered. Visit PA website for the information on the monitoring of philanthropy in Albania: www.partnersalbania.org/programs/monitoring-of-philanthropic-activity-in-albania-en/
Donors according donation value
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Find the survey report in the following link: http://partnersalbania.org/publication/philanthropic-activity-of-enterprises-in-albania-second-survey-2016/
Making the labor market work for young people in Albania Started in 2013, RisiAlbania is a youth employment project that focuses on achieving systemic changes in the Albanian labor market in order to improve access to employment opportunities for young women and men. RisiAlbania is a Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) project implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Partners Albania. Some of the main activities of the RisiAlbania for this period were:
World Class Swiss Expertise support to the Hotel Classification system in Albania With support of RisiAlbania, the world renowned Lausanne Hospitality Consulting (LHC) visited Albania in March to provide feedback on the planned hotel classification system in Albania, the first such an endeavor in the country led by the MoEDTTE.
“Do you have an idea?”, is a new TV Show supported by RisiAlbania, launched in late February at Vizion Plus. The programme invites innovators and inventors to present new products and business ideas to a panel of experts and business people.
Visit www.risialbania.al for more information and the latest news of RisiAlbania project.
Celebrating solidarity! The regional project "Celebrating solidarity" is being implemented by six partner organizations from Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia and Hungary, which are working to promote philanthropy and examples of solidarity in times of crisis. Partners Albania has identified and prepared a series of audio-visual stories highlighting solidarity examples from Albania, focusing on beneficiaries and their supporters. These materials along with similar examples from the participating countries, will be displayed in the Museum of Solidarity, a website soon to be launched.
In February, Partners Albania conducted two focus groups with young people aged 15-30 years in Vlora and Tirana, to research on the perceptions, young people’ standing on solidarity as a concept, and existence of solidarity in Albania.
To identify the young people perception of solidarity and helping others, and the role they can take in the community, the project partners developed an online quiz which was completed by about 1100 young people from Albania, resulting in Visionary and Cheerleader as dominant roles.
On March 24, project partners participated in the digital storytelling workshop organized in Krakow, Poland, where they discussed on the content and presentation of most significant examples in the Museum of Solidarity, in order to foster a sense of solidarity, particularly among young people.
The project “Celebrating solidarity” is implemented by 6 organizations led by Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation in Serbia, respectively Partners Albania in Albania, Input Output Foundation in Poland, Demnet Hun in Hungary, Multi Kulti Collective in Bulgaria, and Mladiinfo International in Macedonia. The project is funded by Europe for Citizen Programe of the European Union.
PER NJE SHOQERI ME TE ZHVILLUAR
Albanian Tourist Guides – ready to be qualified and certified The curriculum for 3 categories of tourist guides in Albania was approved in January 2017. These unified curricula was prepared by NATGA with support of RisiAlbania Project, and the training courses for tourist guides are expected to be implemented from April 2017 onward. In addition, the first 159 Albanian tourist guides were certified by MoEDTTE and entered in the register of tourist guides of Albania.
Building Integrity in Local Government During these months PA worked with the Guiding Coalitions and staff in the municipalities of Elbasan, Berat and Fier, to finalize the Anticorruption Strategic Action Plans 2017 – 2019, in the respective municipalities. After formulation of the vision and strategic objectives, the working groups in each municipality worked for the elaboration of a concrete action plan to be implemented by the municipality in partnership with other stakeholders, to improve the performance of the municipalities in the implementation of the activities identified as most vulnerable to corruption.
Berati Municipal Council Meeting approving the Anticorruption Strategic Plan, march 2017
The Anticorruption Strategic Action Plan 2017-2019 were approved in March by the Municipal Councils in Berat and Elbasan Municipalities while the Strategic Action Plan of Fier Municipality is under finalization.
Partners Albania work with the municipalities of Elbasan, Berat and Fier was conducted in the frame of Urban Partnership Program of the World Bank - Austria "Urban Governance / Integrity Building in Southeastern Europe.
Regional Integrity Symposium, Belgrade
As a key speaker in the panel discussion on perspectives and lessons learnt in building partnerships and engaging stakeholders, Ariola presented Partners Albania work and experience with local government units in drafting and implementing anticorruption strategies in their organizations. About 70 local government officials, local government associations, anticorruption practitioners and civil society representatives from South East Europe participating in this conference, shared good practices of citizen’s engagements in policymaking and decision making processes, e-citizens portals, discussed on progresses and challenges that local governments are facing etc.
Regional conference “Socially Inclusive Cities”, Zagreb Klotilda Kosta, PA Director of Programs participated in the regional conference “Socially Inclusive Cities”, held on March 26 – 28 in Zagreb, Croatia. Around 80 Local Government Officials, Local Government Associations, Civil Society Organizations, business sector and other key stakeholders from seven South-East European countries shared their knowledge and experiences on citizen engagement and innovative tools of governance, including ICT tools used for integrating citizen’s voice from the region and beyond. The event provided a platform for disseminating the findings of the UPP Social Sustainability and Citizen Engagement (SSCE) initiative and sharing approaches to improving collaborative government and strengthening integrity of public services. The conference was organized as part of the WB-Austria Urban Partnership Program, phase II (UPP II). Partners Albania has been a member of the Regional Consortium implementing the Urban Governance/Integrity Building in South East Europe component of the UPP II.
Partners Albania is an independent Albanian NPO established in 2001, working to support civil society and facilitate intersector cooperation in order to strengthen democratic institutions and advance economic development. Partners Albania is a member of Partners Network, a partnership of 22 independent, local organizations in Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East working for peaceful and democratic change.
Rruga Sulejman Delvina, N.18, H.8, Ap. 12, Njësia Bashkiake 5, 1022, Tirana, Albania, Kutia Postare (PO Box) 2418/1 Tel. Fax: 04 2254881 Email: email@example.com http://www.partnersalbania.org Follow Partners Albania in: Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube Visit the online platform of the Albanian NPOs and social enterprises
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Partners Albania anticorruption practitioners Arjola Agolli and Nina Keruti participated in the Regional Integrity Symposium held on 29 – 31 January 2017 in Belgrade, in framework of World Bank Urban Partnership Program II.